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.
Twitter is one of the most effective social media tools for small businesses. With a Twitter account, you can blast out 140 characters to millions of other users around the world, it’s no wonder it’s one of the most popular tools for business marketing.
However, one of the most challenging aspects of using Twitter is catching your audiences attention in just 140 characters, especially if you want to include a link in your Tweet. This is where the Twitter Card comes in.
What is a Twitter Card?
A Twitter card lets you take your tweets beyond just basic text that gets lost on the newsfeed – they enable your business to create a media-rich experience for website visitors that tweet your content. Twitter cards allow people to view videos, pictures, and product information, without leaving the twitter feed. Instead of clicking a link, all of the information and content is displayed in the tweet. Not only do they increase visual interest through the use of images, you can also include product info, videos, bylines and Twitter handles.
A Twitter card allows small businesses to set themselves apart from the rest of the small businesses on Twitter, increasing the likelihood that your customers will click on your tweets or profile and re-tweet your posts, resulting in an increased reach.
Whether you’re launching a competition, a new product or just want to drive more people to your site a Twitter Card is the perfect choice. Adding an engaging image to your tweets will not only make your tweet stand out but it will also drive traffic to your website.
A Twitter Card can be used for:
– Sharing blogs
– Showcasing a new product
– Promoting a competition
– Generating leads
– Sharing a video
There are eight different types of Twitter card, but as a small business looking to use Twitter Cards to drive traffic to your website, you will only need to focus on two of the cards:
The Summary card
The Summary Card does exactly what you might expect, it summarises the linked content on to Twitter itself so users get more information before clicking through to the link. You know how Facebook lets you share a link with a short summary beside it the Summary Card is pretty much the same. It allows you to share the summary, but there is a difference, a very important difference, this feature enables users to customise the content description that appears in the summary before it’s posted, unlike Facebook which just takes the first few sentences of the blog.
If you love the idea of including a Summary Card on your Twitter feed, but you want to make more of an impact and grab the attention of your followers, then a large photo might be the best option. The Summary Card with large image works exactly the same way as the summary card, however yo have the option to insert a larger image – this is a brilliant way to grab attention.
There is less room for an in-depth summary if you choose this card over the regular summary card, but if the image you’re sharing is engaging or if it’s part of an infographic, it’s a fantastic marketing tool.
How will a Twitter Card benefit my business?
Twitter cards allow you to publish more information than basic tweets allow, so they’re more powerful for getting your message across to your audience and increasing visibility. If you’re a small business Twitter Cards make for a clearer and more appealing call to action. A customised card, with branding and on-point messaging will allow users to get more information that a regular 140 character Tweet would. Twitter cards are also great for including videos, images, summaries, bylines or Twitter handles, small businesses will benefit by being able to include more information into a single tweet. It’s marketing tool that small businesses can’t afford to ignore.
If you think Twitter Cards would improve your Twitter presence and would like to get started, contact one of the team at 123Ranking. Our team of experts can talk you through our set up and management fees.
If you’re interested in using Twitter Cards but want to know more about them make sure you regularly check our blogs. Next time we’ll be looking at the top 10 ways to use Twitter Cards to promote your business.
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.
First and foremost, what is guest blogging? Well, the words are quite self-explanatory really. It’s the process of getting posts from other bloggers to put on your website for free and in exchange they get backlinks to increase their website’s search ranking.
This process has been around quite some time and has been practiced by site owners as one of their SEO strategies. When you come to think of it, the process does make sense. The more links you have on your blog from other websites, the greater chance you have at being found and indexed by Google and other search engines.
But recently, there has been buzz going on around the Internet that guest blogging as a means to increase search engine ranking has become ineffective. Google’s head of Webspam team – Matt Cutts wrote on his blog:
“..if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop.”
The reason is, because over time, the articles and blog posts generated through guest blogging has mainly become spammy in nature. And by spammy we mean content that is basically junk – only created for the reason of “tricking” the search engines to think that there is content here and thus increase the value of the links to their website. While that may be an easy way to gain higher rankings, it is in clear violation of Google’s quality guidelines. The giant search engine is trying to keep the Internet clutter-free and because of that goal in mind, they advise us to steer away from such practices.
So, that begs the question – is guest blogging for SEO still considered to be an effective tool? Even though Google’s engineer said that it’s basically ‘dying’?
Well, while bad light has been shed into guest blogging, it isn’t necessarily 100% evil. Matt did say that guest blogging still has its strengths when the articles and blog posts that are created are of great quality. And by this it means articles that are worth reading and in fact actually hold some interesting and informative stuff.
So, how do you keep guest blogging from pulling your site down? Here are a few tips:
- Be cautious in choosing and accepting guest posts from other people.
Make sure that you or someone of authority can vouch for this blogger’s identity. This ensures that your site won’t be latched on to spammy sites that offer up products or services that are in no way related to what you offer.
- Keep the content unique and fresh, and something that your readers would actually want to read.
If you own a website that sells soap, then refrain from accepting guest blog posts that talk about something else that is totally irrelevant (i.e. tractors or dog food)
- Ensure that the content is original.
In conclusion, guest blogging for SEO can only be effective when done right. Stay away from spammy offers and keep in mind that the way to the top takes some hard work as well.