When creating content you should…? It sounds like a quiz question. In fact, it is a question from HubSpot’s content marketing course exam. According to the quiz, the right answers are, “keep your audience top of mind” and “keep search engines top of mind.” That sounds easy. Think of your audience, think of search engines, and your job is done, right?
But those aren’t the only things to consider. You also need to think about how the content you create affects your brand and its marketing. Today, we’re discussing how to focus on all three areas to get the most out of the content you create.
If Google ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. Search engines are one of the most common ways people find information online. Google is the leading search engine and steals 92% of the market share, so you have to play its game to get your content in front of the right audience. Ways to do that include:
If you’re trying to reach the top of the search engine results page (SERP), you first have to know what competition you have and create a plan for how to outdo them. Keyword and SERP research are two important steps in planning a content creation strategy. Keyword research tools help you decide which terms and phrases are best for content topics in your industry or niche. Then, running a SERP search for the top-performing content for those keywords helps you discover what’s ranking, what’s missing, and how your pieces can be 10x better than the content that already exists.
Look at this screenshot of the SERP for the keyword “search engine positioning.” Currently, the top-ranking content includes definitions, steps and tips to help you rank higher in SERPs, and questions about Google’s ranking features. Is there more you could add to this topic? Is there a key piece of information or discussion point missing? That could be your angle and area to create 10x content and reach page one of the SERP.
Another way to do research is to request your free, no-obligation content marketing analysis report from CopyPress. It tells you how your content stacks up against its top three competitors in SERPs. The report also provides a list of gap topics and keywords to target to help your content perform better on search engines.
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Even if you do great research, if the search engine bots and crawlers can’t find your content, that work is for nothing. Optimizing the technical, behind-the-scenes parts of your website and content makes it easier for search engines to find, index, and pull your content for relevant queries. Specific focus areas for technical SEO behind your content include:
When creating content, remember that the search engine’s goal is user satisfaction. You’re trying to please the bots and crawlers, but the search engine’s algorithms and machine learning try to please the searcher. That means it’s in your best interest to create content made for people, not just for robots. The layout of your pieces, pages, and all content should flow logically for a human reader, not just a crawler program.
How do you do that? Create clear page titles. Use organizational structures like headings and bulleted lists. Incorporate your keywords naturally into the content. Pay attention to the words you choose for your anchor text for internal and external links. Your anchor copy should give the reader a clear understanding of where they are going and why if they were to click on that link. The easier it is to navigate your content, the more time people spend reading and viewing it. This behavior tells search engines your content is relevant, trustworthy, and worth promoting at the top of SERPs.
If you’re not trying to attract an audience with your content, why are you making it in the first place? Content marketing is one of the ways many clients interact with a brand for the first time. It’s important to know what your audience wants and the best way to present it to them. This helps them not just be aware of your brand, but see it as an actual solution to their problems and pain points. Do that by:
Marketing to a B2B audience can be trickier than marketing to a B2C audience. There are more people involved in the decision-making process. And their focus is on the good of the business rather than just deciding a product or service is something they want.
Your B2B audience likely doesn’t just want to see what your product or service can do. It’s not enough to pump out super salesy content to make your products or services look attractive, though those pieces do have their place in a content strategy. Overall, your B2B audience wants to relieve their pain points and find solutions to problems. When creating content, you should research what those problems are and share information to meet those needs.
Once you know what the audience wants, you next have to figure out what solutions to provide that are valuable to them. Again, just blasting out an ad that says “buy our product” usually isn’t enough to get B2B companies to sign on. And what the audience finds valuable can change based on the product or service you’re promoting, or the audience segment you’re targeting. What are some ways you can make sure your content is valuable, no matter what you’re promoting or who you share it with? Focus on areas like:
Make sure after you’ve created your content, you’re putting it online in places people are going to see it. Playing nice with search engines is the first step to meeting your audience where they spend time. But where else do they go? Do they visit social media platforms like LinkedIn? Are there partnerships available where you can syndicate your content to get a wider reach? Content creation doesn’t end when you hit the publish button. Make sure you’re putting in the additional work to get your valuable content in front of your audience.
To get an audience, you have to appeal to the search engines. To get clients, you have to appeal to the audience. But why are you going through this whole process? Because your business has goals and content marketing is a way to help you reach them. Create content that supports your brand and business expectations by:
What makes your product or service different from the tons of other comparable options available to your audience? While you might have some special features, what really sets your company apart from the competition is your brand story. People no longer make decisions about what to buy based solely on price or even the effectiveness of the product or service. They also like to know what kind of brand they’re aligning themselves with.
Do your two companies share values? Does your company give back to the community or the industry in any way? These are now determining factors people look at when trying to decide which product or service solution to choose. Sharing elements of your brand story, such as your history or your values, in your content helps your audience learn more about your company. This makes you more than just a sales pitch.
What goals do you want to achieve with your marketing? Your company and department goals shape every marketing decision you make. Are you trying to increase qualified leads? Are you trying to improve your return on investment from your content output? Do you want to increase website metrics like time on page or bounce rate?
Different pieces of content help you achieve these different goals. For example, eBooks and white papers help you attract more qualified leads. Optimized blog posts and articles help your website metrics and may be just what top-of-the-funnel customers and clients want to read. Think about your goals when choosing content types so that you can tailor each piece to them. That makes it easier to track and see if your content marketing is directly influencing your brand’s success.
Not every person or business who finds your content online is in the same place in their buying journey. If every piece of content you create targets people in the “purchase” phase—the time when people are ready to make a transaction—you’re going to miss out on capturing an audience at all the other stages.
To help your brand connect with the largest audience, and nurture casual visitors into loyal customers, you need to create content for every phase of the marketing funnel. Consider what you want the audience to know about your brand at each phase and what they’ll find valuable in each one.
CopyPress creates content with all these factors in mind. We work with you to understand your brand’s unique positioning and your target audience. We also put SEO at the center of the creation process to give your content the chance it needs to get noticed by the widest audience from the second it hits the internet. Schedule your free 30-minute introductory call with us today to start your next great content partnership.
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