You may be seeing results from your content marketing efforts already. After all, year-over-year growth in unique site traffic is nearly eight times higher for content marketing leaders compared to those who don’t consider themselves leaders, and content marketing creates about three times as many leads as traditional marketing.
The reasons content marketing works are clear. Content helps you:
- Climb higher in search results through keyword integration
- Build trust with leads
- Provide value that reinforces relationships with customers
- Generate new leads when content is shared or discovered
But what if you could improve your content marketing efforts, without having to massively increase your investment? Here are six easy tweaks to improve every blog post you publish. Use these techniques with each new post, and monitor your traffic and conversions to see how they work.
1. Make It Shareable
Getting your blog on social media sites can help your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. Links on social media send a signal to search engines that content is valued and widely consumed. Plus, the more your content is engaged with on social, the more traffic your site gets.
Add social media sharing buttons to each blog, so it’s easy for users to click and automatically post the content to Facebook or in a Tweet. Your content management platform should have these buttons available for simple installation.
You can also ask for a share in your call to action (more on that below), or for the user to join in a discussion about the content on a specific social channel you link to.
2. Include a Clear Call to Action
Yes, your blog should be high-quality and provide value to the consumer. The main aim of content marketing is to provide free content that is so valuable, it improves the sentiment users have for your brand, thus increasing sales.
However, you should also capitalize on the fact that the user took the time to digest your piece of blog content. Adding a call to action at the bottom of the post that directly relates to the content makes sense. It’s not as intrusive as a cold call-type ask, as long as it’s relevant to the user. Not adding a call to action means you’re placing the responsibility on the user to take action all on their own.
The best call to action is clear, concise and relevant. Some ideas include:
- Encourage the consumer to check out a related blog post.
- Send the user to a social media channel to connect with your brand there.
- Ask the user to leave a comment with what they think to inspire discussion.
- Offer a free consultation on a service that is mentioned in the blog post.
The call to action must relate to the piece of content. While a free trial may make perfect sense in a detailed, technical blog post, a call to action to engage with your brand further may make more sense for a high-level post.
3. Integrate Internal Links
Just like you want to include links out to authoritative sites to support data you include in a blog post, internal links are also vital to include. Benefits of using internal links include:
- You keep content consumers engaged with your site and propel them farther along the buying journey.
- Internal links build site authority for search engines.
- By linking to relevant posts within a blog, you’re increasing the user experience for blog consumers.
Like any website strategy, the use of internal links must be relevant and valuable to the user. Internal link stuffing within a post, where you link non-related blogs to keywords, can backfire and result in a search engine penalty.
Before publishing a blog, read through the post and see where an internal link makes sense. If a specific keyword is lacking in the post, you can always write out a sentence like, “If you liked this post, be sure to check out this post on this subject, too,” at the end of the blog. As you build up your blog content, you’ll be more easily able to identify related pieces of content you can internally link to.
4. Break Up Content
You may be aware that the average attention span of humans today is a mere 8 seconds. However, long-form blog content can be very valuable for your brand. Not only can it help with SEO, but consumers who are farther along in the buying journey may be willing and eager to take in highly detailed content.
Make sure each blog post caters to any type of consumer – those with lots of time on their hands, and whose attention spans are dwindling – by breaking up your content with subheads and bullet points. Not only does this help make the content more digestible and easier to scan, but keywords in subheads may signal to search engines what your content is about and help you to rank higher for them.
Also, use photos throughout a blog. You can also bold, italicize and underline certain terms you want to stand out.
5. Optimize for Keywords
Before you even write your post, you should use keyword strategy to generate ideas and drive the focus of the post. Your goal should be to focus on at least one major keyword your brand wants to rank for in each post, then create a stellar piece of content that supports that keyword.
Additionally, there are probably many other keywords that can naturally be inserted into the content. Google frowns upon keyword-stuffing for the mere point of adding keywords into a post. Above all, content should read naturally and provide value. When you know the keywords you want your brand to rank for, though, you can read back through a post and see if there are opportunities to add them to your content.
6. Build Authority
We’ve said it once, we’ve said it again: your blog should be used to provide value to leads and customers. This is how you will build authority, which means you’ll be the business consumers trust when it comes time to purchase. With each blog post your write, ask the following questions:
- How does this blog establish my knowledge on a subject?
- How does this subject relate to the solution my business offers customers with a specific pain point?
- How does my blog post reinforce credibility?
- What value does this blog post provide the consumer?
- How is this blog post different than what is already out there?
- What unique perspective do I offer on this subject, which is in line with our brand mission?
If you’re simply reusing and recycling the content that is out there, that’s no way to distinguish your brand as an authority in your space. Take time to research and thoughtfully create a blog with purpose. That’s where strategy, analytics and optimization can all help.
Improve Your Current Content
Use these tips for every future blog you produce. You can also go back to old posts and ask:
- Is this easily shareable?
- Have I included a call to action?
- Are there new internal links I can add?
- Can the content be broken up so it’s more easily readable?
- Have I optimized for keywords?
- Does this content position me as a leader in the space?
Your blog content is still available for search and consumption, so regularly revisiting what you have published is wise. Make sure your published content is the very best it can be.
What tips do you have for improving blog content you publish? Tweet us at @AlphaMindStudio – we’d love to hear from you!