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5 Great Content Marketing Topic Ideas for Small Business

Content marketing is one of the most effective and underutilized strategies for increasing website traffic.

Search engines have come a long way, and once popular strategies like keyword stuffing and meta keywords tag targeting are no longer effective for archiving high SERP (search engine results page) rankings.

Search engines favor high-quality websites. But what does this mean for small businesses?

A high-quality website demonstrates authority on a topic, and Google (and other search engines) will recognize a high-quality website as a trustworthy source of information that is authored by subject matter experts.

High QualityAuthority is established when readers share content through blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other platforms.

When websites publish high quality content and the authority of a website increases, search engines will rank websites higher for related keywords and search phrases.

How you can create a high-quality website

Start writing and create valuable content! It sounds simple but the follow-through is challenging and time consuming.

Content marketing is a long-term effort that requires dedication and consistency. However, if you commit to it, you will see a gradual increase in website traffic and positive measurable results (both online and offline).

A blog, just like this one, is popular channel to publish content. WordPress, Concrete5, and other CMS’ (Content Management Systems) are common publishing platforms for all sizes and types of businesses.

The key is to publish original, unique and relevant articles that your target audience wants to read (and hopefully share).

5 Great Content Marketing Topic Ideas

You may already have some ideas of topics to write about. Run with them!

If you are scratching your head or want to explore more ideas, we 5 great topic ideas to consider using in your content marketing strategy:

1) Answer common questions

Do your customers often ask you the same questions over and over? This is a good indication that future customers may also search for these answers online.

Start with a problem or question and provide the solution or answer. Think of it as a Q&A session.

2) Showcase your work

If your business provides a physical service or product, talk about what you are able to do for your customers. People love reading stores with before and after pictures, or seeing end results.

3) Write about your clients

If your market is B2B, talk about the clients you work with and what you are able to do for them. Not only does this validate your work and expertise, but it also is great PR and exposure for your clients.

4) Write to help people

You are an established business leader with a wealth of expert knowledge, advice and information to share. When visitors find your content useful, they will share it and help bring visitors to your website.

If you help your audience, they will refer you to friends, family and other businesses.

5) Tell people about your business

What are you doing lately? Have you landed a big contract? Have you won a local award like a Ruthie?

Breathe life into your website and write about your business accomplishments.

Even though you are “tooting your own horn,” you are also providing legitimate information about how your community views your business. Your readers will appreciate this and see the value in your business.

What doesn’t work

I cannot stress this enough – content marketing is the not same as writing sales-oriented material.

No SalespersonYes, the primary goal of content marketing is to generate sales and leads. But, if you write like a salesman it will be glaringly obvious. Your blog won’t feel genuine and it won’t provide value to your readers.

You can still have a value proposition or sales pitch in your content, but there is a fine line between a sales pitch and sales-oriented content. When that line is crossed, it devalues your content.

Avoid sounding like a salesman. Instead, show the personal side of your business and write to help people, answer questions and solve problems.

What if you don’t have time?

Content marketing is challenging, especially if writing is not something you enjoy. Plus, it takes a lot of time – time that you may not have to dedicate to a long-term, successful effort.

If you don’t have time to dedicate to content marketing or blogging, let’s start a conversation about how Mackmedia can help. Together, we can develop a cost-effective content marketing strategy for your small business and deliver positive and measurable results.

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Improving our Client’s Website Performance: A Case Study with the AWBA

Let me begin by welcoming the American Wheelchair Bowling Association (AWBA) to Mackmedia! We are always excited to help 501(3)(c) non-profit organizations and we are honored that the AWBA has selected Mackmedia.

 

The AWBA has over 500 members throughout the continental United States. With an average of 10 tournaments a year, the attendance at the National level has grown to an average of over 100 participants, representing every skill level within wheelchair bowling.

Donate to the AWBA

 

This article outlines a typical experience for new Mackmedia clients when switching from shared hosting to Mackmedia’s Fully Managed Website Hosting service. In this case study, we discuss how we were able to dramatically decreas the page load time for all pages on the AWBA’s website.

Continue reading to see what you can expect from our Fully Managed Website Hosting infrastructure.

(Spoiler alert – our hosting rocks!)

 

In January, the AWBA contracted Mackmedia to provide the following ongoing website management services:

  • Website and email hosting
  • WordPress software management
  • Website content management
  • Maintenance of the website design and development
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Testing for broken links, images, browser incompatibility and interactive forms
  • Website analytics and reporting

 

1) Expert Website Migration Services

When we bring new clients under our wing, we start by moving their website to our hosting infrastructure. We do this for 3 reasons:

  1. We fully manage and support your website
  2. Our hosting infrastructure saves you money
  3. Our hosting infrastructure is really fast

 

Migrating to our hosting is seamless and happens behind the scenes without downtime. Your website visitors never know that the transition is being made – except they will notice that your website loads faster!

