Having trouble getting your audience to remain engaged with your content? The first question you should be asking is, what am I doing wrong?
Content and SEO go hand-in-hand as the lack of one of them will negatively affect the efforts of the other. To explain, if you’re carrying out keyword research and you fail to use those keywords in your content, you’ve basically wasted your time.
What Is Content Marketing?
According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is a “technique of creating and distributing valuable content to attract a clearly defined audience”.
Content creation can be difficult when you’re unsure of how to actually carry it out. It requires thorough keyword research, researching the audience, topic planning to ensure your content is in line with the target audience and great writing skills. Content marketing should not be underestimated or undervalued as it makes a world of a difference to how well your website has the potential to do.
When it comes to building an audience, it’s a known fact that content is king. But taking into consideration the mass-production of advanced content in the digital marketing world combined with the constant Google algorithm, individuality and fresh content is becoming harder to find. SEO content that will be crawled and ranked by Google and other search engines can include (not limited to) the likes of product pages, articles, infographics, video, blog posts, guides and lists.
SEO and Content Marketing
SEO = keywords. Content marketing = keywords
When trying to understand the analogy of SEO and content marketing, it’s important to know that they both overlap. The main differences, however, are that SEO is more technical while content marketing is more holistic. Remember that content is needed to make SEO work. As said by marketing guru, Neil Patel, SEO demands, content marketing fulfills those demands.
Thus, when both come together, they complement one another, which in turn, allows content such as words, articles and keywords to submerge into SEO optimised content.
Create A Content Strategy
Engagement is all about the ways in which you can effectively engage with your audience. Thus, it’s important that you consider the intent of your content before you actually go to publish it for the world to see.
What exactly are you looking to achieve from your content? Are you focusing on brand awareness? Or are you looking to increase conversions? Having a clearly defined goal in place will allow you to improve your content marketing strategy.
As obvious as it may sound, it’s important that what you’re providing your audience, holds some value. Your competition is out there, taking advantage of how they can provide value, it’s time you did the same to keep ahead of them.
Think about it, if you create pieces of content that are valuable, resourceful and heavily researched into, would it do well? Of course it would. The way you leverage your content on the internet is vital since being engaged with an audience shows that you’re being impactful. One of the best ways to engage well with an audience on your website is by providing the likes of infographics, PDFs or e-books emanate impactfulness whilst getting something in return for their time and research (engagement and more time spent on-site, which will hopefully push conversions).
Here’s a great example of a blog page (by Airbnb) that pulls in audiences using imagery rather than text heavy content:
Whilst content should be data-driven, it’s vital that whatever you’re posting for your readers to see, is creative and in line with whoever your target audience is. On one hand, it’s important that you’re analytical, whereas on the flip side, your content really needs to be written for humans. The typical customer enjoys reading engaging content that tells them a story. A conversational tone of voice with professional information and statistics will pull them in.
Is it even possible to write enticing content about boring topics you say? Yes. It is. AMA suggests that conversational content generates leads and converts sales. So as far as writing styles go, it’s important to blend conversation, imagery and key points into one piece of content. When creating content for your readers, it’s vital that you become their industry friend, they come to you for the information that they’re after, so keep them interested.
So now that you know the above, it’s time to stop writing content like this:
And start writing content that looks a little like this:
Consider your audience
It’s crucial that you know your audience. You know that your audience is out there, so the way you can best get to know them is by developing marketing personas (also known as customer profiles). By doing this, you will be able to represent the visitors on your site and other customers. From this, you can determine the sort of content that they’re looking for.
Here’s a fine example of a customer persona collated by Hubspot. This identifies their background, demographics and other lifestyle/interests that the customer may have. From this, brands can tailor their content in a way that will allow them to see a greater return on their SEO content strategy.
Moreover, always take into consideration their pain points – what are customers looking for? Can you rid them of their pain points? The search intent of your users are important to take into consideration as you can establish what they’re looking for. You can then cater your content to their search intent. You must always be mindful of what they’re searching for, and once you have their intent, you can create content that will be optimised to answer their questions.
The key is to build rapport with customers, developing a sense of empathy between the brand and the customer is the key to developing a great content marketing plan.
Integrating SEO & Content Marketing Strategies
When two disciplines, as powerful and effective as SEO and content marketing amalgamate, soon will be birthed the most authoritative, well-optimised content that Google and other search engines will crawl and rank highly on SERPs.
Don’t neglect keywords
Keywords aren’t just used for the sake of stuffing keywords onto a website. Making use of keyword search with whatever SEO tool you’re using, allows you to see what your customers are searching for. From this, you can then stay true to your readers with topics that they’ll want to know about.
Using tools such as SEMrush Position Tracking allows you to visualise how well your keywords are doing, how well they’re ranking and a visual graph of your competitor position tracking.
Build Your Online Authority
It’s a known fact that search engines prioritise websites and content that is highly authoritative. That’s why websites such as Forbes, YouTube and Amazon tend to be right at the top of most common searches.
Likewise, the way you can take advantage of greater authority is by link building. Link building always has a significant effect on how well a site will do in SERPs, signalling crawlers to establish how organised and authoritative a site is.
If done correctly, links can bless your website with greater authority, since the more relevant links that you utilise (not spammy links), the better your site will perform. This will allow crawlers to understand that you’re using knowledgeable resources to create good content.
When you begin to notice the incoming links, you’ll find that your authority score (as shown below) will begin to increase, backlinks will jump and referring domains too.
Use Your Logic
The flow of the information found on your site should be logical and descriptive. Just like robots that will be crawling your site, it’s important to know that your readers will be looking for your content, thus grouping specific topics together will allow easier navigation. Not only this, but it’ll hold a more logical flow, keeping your readers on-site for longer, reducing the bounce rate.
Humans First, Robots Later
Despite SEO being extremely valuable to websites, content should never just be written for robots. Whilst it’s possible to trick Google with content, your users are human, they get bored like the rest of us. They won’t stay on your site for long if you don’t take their requirements into consideration.
Once you’ve discovered who your audience is, you can write for them in a TOV (tone of voice) that is true to them. Both friendly and approachable languages are key to your engagement and other stats. With this you’ll find that your content will be engaging, which will keep them coming back to your site for more information.
Moreover, mastering the art of content and storytelling is not for the faint-hearted, as you can clearly see now. However when content marketing, when done correctly with SEO, will allow you to create well-organised, knowledgeable resources that satisfy your searches and your current audience.
Just remember to keep in mind that content must continue to be churned, evaluated and continuously reviewed to satisfy your target audiences needs. If you’re looking for ways to keep your audience engaged, contact the Colewood team now.