Have you ever written a perfect blog, with keywords in place, links and tags optimized, a decent length, and yet realize it never gave you the SEO results that you hoped for?
With more than 5,76,000 websites being created on the world-wide-web each day, estimating the number of blogs becomes kind of impossible. Yet, here you are, writing content religiously and trying to get that SEO work its magic on you.
I have worked with multiple clients in the last couple of years who have posed this problem to me. One of the most common patterns that I have seen in almost all clients is the way that they are approaching their content. Don’t get me wrong, the quality of your content might be good, but there could be certain things that you are missing, which are not yielding the results that you expected. This is not a gold mine of a checklist, but some basic yet crucial things to ensure you’re NOT doing if you’re into content marketing.
Know how powerful content helps you generate potential and quality leads, which in turn makes you adept at online content marketing here.
Let’s say you’re writing content for a SaaS-based company. Have you ever used terms like ‘Maximize ROI’, ‘Save Time’, ‘Improve Productivity’? These are called (in my dictionary) numb words. Literally, every product in the market can market itself this way. Imagine a smartwatch, a meditation app, or n-number of software/services available in the market. They are everywhere, your target audience has stopped responding to them on a psychological level.
What you really need to focus on here is the real value that your product provides. You don’t go into the market searching for a product that will ‘maximize ROI’, do you? Circling back to the example we used, if you are a SaaS-based company, your value proposition should appeal directly to your user (or buyer). You might want to focus on how exactly does your product help your user - does it help it in their day-to-day, how so? Does it help them be more productive, how so?
Having a strong content presence on your website’s blog will surely help you bring in the desired traffic. But, the type of content that you write, would actually be responsible for conversion. This might sound easy, but let me explain. Let’s say your product is that of an ERP software, do you just write content that shows why should companies opt for ERPs or does your content strategy also drill down into various stages of using an ERP? I’ve seen clients approach me and show me the n-number of blogs they are writing each month with no results. Once I audit their content, I observe that the majority of their content is superficial. It would not address the real problems of a day-to-day user of the product.
If I am a manager at a supply chain company, and you promote the top 10 reasons to me to buy an ERP, I might not be entirely interested. What I would rather want to see is what problem does it solve for me on a day-to-day basis - will it help me manage my processes better, or with keeping track of stocks or inventories?
Your generic topics would help you get the traffic, sure. But the level of knowledge your content provides, the thought-leadership your blog creates, the problem it solves/answers for your real user - that would be something that will convert. Essentially, your content should solve for every stage of the marketing funnel, and not just the top of the funnel.
Say your business sells design services. You might write different blogs related to different offerings that you have, like that of website design, UX design, logo design and so on. But are you making sure these pieces, when put together, make a whole picture? Your blogs should ideally act as small clusters of different sub-topics under a main topic. For instance, if you write on website design, your blogs could be like ‘How to design a website using Wix’ or ‘How to ensure your website design is user-friendly’, but they need to ultimately relate back to your main topic (aka pillar), which is website design.
Having the cluster-pillar strategy in place not only helps you immensely in SEO - by signalling search engines the depth of knowledge you have in your field, but also in user experience by ensuring your users are able to find the relevant information when they reach you. HubSpot has written extensively about the importance of the pillar-cluster model, check it out here. Once you start using this model, your numbers can increase exponentially in a matter of months, as compared to the existing siloed model.
To summarize, a lot of effort goes into content marketing, ensuring that you follow these basic tips while you’re at it to help you get the most out of your content efforts.