Include Content Marketing in Your SEO Strategy
You’ve worked hard. You’ve worked long hours. You’ve put blood, sweat and some tears into building your business. Now it’s time to show the world what you know and put that school-of-hard-knocks knowledge – that expertise – to good use.
You want to showcase your expertise so that you position yourself as an authority and enjoy the credibility that comes with it.
AFTER ALL, YOU EARNED IT!
Think of yourself as an expert CONTENT PROVIDER, one who will generate interesting, relevant information packaged in a way that is appealing to homeowners and people who are considering becoming homeowners. Or even people who live in houses. With the proliferation of HGTV, practically everyone is interested in home-related topics.
Let’s start with the most obvious choice – blogging.
Let’s Go Blogging
When starting a blog, the hardest part isn't how to set it up online. No, it's creating interesting content that people will actually want to read.
We have a few suggestions.
Think about the kinds of things you can write about. If, for example, you're a kitchen designer, try focusing on all things home-related that involve cabinetry. This could include the obvious kitchen and bath design issues, but you can expand that into home offices, entertainment centers, laundry rooms, garages, master closets, dressing rooms.
When you start to drill down, you’ll find endless inspiration. LED lighting, countertop materials, cabinetry care and maintenance, smart appliances, colors for the home, etc. etc. etc. What are some things that people need to watch for? Or watch out for?
You know all this from what you do for a living. All you have to do is think about what you do every day, the questions prospects ask you, the information you provide when meeting with clients in their homes.
Sit down with your laptop or tablet and come up with 100 ideas for blog posts. Yes, 100. You should be able to do it in your sleep.
Next, create the outline for the first five articles so you know where you’re going to start and end.
Then you have to actually know how to write. You’re not writing the Great American novel, but you do need to have a cohesive thought process that explains things in an interesting way. Remember Freshman Comp? This is where that knowledge comes in handy.
The best way to write is first person. You’re positioning yourself as the expert and speaking from your own point of view, so use “I.” Assume your reader has no background knowledge on the subject you’re writing about. Keep articles to about 700 to 1,200 words.
Don’t overlook attention-grabbing headlines. Remember your marketing basics: Interrupt your readers with the headline, engage and educate them with your article.
Movin' On Up - Local Newspapers
Once you have several articles posted to your blog, it’s time to find a wider audience.
Every town has local newspapers that report things like high school sports, church fund-raisers, and city council meetings. Usually these newspapers are free and are supported by local business advertising.
These local papers offer a nice, easy opportunity for your marketing efforts. All you have to do is become a regular contributing columnist (or blogger—it’s essentially the same thing) and you’ll realize big rewards. (More on rewards later.)
These little newspapers struggle to find original editorial content. If you approach the newspaper with an offer to write a bi-monthly blog / article for their newspaper / website and you’ll do it for free, you’ll most likely have a receptive audience.
You don’t want to just tell the editor you have a “great idea” for some home improvement articles. You need to show him or her you already have content prepared. Share a list of some headlines you have prepared in advance (20 should do it) that are interesting and catchy.
Take them from your blog posts, but if you need more, here’s a few examples to get you started:
The Secret of a Stress-Free Kitchen Remodel
Is Your Kitchen Embarrassing You?
The #1 Most Common Mistake When Hiring A Remodeler
You're In A Special Position
The procedure for getting your articles to editors at industry-specific magazines and websites is pretty much the same as those outlined for the local papers. Pitch your ideas to the editors by submitting your headlines as a “teaser”, then follow up to determine if they have any interest.
Ok, now about those benefits...
When articles you write are featured in the newspaper or on the newspaper’s website, or – hopefully – both, you get credit for being the expert on that topic.
You can promote this from that moment forward. You are a published expert on kitchen design and remodeling! It doesn’t matter if people actually read the articles; just knowing that you are an expert puts you way ahead of your competitors.
Huge SEO Boost
Since local newspapers are… well, local… that’s a very positive thing regarding SEO for businesses like yours. Every time one of your articles is posted on the newspaper’s website and linked to your own website, Google is going to notice and consider that a very important link.
After a year of weekly or bi-monthly articles, when people in that local market search for home improvement topics, not only will the articles themselves come up, your website will come up, too.
Google will know that you are the local expert. You will get that credit and your rankings will go up. Your leads will go up, as well as your sales and profits.