This is a guest column from Shyam Bhardwaj, a small business SEO consultant. He also writes on ShyamBhardwaj.com and contributes his knowledge on Startup Grind, Tweak Your Biz, and Site Pro News publications.
With internet marketing in bloom, a lot of brands are attracted to the content marketing bandwagon, and blogging is one area that’s getting a lot of attention. Unlike the common impression, it is not as simple as putting up a blog and publishing content. If you want to be successful in this effort, you must take into consideration what you should and should not do.
When you approach it in a disciplined, organized manner, you’re much more likely to draw readers into your copy.
Here are ten ways in which you can use content planning to not only organize your strategy but also increase your traffic.
Content marketing calendar:
Documenting all your strategies and calendaring them can help a lot in the timely creation of content. Though it has been overlooked, 61% of marketers find it difficult to create content within the desired timeframe.
Only 44% are said to have a content marketing strategy that is well documented. To play out your month and allocate them to the calendar will contribute immensely to the consistent creation of content.
Conduct a survey:
All industries are demand-driven. Be it entertainment, food, or consumables – it is the appetite of the consumers that makes the companies thrive. Content is no different from the rest. Surveying to find out about the needs of the consumers will provide analysis and infographics for your upcoming topics.
With the availability of online tools like Google Forms, SurveyMonkey and others, this task has become even easier.
Research on what works:
Before picking on your new topics, invest some time analyzing the content formats that have worked so far. You can use Google Analytics to understand the pages that have driven the most traffic and the keywords that have been used the most.
Add this is an add-on that embeds a sharing button on your content and provides traffic information. The number of shares, click-backs, and referrals will give you a picture of the trend that will form a base for your future content.
Understanding social trends and creating news:
Social media is very helpful in getting an idea of what is trending in real time. Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms show trending topics locally and globally. Creating content on trending topics helps deliver quality content to the people and also actively engage with them.
Recycle old content:
Creating new content and writing it may prove to be too consuming. Alternatively, you could add a new perspective to the content that you already have. You could make use of well-researched articles and repackage them with a supplemental blog post.
High-quality content can be sustained by creating marketing videos. Consistently posting videos with information and tips about your industry needs will enhance your image. A major portion of marketers validate this argument as around 70-80% of people are said to view videos every week.
Creating video content is not difficult at all. You could create it in the form of infographics or a simple audio-video message to your consumers. It can be uploaded to YouTube first and, if optimized properly, in turn, can drive traffic to your website.
Make it easy to skim:
Repeat this mantra: Bullet points are your friend. People are much more likely to read copy broken up by bullet points, colors, or form of billboard-style layout because:
- It looks more accessible than a big hunk of gray text.
- It offers bite-sized, actionable tips.
- It serves as a mini-outline for the reader.
Here’s a great example of bullets and how they help break up copy. Blogger, Ivor of WPINDIGO, uses them to organize his steps to change the SEO title/description using Yoast.
Have you ever noticed how many hits Buzzfeed receives for its listicles? People love lists because they’re easily digestible and provide a clear path for the reader to follow through the copy. Plus, they’ve been shown to increase links from outside sites. To employ lists that work, make sure you:
- Build on each thought as you go along
- Number your points
- Stay on topic
It helps to make your listing numbers stand out. Like HubSpot, by using different fonts or sizes.
Make room for images:
You may not consider images as copywriting, but you can have text in them. Text over top of an image is becoming increasingly popular to make an emphasis or create a tone or image to go along with a fact or statistic.
There are many ways to find pictures, including:
- Free stock image sites like Unsplash
- Decorative quotes like Quozio
- Or templates for photos, text, or design like Canva
Figure out a place to put the images where it enhances the copy. For instance, the “What is the Best SEO Strategy” post uses an introductory section for every contributor to draw the reader’s attention. Bonus points for including some colorful bullet points with them.
Write excellent headlines and subheadings:
Part of organizing your copy is giving the reader direction. First, you need to hook them with a great premise. Headlines that use “what,” “how,” or “why” are great bait. For example, “Why It Took Me 13 Years to Learn Stock Market” or “What You Don’t Know About RankBrain Algorithm.”
But make sure your subheadings are just as inviting. For example, in this Copyblogger post, the blogger uses interesting headlines as subheads instead of simply trying to explain what the approach is.
Remember, your copy should be a map for the reader, leading them further into the copy because the longer they read, the more likely they are to click through, be convinced to buy your product, or look at other pages on your sites.
With the evolution of SEO, to remain competitive in the rankings, one must include how-tos, comparison guides, and ebooks, besides other content marketing techniques.
What do you think about these tips to create content that will lead to outstanding results?