Did you know the average American spends 24 hours online each week? That’s a lot of time spent reading, watching, and skimming information, and a content marketer’s goal is to get a piece of that pie.
Fortunately, our pros are here to help with the basics you need to know and some content marketing tips.
What is Content Marketing?
If you’re new to content marketing, the idea is to produce and distribute content consumers actually want, rather than sales pitches. It’s all about earning your customers’ trust and letting them recognize you as an expert. When they have a want or need for your services, they’ll be quick to call that expert.
Content marketing is also a vital tool for search engine optimization (SEO). When your site is getting traffic and readers are staying on your site, it tells search engines that you have valuable information to offer. That means they’ll put you higher in rankings for relevant keywords.
Here’s the catch, though: quality is key in content marketing. With the masses of information at your consumers’ fingertips, they’re quick to scroll past poorly written or unhelpful content. To boost your writing quality, try on these content marketing tips for size.
Content Marketing Tips for Better Writing
Ready for a crash course to help you hit your traffic targets? Our experts have a few tips:
1. Start with Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization isn’t just about boosting your overall traffic. To be successful, you need to focus on select keywords so you’re topping the rankings for the right search terms.
Finding out what SEO keywords are weakest on your site should be your first step when you create content. Your blog topics should focus on the keywords that need the most help.
2. Avoid Black Hat Practices
Speaking of SEO, let’s talk about SEO ethics. Black hat SEO practices are tactics used to make your content seem more relevant to a search term than it is, “sneaking” your way up in a search engine’s rankings.
One of the most common examples is keyword stuffing: loading popular keywords into your article even though you don’t have any actual information about them. The goal of this practice is to get traffic because readers click on your page without realizing that it isn’t what they’re looking for.
Not only are black hat SEO practices unethical, but search engines have become wise to them, so now they actually hurt your rankings. Steer clear.
3. Use Easily Digestible Headings
As much as you want to think readers will be hanging on your every word and cherishing your writing skills, the fact is that most just want to skim. Notice how this article is divided into easily found list items? That’s because we want those busy marketers to get the information they want quickly.
If a reader comes to your page and sees a solid block of text, they’re likely to leave to find a more skim-friendly option. This increases your bounce rate, hurting your SEO rankings instead of helping them.
4. Be Concise
Many beginner content marketers see statistics about the best length for blog posts being 2,000+ words. They then take 500 words worth of useful content and add fluff on top of fluff until they hit their magic word count.
In reality, no one will sift through the 1500 useless words to find the 500 words they want. It’s better to let your article be as long or short as it needs to be based on how much information you can provide rather than stressing about word counts.
5. Learn Who Your Audience Is and What They Want to Know
In content marketing, half the battle is figuring out what topics to write about. Don’t ask yourself, “What can I write that will convince people to buy my product?”
The whole idea of content marketing is to focus on educating your consumers, not selling to them. The better strategy is to invest in learning about your target audience. With an understanding of who they are, ask yourself instead, “What do my consumers want to know?”
6. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Great Graphics
The images and graphics you use play a strong role in your content’s success for several reasons.
First, attractive images will catch your audience’s eye, making them more likely to want to find out more.
Second, infographics in particular can be a fantastic way to provide data. There are some forms of information that are just easier to understand in the form of a chart or diagram.
Third, images are key to making your content more shareable on social media. Articles with pictures tend to get more interaction on various social media platforms. Plus, on Instagram and Pinterest, content can’t be shared at all without an image.
Finally, images break up large, scary blocks of text, making readers more likely to follow through and read your content.
7. Give Thought to Your Linking Structure
The number and quality of the links in your article are key to making your content work for SEO. Here are a few tips:
- Gone are the days of “the more links, the better.” Having too many links makes search engines view your page as a spam risk, so aim for no more than one link every 90-100 words.
- To give your keywords of focus an added boost, try to build your links around these keywords.
- Make the words in your links descriptive, so readers actually know what information they’ll see if they follow the link. For instance, link “tips for SEO” rather than “tips.”
- Backlinks from other sites will boost your SEO rankings. To build a rapport with other sites and make them more likely to give you those great backlinks, be sure to link to other websites in your own content. Just steer clear of competitors’ sites.
Taking Advantage of Content Marketing
When it’s done well, content marketing is an invaluable tool for building your web presence and gaining customers. But those first four words, “when it’s done well,” can’t be underestimated.
Your consumers have nearly unlimited information available, so their tolerance for poor quality content is low. With the content marketing tips above, you can take advantage of all the benefits content marketing has to offer. For more help, find out about our professional blog writing services.