Content marketing is a great way to drive SEO visibility for your website. SEO is short for “Search Engine Optimization” – the art and science of obtaining visibility and rankings on Google and Bing’s search engine results pages (SERPs).
SEO is very tricky and very frustrating at times. It is tough to predict how well your SEO efforts will impact your rankings on search engines. However, for long-term, sustainable traffic, it is definitely worth investing time and effort into it.
Content is King
The phrase “content is king” has been circulating in the SEO industry for the best part of a decade. However, if you want sustainable SEO visibility, content marketing is the best way to go about it.
The word “content” gets thrown around regularly too, often without a definition. When people talk about “content” regarding digital marketing, they generally talk about blog posts, videos, podcasts and graphics.
Content marketing is all about obtaining visibility within the buyer’s journey. For example, if a parent is looking for a jungle gym to occupy their children during a pandemic lockdown, they will probably do some research before purchasing. They will likely look for reviews, videos and articles that explain the benefits, pros and cons, and what to look for when making a purchase.
To begin a content marketing plan or strategy, you must first identify your target audience and ideal customer persona. To do this, think about your typical customer and your most profitable customer. Can you define their age, income, job title, interests and hobbies? For an example of an ideal customer persona, please see this website.
Once you have your target audience nailed down, you need to do some spying or research on them. Found out where they hang out online. For example, are their relevant Facebook Groups or forums on Reddit? If so, take a look at those groups, see what the common discussions are about, and note which discussions get the most engagement. If your target market, for example, is small business owners, much of the engagement on Reddit’s small business forums is about social media marketing and advertising.
You can take this research a step further by heading over to the book department on Amazon. Search for your target audience, for example, “small business owners,” and also, search for the issues that you picked up on by checking out discussion groups – for example, “social media marketing for small business.” Take a look at which books are the best sellers and look at the reviews and feedback – typically, you’ll want to look at the reviews that give less than five stars. This analysis will give you an idea of the information that your target audience is consuming and looking for.
Finally, head over to explodingtopics.com and choose your niche or industry from the dropdown menu. Here you will find a list of topics that are trending and gaining interest in recent months.
Once you have put all this research together, you should be able to make a list of blog titles that will be of direct interest to your target audience. You can also use the titles to get ideas for videos and topics of discussion on podcasts.
You can hire writers, video editors and podcast creators on freelancing websites such as UpWork and Fiverr.com. You can also hire graphic designers. However, Canva.com is a great way to create infographics and other high-quality graphics for free.
Answer the Public
While it’s always a great idea to address your target audience’s issues to get them familiar with your brand, it’s also a great idea to target people and “keywords” or “search terms” of those actively looking to buy your product or service.
If, for example, your business is related to fitness, you can head over to answerthepublic.com and enter relevant words such as “fitness,” “wellbeing,” and “nutrition.” The website will then present you with a list of search terms, which are great for blog titles and videos.
You can also enter the same words into Ubersuggest.com’s search tool and look at the keyword suggestions. You can also get an idea about how competitive and difficult it is to rank for a keyword and how much it costs per click to use a Google Ad instead.
Blog Post Guidelines
It’s not possible to guarantee that a blog post will rank well on Google or Bing. However, there are several best practices you can adhere to improve your chances.
You will generally want a blog post to be around 1,000 to 1,500 words. You will want to use a number of subheadings and white space to make the post easy to scan-read. If possible, you should also include images, ideally relevant non-stock photos that you have taken yourself. Tables and infographics are also a brilliant way to summarise the post’s information in a visual format.
Carrying out unique research is also a great way to gain coverage and backlinks, which are crucial for SEO. This could be something quite in-depth, like a survey of 10,000 people, or it could be a consolidation of information – for example, you could detail the specifications and review summaries of all punchbags on Amazon.
If you have access to the code on your website, you will want the main heading to be a “H1” and the subheadings to be “H2s”. You can learn more about headings and HTML code for SEO in this video.
Usually, quality is much more important than quantity. Creating ten well-researched, highly relevant, and well-written blog posts will tend to get more traffic than 50 poor-quality posts.
YouTube is the Second Biggest Search Engine
YouTube is actually the second biggest search engine in the world behind Google. Videos are time-consuming to make, but that creates an opportunity. It can be easier to get visibility with videos than blog posts, are there are fewer of them. Not only that, YouTube videos often feature in Google results and videos also tend to perform well on social media platforms. If you do share videos on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, always upload them directly to the platform, rather than sharing them via YouTube. Also, be sure to add captions using an app such as Voicella.
If you are unsure where to start with video creation, you can create videos from your best-performing blog post titles.
You may have noticed that over the last few years, whenever you search for a question on Google, you will tend to see several “answer boxes” or snippets at the top of the results. For example, if you search for “what is a telephone answering service?” at the time of writing, you should see a Moneypenny blog post at the top of the results, with a paragraph showing on the SERP.
The text found in these snippets is taken from websites and placed on the SERPs, but they also generate a lot of traffic.
You can write blog posts in a specific way to increase the chances of your post “winning the snippet.” You can use answerthepublic.com to find common questions related to your niche or industry. You can then search for these questions and find the answer snippets or boxes that are not 100% relevant or specific to the question. Make a list of these, and then create blog posts that specifically answer the question. Make the question the title of your blog post. For further information on winning the snippets, please see this YouTube video.