The best solution to generating high value customers
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is a form of online marketing that focuses on the creation and distribution of relevant and valuable content with the aim of attracting, acquiring and engaging a clearly defined/understood target audience.
In simple terms, content marketing is all about creating website content that will attract website visitors as well as make them perform desired actions on your site/blog i.e. subscribe, buy something etc. To be able to do this, the content you make must include some elements. For instance, the site content you create and post must be of high quality. This should go without saying since nobody wants to read site content which is full of typos, grammar errors, tense errors etc.
The content you create also needs to be interesting. It’s one thing having high quality website content and another totally different thing to have catchy interesting content. To make your site content interesting, you must consider using engaging titles, pictures, videos etc.
Website content also needs to have all the relevant keywords for it to attract visitors. This is where Search engine optimization (SEO) comes in handy. We will cover SEO later in this article. All you need to know now is; SEO is the key to getting plenty of website visitors from search engines like Google. Have you ever wondered why some websites get more traffic from Google than others? If yes, don’t worry, you’ll find out shortly.
"Stanford Web Credibility Project found that 47% of users make buying decisions based upon a business’s site alone."
What is website content?
In online marketing terms, content refers to anything posted online on websites and blogs. Content ranges from website/blog articles to pictures and videos. Written content is however the most popular/important kind of content for obvious reasons i.e. every website needs written content to fill up website pages. Blog content, product/service content and news & timely content top the list of most important types of website content. This can be attributed to the fact that these types of content have the most significant impact on search ranking provided the content is created and posted perfectly.
Perfectly crafted blog content has a lot of benefits the most notable being boosting organic search ranking. Perfectly crafted product/service content offers adequate/engaging information about products/services prompting website visitors to take a desired action like buying products/services. Perfectly crafted news and timely website content updates website visitors on new products/services among other important updates that are bound to have a positive effect on business.
Overview of the importance of content marketing
The above overview gives you an idea of what content marketing is as well as how to make great content. Let’s shift our focus a bit to another very important question surrounding content marketing i.e. why is content marketing so important?
For your site to remain relevant and maintain a high ranking on search engines like Google, you need to work on the content frequently. Unless you are willing to spend a fortune marketing your site/blog via online ads, you need content marketing more than any other form of internet marketing.
Furthermore, content marketing is more effective than most (if not all) other forms of internet marketing. Forms of content marketing such as search engine optimization (popularly referred to as SEO) are the most effective when you want your website to rank highly on search engines like Google.
Before we discuss the importance of content marketing further, it’s important to understand the important role Google plays in content marketing.
Why is Google an important part of content marketing?
Over 92% of all people who use the internet find information using search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. The remaining 8% just bump into information online by chance or through subscriptions, via emails, social media etc.
Google is the most important search engine since most people use Google to find information online. According to the latest statistics from netmarketshare.com, Google has a 67.49% search engine market share. Yahoo is a distant 2nd place with a 10.77% market share followed by Bing and Baidu which have a market share of 10.67 and 8.13% respectively.
In a nutshell, your search engine marketing efforts should be concentrated on Google if you’re keen on getting as much search engine traffic as possible. The process of making your website or blog friendly to search engines is called search engine optimization or SEO. (Making your site friendly to search engines simply means making it easy for search engines to find your website online).
What is search engine marketing or search engine optimization (SEO)?
To understand why content marketing is so important, you need to understand SEO in-depth. You already know that most internet users use Google to find information online. The next step is knowing how to make your website rank high on Google. Ranking high on Google is crucial because most people looking for information online using Google rarely leave the 1st search page results.
According to the Search Engine Journal, 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results. If you’ve used Google to look for information online, you know this to be true. Page one search results are the most important and the higher you rank on the 1st page, the better. It is therefore paramount for your website to be found high up on the 1st page of search results if you are keen on getting a lot of search traffic to your website.
How to rank high on search engines?
It’s important to note that search engines use algorithms to rank websites. These algorithms look for specific elements in web content. For instance, your website content needs to have competitive keywords i.e. keywords which people are likely to type on Google when looking for information that is in your site. Search engines also look at things like keyword placement (where keywords are placed in site content. Hint; keywords placed on titles attract better ranking).
Search engines also consider keyword density (the number of times a certain keyword appears in a specific piece of content like an article on your site. Hint: You shouldn’t put too many keywords in any piece of content). Search engine algorithms also consider the quality of content (judged based on the popularity of content) etc. A content marketing expert can help you do all this perfectly. Let’s discuss content marketing elements briefly before we discuss the importance of content marketing in-depth.
This discussion should help you discover what it means to create great website content.
The main elements of an effective content marketing strategy
For you to do effective content marketing, a lot of factors must come into play. Below is a detailed discussion of the main elements of an effective content marketing strategy.
1. High quality content
As mentioned above, high quality content is an integral part of an effective content marketing strategy for obvious reasons. It doesn’t really matter how much you market your website if you don’t have high quality website content. This is precisely why it’s so important to hire a professional writer if you aren’t one. High quality site/blog content portrays professionalism. Your website/blog visitors will have a hard time trusting you if your content is full of fluff, typos and other kinds of content errors i.e. grammatical errors.
