Why is content important for my business?
Having relevant content on your website is hugely important - so that customers can find you online. Having a blog is a great way to engage with your customers using content, give them updates on your business but also attract new visitors and ensure your website is performing well when people are searching online for things relevant to your business. For this reason it's important to put yourself in your customers shoes and think about what they would find interesting rather than writing about things from a business perspective.
Consistency is key - it's important to have a strategy in place to ensure that there is new and also relevant content regularly. It's best to have a concrete schedule, for example post a new blog post once a week or maybe once a month. This depends on your business, how much time you have to commit to this and what information you want to share.
Building a Content Strategy
The number one thing we hear when we talk to customers about their blog is that they don't have time to update it and write a new post every time and we really do get it. That's why we manage this process for some customers but for others it is possible to do this yourself and it's often a surprise when we go through how long it will actually take to do.
The most important thing is to be organised. We often help businesses with this by setting up a content strategy and calendar. This basically consists of an overall aim, the keywords we are going to be focusing on, the type of content that will be posted and finally a schedule for this. We map this out week by week for approximately 6-8 weeks at a time. During this we look at events that might be on that relate to the business, national holidays, new products that the business might want to talk about. We then look at the important keywords we should use in this content and then add these to the schedule. Generally best practice for blog posts is 500 - 2500 words. Any shorter and you won't be able to get your point across and any longer people often lose interest (if you have longer content it's best to put that in an e-book or something similar) for people to download. Shorter blog posts (up to 500 words) are great for social sharing. It's often useful for quick updates that you would like people to share on their social media channels. While longer posts are best for SEO purposes, provided they stay on topic.
Finding time for content
Having time to write a blog post is the biggest challenge we see. Having a clear structured content schedule will definitely help with this because you know what content needs to be written well in advance. However it still requires actually sitting down and writing the content.
We struggle with this ourselves so we have a weekly set time where we sit down (every Monday at 11am), brainstorm and then just write for two hours. We have a reminder set in our phone and a content schedule to consult. Usually we do this two weeks in advance of a post being published which gives us time to go back and revise if needed. The thing to remember is that having content on your website will definitely pay off in the long run for SEO and for customer engagement so those two hours are by no means wasted. We track our website visits in Google Analytics and this allows us to clearly see the importance of our blog (it has the most visits on our website), where our visitors are finding our blog and how we can use this and improve. You can use the content yourself too, in fact you should, in your newsletter and on your social media channels so it all links up together to form an overall marketing strategy.
- Put yourself in your customers shoes and figure out what is interesting for them.
- Consistency is key - set a content schedule with keywords and topics.
- Set a reminder to write every week and stick to it.
- Track your website visits especially to your blog.
- Share your blog posts in your newsletter and on social media to get more exposure.