How to Deal with Content and SEO When You Run a Small Business
Knowing how to deal with content and SEO is crucial when you run a small business. If you don’t, it can be like living in a foreign country with no knowledge of the local language; disorienting, to say the least. In the world of content and SEO, you can find your bearings by deciding where your content is going to come from, getting some SEO training yourself, and working with various professionals who know SEO. In no time, you’ll be putting out high-quality content on a consistent basis, and meeting your SEO goals.
Writing Your Own Content
Being the author of your own website’s content can be rewarding and easier than you think. Since you own and run your small business, you know the ins and outs more than anyone on your team. This gives you an edge to write the most personal and authentic content for your business. On top of that, you probably have lots of experience in your particular field of business, which gives you the know-how to write great content for your site without spending lots of time researching.
When you think about it, there are lots of benefits to writing your own content rather than hiring someone to do it for you. Although it takes time, it saves money. The biggest plus is you never have to worry about receiving a sub-par article — or even worse, a late article — because you would never give your brand anything less than gold.
If you don’t think you’d have the time or the interest to write your own content, there are several more options to look into.
Promote a Current Employee to Content Writer
Unless your business does writing services, you may have overlooked someone on your current team that has a hidden talent for writing. If your small business has employees, let them know you’re looking for someone to take over writing new and interesting content for the website. You could even pitch a content writing competition to your team, with the winner gaining a bonus and trial period as the content writer for the business. Of course, since this will be an added responsibility for one of your employees, add a per-piece bonus so that every post has a reward waiting on the other side.
Hire a Business to Write Content
When you go through a business to get content written for your site, the experience can vary from platform to platform. Some platforms are big on client and writer interaction, and others prefer to keep their writers separated from their clients. Direct interaction websites include messaging systems between clients and writers to ask and answer questions. The platforms that choose to keep the clients and writers separated do so to avoid clients being bugged with simple questions, or to avoid authors being solicited to work outside the platform.
Most websites utilize a job board type system, with clients posting what type of articles they would like, or an article title and description. On top of content writing services, many websites offer to include high-quality photos or to manage your posting schedule for an extra fee. If this sound like the right option for you, check out these providers:
– “HireWriters”: One of the less expensive sites to get content written, but the quality can vary from writer to writer. If you want a better chance at a good quality article, pay a little extra for “skilled” or “expert” tiered writers. If you find a writer you like, you can send projects directly to them through the website.
– “Verblio”: Screens their writers to ensure great quality content. Their writers have experience with SEO and header tagging. Verblio also offers a list of pro services; such as help with SEO, content strategy, and topic brainstorming. With Verblio, you list a topic you want to be written, and you only pay for the article if you like it. Revisions can be requested of course.
– “Content Gather”: Claims to provide excellent content that is high-quality, grammatically correct, and editor reviewed.
– Some other sites that claim high-quality content and vetted writers are Text Broker, Constant Content, Writer Access, and iWriter. Research any content provider before you decide to use them to know exactly what you’re paying for.
Hire an Individual to Write Content
If you’d rather interview and hire your own writer or writers, there are several websites that can help with that. Some of these websites utilize a job board, where you can post individual posts to be written, or offer up an ongoing job. Others list writer profiles tagged with their experience, and you can browse portfolios to choose the writer that seems best for your job.
– ““PROBLOGGER” : This site offers a job board where you can post either individual posts that you would like written, or you can offer up the position of writing content for your site. Just give a general idea of what your business is about, and how you would like the content framed. Potential writers respond via an email system to apply for the position. Make sure to ask for rates (pay per word), and writing samples or portfolios.
– “Upwork”: This platform allows you to post the individual project you want to be completed, and potential writers bid on the project. Writers typically have writing samples to prove their skills, so you can choose someone who fits your style and budget. You can also browse through writer profiles and send job application invites to people.
– “Fiverr”: Offers a huge amount of services, with content writing being only one of many. Search for blog or content writers, and browse through the available freelance writers to find one that fits your budget and your niche. It’s usually a good idea to contact a potential writer by message before sending a job to make sure they’re interested and see if they’re a good fit.
Dealing With SEO for Your Small Business
Whether you decide to write your own content, hire on a current employee, or hire a business to provide your content, be sure to study up on SEO. Many online materials are available to help you learn about SEO, and strategies you can implement to improve your ranking. Moz offers a “guide for beginners to SEO” , as well as an “SEO learning center” for people of any knowledge level.
Google also has their own “SEO starter guide” , as well as a current list of “Webmaster Guidelines” . It’s pertinent to know the webmaster guidelines to be sure you’re using SEO properly, rather than using cheap tactics to rank higher. If you do implore shady tactics, Google is likely to devalue your ranking or ban your site altogether. No matter how you choose to have your content created, it’s important to understand SEO to help your website rank at its highest.
SEO if You Hire a Business or Individual
Luckily, when you hire on a company or individual to write content for your site, many of them already have experience in SEO and know how to optimize keywords and execute header tagging. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case every time, so you’ll still have to edit articles to be sure they’re SEO friendly. If you choose to hire an individual over a business, you can send your writer SEO learning materials and offer a rate increase for the extra training. Of course, make the rate increase contingent upon them applying their new knowledge to your future projects.
Or, if you’d rather handle the SEO on your end, you can simply take the time to do the training yourself, and edit the articles written for you. Either way, it’s a good idea to learn SEO for yourself so that you can optimize your posts and your website to the best of your ability. Refer back to the previous section for free online training materials.
More Important SEO Tips
The best thing you can do for your website’s SEO is hiring on an SEO company or SEO personal assistant. These professionals have years of special training to find any shortcomings of your current website, come up with strategies to improve it and implement those strategies for you. They do come at a cost though.
If hiring an SEO company isn’t within your current budget, or you’d rather handle things yourself for now, there are many resources that can help you. Always start by downloading “Google Analytics” to view how your website is currently ranking. If you use WordPress, check out their plugins to find helpful tools to optimize your keywords, find 404-page errors, and so much more. Even if you don’t use WordPress for hosting, it’s a good idea to check with your host to see what kind of tools they offer. Most importantly though, having a good understanding of SEO is paramount. Free online training materials are mentioned earlier under “Dealing With SEO for Your Small Business”.
By now, dealing with the content and SEO of your small business should feel more familiar. Since you’re no longer a stranger in a strange land, take the next step by using the valuable resources you found here. Decide if you or someone else should write the content for your site, and start learning as much as you can about SEO from the Moz and Google guides. Decide if you’d like to hire an SEO company, or if you’d like to utilize your own resources to up your SEO strategies. Through making these choices and learning as much as you can, you drive your business one step closer to success.