How to get discovered online
“How to get discovered online” — a guaranteed attention grabber. It goes without saying that you need a website, or at least a social media presence.
However, consider this: The proliferation of the internet has led to the creation of more content in the past three years than the previous 40,000! What does this mean? Well, getting found online is easier said than done.
As a copywriter, I have two strategies for promoting my business:
- attending business events to network and make connections (10% of my time)
- content marketing (90% of my time).
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is the creation of material tailored to a specific audience. It comes in many forms:
As already mentioned, there’s never been so much information available. And it’s never been so accessible. So, when your customer has a question like “How to get discovered online?” they just look it up. This no longer means taking a trip to the library. Instead, they just reach for whatever device is handy — iPhone, iPad or laptop, etc.
Good content answers your customers’ questions in their time, not yours.
If you are a salesperson, it’s likely that you are finding it more difficult to make appointments. The harsh reality is that your customers probably don’t need you as a source of information like they used to — they can now find the information they need online at a time convenient to them. On the positive side, though, when they do approach you they are much farther along the sales cycle and more likely to buy — studies show that an average lead generated by content marketing costs 60% less than one from a scatter-gun marketing approach.
How to get found online using content marketing
Write a blog
A blog is a good place to start. A blog should be informative and useful; it should never be self-promotional. A blog is about adding value and building trust. Rather than saying how great you are, show how great you are by sharing your knowledge.
Deciding what to write can be tough. My approach is to think about the questions my customers are likely to ask and base my blog around them.
A blog post shouldn’t be too short (min 250 words), and as long as you’re not waffling, the longer the better. You see, the more valuable information included, the more likely people will share it among their friends and come back for more.
Keywords are important. Keywords are the words or phrases your customers type into Google to find you. There are two kinds: short-tail and long-tail. Short-tail consist of one or two words, such as web writer. Long-tail, on the other hand, include three or more words, like how to get found online.
As a rule, short-tail keywords attract more traffic, but are of lower value. This is because they are less specific. For example, someone searching web writer could require any of a number of writing services. However, if they search web writer to write blogs, they are almost certain to need a blog writer. If that’s the type of work I’m looking for, then that keyword is much more valuable to me.
You shouldn’t overuse keywords. I usually identify one or two. I then include them in the H1 heading (main heading) and a few times throughout the copy. For more detailed information on keywords, have a look at my previous post, How an SEO copywriter writes content for Google.
Okay, you’ve written a blog; it’s optimised for Google, but there’s one more thing to do — promote it through social media.
Social media is the “lifeblood” of content marketing. However, before you jump in and waste your valuable time, you first must figure out which platforms are best for your business. If you are in the B to B sphere, Linkedin is very good. Facebook is also generally good for B to C. I won’t get into the pros and cons of various social media sites in this post, but if you’re interested, look at A guide to five social media sites.
I spend a good hour every morning on social media. What do I do? Well, I post links to my posts, read and share other people’s material that is related to my industry and comment and reply to comments. Social media is effective when you engage and build relationships. You are wasting your time if you treat it as just another advertising medium.