We spoke to Sarah Buchanan-Smith, a content marketing specialist and SEO strategist. What does that mean? Keep reading to find out more!
Passionate about helping businesswomen get their messages out there online, Sarah shares her advice on how to use content and SEO so that the right people find you and your business.
Content versus SEO: What’s the difference?
Content is anything you create for your business, whether it’s blogs, social media posts, email communications, web pages… the list goes on! You can use content to educate and entertain, or to raise awareness of your business and values for audiences. In this article, we talk about online content, and how you can use online content and SEO to boost your business.
Content and SEO go hand in hand. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It refers to the process of optimising your content so that it can be found in a search engine. Think of it as little golden nuggets that you put into your content, which signals to Google that it is high quality. With SEO, your content (like website pages) will move higher in search engine rankings. In other words, it makes it easier for web users to find you when they type something into Google.
This article will introduce these ideas and show you where to start.
Building a good content strategy and content plan will keep you organised, and ensure you are producing content which is relevant and valuable to your audience.
Consider questions such as:
- What is my business mission and vision?
- What is my business about?
- Who is my target audience?
- How do I want myself and my business to be seen?
Answer these questions to get an idea of what kind of content fits. You will create a content strategy which is values-driven, and very aligned with your business. A good content strategy will keep all of your content relevant to the message you send to people.
This is a physical schedule which will help you take your content strategy, and plan out what content is going where, and when.
Things to consider in your content plan include:
- What kinds of content can I use? (a blog post, an Instagram story, a monthly email)
- What will I be saying in my content?
- When will I post it, and on which platforms?
An achievable, thorough content plan will help you stick to your goals and keep you organised with posting the right content in the right places.
For more information on how to use the right platforms for your business, click here.
As a busy entrepreneur, you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of every idea you have. One great way to do this is by repurposing content into lots of different forms for multiple platforms.
Let’s start with a blog post for a website. Here are some ideas for how you can repurpose this:
- Include the link in your monthly email marketing
- Use the picture to post to Instagram, with a quick snippet in the caption which features the topic
- Create a short video which you post to your LinkedIn or Facebook, which pulls out the top 3 points you make in your article
- Use the topic to create a “live” social media video, where you team up with a peer to discuss and raise awareness of your business (this might be a friend, someone who owns a business that’s relevant to yours, or a client)
Where does SEO come in?
SEO is all about the content of your piece e.g. how well the structure, language, imagery etc., rank on Google. So, think of content and SEO as a pair. Now that you’ve got your head around where to start with content, let’s talk about how people will actually find and read it!
As Sarah says, “when you write a brilliant blog post and press “publish”, you wait for the trumpets to play and for the flood of people to suddenly read your work… but nothing happens. This is why considering SEO is so important to get your voice out there!”. By implementing SEO in your web content, you will indicate to Google that your work is high quality and worth reading.
When optimising your content with SEO, these are the kinds of things to consider:
Headings: Break up your text with headings and subheadings. Follow the links at the bottom of the page to find out how to use the right headings for SEO.
Keywords: Establish the keyword or keyphrase and use it within your content. For example, if your business sells handmade pottery from the Scottish Borders, your keyphrase might be “Local Scottish Pottery”. This means that you are targeting these words whenever somebody types them into Google, which makes it more likely that your content will show up.
Images: Use relevant images and add alt tags (which are like descriptions) so that Google knows what’s in the picture, and whether it’s relevant to the content.
SEO is a process. Think of it like a checklist that you can work through. Check out the resources below to get started.
Content and SEO: resources
Google Digital Garage, an Introduction to SEO, as part of the Fundamentals of Digital Marketing course. It’s free!
Neil Patel has great resources, including a free ‘SEO Unlocked’ course.
Don’t be intimidated by Content and SEO. These things can help you breath life into your business’ online presence, and let people know you are there! Read our next article to learn more about finding your voice, here.