Businesses that set up and actively develop a content marketing strategy are able to position their professional website to experience significant online growth in:
- Earning credible, rich links that support site authority and visibility
- Increasing word-of-mouth advertising and brand recognition
- Increasing visibility and search listing real estate with target and long tail key phrases
- Becoming more diverse and useful for the online user by increasing online authority
As Google continues to evolve in the ways they retrieve information for online consumers, it is critical that businesses align their professional websites with Google’s demand for fresh, unique content.
When you create flimsy content, you put up significant road blocks to overcoming your online competitors. Not only that, but you’ll waste money on worthless pages that don’t maximize your potential for incoming traffic or your opportunities for conversion.
As we move forward through this article, I will illustrate a number of steps you can take to develop a comprehensive content marketing strategy for your professional website. These steps will align your website with modern organic search best practices and support the overall value and integrity of your online properties.
What is the point of content marketing?
Excellent content marketing strategies begin with rich information presented in a way that resolves the online user’s search intent. Whether an online consumer wants to know or buy something, businesses must create content that speaks to and satisfies their demands.
With this in mind, the point of content marketing is to support your business’:
- Ability to attract credible links that support search visibility and increase authority
- Consumer reach and brand recognition
- Qualified traffic levels
- Organic search metrics like keyword visibility and bounce rate
- Conversion opportunities
Now that you understand the goals and benefits of setting up a great content marketing strategy, here is how you can bring this strategy to fruition.
Come up with compelling, cool article ideas and write about them in depth
There are literally a million things that can be discussed and covered when it comes to content development. Even if your company makes and sells something as insipid as white bread, you still have the ability to discuss this subject in a number of ways that are unique and attractive to online consumers and search engines alike.
Use the following three concepts when creating content so that your business aligns with your target audience’s needs and demands in order to capture only the most qualified, ready-to-buy consumers.
Look around for article ideas and inspiration
If you can’t come up with the perfect article to write about, don’t stress out. There are always new concepts and points of view to present, even if the subject has already been dissected and discussed a million times over.
Use free online tools such as Soovle to come up with ideas for topics and to see what keywords online consumers are using when searching for such topics. This particular tool is unique in that it shows you exactly what terms apply to each major search engine including YouTube and Wikipedia so that you can adopt the exact phrasing your customers use when searching. Aligning your content strategy with your customers’ exact phrasing will increase your qualified traffic rates.
Another way to search for new topic ideas is to put yourself in the place of your online customer and actually search for topics and ideas that relate to your business. You will find a plethora of ideas and content to discuss by searching with keywords that relate directly to your businesses products and services from articles, blogs and other discussion forums. Once you find a topic that is interesting to your customers, rewrite them using your own words and in your own voice to avoid plagiarism and/or duplicate content issues.
Do some keyword research
If you want to know what keywords are used by online consumers and to what extent, then use keyword research tools to create content that can pull in significant traffic.
Using tools like Google Adwords will let you see exactly how many people are using a particular keyword or long-tail phrase each month. You can choose which terms you want to appear for on search engine listings and build content relevant to that term.
Using this tool to develop a keyword strategy at the beginning of your content marketing campaign will allow your business to experience exceptional organic growth, as you will be able to develop content around terms that attract the type of traffic you’re looking for.
Make sure to diversify the keywords you include in your content marketing strategy so that you are able to compete for vague, high-volume terms, as well as owning the search landscape for long-tail phrases.
Here’s an example to better illustrate this concept: if you’re an insurance company and you see a number of people search with terms such as, “personal insurance,” “home insurance,” and other forms of insurance, then you should create content that focuses on various forms of insurance policies and include links to each section of your website that speaks to each specific form.
By doing this you are successfully creating an online environment that is attractive to search engines because you are able to resolve your target audience’s search demands.
Read over the competition’s FAQ section
If you are really stumped for ideas, just visit your competitor’s professional websites and browse through any FAQ sections that may exist. Doing so will give you a great understanding of what topics you should include in your content strategy to become more diverse and dynamic, as well as letting you know what keywords your competitors are trying to appear on search listings through.
You can also just ask yourself, “What questions do my customers often ask me, what questions did I have before I started this company?” Whatever questions you come up with, answer them in-depth with a targeting landing page.
How to Overcome Obstacles in Content Development
The two things that prevent businesses from developing excellent content marketing strategies are a lack of time and money. However, there are a number of ways that you can overcome these obstacles in order to experience the type of online growth your business demands.
Use the resources you already have
Go through any and all offline advertising your business has ever paid for and/or created. Whether it’s a stack of pamphlets, television commercials or print ads, you can convert all of this into rich online content that is guaranteed to be unique because it is specific to your company.
An additional resource to utilize is your employees. From salesmen to analysts, these people are the foundation of your company and can act as authorities on your behalf. Creating incentive programs or even making content development a requirement for a position will go a long way in ensuring that quality content is created on a regular basis.
What do your customers ask for and want to know
Another way to attack content development is to set up environments that cater to user-generated content. Setting up forums within your professional website that allow your customers to interact with other like-minded consumers is a phenomenal way to support organic growth while offering your online audience a unique way to communicate with your brand.
Allow guest bloggers to contribute to your website
There are a tremendous amount of writers and bloggers these days who are eager to have the opportunity to expand their name and personal reach. Setting up a call-to-action on your website that asks for guest contributors is an easy way to connect with writers who are interested in fulfilling your content needs.
In order to ensure that you are working with quality professional writers and not just some guy who knows how to put a pen to a piece of paper, set up some form of a vetting system to assess their strengths. Asking a potential writer to develop a few short articles that cover different subjects allows you to have a solid understanding of their potential and will give you a chance to assess their ability to learn about and articulate new concepts.
What other tips do you have for building a content marketing strategy? Let us know in the comments.
About the Author
Jason Corrigan is an SEO Manager at Wpromote in El Segundo, CA who oversees the planning and execution of custom SEO and social strategies for medium sized businesses to Fortune 500 companies. He is a published author on Social SEO and has extensive marketing experience that ranges from journalism and content development to TV and Radio marketing/advertising.