If so, you’ve got a lot of competition. Currently, there are over 30 million small businesses, some of which are in direct competition with you. And 57% of marketers say they’ve gained new customers through their company’s blog.
If you’re just starting out with content marketing (our fancy term for business blogging), you may see a long road ahead of you. You may even ask yourself if you, or your team, actually have the time to invest in creating fantastic posts that make people want to read what you have to say.
Or what if you have the time to create amazing blog posts, but you don’t have any readers to read it? The age-old question of “if a tree falls in the woods and there’s no one to hear it, does it make a sound” applies to your blog. That is, if you write professional copy with amazing photos and great information, but there’s no one to read it, does the blog exist at all?
This is where content syndication comes in. It can help you build your blog from the ground up, chock-full of information people are looking for, without spending your valuable time creating it. And if you’re creating content, then this will get your work in front of more people, quickly.
What Is Syndication?
If you grew up during the era before streaming services almost completely replaced television, you may be familiar with the term syndication. This is where television shows sell their rights to a variety of channels to allow their show to play in syndication. Often times, shows that played in syndication were those that had been off the air for a decade or longer.
However, talk shows are often still played in syndication as they are sold to several local channels to play during the day.
Newspapers also use this tactic to help get their content read. For example, your local newspaper may have a column from someone who works across the country. That’s because that person’s column is run in syndication across a variety of newspapers.
In essence, syndicated content is very similar in that your blog content will run across several websites.
How Does Content Syndication Work?
Content syndication works similarly to newspaper and television syndication. It works in two ways. First, you can publish articles that other people have written, stating that the content was first published on another site.
Most people, however, use content syndication the other way in order to get more clicks to their site. If you’re a blog for your business, you’ll want to syndicate your content with a variety of larger websites. The links back to your site not only create opportunities for clicks, but the links alone carry a great deal of search engine optimization value for you.
You’ve probably read an article on a website and scrolled to the bottom and seen something along the lines of “This article was originally published by” and then the name of the magazine or blog. The media companies, or the individuals, have entered into a deal to allow their content to run in syndication.
This allows a maximum viewership, which is a mutually beneficial relationship if done correctly.
How Does Content Syndication Help a Small Business Blog?
Content syndication works extremely well for a small business. You can choose to syndicate content with smaller websites and businesses, but it won’t earn you much traffic.
Instead, if you syndicate content with a larger website, preferably one that pulls in hundreds of thousands of views per month, you’ll get more eyes on your blog or business.
You can’t be positive that people will go to your site, but you will have a byline on a larger site, and if you’re advertising your product or service, it immediately gets advertised to a larger audience.
But in order for content syndication to work, you need to do it well. It isn’t enough to syndicate with a website or blog that has a larger audience. Ideally, you’ll need to syndicate with one that is in your niche.
For example, if you’re a business that is centered around teenage and young adult clothing and trends, it wouldn’t serve you well to syndicate with a site targeted to adults age 35-55. While you may get lots of eyeballs on your content, they’re not the right eyeballs.
The right eyeballs would, of course, be a high traffic site for young adults and teens.
How Do I Start Syndicating My Content or Accepting Syndicated Content?
If you’re keen to accept syndicated content, you may wish to let others know your site accepts guest posts or syndication.
But getting your posts to syndicate with high traffic sites can be the most challenging part (unless you know someone who rocks it). Most people do this by writing fabulous copy and then pitching it to the magazine or website.
This can be a difficult and tedious task, and you may hear scores of no’s before you finally get one yes. However, hitting the proverbial pavement is one way to score a deal.
What If I Don’t Have Time to Pitch My Content?
If you’re just starting a business, you may be working two jobs at once or working around the clock to stay afloat. Sitting down and pitching your content to sites across the Internet may seem overwhelming and even frustrating. That’s totally fair.
And that’s where Fistbump Media comes in. In addition to the SEO services we already offer to help your site rank high in searches, you can try our team of amazing content writers for your company’s blog, and we have existing relationships for syndicating your content to a bunch of high-authority websites.
You own a small business and you have a million things on your plate. Read on to learn everything you need to know about SEO in our ultimate SEO kickstart guide.
When Scott Paxton entered a competition to see who could get their new website to the front of Google the fastest, he decided to look at what his competitors were doing.
What he learned can help you take charge of where your business ranks in the top search engine result pages (SERPs).
You want to rank first for your industry on Google…but you don’t have the time or money to spend hours trying out different strategies…how do you get great SERP results without blowing your whole budget?
How will it be displayed? Which social media outlets, websites, etc.
Who will you need to hire to produce the content?
Who will make decisions about which content is produced?
Often times marketers fall short of completing the real goal behind SEO. To get more sales. Just ranking higher for certain keywords will undoubtedly bring more traffic to your site, but if you’re attracting the wrong visitors your efforts are in vain.
