It seems that content marketing tips are everywhere these days and with good reason. Quality content is one of the best ways to improve your small business SEO. It increases traffic by providing fresh fuel for search crawlers and also attracts inbound links. If it is part of your SEO strategy, follow these rules and make your efforts count.

1. Focus on readers first, and search engines second. It’s a good business practice to provide value to your customers. Quality content can do this. With ever-changing search algorithms, this is the best SEO strategy around.

2. Provide relevant material. Always remain on topic and supply information that the reader wants. The title of the web page should accurately identify its content. There’s nothing worse than a search result leading to an unrelated page.

3. Optimize the content for search engines. Start with your keyword research. Put relevant keywords in the title tag, body copy, alt tags, URL, anywhere that makes sense. Include some text on every page because search engines only ‘read’, they don’t see.

4. Always use original content. Duplicate content can really hurt you, even non-malicious duplication like copying your own text to new pages of your site. When using material from other websites, credit that site and provide a link to the original.

5. Supply accurate and truthful information. Many people with good intentions mistakenly repeat false statements. Be sure to check all of the facts before publishing. Use authoritative sources with up-to-date information.

6. Check spelling and grammar. An article may contain accurate facts but readers will remain skeptical if it lacks proper spelling and grammar. Blogs posts tend to be a little more forgiving than articles but always proof, and re-proof, before publishing. There are many great resources on the web, Grammar Girl is a personal favorite.

7. Make it scannable. Use numbered lists, sub-heads, images. Anything that gets your point across quickly and makes it easy to digest.

8. Organize the content in a logical manner. Group related paragraphs or images together. Organization, clarity and credibility help websites gain quality inbound links. This is a vital part of SEO for small business owners.

9. Include a call to action. Conversion improves when you tell the reader what to do next. You might end by encouraging people to change their behavior, buy a product or vote for a politician. Content should always support the call to action.

10. Broadcast your content. While this isn’t a rule for creating it, your inbound marketing campaigns have no legs if people can’t find you. Once you’ve created new content, be sure to spread it to social media connections.

While creating quality resources take time, these simple rules can help your content perform. It’s surprising how few websites do them and this can be a competitive edge.