You may well have heard the phrase “content is king” floating around for years now. For SEO this is still true, although Google is always becoming smarter and figuring out that content for the sake of content adds very little value. In fact, you might notice if you’re keeping track that Google is becoming more and more human-like with its level of sophistication for scanning and ranking websites.
Why? Quite simply, human experience is what Google wants to prioritise. The ranking algorithm is trying to understand what it’s like for a person searching for a term. What do they want to find? How will a brand successfully connect with its potential customers? Once you understand what your customers need, you can crack a common mystery facing many business owners and website creators – how exactly should we be using this famous content?
Well, starting by understanding customers will hopefully lead to a positive experience for them. Once we know what they want, we can work out how to offer it. You can be pretty confident that when a user thinks your website is great, they’re going to interact with it completely differently and Google’s going to pick up on this. The result: higher rankings, a wider audience, and a virtuous circle! It’s just a case of getting there.
What do we need to do?
Your potential customers are all ultimately going to follow the same basic journey, beginning with absolutely no knowledge of your brand and ending with a successful purchase (and hopefully a great relationship you can build on). There are four key stages here, and it’s helpful to think about them all when formulating your content:
1) Awareness – getting a basic understanding of a product or service
2) Interest – starting to compare and study the available options
3) Desire – getting ready to commit and make a decision
4) Action – finding the best place to make a final selection
Certain keywords will be more common at different stages of this funnel, so it’s important to think rationally about the page you want to add content to. Once you’ve established which stage you’re planning to intercept your customers at, you can get on with the process of writing and optimising your content.
How do you plan your content?
· Choose the right kind of keywords
Your search terms that you optimise your writing for may contain keywords like “buy”, “for sale”, “comparison” or “reviews” depending on the phase your customer is at with their journey, as explained above. These allow you to target specific types of visitors and give them the information they need to come to the right decision.
· Match your content to your focus
Once you’ve established your target search terms you’re able to check the focus of your writing corresponds to the market you’re chasing. It’s quite likely you might have a disproportionate amount of information that’s relevant to people at the beginning of the process, for example, but not enough persuasive, detailed content for those further along the chain. Once you’ve figured out what these gaps are you can work on filling them, so a visitor doesn’t need to leave your website to get from the beginning to the end of the process.
· Optimise your content
Once you’ve successfully managed your content to fit your customers’ needs and figured out your ideal keywords, it’s time to ensure you’ve actually included them all in the right places before launching. If you’re running a full SEO campaign this all needs to be as consistent as possible.
· Monitor your progress with key performance indicators
If you’ve established your objectives in terms of sales, sign-ups or another concrete figure early on in the process, this should be straightforward enough. Sometimes it can be more difficult to establish useful data to try and interpret when you’re judging the success of written content, but it’s important to somehow build this into your writing whenever possible, otherwise it becomes impossible to tell how well you’re doing.
The main point here is that content really needs to be engaging on a critical level. It’s no longer enough to pad out your website with unnecessary text as a way of telling Google you’ve got more to offer than an empty page. Ultimately you need to persuade your visitors that you’re worth investing in, whatever your business, so trying to fool Google or take shortcuts isn’t going to pay off, especially as algorithm updates become more and more sophisticated. If you decide to take control of your content writing and focus on high quality, relevant information, you can expect much better results in the long term.
For more information about our SEO packages that include advice and writing services to help you develop your website content, please take a look at ourpackages and services or get in touch with us here.
Content marketing is a vital factor in the success of any business website. If you’re not thinking about it, the chances are you’re well behind where you could be. You might think of blogging when we mention content marketing, but it’s much more than that!
Content marketing basically means communicating valuable information to your audience that isn’t really focused on selling your product or service, but empowers users and gives them something they value. It can be thought of as indirect marketing, since the idea is that once your readers start to see you as a valuable source of information, they’ll be more likely to remain loyal and buy from you later.
