The competition for page views and click-throughs has never been higher. As businesses pivot to online activity or expand their digital offerings, more are exploring content marketing. It’s vital that your content entices your audience and drives conversions. In this guide, I’m going to share content marketing tips you can apply to increase engagement and generate more website traffic.
Read on to learn the top 13 content marketing tips that will help you grow your traffic.
1. Identify Relevant Keywords Based on Search Volume
Keyword research is essential. SEO content marketing professionals use keyword research to ensure that they pick the right terms, and content ranks highly on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
First, you need to know what keywords people are searching for. Start by brainstorming relevant keywords, including both short-tail (short and generic) and long-tail (longer and more specific) keywords. There are numerous tools you can use for keyword research, and by and large, they all do the same thing.
My two favorite free keyword research tools are WMS Everywhere and Google Keyword Planner. Out of the two, I prefer WMS Everywhere, a browser extension that shows search volumes as you use Google.
You can see the search volume for terms below the input field and the browser’s right. It’s a handy tool.
If you’re looking for a premium tool, I generally recommend one of the following:
- SEM Rush
- Keywords Everywhere
You could significantly expand this list. There are numerous comprehensive keyword research tools to choose from.
Another content marketing tip, when selecting your keyword, make sure to do the following:
- Check the keyword search volume (either the global search volume or a regional search depending on your focus)
- Review the number of referring domains with a DR 50+ articles ranking for this term have
Check how the competitors structure their content (more on this later)
- A quick review of those points will help you determine how difficult it will be to rank for these terms. You’ll also be able to review how much traffic you might get from a page ranking for that term.
Keep in mind; these estimates are not 100% accurate. However, they provide valuable insights. You can use this information to assess how much effort you are willing to put into making a piece of content rank.
For more information about how to identify relevant keywords, check out my article on how to make money blogging.
2. Conduct Competitor Analysis
You cannot hope to compete without understanding what your competitors are doing. Fortunately, competitor analysis is straightforward, and there are plenty of tools to help you analyze your competitor’s blogs.
Start with a Google search for the relevant keywords, making a note of those sites that rank in the top few results. Subsequently, check out those websites. I showed you how to review their backlinks in the section above.
That’s not the only thing you should do. In addition to reviewing the backlink profile of a piece of content, look at how those articles are structured and what they cover. From a user experience point of view, your job is to make better content than what is already ranking in the SERPs or publicly available.
I use a Chrome extension created by Glen Allsop to do this.
The Chrome extension is called Detailed. It provides you with interesting insights into the content. This includes things like the article length, and the headings used in the content.
Finally, check out what organically engages people using a social monitoring tool like Buzzsumo. This can give you ideas on how to angle your content, capturing the attention of your target audience.
3. Break Down Your Articles Into Headings
Chapters and headings make books easier to read and digest. The same thing is true for online content. Headings break up an article, clearly indicating what each section is about and allowing the reader to quickly find the desired information.
When creating an article, especially an article that is 1,000 words or more, I strongly suggest that you break the idea down into headings. This will help your readers consume the content. It also helps to provide a structure to the article that you can reference as you write the content.
In addition to headings, make sure to add relevant graphics to your post. This helps break up your text and make the copy more engaging. In the marketing niche, I strongly recommend that you utilize screenshots and relevant stats and graphics. Avoid boring copyright-free images that add little value to your copy.
4. Write Content for People, Not Search Engines
While SEO is important, it’s your readers who make or break your website’s success. Imagine two articles on the same topic. One is written clearly and accessibly, while the other is aggressively stuffed with keywords to game the Google algorithm. Which one do you think readers will find useful?
Your content exists for readers to engage with, derive value from, and share. The more engaged your readers, the higher your traffic, the better your search rankings. Keep this in mind when creating your content.
Once you’ve published your content, review Google Analytics to check how people are engaging and interacting with that content. One of the most important metrics will be “Time on Page.” This shows you how long on average people spend reading your content.
Factors like bounce rate, for example, are indicative of how people navigate on your site after arrival. A high bounce rate could mean you need to improve navigation across your site.
Tracking your Analytics data helps you optimize your content after publication.
5. Build Backlinks through Guest Posts
Backlinks from other websites improve your SEO and result in more traffic via organic click-throughs. But any old backlinks will not do – they must be from authoritative sites.
Guest posting refers to writing content for someone else’s website. In return for a high-quality article, they link back to your site. Guest posting on sites with a high Domain Rating (DR) builds your backlink profile and shows search engines that your content is worth ranking highly. You can check a site’s DR using Ahrefs free tool.
I recommend focusing on sites with the following minimum metrics:
- Domain Rating 50+
- Traffic: 5,000+
- Trust Flow: 15+
Create a list of relevant sites you’d like to write for, and reach out to the editors pitching yourself as a guest writer. You can use a tool like Find Emails or Voila Norbert to get the editors’ details. You’ll need to pitch relevant ideas, deliver well-written content, and stick to the editorial guidelines.
6. Optimize Your Headlines
According to Copyblogger, 80% of people will read an article’s headline, but only 20% will read the content. Around 60% of social media links are shared based on the headline alone.
Headlines are powerful. A strong headline can influence public opinion, regardless of the rest of the content’s quality. While I’m not in favor of clickbait, I admit to a sense of awe at the ease with which they rack up the views.
