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Google’s so-called Panda update will have an impact on all online marketing and SEO. It’s clear that good old fashioned content will play an increasingly important role in making sure websites are visible.

This presents both opportunities for small businesses to ‘punch above their weight’ by updating their websites and social media with new relevant content. However, finding that content can also be problematic for time-poor business owners and webmasters who do not have the luxury of a marketing team or comms agency. To be clear, content curation is defined as: “the process of finding, organising and sharing content online. It’s important that content curation and content origination are both part of a content marketing strategy – it has to be a mix” Its objectives and challenges have been well documented but I wanted to give some pointers to developing and finding such content for an SME:

1.     Create content

The most obvious – and perhaps best – source is to write about the businesses products or services. Particularly useful are case studies. Blogs are an obvious mechanism for this content but CMS websites allow easy uploading of new content. The difficulty arises when website owners have little confidence in their ability to write interesting, keyword rich content. There is lots of free advice and, of course, often inexpensive professional help

2.     Blogs

It has been estimated that there are over 100 million blogs worldwide so there will be blogs that relate to areas any area of business, services and products. Posting a response will help link building for SEO, but more importantly the content will provide ideas and references for further content. Google Reader will allow users to be updated on new blog content.

3.     News updates

Thinking about a business in the most general terms will allow a wider search for news updates. For example, a wedding photographer can update on such subjects as equipment [new products, techniques, software], photography as a practice [exhibitions, other photographers, trade shows], weddings [celebrity weddings, venues, statistics] etc. Google Alerts provides an easy way to access new web content and sites such as Qrait offer more filtered updates.

4.     Social media

Search social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook using relevant terms and keywords. As well as finding content, use the search results to follow relevant accounts and pages. Reacting and responding to posts will develop relationships – and in time this may provide further content for you as these Facebook and Twitter users are obviously keen to share their interest, knowledge and experience. Don’t ignore sites like Youtube or Flikr as web users increasingly expect and welcome videos and photographs.

5.     RSS feeds

RSS feeds will automatically update content to a site, saving time and effort once set up. It can serve a purpose but all too often looks lazy, unfocussed and could create SEO problems if not used as part of a focussed online marketing and SEO strategy.

6.     Content Curation Services

Most of the above resources are free and allow anyone to source content, but they are often blunt tools and located in different places. As the importance of content curation develops, so do paid-for services such as Curata and Curationstation, often developed for the B2B market. They are not cheap and at the moment are unlikely to attract the hard-pressed SME still to be convinced of the ROI of content curation. Whilst content curation is open to everyone, there is always help from professional Web Design and SEO companies in your area. A local search for, say, SEO company in Birmingham will supply details of specialists who can help set the process up and even become your content curators, helping you to grow your business.

Image credit – Pascal


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