Research shows that 53% of people will leave a site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. That’s bad news given that the average loading time of a mobile page hovers around 22 seconds.
Complicated graphics or videos can cause your site to lag too much, ultimately losing your potential leads.
→ Broken Links
Make sure every link on your site is functional. Broken links hurt your online reputation and make your whole site look unprofessional.
→ Canonical Link Elements
Canonical link elements tell search engines which page of duplicate content should be shown. You probably have several duplicates of content pages from your own site and don’t even know it.
That’s because duplication can happen due to something as small as opening a new user session. Often times a single instance URL is issued when each visitor comes to your page.
Forgetting to use canonical link elements can result in the wrong page being pushed up the SERPs.
“Would I Do This If Search Engines Didn’t Exist?”
Is the exact question Google says to ask yourself before modifying your site. It’s tempting to cater to search engines because they bring in so many of your customers.
But it’s important to keep in mind that you share the same goal as Google, to better serve your customers.
So look at Google as more of a partner than a landlord. One way to prove to Google your site is trustworthy while still providing tremendous value to the end user is through backlinks.
Backlinks are when other websites link back to your content.
How to Get Backlinks
Before we talk about how to get backlinks, let’s talk about how not to get them.
This is just as vital because black hat tactics like link schemes can result in penalties that will make your site harder to find than Timbuktu with a blindfold on.
Original content reigns supreme within Google and other search engines. Unique opinions and commentary on content from other sources is still considered original.
But content scraped from other sites with nothing of value added to the user experience will earn you a penalty fast.
A great way to get other sites to take notice of your content (and link to it) is to create a resource center.
→ Resource Center
A resource center, like this one, is the perfect way to build backlinks. No one likes being sold to. It’s why we fast forward or skip commercials whenever we can.
But a source for high quality, fresh content that answers your readers’ questions will have them begging for more.
And yes, your resource center should be totally, 100% free. Think of your resource center as a first date with a potential customer.
You want them to see the expertise and skills you have to offer. You don’t try and sell to every visitor right away the same way you wouldn’t propose to every stranger walking into Starbucks after you.
The less sales-oriented your resource page is, the better. This isn’t a buyer’s guide. Don’t try and upsell or link to products. Provide only the information readers are looking for.
It might seem counterintuitive not to focus on sales here, but remember we have a reputation to uphold with Google.
The more time reader’s spend on our pages the higher they’ll rank. A resource page builds your credibility as an expert in your industry.
How Social Media and Content Marketing Work Together
Social media is a double-edged sword when it comes to content marketing.
It democratizes content creation but it can also be more demanding than your typical marketing strategy.
That’s because not only do you speak to your users on social media, but they speak to you.
→ User-Generated Content
Taking advantage of user-generated content like customers using your branded hashtags is an important part of making your social media campaign a success.
Responding to comments and DMs also go along way in ranking your social media pages higher in SERPs.
→ Keep It Share Worthy
Social media is all about sharing. Sharing something that makes you laugh, cry, or angry is what makes social media so addicting.
It’s not like traditional media that talks at you. It’s your best friend sending you something that made them crack up.
It’s your mom sending you something that made her go, “awww!”
Always ask yourself, “would I share this on my personal profile,” before posting something on your business profiles.
Marketers used to go on nothing more than trial and error. Not anymore. We have more data than ever to base our marketing decisions on.
A website audit report is a good place to start. You’ll get a look at what’s working (and what’s not) with keywords your visitors might be using to find you. You can focus on those subjects and remove irrelevant content that may be holding you back.
Facebook’s targeting metrics are arguably the most advanced of any tech company. You can find everything from keywords your customers are searching for to what their favorite band is.
A pet supply store might target the keyword “black cat” on Halloween, which would probably create a short term surge in traffic.
But most people searching for the term “black cat” are not going to be interested in pet food.
Know who your customer is before trying to connect with them.
One of the best ways to do keyword research is with an in-depth keyword analysis. These are great because you get an instant critique of your keyword usage.
If you’re not ranking well, don’t worry! That’s the whole point of the audit. Improving your SEO strategy starts with fixing what’s broken.
If your site is lacking in keywords there is a lot of help. Content creation and backlinks are what will get you to the top of the SERPs. You can outsource a lot of this time-consuming work to a service like this.
You Can Start to See Results in Less Time Than You Think
So what did Scott Paxton learn while racing to rank his website?
Every top search result led to a subdomain of their homepage. Your homepage should act as a directory that hosts all your valuable unique content.
That’s because we want to provide value above all else. Backlinks and keywords create the language we use to communicate with Google.
No one wants to do business with a faceless corporation. SEO and content marketing set you up to be an industry leader by humanizing your business.
