Oh, Google – you nifty little thing. With your constant updates and fluctuating algorithms, you’re keeping us on our toes. But that’s how we like it.
These days, the search giant has its eyes on producing high-quality, accessible content for targeted audiences. But that’s not what will bring your words to the top of rankings. Instead, it’s the authentic human element of engagement that’ll bring your startup the attention you’re craving. So, learning how to tap into this potentially elusive element is the key to your success. But how exactly do you even hit the nail on the head when it comes to creating human-driven content?
Here are our 9 top tips for creating material that will boost your startup, no matter what industry you’re in.
1. Craft your content to align with high-volume search queries
With a plethora of content types at your fingertips, search results for any given keyword are likely to present a pretty extensive variety to the user. Anything from video, quizzes or articles are probably are there with their most consumed formats, as well.
It makes sense, then, to match your target keyword up with the most popular content in the eyes of Google. For example, if you see that a search term is producing a lot of video results, then devoting time to this tactic over other types is your best bet. As a startup, this means taking the time to understand what more dominant players in your industry are creating, and trying to replicate their success with your own unique spin.
2. Team your content with the title for maximum impact
Nobody likes having a carrot dangled in front of their nose and then pulled away. So, make sure you meet your readers’ expectations by delivering them the content they’d expect from the title. For example, if it’s a ‘how-to,’ craft content that’s easy to follow, with instructions that are as foolproof as possible. This will make sure your readers stay on the page, after finding the exact answers they’re looking for. If they don’t, they’ll quickly hit the back button, and your bounce rate will take a hit for it.
3. Be a one-stop source for the information your readers are looking for
Google’s logic is that when readers click on more than one link in a search query, the first link they clicked on didn’t satisfy their curiosity enough.
To make sure you’re both the starting and end point in the user’s journey, your content has to be meaty enough to cover a range of topics – from main points to subtopics. The tactics to use for this include finding the most searched for related topics (the free version of Keywordtool.io is good for this), and adding useful links into your article where readers can learn more if they wish. Another great tactic is to produce a ‘spiderweb’ of content that stems from one parent topic and linking them all together.
For example, let’s say you’re looking to cover off topics for ‘content marketing’ as a search term. This is a broad area to tackle, so popping it into something like Keywordtool.io can help you identify what people are seeking answers to for this field.
There’s plenty to tick off here in a few pieces of content. Choose the one with the most search traffic – in this case, ‘is content marketing dead’ (not it’s not) – to act as your parent topic. Create a long-form article of around 1000-3000 words, and generate ‘sub-topics’ that can stem from this pillar piece as smaller blogs. Let’s say you then move onto creating a couple of blogs around ‘is content marketing worth it’ and ‘what are content marketing platforms?’. You can then internally link all of these smaller blogs through to the first initial long-form article you created.
The result? A healthy-looking cycle of content that Google identifies as being a nurturing journey for the user. The search giant will label you as an authoritative source, and your SEO will benefit all the while.
This tactic is something that’s helping startups across the board to leverage their online presence, especially when they’re just starting out in the content game. With so much to catch up on, this method is a prime opportunity for you to get a head start when you need it most; and it’s relatively simple to pick up.
4. Get straight to the point and create a user-friendly experience
It’s easy to get stuck for hours hunting for content in the endless sea of the web. But putting your readers in that position is the exact opposite of what you want. Instead, write or create clear, concise content that is packed with information, and laid out in an easy-to-follow manner. We’re talking (H tags, table of contents, etc). Make the entire journey as simple as possible so that they can get the answers they’re looking for without bouncing around. Your rankings will thank you for it.
5. Engagement trumps backlinks, so make it your priority
Links from other sites to yours – otherwise known as backlinks – were once the most important ranking factor. Now, engagement is trumping this tactic (though, they’re still crucial). That’s not to say that they don’t add value to your overall efforts, they do – just not as much.
In fact, having backlinks from authoritative and high domain authority sites will lead to Google favouring your website over competitors. However, it’s also likely the search giant will test you out on engagement levels too. If your piece of content gets click-throughs and doesn’t cause readers to hit the back button, you’ll definitely reap the benefits. If you’re not sure where to start to get links, we highly recommend opting for an expert (like us).
6. Always remember that conversion is the goal
When you write an article, you have a purpose in mind. That might be in terms of readers buying your product, subscribing to your service or signing up to your newsletter. Then, the aim becomes guiding them into converting. And that’s where the real challenge starts.
While your content should be crafted with the conversion in mind, the ultimate selling point is that it’s authentic. That means providing hearty information that the reader will find useful placing it all towards the beginning of the piece. That leaves plenty of leeway into creating a natural flow for your pitch in the second half the content you create.
Think about portraying the problem in the first half of the piece, and articulating how your product or service solves it (subtly). Do so in a relatable, practical way that also appeals to your audience’s emotions.
Word of caution here though – resist the temptation to blast a sales pitch. You’re not here to sell, sell, sell. The purpose is to nurture and carefully persuade.
9. Set the stage for retargeting your readers
Establishing a relationship with your readers is vital to get them to buy into your brand. That means giving them plenty of encouragement to connect with your via email and/or social media. Then, follow up with handy suggestions that are personalised to their interests through external channels.
For example, you may be able to offer them a product that matches the blog topics they might have been reading about on your site (using your analytics). Or you might simply retarget them with products they’ve looked at before. Doing this through Facebook and Instagram produces excellent results; in fact, when viewers see a product seven times on different platforms, they’re more likely to buy it. This is exactly the reason why taking the time to build your content strategy is so unbelievably worth it.
In the end, the content you create can boost your startup success to completely new heights, but it doesn’t come without a strategy or hard work. Put yourself in the eyes of your users, and balance that vision with Google’s ranking factors. That’s the quintessential recipe for content success and will make sure your venture has the best starting point possible, all ready to hit the market.
Need assistance to get started with your content strategy? Get in touch with Content Marketing Agency’s experts now for a no-obligation discussion.