Small Business Marketing: Content-Driven SEOIf you own a small business, marketing is probably one of your biggest challenges. How do you market your business to your customers and potential customers? If you have a business website, your small business marketing plan will also need to take into account online marketing. One area in which you’ll want to pay special attention is content-driven search engine optimization, (SEO).

How content fits into small business marketing

If you haven’t paid attention to the history of SEO, you’re not alone. Many small businesses don’t know about how to make their business website more attractive to search engines, but a whole small business marketing industry has grown up around making websites more visible and more appealing to, and easier to find by search engines like Google and Bing.

The drive to get a high page rank in search engines has created secondary markets for this irresistible search engine “eye candy.” The only problem with this approach is that much of the “SEO-friendly” web content isn’t human friendly. In designing content to appeal to non-human readers, many small business marketing plans have left out the element that businesses want most: real, live human beings.

In the race to get a good page rank in the search engines, some small business marketing plans have forgotten that website content should appeal to human consumers. Google is attempting to change that, and if Google is doing this, you can also bet that other search engine companies aren’t far behind.

Enter content-driven SEO. With the release of Google’s latest search engine algorithms – code named Penguin – you can bet that you’ll see some significant changes. Google actually rolled out Penguin more than a month ago, but didn’t do a public announcement until last week.

Google’s trying a lot of new things in Penguin, but refocusing on good content is a high priority. Good content is content that’s designed to engage human viewers. “Content” can be a lot of different things, but according to Google, whatever your content turns out to be, it better be good. Google’s taking a fresh look at content in all of its forms: written words, videos, graphics and infographics, podcasts, blog posts, slideshows and whatever else website creators normally put on a website.

So what does this new focus on content-driven SEO mean for small business marketing? If your website content was generated under the “old” SEO rules, first and foremost, it’s time to take a look at your website content to make sure that it’s interesting, appealing, educating and/or entertaining for human visitors.

Second, it’s important to apply these same tests to new content that you generate from here on out. It’s no longer sufficient to include your target keywords multiple times in your website content and call it a day. Ultimately, Google’s new search algorithms will distinguish between content written for them and content written for a live reader. If the reports about Penguin are true, Google will prefer content targeted at human readers and will rank pages and sites accordingly.

Third, if your content isn’t optimized for search engine ranking, there is no better time than right now to refocus your small business marketing plan and your website content on your target market. Doing so will help both you and your potential customers!

At this point, your site can either tank or benefit in a big way from the changes that Google has implemented. If you would like more information about small business marketing or website content design, please contact our creative director, Dave Ramsell or call Dave at (330) 243-0651 for a consultation.

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