After conducting a search on your favorite search engine, the results appear before you, ordered and organized in a vertical column. Some of these businesses appear at the top of the page. Others appear ranked lower and are even relegated to page two and beyond.

The difference between the businesses that first catch your eye and those that can’t manage to do so, is driven by content marketing.

The true nuts and bolts of search engine optimization (SEO) tactics lie in the development of keyword-rich content for your website, blog, and social channels. Content is anything you create to be read, seen, or heard by your target audience.

By consistently creating content relevant to your audience’s interests, you place your brand in the best position to be shared and engaged with by more new people. On-page website content is typically used to describe what services you provide using keywords relating to your industry and business. Blog posts are an opportunity to provide more specific keywords using articles highlighting nuances of your industry to prove you are an expert.

As an example, a law practice website will show general information about the types of cases they handle, their attorneys’ qualifications and the best ways to contact them. Using their website’s blog however, they can write specific articles pertaining to their type of law, specific cases, or opinions allowing their audience to find them online with more unique terms.

Starting to understand why content marketing is so important? Good! Read on to learn content marketing’s role in your overall marketing strategy for your professional services business. I’ll also share some tips that will help you get found by more people on search engines.

Blogging: Make your website relevant

Original blog content is one of the most important elements of a sound search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. Search engines, like Google or Bing, “crawl” or electronically review all of the websites under their search umbrellas periodically. This is called indexing and it provides an updated profile of your company’s website, including all on-page content, to the search engines so that they accurately retrieve relevant results for users.

When you consider that your website is regularly being indexed, your blog writing should follow certain guidelines to optimize its impact on your rankings:

  1. Make sure your blog post is relevant to your industry.
  2. Write about unique and specific problems your clients face and how you help resolve them.
  3. Be sure to use keyword phrases tied to what people are likely seeking, such as “tax attorneys in (insert town name)” or “(specific challenge, such as ‘divorce’) lawyer.”
  4. Use links effectively, linking back to your homepage and other relevant blog posts.

TIP: Learn more about how to do keyword research to pick the best keywords for your business.

How often to post on your blog

The frequency with which you post should be at least once per month. More impactful plans for content creation opt to post more frequently. A content calendar helps small businesses like yours to keep tabs on the next post, who will write it, and when it should be posted. Planning out your creation and posting the schedule weeks or months in advance provides your team with set expectations and deadlines for content.

On occasion, you might find it necessary to make blog posts related to current events. As an example, every business has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many customers are looking for ways to get back to business in new and unconventional ways.

Businesses that anticipated this need and added on-page, keyword-driven content related to telemeetings, delivery services, or other accommodations have shown greater resolve through the shutdown.

Going beyond SEO with your blog

In addition to serving your search engine positioning, blogging and content creation can serve other roles such as social media engagement or an email marketing program. Use your blog content on your other marketing channels to maximize its impact and reach.

Another key factor in search engine rankings is the robustness of your online information. Search engines pride themselves on directing traffic to the best place on the web for the information sought. Google’s “I’m feeling lucky” button bypasses the results page entirely and brings you to the first listed result.

The breadth of your online repository of information will directly influence your organic search rankings, improving over time as your on-page SEO content becomes more and more voluminous.

Content marketing: A foundational piece of the marketing puzzle

Content marketing represents a very important and often under-considered element of a successful marketing campaign. A well-run SEO strategy is arguably the most important digital undertaking of any small business looking to generate a consistent lead generation machine.

Unlike pay-per-click advertising, content marketing by way of blogging and other SEO content serves your bottom line even when you aren’t directly investing time and money into it. While Google Ads or social media advertising may be more immediately gratifying , search engine optimization has staying power.

By investing time and money into your website’s on-page content now, your business will have a complete and competitive web presence within the search engine rankings of mainstays Google and Bing. Remember the “crawl?” Each time a search engine discovers new and relevant material on your website, it provides you the opportunity to leapfrog your competition in search rankings. Consistently leapfrogging competition will position your business atop the organic search rankings and primed for digital success.

A long-term, successful SEO program accompanied by well-written and effective on-page SEO content provides millions of small businesses with a trusted and valuable lead generation tool that holds strong during times like these.