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10 essential content marketing tips for small businesses

10 essential content marketing tips for small businesses

When it comes to writing content for your new website, or updating your current websites content it is important that you take into consideration a number of factors: who are you writing for, is your content going to be SEO friendly, what product/ service do you want to market with your content, what action do you want your readers to take and what other related pages should you be referring to amongst many other things.

Writing content for the web can be a difficult and daunting task; it needs to be more relaxed and different to brochure text, not as friendly and informal as social media but just as informative and friendly as you are on the phone. More often than not the content on your website is the only thing that determines if a prospect buys from you or someone else – you need to make sure you capture their attention and point them down the yellow brick road towards your booking button (or contact details).

We have collected together 10 essential tips to help you create winning content for your business, some you may have heard before (we hope) and others that are a fresh surprise:

1. Plan, Review, Plan, Review

Before jumping into your content the best thing to do is create a content and page map. Write down in a tree structure the names of all of the pages on your site, beside each page name note down what you would like to focus on, keep the focus to one item per page and structure each page to follow an inverted triangle foccussing on paragraphed information then on to specifics in bullet points and on to how to purchase. Once you have your map created review what you have planned, ensure none of the pages repeat and all have a link through to another page (this is great for SEO).

2. Include images but don’t over do it

Including images within your text is the perfect way to compliment your text and show the ‘real’ side of your business. Be careful not to include too many images or images that are too large, they should be complimenting and not over shadowing your content. Select images that include happy people and keep them to a maximum of 200px in either direction, you can always use light box functionality to show a larger version if you would like.

3. Tell a story

Where you can write your text as though you are writing a story; this should take your readers along a journey of using your products or staying with you. If you are an accommodation business answer questions such as where you are located, what facilities are available, what other services are nearby that they can take advantage of (are you near the beach, is the hustle and bustle of the shopping centres just a walk away, does the aroma of coffee waft past from the nearby cafe’s etc). Don’t forget to leverage food and entertainment, near by services and favourite holiday activities (and the fantastic memories that the reader will have once they leave).

4. Keep it simple (yet descriptive)

When writing for the web don’t assume that your readers have the same knowledge levels as you in regards to what you have to offer. Avoid jargon and industry speak as much as possible and keep your language simple, its much better to have content that can be understood by absolutely everyone than to have content that limits the education level of your customers.

5. Don’t forget SEO and Keywords

While you are getting fancy and talking about your business don’t forget to include your (well researched) keywords. Keywords are not only great for Google and other search engines, but including them in your text reminds your readers why they are reading your page as opposed to someone else. By including the words that they used when they searched for you, you are proving that you directly meet their needs – just be sure to include the terms in a realistic manner and don’t just stuff them in.

6. Remember conversion tactics

While writing your content be sure to remember the tactics that we spoke about in our Bounce Rate Optimisation post; Headlines, Guarantees, Calls to action and Testimonials all work well to remind your readers that you are the expert in your field and that you have provided other clients a great service.

7. Keep it between 400 – 1000 words

The most successful website pages are written at a length between 400 – 1000 words, this length allows you to create enough information about your product and prove that you are the ‘go to’ resource on the topic; this is very important as it not only helps with the readers perception but also how you are perceived by Google and search engines. Don’t create a main product page that includes an image, 2 sentences and a bunch of bullet points, pad it out and write more information, include your telephone sales spiel and write each benefit and facility in a full sentence before summarising them in bullet points at the bottom.

8. Don’t forget to update

There is nothing worse than going to a website and reading about the business and what they have to offer only to realise the content hasn’t been updated since 2000 and they no longer offer what they did back then or even worse they have since improved what they have to offer and you aren’t made aware. Don’t forget to go back to your page every 3-6 months to ensure that the content is up to date and what you are offering is still shiny and new.

9. Include in text links

If you offer a variety of products/ services that vary in price, inclusions or availability be sure to link each item to another. Don’t be afraid of someone choosing to downgrade to a lower product as the alternative may be that they choose to go to a different provider, at the same time, linking to a product higher up in price might increase interest and appeal to those who are looking for the very best of what is available.

10. Make it easy for your readers

Ensure that at every click of the mouse your contact and purchasing details are available to the reader. As a standard your phone number should be available in the header of your website and your email address and location in the footer. Include booking buttons on every page and have them link to your online store/ booking engine/ contact page. Install a live chat function (like the one in the bottom right hand corner) so you can serve your readers while they are online in real time.

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