Try these tips to make your headline stand out:
- Use “to do” rather than “to be” language. Here’s an example: instead of “5 Ways to Be an Effective Webinar Presenter”, use “5 Ways to Present Webinars More Effectively.”
- Include your reader in the headline. Using the word “you” will grab the reader’s attention
- Use numbers. According to Conductor, headlines with numbers are 36% more likely to be read. Numbers also help you segment your thoughts more clearly.
Whatever technique you choose, ensure your content delivers what your headline promises. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a high bounce rate and fewer shares.
7. Keep Your Content Up to Date
Content that trended in 2015 may not be relevant in 2020. The world changes quickly. Therefore, you need to keep your content up to date. Publish regularly, and make sure older pieces of content are continually updated to ensure relevancy.
If you’ve published several posts on the same topic, consider merging them to keep them from competing for the same keyword. Unless you have a system in place for updating content, avoid using dates in post titles (e.g., “Six Marketing Hacks to Use in 2019”). The title will look good in 2019 but will look out of date five years later.
8. Distribute Your Content Through Multiple Channels
Distributing your content is as important as how you create it. As soon as you post a new blog entry, share it to your social media channels. That should be stage one of your process.
In addition to your social channels, use social media amplification tools to generate more views, shares, and engagements, showing your content to more people. Zest, pictured below, and Viral Content Bee are two of my favorite social media amplification platforms.
Zest is a Chrome extension and mobile app that allows you to submit content that is then reviewed by editors and promoted into other users’ feeds. The Zest user base consists mainly of professional marketers and other industry practitioners.
Viral Content Bee is a community of social media users who share each others’ content. When you share relevant posts from others, you earn points you can use to promote your own content. The user base is broad and includes many highly respected thought leaders. There are plenty of other options you can find. Quuu is one such example. Find and experiment with the ones relevant to your sector.
9. Maintain Brand Voice Consistency
When you write a blog post, product description, or piece of social media content, you are showcasing your brand voice. A consistent voice is one that your readers and customers recognize and instantly associate with you.
A strong voice sets you apart from the competition, giving your brand a distinct personality. Here’s an example: fast-food chain Wendy’s uses an informal tone and self-deprecating humor on its social media channels.
There is no one-size-fits-all brand voice. It depends on your target market and company goals. Try things out, see what sticks, and don’t be afraid to ask for feedback.
10. Write Longer Posts
Longer content earns more attention from both readers and search engines. The longer a piece is, the more useful information it can contain. The result? More readers, longer site visits, more organic backlinks, and better SERP rankings.
Longer content also allows you to include more keywords. Remember to focus on those long-tail keywords that account for 70% of all Google searches. If you can get your content to rank highly for more terms, you will get more impressions and clicks.
11. Maintain Good Relationships with Influencers
Influencers’ opinions carry considerable weight. If an influencer endorses your content, you might suddenly get hundreds or even thousands of extra views. This is called influencer marketing.
If you want to leverage influencers in your marketing efforts, they should be respected individuals in your field. You can use a tool like BuzzSumo to find relevant niche influencers.
You can also check out influencer marketplaces. Some, like Tribe, let you create a campaign and invite influencers to pitch to you. Others, like ExpertVoice, connect you to qualified influencers in your niche.
Influencer marketing is an exchange and must be mutually beneficial. Therefore, when you approach an influencer, make sure you have value to offer them in return for promoting your content.
12. Produce a Mix of Trending and Evergreen Content
My penultimate content marketing tips, create evergreen content that will be relevant for a long time, while trending content capitalize on whatever people are searching for at the moment. Creating a mix of evergreen and trending content has the following benefits:
- News sites rely heavily on what’s trending. Writing about whatever’s currently in the news means more searches and potentially more eyes on your content.
- Early positioning on a trending topic will rank you high. If you’re among the first to write about a trending topic, your traffic will spike. The downside is that this boost won’t last long.
- Evergreen content provides long-term traffic. Evergreen content can rank highly and drive traffic to your site for years.
The exact split will depend on context and your niche, but I recommend aiming for around an 80-20 split of evergreen and trending content. The quick wins are useful, but a focus on evergreen content will give your brand the long-term credibility it needs.
13. Educate, Don’t Sell
Hard selling doesn’t work. As a marketer, your job is to educate prospects about the solutions your business offers and how they could solve customer problems. By focusing on education and solving client pain points, you show your customers and prospects that you understand their needs and concerns.
Ensure your content centers your audience’s concerns, and you’re in an excellent position to stay relevant and in demand. You may not get that sale straight away, but you’re building long-term brand recognition and loyalty.
One more tip: since this type of sales process can be longer, keep track of your leads using one of the best sales funnel software solutions.
Content Marketing Tips for Increased Traffic
Good content marketing begins with understanding your audience and writing content that speaks to them. After that, you need to optimize and promote your content effectively to ensure it gets the attention it deserves. Follow the content marketing tips I’ve outlined for you in this article, and you’ll be off to a great start.
Before you start writing, ask yourself if this piece of content will be useful to your audience. If it doesn’t add value, find a different idea. If it does, you’ll build a loyal following who will be with you for the long haul.
Make sure to maximize these 13 content marketing tips I shared with you! Good luck!
Hero photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash