Content marketing is one of the most effective ways that you can do to drive web traffic.
The internet is a vast resource. In an increasingly crowded marketplace how do you direct traffic to your website when you are competing with so many other businesses?
Even if you do manage to direct traffic to your site, you don’t just want any traffic. You want people to visit your site who are genuinely interested in and ready to purchase the products or services that you sell.
In its simplest form, content marketing is a strategy that involves the creation and distribution of high quality audio, visual or written content. It aims of increasing conversions and boosting sales.
There isn’t one success factor that determines how effective your content marketing will be, nor is there a magic system that will write, publish and attract visitors to your site. It takes hard work, dedication and an understanding of your target audience.
Find out what your readers want
You may have come across articles and guides online that tell you just be consistent. Publish a fresh piece of content around 500 words every day on any topic and the traffic will come.
Although you may receive some traffic it won’t be the right traffic. In other words, the people sent to your site just won’t be that interested in buying what you have to sell.
So how do you attract the right traffic? Before you start to create any content you need to find out who your customers are and what their pain points are.
This involves creating a detailed buyer persona about your ideal customer.
How old are they, what are their likes and dislikes? What problem can your product or service solve? These are all important questions.
You can even use your existing marketing channels such as email marketing. Ask your existing subscribers these questions by sending out a survey or you could carry out an in depth competitor analysis.
Once you have developed your ideal buyer persona and found out exactly the type of content they want to read, you need to create your content and promote it.
Sometimes as a busy business owner you just don’t have the resources to distribute your content for maximum exposure. That’s where software can come in so useful.
Software can be an online partner for your business. It helps you to build high quality traffic to help increase conversions and boost sales.
Another great way to drive traffic to your site through content marketing is to create evergreen content. This is essentially a blog post that won’t seem out of date in six or twelve months’ time.
The best evergreen posts are top tips, case studies, how to guides, resources and ideas or best tools.
Once you have created a few pieces of high quality evergreen content you can constantly promote it. Distribute your content to new people, fresh audiences and different platforms making a solution such as Traffic Ivy outlined above ideal.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the main ways that you will drive traffic to your website.
It is a fundamental element to your content marketing strategy, and it involves a two step approach, focusing on optimizing each of your pages and building links.
In terms of on-site SEO, your posts and pages should be suitably optimized with a focus keyword so that you can rank for this in the organic search results. The more authority your website has, the higher up the search engine it will rank.
It takes a lot of work to reach page one. This involves much more than simply publishing a blog post and optimizing it for a keyword. It can take many months for a post to rank.
There are some practical steps that you can take to ensure that the content you create reflects good practice from an SEO perspective. The step by step process for on page optimization and it involves:
Creating a title tag and identifying your focus keyword
The title tag is one of the most crucial elements of SEO on each of your web pages.
Ideally your focus keyword should be as close to the beginning of the sentence as possible for maximum results.
Don’t forget to choose a URL structure that is SEO friendly. It will have much more of an impact if you incorporate your keyword into the URL rather than using numbers or something else to describe your content. Make the URL as short as possible.
Your main title tag for the page should be assigned a H1 tag. Your target keyword should be incorporated into sub-headings and these should be assigned H2 tags.
Incorporate visual media
Create images, videos and diagrams to place into your content. This will not only break up your text but make the guide more appealing to readers and reduce bounce rate. It is where a visitor clicks on your page and then clicks away because the content isn’t relevant or engaging enough.
Your content should be developed to increase the visitors time on site as much as possible.
Make sure that your images and video content are assigned alt tags, and these incorporate your focus keyword.
Your keyword should appear at certain points throughout your content, ideally in the first 50-100 words.
When writing your guide, you should incorporate certain types of links throughout your content. This includes internal links to your other pages and also outbound links to authoritative websites that are closely related to your topic.
The content that you publish should be high quality, long form articles and guides that convey authority, build trust and position you as an expert or go to resource in your industry.
