In order to make an impact, creating content for your marketing blog requires more time and effort than ever before. A simple 300-word post stuffed to the gills with keywords now hurts a website more than it helps, which means that marketing has increasingly become about producing quality more than anything else. Slapdash content is a thing of the past, both in the opinion of consumers and search engines.
Regardless of what industry you’re in, there are key components of solid blogging that all marketers should utilize. These four tactics span across a variety of topics, audiences, and content types, but they’re essential to modern marketing success.
Let’s dive in.
Embrace Long-Tail Keywords
The way people are searching online has changed, which means our keywords have, too. Long-tail keywords are a series of keywords strung together to supply a more specific, targeted search query. For instance, a keyword might be “shipping,” but a long-tail (more specific) keyword is “real-time shipping rates.”
Long-tail keywords are important for two big reasons. First of all, they establish better communication between the searcher and content. Secondly, they increase the odds of appearing in searches of all kinds, including voice searches and mobile queries. Roughly 70% of the top web searches are comprised of long-tail keywords.
The main success of long-tail keywords stems from their relation to natural language. People want to find content that reads like it was written by a real authority, not a robot optimizing for the best ranking on Google. Build your content to answer questions conversationally and with believable expertise.
When choosing your long-tail keywords, look for phrases that have low competition. The idea is to make your blogging topic as specific to your particular brand as possible. Generic blog posts get lost in the millions of others being published, so opt for a more niche approach, especially early on.
Steer Away From Short Blogs in Favor of Long-Form Content
Although it might be easy to have your content marketing team crank out dozens of short blogs, those won’t likely take you nearly as far on the search engines as a handful of long posts (1500-2000 words). Why? The simple answer is that long-form content is more detailed. Google and modern-day consumers value well-researched answers, which means they appreciate blogs that delve deeply into the topic.
Not only will readers appreciate the in-depth content, but they’ll also be more likely to share blogs that are longer. Posts between 3,000 words and 10,000 words got the highest number of shares in a study conducted by OkDork and BuzzSumo. Despite what it might seem like on Facebook, people like to share content they believe is accurate, useful, and thorough.
Another benefit of long-form content comes from Google’s “featured snippet.” When you search for a result on Google, a box with a highlighted response usually appears at the top if there’s a clear answer. You might notice that this featured snippet is often pulled from a larger, more complex post. That’s because Google likes long-form content, according to SEMRush’s research. Paragraph featured snippets (between 40 and 60 words) are more popular than other types, and the average number of words in a featured snippet’s original source is 2,078. Long story short: If you want to snag that featured snippet spot, write detailed content.
Long-form content also gets more links on other sites than short-form content (about 77.2% more, to be precise). Backlinking is hugely important to search engines, and although we don’t know exactly why blog posts that are over 3,000 words obtain so many links, the data is clear.
Become a Transparent Expert
We live in an era of distrust. According to HubSpot research, 55% of customers now trust companies less than they used to, and 65% do not trust advertisements. Another 65% don’t even trust company press releases.
As a result, marketers are hard-pressed to earn the faith of current and potential customers. One of the best ways to do that is to craft content that establishes authority. Blogs, videos, podcasts, ebooks, and case studies can reveal your authority within the industry. Plus, trustworthy expert content increases your odds of getting links on other reputable websites.
People hate feeling duped, which is why you need to place an emphasis on transparency in all of your marketing techniques. Avoid hidden prices, unexpected caveats, and anything else that can discourage consumer trust. Being open and honest with your audience mitigates the risk of uncertainty and establishes a positive relationship.
Don’t Forget to Share, Share, Share!
You might be thinking, “I know, social media is standard protocol nowadays.” After all, 90% of brands have taken to social media to increase brand awareness. The thing is, sharing blogs via social media isn’t just about reaching a bigger audience. Some statistics show a high correlation between successful posts on social media networks and success in Google visibility. Google values content that has been shared often—it’s an indication of trustworthiness. The more people share your blogs, the more reliable the messaging probably is.
Sharing doesn’t just have to take place on social media. You can also repurpose your popular blog content to share it multiple times in different formats. For instance, if you published a stellar piece of “how-to” content in the form of a blog, consider transforming it into a video tutorial. This will allow you to link back to old content and expand on a topic that readers clearly care about.
The Bottom Line: Give the People (and Google) What They Want
In a world inundated with technology, including mobile devices and voice search, people are looking for high-quality answers to their queries in a matter of seconds. As a marketer, the smartest way to reach an audience is to provide people with these answers through well-written blogs.
At the end of the day, remember that nearly half (47%) of the online population reads blogs regularly. Pouring your time and resources into the production of high-quality content isn’t just a smart move, it’s the right one.