In the past decade, the web has changed a lot particularly in the purchasing decisions of customers.
If a potential client wanted information on your products or services, he would call your office and engage you or one of your sales team to get all the information he needs on your offerings.
Today, what he will unequivocally do is look you up on the internet. He’ll search on Google, check out your website and expect to sign up to your newsletters, updates or social media feeds to find out more.
He is checking to see who he could best trust to solve his business problem. More importantly, he expects to find valuable content.
Your clients are in control and you had better make sure that any information you put up about your business answers their lingering questions and at the same time, positions you as the trusted source of information they seek.
Today, effective content marketing is all about creating high quality content and sharing this across the web and social media. By quality content I don’t just mean information that is well-written.
By quality content I mean information that is first and foremost of real absolute value to your readers.
Creating content that people engage with is notoriously a difficult thing to do. 41% of content marketers seem to think so too.
Content is a very powerful tool for reaching and engaging your audience, but it requires the right tactics, careful consideration, and a whole bunch of creativity. At the same time, it also needs patience and clever promotion.
Quality content is integral to a successful digital marketing campaign, no better or worse than the strategy used to create it, the SEO to strengthen it, the social media to drive it, or the outreach required to further its promotion.
Only when these areas work together can content shine. When this happens, it is a compelling thing. Let’s look at why.
Key principles for compelling content
These key principles need to be integrated into your content
Not too long ago, content marketing simply meant crowding relevant keywords into your blog post.
In other words, your article was more or less relevant depending on how many times certain key words were used regularly within the article, whether or not those terms were used accurately and/or in context.
To readdress this, Google brought out Google Panda; an algorithm update in 2011 designed to decrease the search engine rankings of websites that, indulge themselves in black hat SEO techniques or in other words, abused keyword usage.
Keywords of course still maintain relevancy today, but in a much more reduced capacity.
By specifically targeting search terms users are typing into search engines to reach your website, and incorporating those same search terms into your content, you will rank higher for them.
Keyword optimization requires careful planning and thought. Over-reliance on keywords can have negative implications, especially if you choose to fill your content with them as opposed to writing quality content for your audience.
You stand the risk of having your readers not responding, spending time, or interacting? with your content. Google will recognize this inactivity and disengagement and lower your rankings accordingly.
Link building is the process of increasing the number of quality links to a website.
By this I mean websites with a high domain authority. When you link to pages with a high domain authority you increase the likelihood of your website ranking highly in search engine results.
What would be the point of creating content if readers can’t find it?
This graph above explains the key factors google uses to rank pages in its search engines. Unsurprisingly, taking over 20% is quality back links.
Links can be internal or external. Both can help Google recognize the kinds of keywords your website should rank for.
Internal links may not be as powerful as external links, but nonetheless are still an efficient way of strengthening your search engine ranking.
Internal links will also help direct potential customers around your website. A clear and defined path on your website is vital for converting your traffic into paying customers.
External links are a lot more difficult to get, but carry more weight in Google’s eyes. Reaching out to other websites is your best bet to getting external links.
A well-written article will also acquire them organically, as readers will recognize the value of your content and link back to it in their own blog posts.
In this way, the process of link building is also a proven tactic for increasing the authority of your website and brand.
Authoritative content is genuinely compelling. Information written with flair and impact, can bring your brand to life for a reader.
Authoritative content is what will truly set you apart from your competitors because you will convey clear and unarguable reasons why you are the better choice.
Inspire belief in your brand and let that same belief flow to your audience. Inform them about your values and your products. Use your content to make your business the clear choice with no exception.
More importantly value. Quality content that is unique also encourages higher search-rankings.?As a search engine, Google’s main function is to provide the information its users need to answer their search queries.
Strong content achieves this; especially content that has high engagement, a number of visits and time spent on site, Google determines the value of one piece of content over another, and ranks them accordingly.
Now that you know the key principles of compelling content, this is what you need to do to integrate them all into a masterpiece on your blog.
How to write better content
Step #1 Invest in quality over quantity
Instead of pumping out content after content, you can try creating fewer but higher-quality pieces. Quality will always beat quantity every time.
For example, if you happen to be writing five posts on your blog each month, you can consider switching to two longer, content-heavy posts.
What gives your content that extra quality? Include facts, statistics, industry trends and provide insight.Use the power of visual media to your advantage.
Infographics and other visual media are a great way of capturing your audience’s attention
Create content that means something to a reader, that is what creating quality really means.
Step #2 Know your audience
The Internet is a vast place. Recent studies suggest more than a third of the world’s population now have access to the Internet; that’s a huge potential for engagement.
The sad truth is you can’t reach them all. But that shouldn’t stop you from reaching the most relevant people.
This will ensure the content you create will reach the people who will engage with it the most. To find your best audience, you need to create a customer persona.
This is when you imagine what your customers look like, how they behave, how old they are, their gender, what websites they visit, you get the point.
This will allow you to narrow down the vast internet to a specific group of people. Research your target audience in as much detail as possible
Step #3 Coordinate your content with your digital marketing strategy
Establish a landing page. Optimize your title tags. If you don’t know what this is, it’s the little snippet preview that appears in search engine results. These are particularly useful for SEO.
Back-link to your landing page internally from within your own website, from other blog posts and web pages.
Maximize on outreach opportunities for those higher value external back-links. Create a strong network of copy, user engagement, keywords, links, social promotion and watch your content soar.
Sharing your content across social media is also important.
Writing good content takes time. It requires the investment of necessary resources in order to create a successful piece of work.
Remember that results will almost always not be immediate and as such, you shouldn’t embark on a campaign expecting miracles.
When it comes to creating content, what you really need to have is empathy. What I mean is having your readers best interests in mind. Many writers make the mistake of writing for themselves and that can seriously hurt the quality of your content.
When you give value to your readers, you will always keep them coming back for more. With some smart SEO in place and good backlinking, you’ll have those same readers converting to paying customers.
Feature Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net
In Post images: Quicksprout.com Moz.com
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