Optimising Your Content Marketing Strategy
Content marketing is so integral to the success of an online business that a strong strategy is required. And like most things in life, there is a right and wrong way to go about it.
In a survey conducted by the content marketing institute, 89% of UK respondents said their company uses some form of content marketing strategy, and 66% of marketers expect to receive an increase to their content marketing budget next year.
These figure demonstrate there is little doubt that content is a catalyst for higher visibility in search engine rankings – when you get it right. And so long as you are publishing engaging material that provides value to readers, content marketing is a powerful weapon in your digital artillery.
However, if your content does not interest readers, you are more likely to damage your value to search engines. As a result, you throw money into a virtual hole and then complain content marketing doesn’t work. But if content marketing works so well for thousands of other brands, then it can work for you. Maybe it’s time you gave your strategy a rethink. Are you using these outdated tactics or techniques that repel rather compel?
Content marketing has no place for standard 500-word articles
Search engine algorithms are so sophisticated these days that standard 500-word blogs do not escape their attention. Research shows that longer articles perform better in search engines.
The reason for this is because search engines want to provide end-users with in-depth content that sufficiently answers their search query. The longer an article is the more in-depth it is. Furthermore, longer articles are an indication to search engines that the content has been published by someone that is an expert in their field and is thus publishing specialist content that can be trusted and offers real value.
Mobile users are also impacting search engine results. But end-users interacting with the internet on 5-inch screens do not want to read feature length articles of 1000-words plus. They need micro content of 200-300 words that can be easily digested on a smaller screen.
Your content strategy therefore has to benefit the target audience, not just in terms of quality, but also keeping in mind the type of device your audience is using to access the content.
Quality over quantity is more important
Whilst it is true that publishing content on a regular basis will attract visitors and search engine crawlers more often, the strategy only holds true if you are publishing high-quality content.
If you are publishing content for the sake of maintaining a blog in the hope of boosting search engine rankings, you could be causing more harm than good. It is far better to publish one high-quality article a month than two low-quality pieces a week. The point of publishing content is to keep readers on the page, compel them to explore your website and pique their interest to drive them towards the buy button.
When content does not interest visitors they click out of your website in less than a minute and bump up your bounce rate. This has a negative effect on your search engine standings as it is an indication that you are not publishing content that is worth reading.
Publish original material
Although it is difficult to think of original content ideas every week, it is possible to stamp your unique personality on your content and deliver the same topic in a new and interesting way.
You will have probably discovered from your own experience that a lot of content on the internet is repetitive. This is because content writers are merely taking an article and rewording it. Whilst this direction can be unavoidable in some industries, it is important that you differentiate yourself from your competitors and present yourself in an interesting way. Develop a brand personality readers want to follow.
Avoid using generalisations and clichés
Clichés and sweeping statements are a turn off. And so are many other lazy writing mistakes. Readers want to be entertained and informed when they are reading content, so be creative and don’t try to annoy anyone.
For example, how many times have you heard this one:
“We all know…”
There are two things wrong with this statement; it is a generalisation because not everyone does know, and secondly, it has become a cliché.
Don’t go hunting for inbound links
Backlinks are excellent for higher ranking. But only when they are organic. The Penguin algorithm punishes websites that appear to have a large number of unnatural or low quality inbound links and if you go looking for backlinks from low authority sites and paid link farms, you will attract a penalty that will negatively affect your online earnings.
Inbound links should be organic and if you are publishing high-quality content, you increase your chances of receiving backlinks from third party publishers. If you are going to invest in content marketing, do it right. It is better to pay professional content writers to produce top-quality articles on your behalf than persisting with a strategy that will never work just because you read it would two years ago.
The digital landscape has changed, and maybe it’s time your attitude towards content marketing needs to change with it. Rather than going through the motions, you can actually benefit financially from content.