I'm sure you've all heard the phrase "Content is King". Let us break this down for you.
Why is content so important to a business’s success? Well, when you look at the numbers, it shows content marketing costs 62% less and generates three times the volume of leads as traditional marketing.
So not only are you saving money, but you’re getting a higher ROI as well.
Ignoring your content strategy is the worst thing you could do for your brand.
By adding the right components to your content marketing, you can grow your business’s recognition, authority, and ultimately, your revenue.
Businesses that are using content the right way are seeing 6x higher conversion rates. To offer some perspective – content marketing has an average 2.9% conversion rate compared to 0.5% for those not implementing a content strategy.
Wondering how you can improve your content strategy and conversions?
Here are 11 things you should be doing today.
1. Creating 10x content
You hear it all the time – creating amazing content is key to driving leads and conversions. But what exactly does that mean?
According to Rand Fishkin from Moz, it’s all about creating what he dubbed 10x content. In a nutshell, this means creating content that’s 10 times better than anything out there on the subject you’re writing.
How exactly do you make your content better?
Typically, when you research a topic to find an answer or solution to a problem, you come across content that’s regurgitated. They’re short in length and cover the exact same things everyone else does.
In other words, you read one, you read them all.
You don’t want your content to be like this. So what can you do?
To prevent falling into the web of regurgitated content, you need to do careful research. See what’s written on the web on the topic you’re covering. What do they say and, more importantly, what don’t they say?
Taking your content a step further to provide additional content no one’s delivering is key. With proper research, you can beef up your content so that it's filled with actionable advice not found anywhere else.
This means your content will come out 3x or even 4x as long as the skimpy 500-word pieces scattered throughout the blogosphere.
Here’s a quick checklist for 10x content (aim for at least 4):
At the end of the day, it’s about packing in as much value as you possibly can into a 1,700-2,500 word blog post.
2. Optimizing for search engines and users
Don’t make the same mistake countless other site owners make. If you’re only focusing on optimization techniques for search engines, then you're only doing half the job.
While SEO is critical to getting your content found, it won’t necessarily attract or retain your core audience. Why?
Because you may be focusing on keywords that are high-volume for general searchers, not your target customer. When you’re optimizing with your target audience in mind, you research keywords that match their intent.
This can be the difference between attracting leads that convert and attracting visitors that don’t.
Besides optimizing your site with the right keywords, you need content that also relates, engages, and adds value for its intended audience. You can do this with the 10x content we talked about.
3. Crafting headlines that get clicks
The title of your blog posts is the key to driving attention and interest. If it doesn’t deliver on these, then your content will more than likely get overlooked.
Think of social media – the posts that get clicked on have great headlines that get users to click on them. This goes for both video and text content.
To give a little perspective on the importance of your headline:
What this says is that only 20% of headlines are evoking emotion and getting those clicks. But how do you go about creating a great title for your blogs?
Here’s a quick checklist:
This isn’t an all-inclusive list but should give you a head start on improving your content headlines.
4. Including actionable tips
Each piece of content you create should do more than tell people the methods for overcoming their issue. It should go deeper by providing actionable tips.
This way, when people leave your blog post, they have an action plan.
For instance, if you’re sharing information about pest control – why not include actionable tips for preventing roaches and mice? This is valuable to the user even though at the moment they have an infestation and require your services.
At least this way, they know what to do to prevent it from happening again in the future. It’s a win-win.
Don’t be afraid of sharing your industry knowledge.
In most cases, customers would rather hire a professional to do it rather than doing it themselves. The purpose of sharing knowledge is to demonstrate your expertise and authority. In the end, you’ll gain the trust of your visitors and potentially earn their business.
5. Writing to answer questions
Here’s a new trick content marketers are using to help build visibility for their site. You know that answer box that shows up in Google when you type in a specific question?
This answer box is a gold mine for sites that can develop content in a question and answer format. This will allow search engine bots to crawl your page and pull answers to place in the search results.
If your content is chosen, it’ll help boost your visibility. You can easily jump up from the bottom of the first page to the top.
