Beyond Keywords – 10 Tips For Content Marketing – Yes, keywords still play a big part, but high quality content that attracts new customers and is SEO-friendly is the way to go. Increase your Google Footprint. Satisfy potential customers as well as search engines.
Beyond Keywords – 10 Tips For Content Marketing
Often wrongly attributed to Google, back in 1996, Bill Gates at Microsoft said “Content is King”. And he was right. Now, in 2018, the search engines have evolved to look for quality content that answers a user query. Quality content is so central to content marketing, it has created a sub-industry referred to as “SEO Copywriting”. Long gone are the days of web pages chock-full of keywords and little else of value.
Simply put, relying on robust keyword research and little else results in dry content that may appeal more to search bots than your target audience.
10 Tips For Content Marketing – Web It 101
Now we know the title of this post is “Beyond Keywords – 10 Tips For Content Marketing”, but we put this here because its important to look beyond the keyword data. Sure, the Google Keyword Planner tell you valuable, authoritative information in terms of search volume as well as the competition level, but it doesn’t tell you what content is actually engaging to users.
This is why SEO Copywriters take the time to step back and see “the big picture”. It’s important that your audience reads the entire post for instance. Or respond positively to a “call to action”.
In other words, what are you doing beyond keyword research to help drive conversions?
Organization – Outlines
All to often, business owners suddenly have a new content idea pop into their head, log on to the back end of their website and start typing away. This “stream of consciousness” type of writing generally does not convert all too well. There is a fine line between having a “conversational tone” and writing whatever pops into your head.
What works far better is to create an outline of the post, including the title, URL, headings and subheadings that will keep it cohesive and keep the reader engaged. you may even consider what other content on your site you should be linking to.
Study after study shows people respond better to text when there are pictures. We have been trained that way since reading Dick and Jane in grade school. It also factors into SEO, so it’s a win-win.
Your “feature image” as well as all other images on the page, should not only have the title of the post in the image, you must also
- rename the image file from 20180822132.jpg to beyondkeywords.jpg
- Place variations of the keyword in the “title” “alt text”, “description” and if needed, the “caption”
Google indexes those fields and including SEO in the images helps with overall SEO on the website.
One component of Content Marketing and Content Writing that is rarely talked about is branding. This intersection between SEO and a larger marketing strategy can play a bigger role in making a small business successful.
It can be as simple as putting your logo into all the images on your site, or as complicated as adopting the tone of your message.
Before you hire a Content Marketing Firm, talk to them about the vocabulary and tone of your messaging. A good copywriter can “pick up” and capture both the language and tone to match your site as well as other marketing materials you may be using.
But be careful with the technical details. Always be aware that you also need to write for your audience, not someone intimate with your business type.
SEO is often viewed as a formula. Do this, add that, and don’t forget to….But professional SEO Copywriting can help make fleeting website visitors into paying customers.
It’s important to understand that while there are marketing and SEO strategies that can and will drive visitor traffic to a web page, what matters is what they do when they get there.
That’s where authenticity comes into play.
It’s a cynical world. Data stealing, fake news, and shady marketing tactics that don’t work anymore litter the landscape.
An authentic post that makes your message crystal clear, details the services you provide, and explains how you can help potential customers, truly gives you an advantage over your competitors.
Long-Form Vs Micro Posting
There has been quite a bit of research on how word count on a content marketing post factors into SEO and it it’s subsequent ranking in the search returns. Our take is, however many words to make your point and get your message across, is what you run with. If you are all done and it’s 400 words, fine. If its 2200 words, fine.
Never write filler to get to a “magic number” of words.
That being said, most studies indicated that Google treats “long-form” posts of 2000 words or more better in the search return listings. But maybe you just can’t get that technical about your cake sale at your bakery this week. In cases like this, micro-posts are fine. Just remember to utilize bullet points, photos, block quotes and more to make it visually appealing.
For most businesses we recommend a mix of approaches. Some posts at 400-600 words, some in the 1200-1500 range and a few in the 2000 plus range and then track your results. (More on that later)
Get to Know Your Audience
The #1 Rule for Effective Content Marketing – Don’t write what you think your target audience wants to read. But rather listen to what they want to know. Effective Content Marketing utilizes social media. What kind of questions or concerns are popping up in the comments? What are their pain points?
If you are struggling to think up fresh, engaging content – – pay attention to what your customers and potential customers are telling you.
Using language they understand, address the pain points, and convince them to fill out a contact form, click on an email or pick up the phone.
Here is the common content marketing mistake most business owners make;
They try it themselves or hire a firm, but give it 2-3 months and then call it quits.
Trying it yourself quite literally means catching up on the last 5 or so years of SEO, Photoshop, URL shorteners, tracking, data gathering techniques, and more, so most businesses either hire someone in house or engage an outside marketing firm. Now there is one difficulty you may run across if you hire one of your employees to run your website, content marketing and social media. You really can’t fire them. We are not joking. We talked to many businesses whose websites, indexed URL’s (content), Facebook, Twitter, and more all disappeared when the person who ran it all gets axed at small business.
Back to Freshness. What Content Marketing does do — it keeps your website active, fresh and out in front of Google. In other words, you actually give Google a reason to drop by every week and re-index your site. and that is a very good thing.
But you should take freshness to mean just a bit more than that.
Wander through any digital marketing firm’s website and you will likely see the same basic info on their homepage. “Why You Need SEO”, Why You should Hire an SEO Expert” and the like. Upon closer inspection many of them say the exact same things and the exact same topics.
Ditto in your industry.
You know your local competitors. So if you Google your type of business somewhere else in some other state, you’ll basically see the same thing.
What takes you to the top is to be fresh. That is instead of re-working the same content, just take it to the next level. Do it Different.
Do it Better.
Data Is Everything
Data is everything. Just ask Mark Zuckerberg (or James Delos).
Wouldn’t you like to know how many people clicked on your Facebook post from a source other than Facebook? Would it be nice if you knew the search term a potential customer used on Google to find your content (what was in the search box when they clicked on your URL)? Or how many were using the Facebook mobile app vs a pad or laptop? Or how many unique views (from a 1st time IP) on each page of your site? And Much Much More….
These questions and more can be answered, because effective content marketing is not throwing stuff against the wall randomly. You do A, You do B, You may even do C, then you read the data to see what works and what doesn’t.
Digital marketing firms have a vast array of tools to see what is working well and why. This data will help dictate the kind of content they can and should create for their client.
Create High Quality Content
Above all, take the extra time to create high quality content. Do it on a regular basis. Or engage a digital marketing firm that know SEO Copywriting and plays by Google SEO Best Practices.
In this competitive marketing landscape, businesses make substantial investments in building content marketing programs.
Content marketing has been proven to deliver resounding success.
As one of the most effective methods of growing audience engagement, developing your digital presence, and driving sales, content marketing is a mission-critical growth method for most every type of business.
You will be rewarded.
You will grow your business’s digital footprint.
Content Marketing has two primary channels, Google Search Engine Return Pages (SERP) and Social Media. Any click on either should lead directly to your website, increasing traffic and increasing conversions.
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