I like to think that when it comes to dispensing SEO and digital marketing advice, that I’m pragmatic and practical.
I’m an SEO at heart but I won’t discourage anyone from using PPC (for example) because it serves its purpose and can often work better for some people as part of their overall marketing strategy.
One area which has left a lot of people in the dark is CONTENT.
And frankly, I find a lot of people pushing content without really knowing much about it themselves – because it’s so easy to sell content now because that’s all you hear about.
A lot of great sites that were once used to publish and share great content now have their links nofollowed which means their link value has all but gone.
Content farms from days gone by were vanquished thanks to the Panda algorithm update and people who were creating blog networks to manipulate PageRank and link value were hit hard with Penguin.
And guest posting? well who really knows anymore with that – it’s still legit, but somehow, even the most legit sites also fall victim to Google’s penalties despite their best efforts to stay within the safe zone.
So what does a business owner do in the wake of all of this?
I’ve said this for a long time and I’ll say it again – the focus should be on your own website.
Regardless of your niche, you can still put together really great content with purpose and you don’t need to necessarily publish content daily or every few days.
That’s another issue with the industry – everyone is being told to pump out content quick and fast but that’s not always what’s necessary for everybody.
Let’s take a niche that isn’t so easy to write about, like tree removal.
People in this space offer a variety of services like tree felling or lopping, tree maintenance and pruning, stump grinding and even mulch and firewood.
I’m aware of some businesses offering gutter cleaning services and some light landscaping related to trees.
So basically, it’s all about trees and you would be safe to assume that the business owner knows a thing or two about trees – and not just how to wield an axe or chainsaw.
Focusing on writing content that’s really super interesting (basically something that people would want to share) is the underlying principle.
Coming up with headlines is a whole other issue but coming up with the right kind of content is the bigger issue at hand.
Now a lot of business owners simply won’t have the time or they may feel that they don’t always have the best way with words – and that’s ok – because you can partner up with someone who does know how to write well and they can do the research for you.
If I was the owner of a tree removal business and I spent all day working outdoors and didn’t have the time and energy to come home and write creative content for my website, I’d at least find time to jot down notes about interesting things that I think people would like to know about.
I’d take this to my content writer and get them to flesh it out and add in some extra research tidbits.
They’d send through drafts to review and check for accuracy (you have to get it right – remember, you’re an expert and can’t afford to be sloppy!) and then once ready, you publish the content on your website.
You’re still the expert and you’ve given your expertise by way of notes and the writer then expands upon this to give it a creative touch.
It becomes something that is evergreen and can be useful to users for a long time – because trees are trees and they don’t change like the way other things in life do.
School students may well stumble upon your content that they can use in projects and assignments.
What if you don’t want to write? what if a video will illustrate the point better?
This highlights the beauty of the internet where content isn’t just words on a page, but it can take the form of videos and photos.
As an expert in tree removal, you may wish to record elements of your work to illustrate notable points, for example, ‘this is an example of a sick tree that needs attention’.
Upload the video to YouTube and ensure it’s optimised (it then stands a better chance of being found within YouTube and also appearing in regular Google SERPs). Then embed on your website wherever appropriate.
The trick is not be creative and not be shy to do so.
Some of us love writing and can do so freely and without the dreaded writer’s block but sometimes a picture or video will suffice and that’s what content is all about – especially now in an age of rich media and heightened content consumption.
Content isn’t this treacherous mountain that you have to climb in order to get through.
It’s just lots of hills with different terrain and you need to work out the best way to get across it.