If content on your website forms the core of your small business marketing strategy, you need that content to be great. By great, I mean really useful for your target audience. Great content will also help your search engine rankings, so make it easier for your target audience to find it. These are our 15 tips on how to produce great content and get people reading it.
Write for the reader
The whole point of writing your blog/article is to demonstrate that you know what you are talking about. Your content is there to help the reader clearly see that you are an expert in your field and that you can help them with an issue they face. So make sure that the article is written in a way that makes this clear.
Write in the 2nd person
The best way (at least in our opinion) is for you to write in the 2nd person. Write as if you are talking directly to someone on the other side of the screen. Current figures show that 62% of all web traffic is on mobile devices so you are talking to just one person. When was the last time you read an article with someone next to you on a screen?
Making your article feel, for the reader, like a conversation aimed directly at them will help you engage with that person.
Find the right topics for your audience
This is almost one of those “Duh” tips. It’s obvious that you have to have the right topics; the question is how do you know what are the right topics? Here are a number of options to help you work out the right topics…
If you run a seasonal small business, there will be topics that you have to write about every year. One of our clients has a marquee business, so one of the topics we produce content for every year is the temperature inside the marquee. As we head towards the winter, we write content for them about heating and keeping warm. As we head to the summer, the content is about keeping cool and avoiding the British weather’s eccentricities. You will have your own seasonal topics. When you publish the article will depend on how far ahead your target audience is thinking about that issue.
Issues you are helping your clients with
Your clients use you to help them deal with issues. Our last article provided a series of email marketing tips (you can read it here) because we’re doing a lot of work at the moment helping clients improve their email marketing performance. If you are helping clients with certain issues, it is almost guaranteed that others will be facing the same issues and problems. So write content that you can then share that shows you can help with those issues.
Issues you see your prospects having
Whilst this point goes against one of our later tips, it can be highly effective. When you talk to a prospect, they will tell you about issues they are facing at this time. That conversation will include ways you can help them, but writing an article that also shows how you can help (that then gets sent to them) can be a great way of moving them towards buying from you. It may also help attract more clients too, because your prospect won’t be the only company facing that issue.
The popular ones from last year
Google Analytics can quickly tell you which posts on your website are the most popular. Updating great content pieces is a good way to please both your target audience and the search engines. The search engines like to see that content is being updated (it shows you are looking after the website). Your target audience want to see up to date information. Our most popular article over the last two years is one on how much small businesses should spend on their marketing (you can read it here). It is time we updated that.
Consider SEO impact
The most important factor when you’re considering what to write is the reader, but you should keep an eye on your rankings in the search engines. Every ranking article out there (here’s one) lists high quality content as one of the most important factors in determining where you rank. So here are a couple of tips to help you decide what to write about.
What are the most searched for topics?
Trending topics can be a great way to identify what content to write. Tools such as SEMrush and Moz are great, as is Google’s own tool https://trends.google.com
Are they any your competitors aren’t writing about
When was the last time you looked at what your competitors are, or aren’t, writing about? If they haven’t produced any content for some time, that’s great. But if they have, what have they missed? Again, SEMrush has a great tool for spotting the gaps in their content and keywords. You will need to talk to an agency about this, as SEMrush is generally an agency tool, but if you marketing budget allows it…
So we’ve looked at a number of different ways to work out what to write, let’s now look at a bit of housekeeping to help ensure you are producing great content for your website.
Give yourself time to create a great article
Rushing your writing will lead to a poorer article than if you invest time on it. Writing an article is at least a week, and ideally a month, before it is due to be published is our recommendation. That gives you time to review and edit – and to make sure it is included within your other marketing activities.
You may think it’s a great article, but you will be biased. Getting someone else to read it is going to help you improve your marketing content. It also ensures it is focused and hasn’t gone off on a tangent (something that is very easy to do). Choose people who will give you honest feedback.
Get the right image
Most blog pages show an article with a supporting image. The image will be part of the reader’s decision-making process when they are deciding what to read. If you haven’t invested time in choosing an image that supports your article, you may lose readers. Remember, those readers are potential clients for you, so you don’t want to lose them. Free image sites, such as Pixabay and Unsplash can provide images. Others, such as Istockphoto do charge, but they will have a better selection and, generally, better images.
Of course, if you can produce great images yourself, even better.
Share it to get it read
So let’s assume you now have your article and a great image to go with it. You’ve published it on your website. Time to sit back and relax? Nope – sorry. Adding it to your website doesn’t get it read and actioned upon. If your site gets 1,000s of visitors a month, you may get readers, but if you share it, you will get more. Email marketing campaigns and social media posts will get it out there and attract more views. After all, great content deserves to be read – and it is the reason you are working on writing it.
We hope this helped you work out how to write great content. If you are still struggling to work out what to write, or need some help in writing the content, get in touch and let’s have a chat.