This is a simple DIY guide to SEO and Content Marketing for small business website owners. Using the golden rules of basic SEO will help your website gain a better rank in Google.
I recently had an enquiry from a small business owner who had gleaned from her online research that content marketing is an effective SEO method to improve website rank. It is true.
Commercial SEO services are simply out of reach for most small business budgets. Mary wanted advice on how to Do It Herself. DIY and I share our conversation with you here.
Let’s call our client Mary who owns ABC.com website. Mary has a 4 year old Shopify website selling her own line of natural health and personal care products. This is how I answered Mary’s enquiry about DIY SEO and content marketing.
Hi Mary, Being 4 years old, you have a well established web presence with your site ABC.com…(not the real website name.) Length of time online is taken into account by Google, longevity = trust.
Even though your ABC.com is a Static catalogue style site, with the addition of search engine optimised (SEO) content marketing, it can be very dynamic.
About Content Marketing
Content Marketing if optimised correctly, attracts and captures visitors via their organic search terms on Google, Bing etc. That is why keyword research is so important. More on keywords later. Put simply, keyword research tells you which keywords your audience are using to get what they want online.
I suggested Mary add some fresh, informative and highly relevant posts to her blogroll. Don’t worry that the posts appear to be buried in a blogroll. Google knows about everything your site contains.
What actually happens is people search with their keywords and Google shows them the most relevant articles, even if that article is at the bottom of a blog roll.
For example… If you wrote the story called ‘The 5 most potent benefits of ABC Yucca tonic’ and someone searched…’what are the health benefits of Yucca ‘ …Google will send them to your story and other similar stories (which are your competition)
There is an excellent chance your article will rank on page one for that term purely because of the relevance of your content to the search term… AKA ….the #golden rule of SEO.
Ways to generate content ideas for your blog roll.
- Google search; type in your search term and scroll to bottom of the page. In this example we are using a fictional search… ‘Yucca benefits’ …to see what other related keywords and keyphrases people are using to search with. Do research and create articles using those phrases.
- Google Alerts; You can sign up to Google Alerts and it is free. Google alerts monitors the internet and will tell you every time an article is published online about your niche. This is a great place to get fresh info ideas for a news blog. You set it to send notification on new publications about your chosen topics or keywords, like Yucca products, essential oils for health, aromatherapy, chemical free health and beauty etc.
- Publish Feature articles about the resellers and stockists of your products is great way to add relevant information to the blog.
To keep the workload down for you….send an email to your distributors with a simple survey which helps them to describe all about their business – location, activity, passion, aspirations, crazy beliefs – quirks and successes.
I know you are busy with dispatch and other aspects of the business so you need to minimise your online workload. This survey method tries to ensure the respondent does most of the work. You can just edit, copy and paste their work and images onto your news site etc.
- Lists make good content. eg; the 5 best chemical free moisturisers for 2017. (obviously you would rate yours at the top.!)
- Enable comments on your news blog. Google loves engagement and comments count as content. Always reply to comments and follow up on questions and feedback wherever possible.
- Write posts about the illnesses and problems that your products help to cure or ease. eg; Natural Eczema relief, High grade natural antiseptic. Always put link in the post to the specifically related product on the website.
- Make new articles by Transcribing your youtube videos and voiceover/ instructions into print. Post it on the blog as new content with the video embedded in the post.. eg; How to Give the most Luscious Yucca Foot Scrub. Add links to the product.
About Keywords in Your Content;
Keywords capture organic online searches.
Keyword tools help you find keywords with low competition/high search numbers. Avoid using keywords with high competition. A free keyword tool which shows how big or small your competition is for any given keyword is KWTool.
This free tool will give huge amounts of content suggestions, plus data on how many people use that exact search term each month, plus it gives the all important competition rating….which tells you how many other posts have been published using the same keywords or keyphrases.. You need low competition <50, (marked green in the free tool mentioned .)
I personally use a paid keyword tool for every post I write, using this same low competition method. Eg; The title of this article has 252 monthly searches, 43 estimated monthly traffic and 1 competitor. These metrics practically guarantee page one rank for this keyphrase. Find out more about it here.
Don’t stuff your content full of keywords, but
- DO put the exact keywords or keyphrase in the title and intro and extro.
- Use the keyword in the meta title, meta description, alt tag, tags.
- Write naturally and stay tightly relevant to the keywords. Google understands latent semantics, so you can elaborate on the keyword within your content.
- At the end of every single post give a clear and strong call to action. (CTA.)
Click here to Find Out More About Blah Blah… (link goes to ABC website.)
Get Your Best Yucca Moisturiser here (link back to moisturiser page on ABC website).
- Sprinkle links throughout the post to other relevant pages on ABC website.
(P.S Find quick tips on How to Create Links in WordPress)
About links and backlinks;
- Place internal links in your articles, which point the reader to associated information within your blog eg; A post about hand moisturiser might link to a review about the same. Put a product image in the post and a link in the image to that product sales page.
ie; A post about foot scrubs can link to a different post about the exotic coconut and salt sources.
- Embed each of your youtubes videos into a full length post about the same topic. The post can be a simple transcription from the video.
