If someone were to ask me to talk about content marketing, I’d probably tell them to get a bowl of popcorn and a soft drink. I can go on and on about why content marketing is so important, and why you need to set a proper process in place.
Why are these three steps so important?
Well, the answer is quite simple. When it comes to online content, I think it’s quite safe to assume that you’d naturally want it to rank well, organically. In order to do that, your content needs to:
- Show up on the most relevant search results
- Be actionable or otherwise valuable to the user
- Be measurable when it comes to ROI
If you want your content to check all these boxes, you simply have to research your keywords, optimize for them, and track your organic returns.
Yes, I know what you’re thinking right about now, and I know it goes something like this:
But let’s keep aside my superlative insight into the human psyche for a minute, and take a closer look at these three aspects of the content marketing process.
No matter what industry you’re in, or what type of content you put out there, your first order of business should be to make sure you research and target the right keywords. Targeting the right keywords not only helps you rank for the right search terms, it also helps you reach the right audience and increase your authority in the industry. Furthermore, by way of organic ranking, it also helps propel brand awareness and grow a steady following.
For instance, let’s say you’re writing content for a travel blog, and you want to write about popular places in the U.S. You could either target the keyword ‘destinations in USA’, or ‘USA travel itinerary’. However, if you do some quick keyword analysis, you will find that the former keyword has a monthly search volume of 1000, while the latter has an average of just 20 searches per month.
This is a huge difference in monthly search volumes for two keywords that are so closely related. Hence, knowing this could easily be the difference between garnering 2578 sessions per month and plateauing out at 136 sessions a month for your landing pages.
Do you see the bigger picture now?
That’s a rhetorical question, I know you do. That’s how good I am at getting through to people.
Optimizing and updating your content on a regular basis is absolutely essential if you want to continue bringing in the right kind of traffic to your site. This will help generate more leads and also help rank better organically.
Let’s take a look at some of the most effective ways in which you can optimize your content.
Grammar & readability
The first thing you need to check while optimizing content is the grammar. Incorrect grammar and typographical errors can often cause frustration and lead to your readers abandoning your content mid way. This makes for a poor user experience, and can even cause distrust in your brand. Surely, no one wants that.
Another thing you need to look at is readability. This is all about making your content engaging and easy to read for your audience (as I have so effectively done here. Obviously). Make sure you keep your sentences and paragraphs short enough for viewers to peruse and understand easily. You can also make use of indentations, images, infographics, bulleted points, H1 and H2 tags to achieve this. Here is a list of some of the best online tools that you can use to improve your content’s grammar and readability.
Apart from this, do make sure that any facts or statistical points that you put forth are substantiated by relevant studies or other published works.
Your keyword density is an important factor when it comes to optimizing content for search engines. Including the right (and the right amount of) keywords can help search engines index your web pages properly and serve it up for the relevant searches. This is best done by finding natural ways of placing your keyword within the content, making sure that it doesn’t disrupt the flow or sound awkward.
That being said, you also cannot go about inserting keywords in every possible place you can find, just to rank better. This will be considered as keyword stuffing, something that Google can penalize you for.
So, what’s the sweet spot when it comes to the amount of keywords in your content? Well, experts believe that a keyword density of 1.5% usually works out really well. In my opinion, anywhere between 1% – 2% is great.
Create Content For Users
You need not look further than Google’s Webmaster Guidelines to know that the search engine favors content that is aimed at helping the end user, rather than just trying to rank well. So make sure that the content you put out is valuable to the end user.
Ideally, a good content piece is an actionable one that provides readers with clarity and guides them in the right direction. This holds especially true when your end goal is conversion. In this regard, having a precise and actionable CTA is essential for you to be able to help your target audience and convert them in the process.
Now that you’ve put in all the work to research, create, and optimize your content, the next step is to track the results, and this is where rank tracking comes in. Rank tracking is essentially keeping a track of how well your content is ranking, for the particular keyword(s). This gives you actionable insight into how well your content is faring, and whether you need to optimize it further or not. There are several online tools such as this one that you can use to track rankings.
There you go! These three processes, if done religiously, can lay the foundation for an effective content marketing process that continually builds on itself to deliver the desired results. However, marketing your content will never be effective if the content that you put out there isn’t. So focus on delivering great content, and then focus on making it even more effective with these techniques.