Creating quality content, which is regularly published, is now more important than ever following Google's latest updates. Not only it will have a positive effect on your rankings, but it will also increase your business' visibility, promote trust within your target markets and allow your company to develop a real personality, which is key to branding. Ultimately, the goal is for your content to boost visits to your site, which should in turn increase enquiries and conversions. We've compiled a short list of top tips to get you started:
1. Get a personality
When writing content it is good to start with these two question, as it will help to create a consistent content strategy:
- How do we want to be perceived by our audiences?
- What would you like your organisation or brand to be recognised for? Do you wish your content to be informative, practical or funny? Your content must have a consistent tone to develop a personality. For example, have a look at the Innocent Drinks blog, they have chosen the humoristic angle for their content, which is what the brand is famous for now: http://www.innocentdrinks.co.uk/blog
2. Write for the longer-term whenever possible
Try to create content which will last and not become "out of date" quickly. With this in mind try and avoid mentioning dates. However, it is fine to mention seasonal terms such as "Christmas", "Mother's Day" or "Q4" for instance, as these will push your content piece into a cycle. Providing your article or blog was popular, it will be current every year at the time mentioned and could rank again during these periods.
3. What to write about?
If you suffer from the dreaded writers block, you can use Google Trends (http://www.google.co.uk/trends/) and look at top keywords used on-line in your specific industry. Skip Hot Searches and click on the Explore In Depth button. Type in keywords related to your products/ services to find out the most popular searches in your sector. This can highlight a current hot topic, which means that your content will be in line with what people are searching for right now. This is a great way to create a popular blog post or news article.
4. Content ideas help
Another great tool to write content in tune with popular topics is Google's predictive queries. Just type in keywords important to your business into Google search and see what else comes up while you type under the search box (before you hit enter or search). If people in your sector or potential customers are asking specific questions, why not answer them? This will create a popular content piece, which will give value to your audience and increase their trust in your brand.
5. Formats that work
Some formats work better than others and we've found that the following tend to be successful:
- Lists: people love list in the form of 'top tips', 'most popular' or simply useful ideas.
- Compendiums: curate the best content that you find on-line for your audience (organised by topics) and put it together to help with any problems they need to solve.
- Videos: this is one of the most powerful formats on-line and studies have shown that people are more likely to view content on video than other formats. It doesn't need to cost the earth either. Filming a presentation in the office by one of your experts on a topic that is important to your customers can produce great results and is highly sharable.
6. Outreach it!
Once you have created a piece that you're happy with, make sure that a maximum number of customers and stakeholders see it.
- Post it on all your social platforms- several times!
- Submit it to a PR distribution platform (but turn it into a press release format suitable for this type of distribution first)
- Find relevant blogs (with a good authority) to see if they would be interested in publishing it
- Consider using a content promotion platform such as Outbrain to amplify your content marketing efforts
- And last but not least: host your blog on a sub-domain of your site. This will get around the Google limit of only displaying two pages from a single domain on each result page.
Drawing up a content strategy is often neglected by many businesses, which is most of the time due to lack of available time or staff. However, if you spread the load between a couple of people and devise a monthly schedule in the form of a planner, it is feasible to implement. The rewards can be huge and digital content can be easily tracked so you will instantly see how it performs for your company.