Content marketing and blogging tips to improve SEO
20 January 2020
If you’ve ever attended a digital marketing workshop or webinar, then you’ve probably heard of content marketing and been advised to add a blog to your website. Both of these areas of digital marketing can uncover growth opportunities for your business and are worth exploring. For example, a blog that’s part of an effective content strategy can make your website, and your brand, more discoverable online amongst potential clients researching your area of expertise.
A great blog that adds SEO value and improves search engine ranking positions (SERPS) requires sufficient resources, mostly time and often money if you outsource to content experts. In this article we’re sharing our top content marketing and blogging tips for small business owners and start up brands to help you improve your digital presence.
What is content marketing?
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing and business process focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience, and ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
Types of content marketing
Blogging is one of the first types of content marketing that you may think of because it is the most popular. However, there are many types of content you can incorporate into your content strategy such as video, case studies, infographics, user generated content etc. Every brand or business should identify the right mix of content types that will add value to and attract their target customers.
Why is content marketing so important?
An effective content strategy is designed to add value to potential customers and to your business. Content marketing is all about your brand’s target audience, understanding what they value and showing them how your knowledge can benefit them.
From your brand’s perspective creating great content your target audiences will enjoy can help you to build relationships and trust with them. However, your ultimate goal should be to stimulate interest in your products or services. At a commercial level, brands with an effective content marketing strategy often experience:
– Increased website traffic
– Higher conversions rate
– More loyal customers
Blogging is great for business
Adding a blog to your website can be an effective tool for increasing traffic to your website from your target audiences, and you can showcase your expertise to them and set yourself apart from your competition. Blogging enables you to give your brand a voice and bring its personality to life, don’t hide behind your story or service pages, share your knowledge and ideas to give users more reasons to choose you.
Create a great content plan for your blog in 5 steps
Blogging is a time-consuming task, especially if you’re not a natural copywriter, many business owners or brand managers will start a blog for their brand full of great intentions but soon the frequency of posts trickle away as other areas of business take over. This pattern is very common, but you are missing out on potential customers.
We believe that through proactive planning you can find your blogging mojo and share fantastic content with exciting new audiences, here are five simple steps to create a great content plan for your blog.
1. Define your target audience
Before you start writing a blog it’s essential to understand who you are writing content for? Does your business want to attract busy Mums of young children? First-time home buyers? Marketing Managers at top global brands? Create a persona for each of your target audiences and describe their demographics, their current mindset, likely challenges, interests or hobbies, favourite brands etc.
Once you’ve created a target customer profile or three you can define how your brand can communicate effectively with them. As part of your content strategy think about the tone of voice for your writing, the style and type of images, blog length etc. For example, a busy mum may welcome shorter articles or even a video on niche topics whereas, a Marketing Manager will welcome detail and knowledgeable insights, maybe even an infographic.
2. Know the topics your target audiences are interested in
The best performing and most read blogs are relevant, high quality and well-written about topics that audiences find interesting. So, how do you know what your target audience is looking for? The first and most obvious place to look is Google, your target audiences will be actively researching topics relating to your brand or business on this mighty search engine.
When you write a blog its important to focus the copy around 2-3 popular search terms as this will help Google find your blog and display it in the organic search results for users to find. Your most important target search term should feature once in your title and first paragraph, then dot each target search term through your full text a few times and don’t be too repetitive as Google may recognise this as spammy behavior.
Useful keyword research tools
There are two great tools that you can use to research topics for your content strategy and brand’s blog, and they are both free to use:
Google keyword planner: this is great tool for identifying popular search terms, simply add one or two words into the tool and Google will suggest related terms and how many searches they receive every month. You can use this tool for generic and niche keywords, group them in twos or threes et voila there you have some popular, relevant topics to blog about
Answer the public: once you’ve chosen your target keywords this tool is great to understand the context behind those keywords and the type of questions users often ask on this topic. This tool is great for helping you work out the angle of your blog post.
3. Write quality content at length
There’s rarely an occasion where you can learn something valuable from or feel engaged with an article that is only 500 words long. Recent trends show that Internet users have short attention spans and prefer messages that are short and punchy content (E.g. explainer videos). However, when it comes to informative written content marketing such as blogs you need to balance quality and length. You don’t need to write 2,000 words for the sake of it to try and impress Google’s algorithm, instead write great quality engaging content tailored to your target audience.
The ‘perfect blog’ length doesn’t exist and there are many contradicting reports online. We recommend blog posts are at least 1,000 words as Google likely rewards longer length articles over shorter ones, and this length allows you to talk informatively on your chosen topic. The secret behind making longer articles engaging is to break the copy up into digestible chunks of a couple of paragraphs separated by engaging sub headers. Never present one solid wall of text as it’s extremely off putting and uninviting to read, try featuring numbered lists and use images to add intuitive gaps and pauses.
4. Set a content plan and publish blogs regularly
From your keyword research in step 2 you should have identified at least 12 blog topics you are going to create some great content for. Publishing one blog a month on your website is a great starting point for small businesses and is the minimum advised to please Googles algorithm. However, frequency isn’t necessarily the most important factor when trying to improve your website’s SEO, again it’s about the quality of content, and the consistency of when you publish it.
If you are starting a new blog, we highly recommend launching with as many posts as possible so that Google can crawl and read lots of great content quickly and reward your website for it. Once you have a good content base add new quality content at regular and consistent intervals E.g. monthly, or if you have the resource twice a week. Create a simple blog calendar and allocate time for researching, writing and publishing each blog and stick to it.
5. Don’t forget to share your fantastic blog content
The great thing about blog content is that its highly shareable and this makes it a valuable content marketing asset, once you published your blog you can share it on your social media channels (Twitter, Linked In, Instagram, Facebook etc.), in email newsletters, on your homepage or other webpages, in online ads etc. Share your blogs frequently wherever your target audiences may be.
Finally, within your blogs enable users to learn more about your business by linking to other blogs and pages of your website. And, most importantly always include a call to action (E.g. get in touch) so that you can start a relationship with your readers.
Consider outsourcing your content marketing needs
Copywriting isn’t for everybody, the thought of writing 1,000 words every month may fill you with dread and slowly this task will move to the bottom of your ‘to do’ list. Outsourcing your blogging or content marketing strategy needs to an expert with a solid reputation is a cost and resource effective solution to help you to achieve the results you want efficiently, and long term. Think realistically about your time and expertise, can you effectively manage and publish a great blog for your business?
At Hi Digital, we create engaging content for several clients and can adapt our copywriting skills to a wide variety or target audiences and business industries. If you’d like to create a great content strategy for your brand, please email us firstname.lastname@example.org or please get in touch with using the form below to book a free consultation with us.
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Hi Digital are dedicated to growing small businesses with effective digital strategies, and we’d love to help you reach your business goals. Find out more about what we do or discover free digital marketing tips on our blog.