To start ranking higher and attracting more customers, get a free site audit and start optimizing your page immediately! If you still need help with your SEO strategy we can help with everything from designing your website to creating a solid network of backlinks.
Stop ignoring your SEO strategy while your competitors thrive. Read this article now about what happens behind the scenes of a site audit.
How much time do you spend on social media every day? How many social media accounts do you have? I guess both answers will be something like “too much”.
And it’s really never enough for us. Do you think social media are a kind of addictive? I can’t prove that for sure, but I am 100% positive about the fact that wise merchants can use this social media obsession to their benefit.
Well, you are here, reading this article, which means you would like to become an influencer on social media or boost your influence there.
I am going to give you 10 simple tips that will help to make up your mind.
By the way, what do you think is the most precious on social media? From my viewpoint, it’s the fact that people view and read your posts because they are interested in them.
Social media don’t work like annoying television, radio or newspaper ads.
Ok, it’s quite understandable that if you want to grow your influence, you need to nurture your followers. I advise you establish yourself as an expert in your business niche and it doesn’t matter whether you are a social media professional or not.
Please keep in mind that social media influence is not the thing you do once in a lifetime. It can be compared to growing a plant which needs constant care. It is a rather long process and you should be ready to invest your time in building the desired influence.
Ok, below you will find working tips that will help you build your social media influence. They are mostly generic, so can be used by anyone to improve their social media influence.
Have no time to read? View the infographic below, however, I recommend you to skim the entire post, it won’t take you long.
You need this to add new followers and maintain the old ones’ loyalty. Don’t invent any complicated schemes, just ask them about their daily activities. You need to have followers if you want to become popular on social media. Build your gang – add your friends, peers, and just people interested in your product/service/offer.
It’s also good to run a blog. Don’t be lazy, comment on other people’s posts. You should be accessible to your followers when they want to get in touch with you. Have real interactions with people instead of posting what you did or are going to do.
“Listen” to what people in your niche are talking about. Can you contribute to the topic? Do it! Contributing to conversations on popular topics in your field is a great way to reach out to people and add followers.
You can use your favorite SEO/marketing tool to find the most shared content in your niche. This will save you a ton of time.
As I work at Ahrefs, I surely use Ahrefs Content Explorer for the purpose.
Carry out contests, special events, and post news
People are emphatic, they like to reach out to others. They want to get involved in your life, celebrate, and do many other things with you. Hold contests and regular events to reach out to them. Don’t forget to encourage people to get involved and share the latest and the most revolutionary/funny/interesting developments at your company or in your life with them.
Use the power of hashtags to build contacts
Don’t underestimate the power of keywords and hashtags when you are trying to reach out to people on social media sites. Squeeze out the most out of them. See how other people are doing this and don’t be shy to learn from them. Act wisely.
All of us know that our content should be unique and original. However, other people have curious things to share. Curate the best posts and share them on your page. There is no need to overload your followers with posts. They will appreciate your creativity and careful posts choice.
Promote things you are good at
Generalists are cool guys. They are free to post everything they want. But it’s much more likely that you are running a niche business, so you can’t afford to be a generalist. What you need to do is find some specific topics that resonate with your activity and create posts on that. This way you will become an expert on a subject and people will start to trust you.
Measure your activity
Everybody wants to know the results of their work. You can find that out signing up with social media measurement websites like Klout or Kred. I named them because they are easy to use and provide you with good insights on what works great for you and what you are doing wrong.
Supposing you have just launched a new product or service. It’s natural that you want to get inputs on a specific issue. Ask your followers, they would love to share advice. Another benefit of such kind of activity is increasing the engagement level and adding more people to your community.
Bask in the glory of other social media influencers
Give positive feedback to the posts written by others. Do it on your wall. Mention high influencers names and this will also do you good. Add @ before the influencer’s name on Twitter, add + in front of the name on Facebook and Google+. This will also increase your social influence.
Make friends with your niche influencers
It’s obvious that you are not the only one working in your niche. Some of your peers may be more influential than you. Try to connect with them and establish friendly relationships. What can those people do for you? They may mention you in their posts or share your content, which is cool. You can use your favorite SEO/marketing tool, like Ahrefs Content Explorer to find influencers in your niche. It will show you what content is hot in your industry, who is writing it, and who’s sharing it.
Don’t limit your conversations to social media networks. For instance, you can record a podcast, host chats on Google Hangout, take part in radio interviews, post videos on YouTube, etc. There are so many alternative ways to connect with people. All these will help you build your social media influence.
As you understand, my list of tips to increase social media influence is not comprehensive. The final advice is to watch other people. What are they doing? What is going right? Noticed something – try to adopt the technique.
