The single most impactful thing you can do to improve your content’s search engine ranking is to focus on the quality and relevance of your content. It’s easy to simply “produce content.” Write a blog post here, post an image or video there. But, you need to ask yourself whether this content is actually valuable.
That’s because too many companies have jumped on the content marketing bandwagon without realizing what makes quality content in the first place. Your blog posts might meet weekly quotas, but that doesn’t mean people are reading them. It doesn’t mean they are helpful to your audience. To maximize your SEO, your readership, and most importantly the business impact, you need to produce quality, meaningful content every time. Here are 10 ways to do just that.
Make The Most of Technology
Technology is there to help you, so make the most of it. Younger marketers and content writers are already aware of the benefits that grammar software and keyword identifiers can offer, but more senior business owners who are used to doing things their way might not be on board.
Technology will continue to evolve, making content creation easier than ever—so it’s vital to understand how this technology can help you. Besides grammar checks to improve readability or video editing software that allows anyone to create a promotional video, you can use Visual Planning for project management needs so that everyone knows what they need to do.
This helps eliminate questions and misunderstandings, and ensures your team is more efficient than ever, which will have an immediate impact on your content quality.
Use a Content Calendar
You don’t always need advanced technology, though. The old ways of doing things can still be relevant in any industry. Besides project management planning, you should also consider the benefits of content calendars to help you schedule your blog posts, videos, and more.
Content calendars allow you to keep track of your previous posts and campaigns, which means you can create internal links to previous, similar posts (which helps with SEO) and avoid creating duplicate content (which hurts rankings). Your calendar can also help you maintain a consistent posting cadence, prepare content for holidays, and plan posts for significant dates in your industry.
Overall, a content calendar makes your marketing team more organized and focused.
Keep Your Content Updated
Your content should, of course, be relevant when you publish it. However, trends, tactics, and technology can evolve quickly in any industry. This means, eventually, much of your content will become outdated and irrelevant. Still, it will exist regardless. You may not need to delete the content, but rather update it to keep it timely.
Your content calendar will help with this, but your content creation team should also stay current on your industry and periodically audit your older content. The last thing you want is for customers to stumble across an old blog post that is completely outdated and no longer factually correct, as this will make your company seem oblivious and out of touch.
Some content will need a few edits here and there whereas other pieces will need a significant overhaul. It sounds like a lot of work, so if you find out that editing doesn’t work, consider creating content that responds to the initial post to clear everything up. One way to get more value from older content is to point back to it in “where we are now” update posts.
Try Different Content Formats
Every business has its content wheelhouse, and this all depends on what you have available to you. The most common form of content is blog posts. But everyone in your audience has difference preferences for how they consume content, at different times, on different devices.
That makes it important to keep things fresh and try different things. Rather than relying solely on text, repurpose your best ideas as infographics, videos, or other types of visual content. Smartphones have made it easier than ever to create video content, so you can bring concepts to life even if you don’t consider yourself an auteur.
Not everything will be a hit, but you will still gain experience from trying new things and give your audience (and others) a different way of consuming your content.
Understand Your Audience
The better you understand—truly understand—your target customer, the more relevant and relatable your content will be. Not just what their problems are, but what words they use when discussing those problems, and the personal impacts (e.g., having to work extra hours) they feel from those business problems.
Every company should have their ideal customer persona-fied before they do anything else. This is the core target audience, the kind of person most likely to purchase your product.
If you haven’t already, make sure you get to know your audience through marketing emails, surveys, and other measures. Pick up the phone. Meet with them at live events (when live events become possible again).
From there, develop your content around their interests. Use data and analytics to find out which types of content they engage with most. If your audience spends more time reading blogs, then write more blogs. If they prefer instructional videos, create those.
Knowing what your customers prefer will save you from creating content that’s the equivalent of shouting into the void. You want people to engage with your content, so create something that will generate not just clicks but actual engagement.
Know Your Topic
Too many content creators will write the content and then think of a title later on. But this rarely works the way they hope it does. Rather than creating a versatile piece of content, it ends up being directionless, muddled, and without the value needed to attract customers.
This is why it’s so important to know your topic beforehand. You need to outline each piece with a clear goal in mind, including what you want to include and what you want to gain from it. For talented content creators, this is basic stuff. But some businesses will try to create content on the cheap, whether using internal or external resources.
The better your creators know the topic, the better the content will be, and this will bring more customers in as they develop trust in your subject matter expertise.
Use Reputable Research Sources
Even if you have extensive expertise in your subject area, your audience may not immediately trust your assertions. This is why reputable sources will be some of the most important tools in your quest to create better content.
Linking to educational papers or scientific studies that back up what you are saying shows you know what you’re talking about. You can even use reputable websites that are leaders within the industry. Just make sure to use credible sources that support what you want to say.
Sometimes, the title doesn’t tell the full story, so read through reports or articles before linking to them.
Define Your Voice
A clear and defined brand voice helps create consistency in the tone as well as the quality of your content. It provides your audience with something familiar and trustworthy, making them more like to open and click through on your emails.
But creating content takes time, and many marketing teams don’t have adequate staff or bandwidth. So, they rely on freelancers or copywriting services. There’s nothing wrong with this, of course, but it creates the risk of a disjointed voice that doesn’t always align with your brand.
Whether you create content yourself or use outsourced talent, you need to ensure the voice is consistent in order to build familiarity and trust.
While it’s important to use the right sources and know what you are writing about, you should also consider aesthetics. One of the biggest reasons people don’t bother to read through to the end of a post is improper or sloppy formatting.
No one wants to read a “wall of text.” Inconsistent headings and lack of visual appeal also hurt.
Use headers, bullet points, and tables to your advantage. They break up the text, make it easier to read, and also help you rank better on search engines.
Make It Engaging
Proper formatting will make your content more readable, but you also need to think about how you will grab the reader’s attention. The answer is multimedia.
Include visual elements like images, videos, and infographics in your blog posts to engage your audience. Insert questions that get your readers thinking. This is also a good practice for social media posts, as it will encourage engagement, generate clicks, and increase shareability.
The more engaging your content, the more successful it will be. Don’t just preach, start a conversation.
Producing consistently high-quality content is vital for successful digital marketing. You can’t transform your content quality overnight. But you can create an action plan to ensure every blog post, social media post, video, and infographic matters to your customers.