A successful migration (without downtime) requires a lot of planning and attention to detail. The good news is that we take care of the hard work for our clients.

2) Website Performance on Shared Hosting

Prior to migrating to Mackmedia’s website hosting infrastructure, the AWBA’s website was hosted in a shared Windows hosting environment.

Take a look at the response time graph below – you can see that loading the home page took between ~1.5 seconds to over 5 seconds!

And, this doesn’t take into account the time downloading related assets like images, style sheets and scripts! On occasion, the complete page load time would exceed 10 seconds!

Slow Response Times on Shared Hosting

When you take into account the (poor) performance achieved, shared hosting is very expensive!

 

2a) How a Slow Website Impacts Your Bottom Line

Did you know that a slow website directly effects your bottom line? This is true even if your not a big business like Amazon.

Although exact numbers vary slightly by source, the fact is that the slower your website, the less it converts!

  • 60% of visitors expect websites to load in under 3 seconds
  • 74% of visitors will leave a website if it doesn’t load in under 5 seconds

 

Did you know that search engine result page rankings are effected by the speed of your website? Page speed is one of many factors Google takes into account. If your website is slower than your competition, your website may rank lower.

Your business website is often a customer’s first impression of your business. Ignoring your website visitor’s experience can be costly and send them searching for your competition!

2b) What Makes a Website Slow

Usually, for small businesses, the first culprit is oversold shared hosting. The shared hosting business model is based on volume – cram as many clients on a single server as possible while keeping the percentage of complaints below a threshold. Hundreds or even thousands of websites are hosted on a single server!

Adding insult to injury, there are a number of highly technical factors to consider when troubleshooting and improving page load time. At a high level, you must consider:

  1. DNS Server Resolution
  2. TCP Connection
  3. Server Wait Time (HTML generation and response
  4. Downloading embedded assets – Cascading Style Sheets, JavaScript and Images
  5. Processing Cascading Style Sheets, JavaScript and Images
  6. Page Rendering

Items #1-4 are directly related to the website hosting infrastructure (i.e., shared hosting vs. managed hosting).

Most business owners don’t have the time, energy, or desire to troubleshoot a poor performing website. With Mackmedia, you won’t need to!

3) Website Performance with Mackmedia

After migrating to Mackmedia’s website hosting infrastructure, the AWBA observed an immediate improvement in overall page load time!

Take a look at the response time graph below – you can see the clear transition from shared hosting to our web servers and the immediate impact!

Mackmedia Fully Managed Hosting Response Times

Mackmedia fully manages hosting is really fast! Pages load in a fraction of a second.

 

Our fully managed hosting infrastructure provides exceptional value to our clients!

3a) Our Web Website Hosting is Really Fast

You may be asking – how can Mackmedia provide this level of service? We take hosting seriously!

First of all, we don’t resell shared hosting. A typical shared hosting environment (pictured below) consists of a single server that acts as a web and database server (with hundreds or thousands of other clients).

Shared Hosting Diagram (Example)

Shared Hosting Diagram (Example)

 

Mackmedia offers fully managed hosting services. Our hosting infrastructure consists of load balancerscache servers, multiple web servers and multiple database servers.

Mackmedia Fully Managed Hosting Diagram

Mackmedia Fully Managed Hosting Diagram

 

It takes considerable time and effort to setup a hosting environment that performs well for our clients. By scaling our hosting infrastructure out horizontally and balancing the load, our client’s website performance is exceptional in comparison to shared hosting!

3b) Don’t Settle for Slow, Shared Hosting

When selecting a company to help manage and maintain your organization’s website, be sure to ask the company what to expect out of their website hosting.

  • Do they use shared hosting like GoDaddy, BlueHost or DreamHost ? (If so, your website will be slow.)
  • What average response times can you expect? (They should be able to give you examples of websites they host.)
  • Is their website hosting load balanced and cached to handle spikes in web traffic? (If not, your website uptime and availability may be impacted by other client’s websites.)

 

A company that is focused on providing value to their clients will not resell shared hosting. They will host websites on an internally managed hosting infrastructure that is monitored and tuned for optimal performance.

The Bottom Line – We Care About Our Clients

Our goal is to provide exceptional service and value to our clients, like the AWBA.

If we aren’t helping you grow your business, we aren’t doing our job. Just one way we help is by providing website hosting services that are priced competitively for small to medium sized businesses, non-profit organizations and clubs.

 

Let’s talk about how Mackmedia can improve your website page load time!

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