If you want your business to be successful in today's world, you need to be online. Even if you target local customers for your brick and mortar store, an online presence is vital. According to information from MDG Advertising, even consumers searching for a local business use the Internet. In fact, a search engine like Google is used as the primary site to search for local businesses 74 percent of the time.
No matter your business, an online presence is required. And if you want a solid online presence, you need good content for your website.
"High-quality content is the foundation of any good website," says Cameron Mackey, with content creation site Vorongo.com. "Content that is helpful and exciting can increase your chances of gaining social media shares or people citing your content as a source."
Your business content can draw others to you, whether you are looking for better search engine rankings, or whether you want to increase your visibility and gain a reputation as an expert.
But how do you build a better business content creation team? For many business owners, content creation is not a strong suit. I know. I work with business owners all the time. Many of them lack the time, desire, or expertise to create content for their businesses, even though they know that content creation is must in today's online business environment.
The good news is that you don't have to create content yourself. Building the right business content creation team can free you up to focus on the most important aspects of your business while still putting out the content your site needs.
Look for someone who has the knowledge or expertise in your niche. You don't need someone with a degree, but it does help to find content creators who understand your business area.
I write mainly about finances. As a result, I write for a lot of financial planning firms and provide content for financial business websites. Someone looking for content on pet care probably doesn't want to hire me.
"Content should be authoritative and accurate," says Mackey. "You want a voice that people can trust when they come to your business site."
There are a number of quality content creation companies that have stables of writers with different strengths and areas of expertise. With a writer that is already knowledgeable about your business area, you reduce the training time needed to bring him or her up to speed, and you can feel reasonably confident that what is written won't need a great deal of factual correction.
Look for writers that follow best practices. This means that if you want someone to help you with SEO, you don't want to hire a content creator that uses shady practices for quick (but fleeting) results. "High-quality content that others want to share helps get your content to rank higher in the search engine," says Mackey.
Mackey also points out that focusing on best practices for content creation can help your business avoid some of the vagaries of changing algorithms. "What was fine yesterday may not be such a good idea today," he says.
Instead of worrying about the latest technique to game the system, look for content creators who are interested in following practices that are likely to stand the test of time. Quality content that is informative and useful can be best for your business.
Other content creation best practices include:
- Don't be overly-promotional on social media. The content creators you hire to create content for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other sites should understand the importance of providing useful content first, and promotional content second (or third, or fourth). You do need to promote your business, but it doesn't need to be overt, and you should share other interesting and useful tidbits that your customers would like, not just items related to your business.
- Incorporate different media. Don't focus solely on one type of media. Also consider adding video and audio to your website. Content creators can create how-to videos or provide interesting audio to complement the written content on your site.
- Avoid keyword stuffing and obvious anchoring. Gone are the days of keyword stuffing. I remember when online content was just coming into its own. I wrote ridiculous keyword articles and product descriptions that aren't even close to best practices today. These are pieces of content that were likely replaced years ago. If you want your content to stand the test of time, it needs to be coherent, and less concerned with keyword density and contorted efforts to use specific anchor links.
The right business content creation team understands best practices, and is more interested in providing quality content likely to stand the test of time, rather than using gimmicks that could actually hurt you down the road.
No matter how you are trying to grow your business, the right content is essential. High-quality content serves a PR purpose, as well as helping customers find you in the first place.
"Your content tells the world who you are," Mackey points out. "You want quality business content that tells potential customers that you understand them and that you can be trusted."