As a business owner, you’re doing all the right things; sending emails with good content to your customers, posting on social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. You may even have a blog. Those are all great tactics for creating and sharing content about your business. But how do you ensure that your efforts result in people finding your content and ultimately your business?

Leading the content marketing team at VerticalResponse has taught me a lot about optimizing our content; so let me share six hot tips and tools to optimize yours.

1. Your Content Must Be Useful

If your content is totally self promotional, then I urge you to stop and push the reset button. Above all, your content must serve your readers. It should answer questions, provide tips or how-tos and be helpful. If there is one hard and fast content marketing rule, it’s that if your readers don’t find value in your content, they won’t return.

2. Google Authorship

Chipper Nicodemus, our resident SEO expert at VerticalResponse wrote about the importance of setting up Google Authorship tied to your blog content. He says, “Authorship is a feature that Google has that ties your personal Google+ profile to the content you produce on the Internet.” After Google Authorship is set up, your Google+ image and byline appears in search engine results pages (SERPS) next to content you’ve written, adding a personal feel. Having this added turbo power in the SERPs can help your content get higher click through rates and increase your authority with search engines, resulting in more interaction with your content. Here’s an example:

3. Keywords

By developing content specifically around topics or keywords your audience is searching for, you’re halfway there. For instance, if you own a dog bakery and your target audience is searching for dog birthday cakes, you can create a number of different types of content related to this topic like recipes for dog birthday cakes in your email newsletter, pictures of dog birthday cakes on Pinterest, offers for a discount off a dog birthday cake and many more.

You can use the Google Keyword Planner (formerly Google Keyword Tool) to research and find related terms so you can create content around those keywords and terms.

4. Scribe

Scribe (from the folks at Copyblogger) helps you deliver the trifecta of content, search and social. This paid tool allows you to do keyword research to see what terms are most popular, optimize your content for sharing, helps you build your site authority and Google PageRank, and connects you with other sites that have authority so you can establish relationships with them. There is a monthly fee that ranges from $27-$97 per month based on the plan you select, but we find it worth every penny.

5. Syndicate

Did you know you can syndicate your content on sites that have high authority? We’ve been syndicating our content to sites like Business2Community and AllTop that get tons of readers. These sites also give us source credit and a link so folks know it’s our original content. We also guest blog for sites that may have a similar customer base to ours like Boostsuite. These efforts help establish our thought leadership and get us in front of new and diverse audiences that may never have heard of us.

6.  Yoast

This is the VerticalResponse content marketing team’s favorite tool. We know that in order to get our content found, we need to optimize it for search engines and make it valuable yet easy reading by humans. Yoast is a handy WordPress plugin that allows you to do just that. Did I mention it’s free? You and your team can use Yoast to optimize the heck out of your posts to make sure they are found by the search engines. My content team loves it because in just a few seconds, they can fill in the search engine optimization fields and see any changes they need to make.

These 6 tips and tools should start you on your way to optimizing your content so you can get found and grow your business.

Got any tips or tools to add to my list? Share away in the comments.

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