Do More With Your Content Than Just SEO
If you handle the marketing for a small business (or a large company, for that matter), you probably develop blog content with the purpose of enhancing your SEO. There is no harm in that, and in fact, developing content should have a positive impact on your search rankings.
However, it is important to remember that your content ultimately means nothing if it isn’t valuable to the people that land on your page. The goal of getting traffic is yes, to get conversions and make the sale or sign-up that you are hoping for, but this can be dramatically enhanced if you are offering visitors the opportunity to gain something by visiting your site and viewing your content. You need to start thinking about how you can develop content that goes beyond your own SEO interest; here are some tips:
1. Publish Killer Content that Demands Backlinks
Link building is super important to both SEO and content marketers, of course, to boost your own search rankings you want to be able to link out to other sites. Yet, one of the keys to success with content development is actually getting people linking back to the content that YOU develop. How do you make this happen? There is really only one good answer—you have to publish killer content. When you post valuable, accurate, and useful content that isn’t just bogged down with keywords, people will want to use it in their own writing. For some companies, these will mean hiring a more experienced or more expensive SEO agency that offers content production services or writers, but it will be worth it in the end.
2. Teach Something New
The people who care most about your business are certainly going to care about what they get out of viewing your content. List posts are often a great way to capture the attention of your audience that just wants to get a general sense of a topic (like this post)! While really popular and an effective way to break down information, there are many other creative ways to reach your audiences, such as developing infographics, unique video content, or ebooks. Not only will developing these help to improve your SEO, but it will also give visitors (new and returning) to your site something they can learn from you. When you develop content like this, you are likely to be in a position where people will come back (or link-back) to your content more frequently.
3. Convert Don’t Advertise
Publishing new and updated content that captures the attention of your readers is critical, and of course, the goal is to get them excited about your brand. However, building excitement and brand-reputation are not the same as advertising. All too often we see people trying to turn every blog post or video into a sales-pitch. Not only is this distasteful, but there is nothing that makes people “click away” faster than getting sold to as they are trying to learn something or read on the topic.
If your posts are ranking high, there is a really good chance that someone searched the topic you wrote about and landed on your page, which means they are hoping to learn something! Rather than trying to “sell,” try to “convert.” Provide people with such valuable information that they can’t help but look around your site and learn more about what your company offers.
4. Be Authoritative
Content should be authoritative over everything else (SEO included). People want to know you are knowledgeable about the topic you are writing on (which backlinks to “teaching something new”), but you also want to be original and take the time to actually craft content which is well-written and looks polished. By boosting your online authority, you are improving how you look to search engines, but you are also shaping the way that readers are seeing the content you write as well.
5. Provide Answers
One aspect of content development that is under-appreciated is the ability to provide answers. How often do you find yourself searching for the answer to something? One of the most popular ways for people to use a search engine is to find answers to the questions they have! If the content you develop, in any form, solves problems that people are facing or answers the questions they are having, then your value level instantly increases.
6. “Let it Marinate” and Make People Think
I once had a professor who would throw out thought-provoking content to the room, and then would just tell us to “let it marinate.” This often happened right before a weekend, and I could bet that most of us did ponder his comments before we returned back to class. Online content can often be a great place to put ideas out that make people think a bit more than they would have about a given topic. You can grab people with an anecdotal introduction, leave your readers with questions, or tell a story about the topic that leaves people wondering. When people have to think or return to the thought long after they have read your piece, then you know you have developed a successful strategy for gaining repeat readers.
7. Write Regularly
Many people start a platform for developing content, like a blog, and abandon it after a couple of weeks or months. This is definitely not good practice for SEO, but it also isn’t great for your brand’s image. It has been said that updating your blog twice a week (at a minimum), is best practice. Moreover, you are likely to have returning visitors if people know they can expect new content every time they visit your site. This makes for great SEO but all great brand appearance and overall impression from viewers.
It is okay to prioritize SEO efforts, but not in compromising the kind of content you are developing, especially in terms of quality. You want to develop content that is so killer that people want to link back to you. You want to teach something new, focus on conversions (over-focusing on sounding like a sales pitch), and you definitely want to be authoritative. The best kind of content often provides answers or invites thought-provoking questions. So as long as you make it your focus to update regularly, you will be doing much more with your content than SEO and will be seeing the results you need.
What else do you think we get out of content development (besides SEO)? Let us know in the comments section below!