3 Must-Read Content Creation Tips

Creating Engaging Content Takes Strategy

Creating content that people want to read is hard when you don’t take the time to learn the proper strategies. It is always tempting just to write and see where your typing will take you, to just shoot a quick video without an outline, or to assemble those pretty pictures on your hard drive into an image gallery for a Facebook post without worrying about hashtag strategy. Small business owners can feel they are pressed on time, so they create content as quickly as possible.

Rushing anything is never good, especially publishing marketing collateral associated with your brand. This will always take your content as well as your brand’s credibility to a bad place. A place where online users have a hard time finding your content on the web and when they do find it, get bored quickly. If your boring content lives on your website, your high bounce rate will let you know just how uninteresting and irrelevant your site users found it. So, follow these strategies when developing your content to improve your content engagement and your chances of turning readers into leads.

1. Research Your Target Audience

Before a small business owner places their hand on their keyboard they should already know their target user.  Engaging business content must speak to at least one pain point that is common for your target audience. For example, this article is geared towards small business owners to helping them with creating content their target readers will find valuable. We performed the research in Google Keyword Planner to know small business owners search for this solution on the web. You can see the Google Keywords Planner results below:

While the searches are not high, they align exactly with one of our services, content creation for small businesses. We have expertise on the matter and know that even though publishing this article on our site won’t generate high traffic, it will give us the opportunity to generate high conversion traffic. Notice we said opportunity since we still have to apply strategies to get the traffic to convert on our site such as having good user design and site performance.

You notice how we keep saying target.  Since time and resources are limited for small businesses you need to focus on the best people to spend them on. Creating content for only those who will find your company solutions valuable is key here. There are many factors you can research on a person, we recommend these: what are their pain points (and does your company solutions align with solving them), how do they try to solve their pain points (understand their buyer’s journey), where do they go to solve those pain points (competitors), and how do they interact with those companies (online, in-person, telephone, or all three).

2. Use research tools

The best tools to use when researching your target user depends on what you are trying to find. Google Keyword Planner is an amazing free tool that allows you to find how people try to solve issues when they are in the research phase of their buyer’s journey. It is a great place to start when brainstorming content topics. Just like the above Google Keyword Planner example, you just don’t want to go after highly searched for keywords because you want high site traffic. You should focus on keywords that will give you conversion traffic and that usually means traffic that is lower than expected.

SEMRush is a paid for online tool that has a keyword research tool like Google, it has a feature for checking out how your competitors are attracting users and how those users are interacting with their online brand. It is a valuable tool to learn how to beat your competition. You can see the SEMRush example below for the ad agency called Brunner Works.

With just looking at the overview page, we can see how many keywords they have used for their Google ad campaigns in the US, the estimated Google traffic those ad campaigns are giving their site, and their estimated total ad campaign cost. There is a tab that we find very valuable that allows you to see the ad campaigns of your competitors. This is not to copy, but to give you a direction to take with your own ad creation.

You want to see what bigger; more successful competitors are doing with their online ads. The point is to learn how they are successful and to learn from their strategies. When you look at the keywords they are using for their paid campaigns you can see where to focus your ad campaigns. If you didn’t have this tool or Google Keyword Planner you would run the risk of wasting money on poor performing keywords.

3. Don’t Self Promote, Solve A Problem

It is so tempting to tell you right now just how amazing we are in digital marketing for small businesses, but let’s not get into those details. People don’t like being sold to anyway. You came to this article not to learn about how cool we are, but to learn how to create better content. You want your content to give you more leads.

Always keep you target user in mind and always think about why someone would take their time to interact with your content. We sometimes get lost in our own brand and think to ourselves, well why not? No one cares about what your brand is unless it can solve their problem. Focus on how it can do just that with every piece of content your brand creates and you won’t have to worry about self promotion. Your target users will promote your brand for you.

A great method to preventing self promotion in your marketing collateral is to always review how many times you talk about your brand in your contents’ drafts before they are published. This includes all formats not just written collateral. If you want to include your brand in your content, only say it twice in videos and podcasts, once in the beginning and second in the closing and only once in all other collateral. Stay brief, ideally just state the brand and your slogan if you have one. You don’t want to turn people off your brand by over promoting, which is very easy to do.

Creating Engaging Small Business Blog Topics

Blog Topic Ideas

How to find the right topic for your small business blog does not have to be hard. All you need is Google Keyword Planner and a little bit of your time. A common mistake that smb businesses make is creating a blog where the content is about what THEY want and not what their target audience wants. Why bother writing a blog blindly and hoping for the best engagement?