Although most website owners view professional content writing services as an unnecessary expense, the cost of having poor quality content on your site or blog is unimaginable. [Source: @thesimpleweb] Click to tweet
2. Interesting/engaging content
An effective content marketing strategy also strives to make content interesting/engaging. It’s important to note that you can have high quality content which isn’t interesting or engaging. If you don’t know how to create content that engages your website visitors, you are better off outsourcing the task to professionals. The best content writers know exactly what website visitors want to read. They can craft interesting articles which act like link bait i.e. your website visitors can’t resist clicking on them and performing desired actions like sharing the content.
3. Keyword optimization
Once you have high quality and interesting content, the next step is ensuring your content has the right keywords placed perfectly i.e. on titles, sub headings without keyword stuffing (including so many keywords). Google has specific keyword guidelines that must be followed for a site to enjoy high ranking. As a result, including a keyword or keywords in your site content won’t get you ranked high on the 1st page of Google search results. You need to do many things. First and foremost, you must find the perfect keywords for your site content by doing keyword research using tools like Google AdWords. You also need to know where to place those keywords on your site content.
It’s important to note that you get the best content marketing results when you have a keyword on a main title, page URL (if possible), one of more subheadings and the Meta description (the description that appears with the search results). The main keyword also needs to be placed in the first paragraph, a few times in the middle and in the last paragraph. All this should be done without including the keyword/s too many times. A keyword density of 2-4% is recommended. If you’re not an expert on keyword optimization, getting this important content marketing element is impossible. This explains why many website owners who don’t use professional content writing services never enjoy 1st page ranking on Google search results for popular keywords.
Considering keywords are the most important words in any site/blog content (since it’s what internet users type on Google to find information in your site), you can’t afford to do keyword optimization if you aren’t an expert. Keyword research and placement isn’t as easy as it sounds.
4. Image optimization
A good content marketing strategy should also include optimized images i.e. images with alt tags featuring the target keyword or keyword phrase. Image optimization makes it easy to rank your images as well as the site content with those images.
5. Social media optimization
A good content marketing strategy will also include social media optimization which is all about making your site content sharable on social media. To do this, you need to create site content with ideal-sized pictures, catchy titles with the right number of words etc. Your website also needs to be social media friendly i.e. have ideal social media plugins to make it easier for your website visitors to share your content on their social media profiles. If you don’t know anything about social media content preferences, you will need the services of a professional content marketer.
This is also an important part of an effective content marketing strategy. Your content can be high quality and interesting but challenging to read i.e. you may have included many long sentences that make it hard to read the content. The best content writers are able to prepare content that passes the best readability tests i.e. the Flesch Kincaid readability tests.
7. Regular posting
Effective content marketing also involves regular posting. Search engine algorithms factor-in the frequency of fresh content in sites. It’s therefore important to keep posting fresh content if you are keen on maintaining a high ranking on Google.
Why content marketing is so important?
1. Most effective but least costly form of online marketing
Buying content writing packages is way cheaper than paying for online ads as well as traditional ads such as TV, radio and magazine ads. Furthermore, content marketing has been tested and proven to be the most effective form of online marketing considering most internet user use search engines to find information online.
2. Increases/create awareness
Creating site content regularly keeps your site visitors aware of everything that is going on in your online business. For instance, new product descriptions posted on your social media page let your website visitors know that you have some new products to offer. Also, without site content, search engines wouldn’t be able to find your site. New highly optimized content is also bound to increase search ranking.
3. Builds trust
You build trust online by engaging your website visitors. Trust is a very important ingredient for online business success since it’s what makes your website visitors want to perform a favourable action i.e. buy your products when they visit your site. When you create high quality and useful content on a regular basis, you shouldn’t have a problem building trust with your website visitors.
“The more questions you answer on your website, the more useful you become, which breeds visibility and loyalty. You are either sufficiently useful at any given moment, and thus connect with the customer, or you are not. It’s real-time relationship building.”
4. Offers amazing SEO benefits
As discussed above, content marketing allows you to rank high on search engines through the main elements of an effective content marketing strategy. As long as you create high quality content that is engaging, readable, optimized perfectly (social media, image and keyword optimization), you shouldn’t have a problem ranking your site high on Google for popular keywords in your site niche.
5. Has long lasting benefits
Content marketing offers unmatched long lasting marketing benefits unlike expensive ads which last as long as you are spending money. Once you make great content, you enjoy SEO benefits for years. You continue to attract traffic years after you have made and posted the content on your site or blog.
The above information highlights everything you need to know about content marketing from the definition to effective content marketing strategies as well as the main benefits. After going though the above information, you shouldn’t have a problem crafting a perfect content marketing strategy for your online business, website or blog. It is however important to note that content marketing should be done by an expert for you to get the best results. If you don’t have the expertise and time to implement a perfect content marketing strategy with all the elements discussed above, you are better off seeking professional content writing services. Furthermore, the cost of seeking such services is cheaper than the cost of online ads and the cost of getting it all wrong when you try it on your own.