With all aspects of your online presence, content marketing is integral. As we say all the time to our clients, having great content is of course one of the best things you can do for SEO purposes. To help your website rank higher on search engines organically, you really want users to find engaging content that makes them stay on your site for longer and feel like they found what they were looking for, and search engines notice this behaviour. If you think about it, the strategy you follow with the written content you use to promote your website should be consistent across social media, pay-per-click campaigns, emails, blogs, videos, PR and more… so content marketing really is key.
Your objective with content marketing is essentially to build a high quality relationship with your potential customers over time, so you can guide people towards those eventual purchase decisions without the need for hard selling techniques. Be careful though, as it’s not all about manipulating your readers! Considering the wealth of information available online, you need to stand out as a voice of authority in your industry and deliver high quality resources to help empower your customers and bring them back to you next time they need an expert.
Ultimately when planning our content, we need to find a balance between two main factors: what do we need, and what does our audience need?
Starting with our audience, we need to make sure we know exactly who they are. If we have a target market for our business (which we probably should have established by now!), what do they want to find when they visit our website? Do you know what they already think of your brand or your products? Does the size of your potential market warrant spending money on paid advertising, or getting professional help with SEO, social media and more? If you can answer these questions, you have a good starting point.
We also need to balance this with what we want to eventually get back from our audience. What’s the main objective of your content marketing strategy? Are you building awareness of your brand, promoting a new service, converting leads from a campaign, or something else? Thinking about how your business model works, how can you make sure the information you offer people encourages them to convert?
Once you’ve worked on formulating an initial strategy, getting some quality content written should be straightforward, especially when you’re writing as an expert in your own field. Next it’s vital to think about how you’re going to share and promote your content to reach its intended audience. Beyond SEO and paid advertising, harnessing the power of social media is important as it’s perfectly suited to sharing content and increasing your reach naturally. If you can offer your followers (and the rest of the online community) something of value, pushing it on the right channels combined with real social engagement should be enough to start growing your audience.
For more help with content marketing, from your initial strategy to maximising your potential reach, we recommend you simply get in touch with our team at 123 Ranking. As experienced SEO experts we’ve learned to focus on the bigger picture, helping our clients perfect every aspect of their online presence and put themselves in the best possible position to grow their businesses. If you want to be in that same position, simply ask us here about how we can help you get there.
Are your blog posts a bit flat, are they attracting the right attention, if any? If you’re struggling to attract a stream of steady readers to your blog, the good news is you’re not on your own, many struggle with this problem. The good news is that there are many smart ways to create content that your readers will love and want to share.
First of all let’s start off with explaining what shareable content is. Shareable content is content that is so engaging and interesting that it makes readers share it with their family and friends – an audience that you wouldn’t normally reach. The more people who share your content, the more people see it and the more Google takes notice, creating more opportunities to share. If you want to create shareable content, read on.
Craft a Captivating Title
The title is the first thing your audience see, so it’s important that when you’re developing content you craft a title that grabs the attention of your audience and encourages them to read on and find out more. Everyone loves a list so numeric lists like ‘5 Top Tips’ and teases like ‘The Secret to’ are fail-proof ways to grab your audience’s attention. Although it’s good to be engaging make sure your title reflects the subject matter of your article, if the topic isn’t immediately apparent readers are less likely to read and share the content.
Original is Best
When it comes to content, original is always best – plagiarism is not good and will not encourage shares. Creating bespoke content is the key to attracting and keeping an audience, be a thought-leader not a follower. Of course, it’s okay to link to other sites, reference quotes, but whatever you do, don’t copy the content.
A Picture Speaks a Thousand Word
You’ve all heard that saying, right? Using images in content and social interactions increases engagement. Visuals speak louder than words and they stand out, therefore it makes sense to use visual aids such as images, videos and infographics in your content to make it more shareable.
Narrow Down Your Audience
Okay, it sounds wrong narrowing down your audience because you’ll be targeting less people, but it does make sense. Shareable a content communicates and addresses a certain audience, sometimes a very specific audience. By making your content very specific, you may be alienating a broader audience, however, if your content is directed at a certain audience, you’ll attract that audience’s attention and retain it.