I wish you the best of luck in boosting your social media influence, waiting for your additions/comments/thoughts on the blog post. And don’t forget to share it on your social media with friends and colleagues.
The line between offline and online sales has become very blurred. There’s showrooming and Research Online, Pay Offline (ROPO), point of sale (POS) e-commerce systems, click and collect options— and then there’s local action-focused search to factor in.
With smartphones that keep us connected to the internet wherever we go, we always have the option of buying something in under a minute. We can search for things, place orders, and carry on with our days. Micro-moments are an ever-present danger to our wallets.
Retailers that aren’t taking advantage of this power are making a huge mistake, because it’s a huge source of revenue. Let’s look at what local SEO really involves, why Google cares about it, how you can optimize for it, and what really makes it worthwhile: ROI.
What does local SEO for online sales mean?
Before geo-targeting was an option, SEO was unfocused. The overall goal was always to get more traffic in general, reasoning that the more people visited a site, the more conversions there would be. It makes sense, and it works— but when there’s a physical location involved, your SEO requires a far more granular approach.
Because it operates through a physical location, local SEO needs to be geographical to an extent that goes beyond simply knowing what country a user is from. Consider the average Google search made from a phone in today’s world. Google won’t just parse the text; it will use the searcher’s specific locational data in combination with the specified keywords to try to find the best possible solution in that context.
Just look at the enormous increase in the use of the term “near me” in America over the course of the last 7 years. We know that we don’t need to type our current locations, so we don’t bother. We pass our tasks to Google, and it takes one look at our location data and figures out what exactly we’re talking about.
That’s what makes it so much more important (and interesting) to optimize for.
Why Google prioritizes local SEO
Imagine that you got hungry on a night out and wanted to visit a restaurant, but you couldn’t think of what could be open at that time. Eager to eat, you could take out your phone and search for “restaurants still open right now”. Google would interpret the string, conclude (quite correctly) that you were searching specifically for restaurants in your area, and deliver results meeting your criteria.
This focus on understanding intent—recognizing what a user meant regardless of what they actually said—is a key part of local SEO. It’s all about figuring out the purpose of a search so the best results can be found, and mobile devices play into this hugely (since searches from mobile devices cumulatively comprise well over half of all web searches now).
By listing a company in response to a local query, whether as a top result or even a featured rich snippet, Google knows it is implicitly recommending the locations it lists. If you can give your business the best chance of being such a recommended location, it will benefit you hugely through increased business from mobile users ready and willing to convert.
How you can optimize for local search
Given the overwhelming importance of being picked by Google as a top result for a local search, local SEO is all about covering all the bases and jumping through every hoop provided. Google wants as much information as possible. Here are some things you can offer:
A Google My Business Map Listing
Filling in Google’s My Business page is an essential component of appearing on Google Maps. Without it, you won’t be featured, and all your local SEO efforts will be ruined as Google won’t want to rank you for a local search when it isn’t even sure your business is in that area.
Your business should have a blog or at least some form of content updated semi-regularly. Use your content to write about your area and your place in it— touch upon relevant area keywords, but be sure to make it good content regardless. If you make a guide to your area, it’ll give you new ranking possibilities and further associate your business with your location (remember to share it on social media for added exposure).
While you can include reviews through microdata, it’s not all you can tag. You can point out anything you can list through Google My Business (including opening hours, holiday hours, menu link, etc.) and more, including product types, dimensions, materials, etc. Google may not want to rely on it, but for the moment it still has value.
By including as much detail as you can about what your business does, where it is, and how it operates, you can make your company a viable contender for SERP positioning when a relevant search is made.
If you’re willing to do some PPC to get things moving, you can use Google’s Merchant Center to advertise your product listings inside results pages, plus they’re playing with a system for buying directly through search results. PPC doesn’t innately affect SEO, but if it brings in new customers who really like your site and your service, the uptick in your metrics certainly will.
The high ROI of local SEO for online sales
We still need to answer the titular question of what investment in local SEO can do for your online sales (and offline sales)… so let’s do that now since we only need one term: high ROI.
The scattergun approach of standard SEO gets strong results, but it also wastes resources for businesses with physical locations and associated restrictions. It brings in people who never intended to buy anything, traffic from overseas, and a weak return on the effort.
You don’t just catch stragglers— you catch the people who are in the right location at the right time and itching to buy something you can offer them.
While it’s challenging to track local SEO ROI sometimes, try using call tracking to segment the data. Use one number for your Google My Business listing, another for your website, and another for any other type of campaign you run.
Once you’re done, you’ll be able to narrow things down and figure out where all your sales are coming from. You’ll most likely see that your local traffic is converting at the highest rate. If it isn’t, then you’re doing something seriously wrong to push awaylocals and should think about your overall strategy.