- Insert the full transcription (with links to ABC and the post) in the information area on the Youtube page.
- Link out to authority sites like Wikipedia, Quora and other sites who carry quality information to supports your articles. Put an external link in any posts which elaborate on the info about your product.
There are probably some similar sites to your own which you feel have high quality information related to your products and their uses. You can link to them in your posts.
- Credit and notify the authors of the link to their post. Tell them you have recommended their article to your audience. Ask them if they wish to comment on your post or website which you have mentioned them in. (this is considered a white hat backlink a collaboration encouraged by Google).
- Invite the author to guest post on your site about relevant issues to your niche.
- Send product samples to influencers in your field and ask for a review or their opinion/feedback.
This linking activity is all part of your content marketing strategy, full of naturally related keywords. White Hat Backlinking is like digital networking.
Don’t buy backlinks.
Google has introduced the new algorithm, FRED, to filter out gamers of backlinks. Penalties apply.
You simply want to build out content, share it around, create interest and rapport with like minded people. Help your audience solve their problem.
About the Online Purchase Lifecycle;
Visitors to your site typically go through a 3 stage process.
- research – 2. decision – 3. purchase.
Keep in mind people rarely buy on the first visit. When writing content use a balance of articles aimed at each different point in the purchase cycle.
- Your blog pages will satisfy their research phase, with information about products, ingredients, origins, benefits and uses. Extend the reach of these posts by building an email list. Send a friendly email now and then, with a link to each new post you create.
Eg;” Hi, I just published this amazing story about a ladies remarkable recovery with the help of Yucca Lotion. Click the link to read it.” …..They will unsubscribe if they don’t want it.
- In the decision phase you can help to move the visitor closer to purchase by writing product reviews about products that solve their problem. Some people are looking for negative reviews, which is an opportunity for you to debunk misinformation and recommend the best product. They want articles which confirm their decision.
- To increase sales you want to get visitors who are at the ‘point of purchase‘.
Do this by using key phrases in the titles like ‘Buy Yucca hand cream’… Buy Wholesale Yucca Supplies”…Best Price Yucca Moisturiser…. Get the Newest Yucca products here….Best Buy natural Yucca soap….Purchase Yucca Balm…. and give the direct to the product sales page.
Marketing Your Content through Social media;
Create business profiles in social media channels like Linkedin, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube etc..
Post your business related articles you write to LinkedIn
for example; ” How Argentinian Yucca Growers Ingeniously Avoided the Jojoba Glut Mistakes of 2002″.
Instagram (mobile marketing) likes to see photos of ‘the team’ at work with little subtitles and lots of related hashtags and a link to your sales pages or posts.
eg; “Mary and Paula give ABC CEO the foot scrub from heaven during their hilarious Youtube shoot”.
or “ABC team at work among the heavenly vapours of tons of Yucca product ready to ship.”
StumbleUpon will let you submit articles in any field too. Create a free account simply submit a post link each time you publish a new article.
Install a Social Media plugin on your website. Tell your readers to follow and share your posts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Youtube etc. Continue to inform your audience as you publish each article. Always share new posts containing a link back to your site, to your social channels.
For example; You wrote a post about ‘Yucca Powder and cookie baking’ with links straight to buy the powdered product. Now, go to Twitter and tweet something smart, funny, wiseass, emotional etc
eg; ” The One Secret Ingredient which Makes Yucca Cookies Taste Better than Oreos” Now add a shortened link to your cookie baking post. Don’t worry about using hashtags because they only confuse and distract the reader.
Important; Remember to put a link in your social media posts to the relevant article or product.
The purpose of doing so many actions is to establish a real presence with your website. It aids in reaching many people and builds authority into your site, which Google trusts and therefore ranks higher.
About Website User Experience UX
Get an outsider to give you feedback about your website. If a website is difficult in any way the user will quickly leave and find an alternative. These factors are an important part of basic SEO.
- Is it too slow to load
- is it hard to find things in the menu,
- is the menu too busy,
- is it easy to buy items,
- Does it tell them what to do next
A Quick Roundup of DIY SEO
- Keyword research titles and content
- Headlines are tested for ‘Google Fit and Social Shareability.
- Meta description
- Formatting allows easy, fast reading for visitor.
- A clear call to action at the end of each post and an invitation to respond.
- Internal links to sales page and related topics
- External links to authority sites
- links to information sources.
- add tags, categories and images with relevant alt tags.
- Publish and Share on social sites.
Using all of the steps listed above will become automatic with practice. Your content is optimised to rank (in time) by way of the Golden Rules of basic SEO. When implemented regularly, Mary will develop a robust long term SEO strategy. It may take time and effort but can increase hers and your online success far beyond your expectations.
Further reading; best SEO strategies for small business owners is here.
There are many actionable steps to follow in this simple DIY guide to SEO and Content Marketing. Use these golden rules of basic SEO for your small business websites to improve rank in Google.
Like to see where I learned about SEO, Content Marketing and everything related to small business websites?
Go Far, Go Strong and Go Well,
Founder of The Cashed Up Nomad.com Earn Your Freedom Online.