The Ultimate Guide to White Hat SEO Techniques for ‘Boring’ Businesses
Content marketing sounds wonderful in theory. However, when sitting down to actually produce content about your business, you may find there’s seemingly nothing to say. Let’s face it, most B2B businesses are not ‘sexy’—for example, trucking or paint manufacturers—so how can you make them interesting enough for effective content marketing?
With a simple shift in perspective, interesting content for your B2B business is well within reach. It’s all about taking a practical approach to your online marketing—focusing on results over vanity metrics—to effectively attract and convert new customers to your business.
In this post, we’ll explore effective white hat SEO techniques for creating captivating content that will work for you, no matter how ‘boring’ B2B your business is. Let’s get started!
Embrace Your Business
Be honest—if your business was actually boring, you wouldn’t be in business to begin with. If the product or service you offered was an unattractive proposition, no one would be interested, and you wouldn’t make any money. Your business must offer something that attracts people, and to find out what, you simply need to answer the following question:
What interests people enough to pay your business for its products and/or services?
The key to creating your SEO strategy is in adjusting your idea of what “interesting” is. If you’re still struggling, here’s a hint: it’s the answer to the above question.
Once you understand what makes your business interesting to its customers, it’s a simple matter of creating content to address that interest. Have you identified the primary reason your business is attractive to your clients yet?
Target the Right Niche
It’s true—some topics are easier to write about than others. Travel, food, and culture all lend themselves to popular trends and stories that would make anyone drool with envy.
Businesses dealing in topics such as paint, dentistry, and construction don’t have the same widespread appeal to work with, and they’re especially tricky to write content for unless you have a specific client in mind. Problems arise when you think too broadly about your customer base; the trick is to carefully aim for the bullseye with a sharp arrow, rather than throw spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks.
You can solve this problem by defining your dream client. Create a complete dossier on them, including their education and life story, their smallest inconveniences, and wildest hopes and dreams. The resulting dream client is your new niche.
When you map out your content marketing strategy, the end goal is to become indispensably valuable to this dream client. If you try to create universally exciting content, it’s unlikely the right people will take note. While you may get more social media shares to brag about over drinks with colleagues, it won’t convert any customers for you.
Meanwhile, you can benefit from the same principles that makes long-tail keywords so successful. Instead of trying to appeal to a larger group, cast a wide net by covering many unique topics. In this situation, topics will include the type of information only your target customers would seek out, and your business will be waiting there to catch their interest with valuable content that addresses their pain points.
Your content marketing can target your dream client in two ways:
- Write what appeals directly to them. This is the angle we’ll focus on in this article.
- Alternatively, you can research and target the people who influence your dream client.
Solve Your Customer’s Problems
Once you define and understand your niche audience, it’s time to choose your keywords. This is as simple as being incredibly helpful to your potential customers.
Answer the questions your target client is asking, no matter how unsexy it may seem. Being helpful is never boring, no matter how dull the topic itself appears from the outside looking in.
Targeting questions a prime client may ask helps in a couple of ways:
- Your content is more likely to be found by those who are actively getting ready to make a purchase.
- You earn the trust of anyone researching information about your industry. This sets you and your business apart as a reliable authority in your field.
You can use sites like Quora, Yahoo! Answers, and Reddit to find what questions people ask about your topic. There are also tools to help you identify queries that already lead people to your business, such as Google Analytics and our own Clickx site analyzer.
Furthermore, your business focuses on a specific topic, which makes you something of an expert on these matters. You’ll write for a small audience, but it’s still okay to think about a wider appeal. How can you package what you know as fun facts for the masses? Remember, what is obvious to you may be completely new for your target client.
Choose one topic your business handles, then think of some Who?, What?, Where?, When?, Why?, and How? questions about it. Here are a few examples we thought of on the topic of paint:
- What is paint actually made of?
- Where is the most paint made?
- When did people start using paint to cover their houses?
- Why do people spend so much time looking at paint swatches?
- How does the type of paint impact its longevity?
We could go on, but you get the idea. Each of these questions is a prime long-tail keyword, and may also get you ranked for Google’s coveted featured snippets.
Focus on Quality Over Quantity
To keep your SEO efforts white hat, don’t obsess over going viral. The tricks you may find to quickly generate high traffic volumes can lead you down a dark path. Instead, worry about being discoverable to your target audience. The right path is found by focusing on keywords that solve your dream client’s problems, above all else.
You want your content marketing to result in paying clients, and that means not getting distracted by the allure of creating a viral hit. In the end, what is popular for everyone likely holds no real value for your target client, and it may even affect your ROI.
Here are a couple of tips for writing authoritative content:
- Write personable content, as if you had sat down for coffee with your dream client.
- Write simply, and for a beginner target client. Simple, well-written content is appreciated by beginners and advanced professionals alike.
In the end, SEO for a ‘boring’ business follows the same guidelines as any other SEO strategy—it simply requires a bit more focus than naturally flashy businesses.
To achieve this focus:
- Define a very specific target client.
- Identify why your business is interesting to them.
- Answer the questions they are asking.
- Value visitor quality over quantity.
Do you worry that your business is too boring for a good content marketing strategy, and how has this post shifted your opinion? Tell us about what concerns you have in the comments section below!
Solomon Thimothy is the Co-founder of Clickx, a Chicago-based white label digital marketing platform. He has been in the agency space for over a decade and has helped 100s of entrepreneurs build 7 and 8 figure agencies. He helps agency owners on a 1:1 basis to scale sales and fulfillment. Follow him on twitter @sthimothy