The centrepiece of an effective Search Engine Optimisation strategy is great content. While your SEO provider will take care of some of this, you have something that they don’t – years of industry experience and up to date knowledge about your industry.
So how can you harness your expertise in order to complement your strategy and solidify your SEO results?
What do you know that your customers don’t?
Lots! When you are an industry expert, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that your knowledge is common knowledge. If it were common knowledge, you wouldn’t be in business. While you may have educated your clients at different times, chances are that they’ve retained very little, if anything. Providing this information through blog content means that clients can refer to it at any time, build their knowledge and gain a deeper appreciation of what you offer.
Start by identifying information that your clients would find valuable, interesting and practical. These points can then be used as the basis of your content.
If you believe that you can’t write, then maybe it’s time you learnt the basics of this vital and unique form of communication. Start by reading widely online. Dissect the articles that you really love and work out what it is about them that most appeals to you. Then read some more! This doesn’t have to take a lot of time. Most of us read a newspaper everyday – simply pay more attention to how writers achieve impact through their words and structure choice. Great writers are often voracious readers as it’s here that you’ll be exposed over and over again to the tricks of the trade.
All good articles have the follow core elements;
- Accuracy: You will inherently have this as an industry expert. You simply need to get your ideas on the page in an easily digested format. Start by listing the points your want to get into your article (5 or 6 is a good start) and include a few examples and tips along the way.
- Clarity: Usually clear and concise go hand in hand. If you find that it takes you a few sentences to make a simple point, maybe you are going about it the long way. Experiment with different words and/or different formats (bullet points, lists, quotations etc). Read it to a colleague and if they don’t catch it the first time around, keep cutting down and re-arranging until it’s crystal clear.
- Hooks: A great article will thoroughly and memorably fill a knowledge gap for your clients. Make sure your main title lures the reader into the article and that the opening paragraph alludes to all the great things they are about to learn.
- Pauses: People love free information, but time is always a factor in the online world. Your article must be easily scanned with clear pointers in the form of sub-headings. These allow your audience to hone in on relevant sections and zoom out of those less so. Test this by asking a colleague to spend ten seconds scanning your article and see how much they absorb (they should be able to state all of your key points).
- Flesh: There are endless examples of superficial content out there – you won’t impress anyone by adding to this! While we’re not advocating giving away your company secrets, it’s imperative that you entice your readers with something useful, something that they can get their teeth into and share with others. In this way, you will not only solidify your position as an expert, you will instil trust in your client base and possibly score a few leads in the process.
Never underestimate the value of your staff. While you all might be engaged in similar roles now, chances are your educational and working backgrounds are varied and colourful. Perhaps one of your staff members excels in a specific area of your business – chances are they will not only be able to write an in-depth and fascinating piece of copy, they will probably jump at the chance to showcase their knowledge to both clients and colleagues.
Statistically there is bound to be someone in your business who is a good writer, has a knack for grammar or a keen eye for detail. These people probably don’t have the knowledge you have, but they might have more time – so pool your skills. Jot down your ideas for the article and let your best writer have a go at it. This format will also double up as unofficial training and serve to update the knowledge of your more junior staff.
Central to any SEO strategy is consistency. Committing to a weekly or fortnightly blog article can really drive your existing strategy. This rate can be spread across your entire team, making individual input fairly manageable. Over time, good habits will equal great results as your blog grows and you become more important in the eyes of Google. Make a realistic schedule and stick to it.
Sharing your expertise doesn’t have to be a tiresome or time-consuming affair. Breaking up the load and utilising the peripheral skills of your staff is a wonderful opportunity to remain current as a business while you fast-track your journey to the top of Google.