If you're operating a lean small business, many tasks fall to you as the owner. One of those tasks will be to DIY your SEO, blogging and social media. We asked the experts for some tips so you can enhance your online presence, market your business like a professional and make use of SEO to help customers find your business.
DIY Your SEO, Blogging, and Social Media Marketing for Your Business
As a small business, it’s unlikely that you have the funds to hire a social media or SEO expert when you’re just starting out. So we asked the experts for some tips so that you can DIY your blogging, SEO, and social media marketing for your small business.
Know Your Target Customer
Before you start any social media pages, write content for your website or even think about blogging, you need to get to know your target customer. “The most important thing you can do is identify and target your audience, and then write and promote toward that audience. This can also come into play when you're identifying and researching your keywords,” says Moody Nashawaty, Chief Strategy Officer at MuteSix.
To find your target customer, you'll need to look at demographic information of who is buying what you're selling and who you want to buy it. A free resource that can help you find your target customer is Google Analytics, where you can review who is visiting your website.
Once you know who you’re talking to, then you can choose your keywords and which social media platforms to be present on. Go where your customer already is.
Build Relationships with Customers
The whole point of SEO, blogging and social media is building relationships with customers.
According to Nikolay Krastev, SEO Specialist at Agile Digital Agency, “Small businesses benefit from social media marketing because they are able to talk directly to their customers and followers. Relationships can be built over time, rather than asking for a sale right away.”
Krastev suggests two ways you can connect with customers on social media. He suggests using interactive tools such as Twitter polls and Instagram Stories stickers and sharing content from followers and tagging them.
Get to Know Your Competitors
If you feel like you’re running out of ideas or just don’t know what to post, a great place to start is to see what your competitors are doing and researching similar, adjacent businesses to see what they write about on their blog. Krastev points out that “discovering what your competitors are posting — including what works and what doesn't — can help you stand out.”
How to DIY SEO
“Business owners are constantly looking for ways to acquire more customers and generate revenue,” says Krastev. “One of the best strategies is using SEO, but many business owners don't know how this technique works or where they should start. There's a lot of information out there, but don't let yourself get overwhelmed by all the different terms and techniques.”
In 2019, BrightEdge found that 68 percent of online experiences begin with a search engine. That means, if you’re not making use of SEO, the search engines won’t be able to find your business. And, consequently, neither will your customers. Today, SEO isn’t an option; it’s a must-have.
Find the Right Keywords for your Business
SEO is simply highlighting the important words that describe your business, so when customers search for a solution to a problem, they find you. “The most important part of SEO is implementing keywords,” says Chloe Sisson, Outreach Coordinator at Zen Media, a PR agency. “There are thousands of articles out there that will explain how to choose the correct keywords for your business. Backlinko puts out some of my favorites! They are very insightful and informative.”
To find keywords that people are searching for, you can use a free keyword tool. These are great free options to get you started:
Using a free resource makes it easier for you to find the right keywords and use them in the right way on your website and blog to increase search engine traffic to your website and help customers find your business.
Make Use of Inexpensive Tools
When you're debating outsourcing SEO vs. DIY SEO for your small business, remember, there are lots of tools out there that can help you do it yourself for an affordable price. Some are even free.
Expert Sisson suggests that “a monthly subscription to Ubersuggest only costs about $30 and will give you all the tools you need to perform keyword and competitor research.”
Another great resource for marketing know-how is HubSpot. Their blog has free expert content on almost any marketing task you could be wanting to learn about and DIY.
SEO is a must-have for modern businesses. For your business to be found by customers, it’s important to rank on the first page. Backlinko found that just 0.78 percent of people searching on Google go to the second page of results. SEO helps your business to show up on the first page and be found by customers.
How to DIY Blogging and Social Media
Many business owners wonder, "Is social media management worth it?" What many don’t see is the wide-ranging positive effects of social media. And, they forget that much of social media can be automated.
One of the many benefits is that “businesses are able to reach a wider audience using social media,” says Krastev. “Social media and search engine optimization (SEO) provide many benefits. It is possible to get more visibility, brand recognition and online traffic than ever before.”
These expert tips can make DIYing your social media and blogging a little less intimidating and more achievable.
Create and Use Images
When it comes to online content, especially for social media, images sell. Using custom-made images will help capture potential customer’s attention. And, there are tools out there that make it simple to do. Sisson suggests, “Canva is another tool that I love to use for my own personal blog. You can create your own designs, use premade templates or purchase cohesive template designs for a small cost on Etsy.”
With Canva, you can make professional-looking images and designs for free with no formal skills required.
Make Informative, Interesting Content
For business owners thinking, "Should I outsource my social media?" there's something important to keep in mind. Your content for your blog and social media is simply sharing your expertise. And, really, who can do that better than you?
The number one thing to keep in mind when creating blog post ideas and social media content: make it interesting. According to Tim Clarke, Director of Sales and Marketing at SEOBlog.com, “the best strategy is to focus on content that your audience will like rather than being self-serving. Ideally, you have to think about who your followers are and tailor your content toward those people; the scope of what you can post becomes broad if they relate to topics and benefits them.”
To plan out your content, brainstorm all the relevant ideas you can and then organize them into a content calendar template to plan out your year.
You want your content to entertain your readers, not just talk about your company or your products. Come up with interesting, informative topics and readers will keep coming back for more. Eventually, they might even decide to buy what you’re selling.
Don’t Skip Meta Tags and Descriptions
Whether you’re using Medium, WordPress or another blog CMS, you don’t want to skip filling in the extra boxes. Clarke suggests filling in the title, description and meta tags, making sure to use keywords for the best search engine rankings.
HubSpot has a great guide on how to write and use meta descriptions to best benefit your blog and SEO rankings.
Filling in those last few boxes can seem annoying and pointless, but they really can affect your ranking for SEO.
Keep Your Content Fresh
Another way you can DIY social media and blogging is by regularly updating your content. Clarke says, “Do not forget to update your article at least once a year to make your blogs valuable and a reputable resource to other content.”
Updated content is more interesting to readers, it ensures you don’t have any broken links and it keeps your content fresh and ready for search engines to parse.
Repurpose Content Across Channels
You might be thinking that creating content for a blog and multiple social media channels is a lot. It is. But, there’s one helpful secret our experts let us in on. “Spend time creating quality long-form content that can be released in batches and can be repurposed across multiple mediums,” says Ananta Adithya, SEO and Partnerships Manager at Outgrow.
Adithya reminds us that images created for a blog post can also be shared on social media or in display ads. And the idea and main points from a blog can be shortened to fit into a social media description.
As any small business owner can tell you, when something needs to be done, there’s only one person to do it: you. While SEO and social media can seem intimidating at first, these expert tips should be just the thing to get you started. SEO, blogging and social media are the game-changer that can get your business recognized by customers. And, while you might not have the cash on hand to outsource, you can certainly DIY.