Remember, the answer box shows up ahead of the search results, which makes it even better than the #1 spot.
6. Getting your sources and reporting straight
Your credibility is on the line each time you write and publish a piece of content. If you’re delivering newsworthy content to your audience, then it’s imperative that you go the extra mile to confirm the reports.
You don’t want to base your blog post on one article you read. And if it’s the only source, then make it known where you got your information. Getting your information wrong can hurt your reputation.
The same goes with citing data. Be sure to link to the source – preferably a credible source. Wikipedia isn’t considered reputable because it’s a public resource that anyone can manipulate.
There have been several incidents where incorrect data and hoaxes were published on Wikipedia. As a rule of thumb, you should aim for sites that have .edu, .gov, or .org at the end.
But you can still find some .com sites that are reputable that you can cite information from. Just research your industry to find the best sources.
7. Engaging readers to comment and shareYou know you’ve done a great job on your content if you’re getting readers to share and comment on your post. The content you write should be thought-provoking to invite users to leave their own stories, tips, and ideas.
And if it’s that inspirational or information-packed, it’ll also get a number of shares. Just be sure to include social share buttons on each post to make this possible.
Some of the ways you can engage your readers is to:
The topic of your posts will also play a role here. If you’re writing on things that users find important, then they’re more likely to invest time in leaving a comment and sharing.
8. Delivering quality content consistently
It’s exciting when you finally publish a post that boosts traffic and engagement with your blog. But what happens after those users leave your site?
When they return, are they going to find similar content with high-quality, actionable, and engaging content? Consistency is key if you’re trying to position your brand as a leader in your industry.
Once visitors know they can count on fresh content being posted throughout the week, they’re bound to return to check in all on their own.
And this is how you can boost both your rate of new visitors and return visitors. You can put together a content schedule to ensure you have weeks, if not months, worth of content lined up.
9. Auditing your content regularly
It’s important to regularly audit your web content. This includes reviewing how much traffic it generates and whether it converts.
This will give you the data you need to identify which topics are the most popular and what your audience is looking for from your brand.
You can also learn why your content isn’t ranking high in the search engines. An audit will tell you which keywords are high-performing and which aren’t. And by high-performing, we mean getting ranked, as well as generating targeted traffic.
Again, it doesn’t make sense to have thousands of visitors from people who aren’t looking to buy your product or service.
10. Mixing up your content formats
Don’t get it twisted – content is more than just the written word. This can be easily translated into slideshares, videos, and podcasts.
Plus, there are other forms of written content besides blog posts. This includes e-books, whitepapers, and infographics.
Having different types of content formats will help keep things interesting for your audience. Plus, it’ll help attract folks who prefer one content format over the other.
Some people are more visual or don’t have time to sit down and read a long blog post. Another option is to recreate your content into different formats.
For example, you can repurpose your blog post into a video and then discuss the topic on a podcast. Pay attention to what your audience wants (what generates the most targeted traffic) so you don’t end up wasting your time and money on formats that are irrelevant.
11. Crafting content around the buyer’s journey
It’s great that you’ve done your research and have a list of topics surrounding the questions your core audience has. But this focuses on the first stage of the buyer’s journey – the awareness phase.
What do they do after learning all they can about a problem they’re having?
If you’re not generating content that helps them through to the other phases of the buyer’s journey, then your conversions will suffer. It’s essential to create content for all three stages – awareness, consideration, and decision.
You have the content for the first stage already. The second stage requires content that shows the customer solutions for resolving the problem. This can be how-to articles or videos and user guides.
Then in the final stage, you need to seal the deal. The content you can use to help buyer’s make a final decision includes testimonials, case studies, and whitepapers.
Developing a content strategy that grows your business
With these 11 tips, you can see how comprehensive a content marketing strategy must be. Trying to develop one on your own can be difficult and executing one can be time-consuming.
As a business owner or manager, you shouldn’t have to worry about all of this. In fact, businesses that outsource their content marketing have a higher chance of seeing an ROI.
This gives you the opportunity to focus on running your business, while at the same time generating new leads to your door.
If you’re looking to establish or improve your content marketing, then contact us today!