A Simple, Shoe-String Budget Content Plan for SMBs

Make no mistake about it – Google wants your website to have great content.  You don’t have to be writing in dense language that sounds like you’re composing an encyclopedia. But, you do want to attempt to achieve the same effect.  In the past, people used to go to the encyclopedia to get the definitive answer for their question.  Now, people do that online.  Whether you have an HVAC business, power company, or if you sell organic crèmes and supplements, you want to write the content that provides the best answers to your target customer’s questions.


Jay Baer, a social and content marketing thought leader, agrees when he says, “Google wants you to figure out what content to make not by obsessing over keywords and data reports, but to answer the questions that you can genuinely answer well.”

Fortunately, at the SMB level this is easier to do than you think.

How to Do It

When we use the term “SMB,” we mean the type of business that operates at a very local level.  You probably have a few hundred thousand in annual revenues, and maybe even in the low $1 million range.

The thing about content at this level is that, even though Google swears up and down you need it, and everyone knows it, almost no SMBs do it.  So those that do produce content, they become the thought leaders in their niche.

Usually, SMBs simply aren’t educated on the value authoritative content provides, or their digital marketing budget is all used up on other services first.  Or, they do it wrong.

If you’ve searched on HVAC-related topics (or anything DIY for that matter), you’ve probably seen a series of posts that go like this:

  • How to Hire a Dallas HVAC Contractor
  • What Services Should your Dallas HVAC Contractor Provide?
  • Is It Time to Hire a Dallas HVAC Contractor?

Pretty clear what the keywords are, isn’t it?  Now, it’s not bad to have blog articles with these titles.  The problem comes in when those are your only blog titles.  And when you go and read the posts, very often they contain awkward language and obvious information everyone knows anyway.

The point of a blog, though, is to be the most useful resource on the internet regarding a specific subject.  So, when you write a post about 5 things that you need to do to prepare you’re A/C for the upcoming cooling season, make them 5 highly in-depth tips that can’t be found anywhere else.

Or, you can create a 5-8 page report that discusses how to prep your entire home for maximum cooling efficiency during the summer.

The point is to be consistent and authoritative in your writing.  Create 4-6 blog posts per month and a special report 2-4 times per year.  Since you’re one of the only companies to do anything of the sort, you become the “go-to” resource when people have questions.

And when they’re ready to actually buy, guess who they purchase from?

That’s how content works, and then you get the keywords in there too, so you can get more traffic from the search engines.

What a Blog Is, What a Blog Isn’t, and What a Blog can do for Small Businesses

Blogs are absolutely soaring in popularity these days. It seems like everyone from our airlines to our hairdressers are publishing something online. But why? What makes blogs such an important social media tool that Marriott and Coke have decided to adopt them? And more importantly, what separates a good blog from a not-so-good one?

The first thing every social media person should know before diving into the blogosphere is what a blog is and what a blog isn’t. Technically what a blog is is a website that people update semi-regularly with news, information, commentary, or just general day-to-day details. Blogs can either be professional or personal, and both types have their own unique set of guidelines. As far a business bloggers are concerned, a proper blog is—

A Whole Slew of Pages that Search Engines can Index
Any blog platform worth its salt will give each of your posts its own unique URL, which means that every entry you post will be a page that Google can index. If you’re a chef and restaurant proprietor, odds are that you didn’t devote a main page of your site to your love affair with Wusthof knives. However, if you write a post about why you love your Wusthof Le Cordon Bleu sandwich knife for slicing cucumbers, searchers could potentially find your restaurant by way of Googling  a combination of Wusthof + knife + cucumber + sandwich (trust me, stranger search combos have been Googled).

A Place Where You Answer Frequently Asked Questions
If you hear a question a lot, why not post a thorough answer on your blog? You should answer the customer queries immediately, of course, but you could also direct them to your blog if the answer is particularly long or complicated. And chances are, if many people are asking you, many more are asking Google, and wouldn’t it be nice if a few of those Googlers happened upon your company’s blog and used your services?

A Place Where You Demonstrate Your Expertise
When potential customers visit your website, they want to know that your company is the best one for the job. If your blog is full of well-written, informative posts, customers will know immediately that the people behind your business are capable and competent.  
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