There’s no question that blogging weekly and posting on social media daily are two of the best and most important ways to boost the online visibility of your business. You may have heard about search engine optimization (SEO), editorial calendars and a variety of scheduling tools that can help you better manage your business online, but what do they all mean?
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by everything you need to do as a small business owner, let’s go over SEO, editorial calendars and scheduling tools to help you become an efficient industry leader online.
WHAT IS SEO?
According to Search Engine Land, SEO (search engine optimization), “is the process of getting traffic from the free, organic, editorial or natural search results on search engines.” This means that when a customer looks for something online, the websites at the top of the results have a high SEO ranking. Being at the top of an Internet search sounds like a great deal, but how do you get there without having to pay for your position at the top? Turns out there are simple tactics you can use in blog posts and social media to help your SEO ranking and visibility soar.
BLOGGING FOR SEO
When writing a blog post keywords are…key! Whatever your topic is, you want to make it clear your blog post is about that topic and is beneficial to readers. If your blog deals with pet grooming for example, it is important you use that phrase and other industry terms throughout the post. The most important places to use a keyword are:
- The Title
- Section Headers
- Image Caption
- In The URL
If you are a visual learner, this video explaining SEO for blogging is easy to watch and follow.
SOCIAL MEDIA FOR SEO
You may think what you post on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn is strictly limited to followers on those sites. However, posts and posting habits of businesses on social media have a direct impact on SEO standings. Follow these tips to use social networks as a tool to increase search engine results:
- Post on Social Media Often using Keywords
- Attract High Quality Followers
- It’s not always about how many followers you have, but about the level of interaction they engage in. It’s better to have 200 followers who like and retweet posts rather than 20,000 who do nothing.
- Use Visuals
- Become a Social Authority Figure
- The more your business shares posts and links from other accounts in your industry, the more helpful you appear, which holds weight in SEO algorithms.
So now that you know the importance of blogging and social media for SEO, how can you implement these tips into an effective work schedule? This is where editorial calendars for blog content and social media updates come into play.
EDITORIAL CALENDARS FOR BLOGS AND SOCIAL MEDIA
Writing relevant and timely social media posts is essential for having a rich and lively business page. When customers and fans see an update they like and have an opinion about, they are compelled to comment, like and share. One way to stay current on trends is to create an editorial calendar. If you’re not sure what an editorial calendar is or what you should include, here is everything you need to know.
WHAT IS AN EDITORAL CALENDAR?
An editorial calendar is used by bloggers and social media managers to create a plan for their posts. These calendars include notable events they want to include in upcoming weeks and months. Creating an editorial calendar is a great way stay organized, on track and help you to remember important dates.
What your calendar looks like is up to you; there is no right or wrong way to plot out a topics and events for your blog and social media accounts. Some people prefer to take it week by week, while others like to go big and tackle a month at a time. Review these different types of editorial calendars and decide which is right for you and your business. More importantly than what your calendar looks like, is that it works well for you.
WHAT TO INCLUDE
- Weekly Trends
Participating in weekly trends on social media has become one of the most effective ways to connect with your audience. Some of the most popular trends for businesses are #ManicMonday, #TransformationTuesday and #ThrowBackThursday. Make a note in your calendar to include a picture of a crazy Monday morning at your office, or an image of what your business looked like a few years ago, on #TransformationTuesday or #ThrowBackThursday. Forgetting about #ManicMonday doesn’t do you any good when you remember on Tuesday; writing it in your editorial calendar will help you stay on top of trends.
While weekly trends are preceded with a hashtag, using them in a post with keywords is another great way to improve SEO and increase your visibility online and on social media. As suggested earlier, if your business is about pet grooming, use hashtags related to that topic so when customers are searching for information your posts, website and insights show up first. It’s as simple as tagging #PetGrooming.
- Holiday & Event Information
For the busiest small business owners, it can be difficult to forget about major holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. These celebrations are easy to include in your editorial schedule, but what about other subtle holidays or industry events? For a current and interesting blog and social media pages, try writing about odd or interesting events that could be fun to share. The website Days of the Year can help business owners track and monitor themed days they may want to write about.
For example, it might be beneficial for a pet grooming salon to follow the Westminster Kennel Club and post who is Best in Show, which is seen as one of the highest accomplishments and events in the canine community. This provides a business with an opportunity to engage their customers and audience by asking if anyone is watching and what they thought about the competition.
- Business News
Have you ever been so busy at work preparing for an event or product launch that you forgot to tell people about it? Don’t make this mistake again! Making a note in your calendar to schedule event updates and product information will help keep your audience aware of news. This will build excitement and create an opportunity for a dialog among fans; writing updates is important to both the small business owner and customer.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU POST
Now that you’ve got your calendar for blog posts and social media updates planned out, it is time to start writing. Take important quotes or facts from articles, include your opinion and/or a call-to-action when you write your updates. It is recommended that you should blog once daily and schedule your posts at the same time of day throughout the week. If blogging daily is too much to handle, at minimum update your site with fresh content once a week and schedule the post at the same time each week to boost SEO results.
For social media, a much higher frequency is necessary. Again, it all depends on what your small business can handle, but a general rule is 2 times per day on Facebook, 3-5 times per day on Twitter and once per day on LinkedIn.
Not only is it beneficial to plan and write your blog topics and social media posts in advance, another huge time saver is scheduling your posts ahead of time. It can be seemingly impossible to know how busy each day of your week is going to be. If you have plans to post an interesting article you found on Facebook or Twitter, but a work emergency comes up, there goes that post for the day in addition to the consistency your audience expects and the SEO results you need. If you can carve out a few minutes each week after you’ve finished writing a blog and social media updates, use online tools such as Hootsuite and SproutSocial to schedule posts in advance.
Hootsuite and SproutSocial allow business owners to connect their social media accounts all together in one place, and enables users to post content, links, images and videos directly to their page. This can greatly save time is one way to ensure that you will be consistently posting and improving the SEO ranking of your business. Each tool also allows you to pick what time of day you want your post to go live to ensure maximum visibility and interaction.
As important as it is to post regularly on social media, don’t forget to interact on the different platforms. Take some time to follow fans back, like or retweet their comments and respond directly to any questions or concerns they may have. Social media and customer service are becoming one in the same, and how you react on Twitter or Facebook can have a direct influence on customer relations and your reputation.
As small business owners are finding, blogging and social media have a great impact on the visibility of their company online. Understanding what SEO is and how important it is to a business can lead owners to put more effort into blogging and social media. To better manage the uptake in work, it is beneficial to create an editorial calendar as well as schedule content ahead of time to make daily tasks easier.
If you are finding that this seems like too much work for you to handle or are having a hard time with your current efforts, give Three Girls Media a call to learn more about what we can do for your business and how we can increase your SEO rankings through blogging and social media. Contact us today for a complimentary 30-minute consultation!
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Three Girls Media, Inc. is a public relations and social media management agency founded in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley with a team in the Seattle area. We love working with small and emerging companies across the nation to raise their brand awareness and name recognition. We offer a complimentary 30-minute phone consultation with our CEO and can answer your questions and discuss your specific marketing needs.
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