Instead, you should use Keyword Planner to research what your target users are searching for and write content in response to their search intentions. This will create optimized content that users will engage with and will lead to your small business website getting more online conversions. For example, if you have an auto repair business in Cleveland you want to use Google Keyword Planner to find how users in your service area are searching for all the services your business offers.

In this example, we will enter just two broad keywords that define your services. In the same menu you want to change your target area to match your keyword queries. So, in this case you would change it to Cleveland, Ohio. This will ensure you are only targeting Google users in Cleveland, Ohio searching for auto repair services. You don’t want to get keyword data mixed in with people from regions outside of your service areas.      

When we look at how Google users in Cleveland, Ohio are searching for car repair and auto shops we get the below example. We see when Clevelanders search for car repair they are interested in local mechanics. So, you want to give them what they are looking for. You want to focus your blog content on your local services such as 5 Tips to Find a Great Cleveland Mechanic, 10 Things to Ask Your Cleveland Mechanic, and 5 Reasons This is the Best Cleveland Auto Shop. You should also make sure your small business website has an interactive map for mobile users, your physical location, customer reviews, and hours of operation. You can include this data or their page links in your blog posts.

KeywordAvg. monthly searches
mechanic near me1000
auto repair near me1000
auto repair720
auto shop near me720
car repair near me590
transmission shop320
car repair320
auto repair shops near me320
transmission shop near me320
mechanic shop near me260

Since your target audience is mostly concerned with locality, you should make your blog about local topics beyond your services. In this example you are a local business with one service area, your content should revolve around everything you do as a business in the Cleveland community. The corporate blog should be segmented into different categories that cover more than Cleveland auto repair. Any client appreciation events you hold in your area should be published. You should have a section about your local partner vendors, which is also a great guest blogging opportunity to link build and further boost your site’s SEO. You should have a blog section where you write about client stories, where each post centers on how your local shop helped a specific client.

A common mistake that small and medium-sized businesses make is writing beyond their service locations and having their content compete with large national chains. You are a small business, so you want to compete with other small businesses and keep your content local. If you are a medium-sized business, then only focus content around all the areas that your business services. There is no need to waste time on competing with other businesses for a target audience that will never visit your location.

After you publish your articles, your work is not done. You should analyze your articles’ performances each month to see how each topic does with engagement. Below is an example of performance metrics from a real estate blog. You can use this method to find the best topics to expand on. You can either go back and add new information to blogs that are performing well to give them new life. Or you can write another topic that compliments the first post. In this example, it is recommended to create a pillar page about Home Selling Tips.

The pillar page should include 2-3 intro paragraphs for articles 2, 3, 7 and 9 in the above chart and then links to those full articles. Each of those articles should be updated with a link back to the pillar page. Then new articles about Home Selling Tips can be included for the pillar page. Pillar pages are great for boosting SEO and UX for your website. For one, pillar pages allow easy site navigation for users and search engine robots to find your content since it will be better organized. Your content will also be better in quality since there will be more subtopic articles to support each main topic. This will boost user engagement through providing users more detailed content to digest. Furthermore, your blog will consist of content that users are searching for instead of what you want them to read.  

We can help you with your content creation.

Why a Small Business Blog is Vital

Small Business Blog Benefits

Blogging is a powerful part of small business content marketing. It builds more than awareness and credibility in your company. When technical SEO is applied to a small business blog, it provides an amazing link building strategy that can lead to a high domain authority. This will lead to high organic search traffic that can outperform paid advertising campaigns.

Getting to that point takes a lot of content planning and marketing strategy. You need to understand what your target user is searching for when it comes to content before even starting your first blog post. The purpose of your blog should be to satisfy your target user’s search engine queries by providing the right content and apply small business SEO so it is easily found.

Many companies use business blogs to stand on a soap box and yell about how innovate, intelligent, and customer oriented they are. No one cares. Others like to focus on their corporate culture and at least try to disguise this the best they can through eye-popping graphic design or comedic videos and copy.

A fun blog post can go viral, but that doesn’t mean it will create leads or sales. It needs to clearly answer your target user’s search engine queries for you to see good results for your small business. Useful content is shared, favorited, and linked to by users and web masters, which will give your site the web traffic it needs for online conversions.

How is your blog performing? If your blog strategy for your small business is absent or lacking, we can help you build a blog that will generate useful online traffic so you can spend less on advertising for lead generation and sales. You can contact us to build your blog.