If your website just contains your business location and phone number along with some promotional text don’t expect to rank high on search engines in your industry. It’s alright to just have a ‘business card'(Fig 1) type site online so your existing customers can find you, but you need quality content that people want to read to have any relevancy or authority on the internet.
Quality content for quality rankings
Producing unique quality content is the first and most important step to help your site rank high in the search engine space. Your customers are searching for answers to questions every day and your site should be the one to answer them. In fact, your site should also answer search queries in any related topics to pull in even more customers.
One of the top metrics search engines rank your site on is the quality of your content. Spam sites meant to game rankings are often filled with barely readable copies of articles from more popular sites that have been automatically reworded/rephrased to appear to be different unique content. These tactics are well known and a good reason to make sure your content is unique, interesting, and readable.
Unique quality content is also more likely to appeal to your customers and produce sharing among them.
The rise of social media sites like Twitter and Facebook has revolutionized customer engagement. Customer complaints and questions are often public and easy to find. Engaging with your customers and potential customers is now easier than ever.
A quick search on twitter for your product or industry will likely reveal hundreds or thousands of tweets. Each tweet is a possible positive interaction for your business.
Let’s say you run a business that sells coffee beans and supplies to consumers. You search twitter for coffee grinder and find a tweet from a user complaining that their coffee grinder broke this morning.
This is an opportunity to help a potential customer. Be careful about sounding spammy, in fact, I would recommend your tweet not promote your business at all, just help out someone in need.
In the above example, you could respond with something along the lines of: “I hate when that happens! I’d recommend a burr grinder, I like the Burr Grinder super ultimate express plus plus.”
Be careful of appearing to be spamming random twitter users. If you manufacture ‘Burr Grinder super ultimate express plus plus’ and it is only available from your company, you may want to disclose this. The key idea is to help people without trying forcefully promote your business–while also promoting your business.
Helping people promotes more social interaction with your brand, resulting in more mentions of your business on social media sites.
Be THE authority
You provide a product or service to your customers. You are the authority on that product. Make sure everyone knows it.
Your customers need to know it. Google needs to know it. Bing needs to know it. DuckDuckGo needs to know it. Everyone.
Make sure everyone knows you are the master at making gourmet chocolate covered pizza bites by becoming the authority and main source of information on the web about gourmet chocolate covered pizza bites (I just made that product up, but if these really exist, well, I don’t know what to think about that).
Becoming an authority online can be difficult depending on your product. Being the authoritative source about chocolate pizza bites won’t be as difficult as becoming the authority on-say, insurance.
If your product or service has huge competition you’ll still want to target the general audience, like insurance, but you will want to expand and narrow down what you write about even further for better results. You could focus on the location and then narrow down the topics.
So, don’t just write about general Insurance topics, start to focus on specifics. For example, you could write about standard Insurance topics and then expand and write about Kansas City focused insurance topics, and finally Kansas City Casualty insurance.
If you consistently provide quality information related to your product, service, or industry and make sure people know about it, you will become an authority and naturally start gaining links and mentions from social media and other websites.
Search engines look at your content and who is linking, liking, and talking about you to determine how relevant your site is related to a search query. This is why content is the most important factor web marketing or SEO.
That’s all folks
Create quality content, engage your current and future customers, and become an authority. It’s really that simple, or hard, depending how you look at it. Start today providing content on your site. Start small if you have to–just build a habit of consistently writing on your site–or hire a good writer if you have the budget, but make sure whoever is writing for you is as passionate about your product or service as you are.
Homework: Make a commitment to publish at least one piece of content on your site weekly.
Top tip: Every question a customer asks you is a potential blog post. This is a great source if you’re blocked and having trouble thinking of what to write about. Another customer somewhere is asking that question online but they haven’t heard about you yet. Write about it.