Everyone nowadays is pushed for time, particularly in business. We can no longer sit down for half an hour in the morning and read a whole host of long articles. Your content needs to be reader friendly, and able to be digested in a single session. As we said in our first point tip lists are great, think about crafting bulleted lists, step by step guides and content that is broken down by sub-headings. Concise content is more effective and shareable than long-winded articles.
Creating consistent shareable content to share via your social media channels will not only make you a thought-leader and an expert within your industry, it’ll also provide you with a wealth of SEO benefits. If you’re interested in learning more about content creation and how our blog content and management services can help you, click here.
As of last year, 73% of adults in the UK accessed the internet every day, up a huge 16 million from 2006. These figures show that in a matter of years, the Internet has become a very powerful platform that has changed the way we communicate, and more importantly the way we do business – since 2008 there has been over a 20% increase in the number of adults purchasing goods and services from the Internet.
Because of the internet, consumers have more information than ever in the palm of their hand, at the click of a button internet can search for a company, product or review and find all the information they need. When an internet user clicks onto your website, we have less than ten seconds to attract their interest before they go to another site. So how do we connect with our audience, let alone attract potential sales?
Here are 5 top tips for connecting with your audience on the Internet:
Okay, so this one is simple, content marketing isn’t just about the letters and words or videos and pictures, it’s about being a consistent presence in the lives of your audience. Be creative, be controversial, and use your skills and knowledge to get people talking about your brand.
Social media is a real buzz word at the moment, and there’s reason for that, it’s important! Social media is not only an excellent way to improve SEO efforts, but it is also a terrific way to showcase your latest achievements and connect with your audience.
Social Media is the best way to interact with your audience and more importantly, see what they’re talking about. Consumers are bombarded by brand’s social media everyday, so instead of product pushing and talking at them, talk to your customers on a personal level. Social media is about making your fan base feel part of your larger community, so start conversations with your audience and create interaction.
You know it’s important, but do you do it? Personalisation is about creating a unique experience for every customer, true personalisation will attract customers and keep them coming back. Take Amazon for example, when you enter your Amazon account for example, you’re greeted with a “recommended for you” section, which is compiled based on your previous purchases and searches, you also have the option to view what others bought or viewed before buying those products. Past purchases and preferences, demographics and real-time behaviours enable your marketing to be relevant and engaging. Target your customers with the right content, at the right time and for the right reason. That’s personalisation.
Another way is to highlight your Unique Selling Point, a USP is what makes your business stand out from the crowd and tells your customers what is unique about you. Whatever your business might be, it is essential to highlight your attributes, to stay one step ahead of the competition. You need to understand what drives your customers shopping habits, look beyond traditional customer demographics, you need to understand your customers motives then ask yourself, “how can I highlight my businesses unique qualities and would I buy this?”
With so many people browsing on mobiles and iPads having a fully responsive website design is a must. Mobiles are the device of choice for people today, mobile phone internet access has increased from 24% in 2010 to 53% in 2013, so it’s important to remember mobile. People who are searching via mobile phone are generally short for time, they don’t have time to access the information via desktop and need to find out the information there and then. If a site takes too long to load, or they need to resize the page or text there going to leave your site and move onto a competitor. Having a mobile friendly site will not only increase traffic but it will help your SEO efforts as it improves rankings on mobile friendly search engines such as Google.
Technology is ever advancing, so it’s essential that businesses big and small stay ahead of the curve.
We continually advise our clients to set up a blog and the responses are always the same, “But what do we write about?” Well, it can appear to be a “difficult” thing to do – until you start! I’ve read numerous articles and posts, mainly from the U.S., on how and where to start. I have to admit, some were great and others, a bit “over the top”. In this article, my aim is to help simplify things and get you started. I’m not an experienced writer, but I do know that blogging can be a critical tool. Continue Reading