Long form content always performs better than thin, 500 word posts.
Keyword research is a crucial step in your SEO and content marketing strategy. It is much too detailed to explore in this guide but at the very least you need to find a keyword that is not too competitive.
Head terms such as trainers or sports shoes should be avoided as these are too competitive. You are better off finding medium or long tail keywords to optimize your page around.
Rather than being a single word, a medium or long tail keyword is a series of words that get more specific about the content you are creating.
A medium tail keyword would be between 2 and 3 words while a long tail keyword would be three words or more. Keyword selection is important and fundamental to your success in organic search.
When it comes to content marketing it’s very closely linked to SEO but there are two types of SEO and it is important to be able to differentiate between the two.
The first is onsite SEO which involves optimizing the posts and pages around specific keywords and phrases that you wish to rank for. Off-site SEO is about building authoritative, high quality links to your site.
Building links takes a lot of work and time to get right. It is a systematic process that involves creating content that people want to link to, positioning you as an authority resource in your niche. Quality link building involves:
Finding blogs and websites to link to
If you want to build your audience in your niche it is important to build connections. You need to understand who your audience is and what they want to read.
There are lots of ways that you can find suitable blogs and websites who may be interested in your content.
Take a seed keyword that closely relates to your target topic or idea and enter it into Google.
Then review the top results and if there are any that you think would be a good fit, make a note of them.
Create exceptional content
Now you have a good idea of popular topics and you have a list of websites and blogs that you can reach out to, the next step is to create your content.
However, to attract the high domain authority links that you need, your content has to be exceptional, far better than anything that has been published on the same topic already.
It should also appeal to the people who have the power to link to your content.
The final stage in the process once you have your content ready is to publish it and start reaching out to blog and website owners in your niche who have the power to link to your article.
It can be beneficial to offer an incentive for them linking to your article, perhaps for example offering them a free sample of your product.
When they read your outreach email then want to know what’s in it for them. When sending outreach emails, never create one email and mass send them to all of the people on your outreach list.
Make it personal
Make each email personal, refer to some of the work the blog or website owner has been involved in or complement one of their articles or posts. Good quality link building is about establishing lasting connections as well as building links.
You can of course use social media to promote your content, reaching out to new and existing audiences, including links to your content so you can maximize exposure for your post.
The link building process can be made even easier through the use of tools such as SEMRush that streamline the process, help you to identify popular topics and make the outreach process simple and straightforward.
The outreach process can be time consuming but with tools such as SEMRush or SEOPowerSuite your routine SEO tasks are taken care of, allowing you to focus on content creation and building your business.
There are lots of content marketing frameworks out there that will drive traffic to your website but one of the most popular (and successful) is known as The Skyscraper Technique from Backlinko.
This is a proven content framework that will if approached in the right way generate a significant amount of high quality, targeted traffic to your website.
The Skyscraper Technique is built around several key steps. The first is to research a popular topic. The goal here is to find a topic that you know works.
Use Ninja Outreach to find popular topics with lots of links and social shares. Once you have a proven topic the next step is to identify suitable blogs and websites to reach out to who will find the topic you have chosen beneficial or interesting.
The next step is the most important and involves the content creation stage. Your content must be ten times better than anything that has already been published on the same topic.
This could mean creating more steps, covering a topic in greater depth or adding your own ideas.
What are the next steps?
The next step is the promotion part and is where software systems and tools such as the Traffic Ivy platform prove so beneficial.
There are so many facets to content marketing. It is a systematic process that involves a number of steps that can drive traffic to your website.
Not every strategy will work for your business you will need to undertake a careful assessment to determine which methods and strategies will work better for your business. With any type of marketing, it takes time, persistence and hard work to get results.
Bringing in more traffic to your website doesn’t happen overnight. It can take many months before you start to see results.
Provided that you follow best practice and create outstanding content that increases awareness, you will be able to attract the traffic that your business needs to generate conversions, leads and ultimately sales.