by Justin Prinsloo
Dec 23, 2021
Content marketing is a vital component of any business’s digital marketing strategy. Effective, informative content establishes you as an authority in your industry, which in turn grows your audience and can boost your website’s SEO performance.
The rising intelligence of Google’s RankBrain means the ties between content and SEO are only growing stronger. To capitalise on this, brands must approach the content they produce as a user-first experience – while using search data and leveraging RankBrain to perform well organically.
Sound complicated? Don’t worry! It’s more straightforward than it seems, and this guide will help you understand content marketing in greater detail – as well as give you some tips on levelling up your brand’s own content marketing efforts.
Content Marketing: What’s the Big Deal?
The aim of content marketing is, in a nutshell, to distinguish your voice from the crowd by creating knockout content for your brand.
Producing killer content that’s better than your competitors’ will help you stand out and build users’ faith in your expertise. Most importantly, this will in turn improve your rankings on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
What Does Good Content Look Like?
“Good” content is informative content. It’s content that answers a user’s query and provides all the info they need. No fluff, no waffle; just pure, straight facts in a palatable format that avoids the pitfalls of these common content mistakes.
We all know good content when we see it. It’s that informative “How To” guide that ticks all your boxes; that helpful listicle that reliably ranks the products you’re trying to choose from. Good content gives us the actionable information we were looking for all along and rewards us for finding it.
Producing content with this level of quality requires decent writing skills and data-driven insights into what your audience wants. And it all starts with knowing your audience.
Content for Users AND Google: Why You Must Keep Both in Mind
Your users are only half of the equation. While it’s true that Google is becoming more human-like in its classification of useful information, web content still requires a healthy dose of SEO know-how to rank well.
Relevant keywords, strong internal linking, informative headings, snappy meta descriptions, mobile-friendliness and your website’s page speed; all are crucial for demonstrating value to Google. SEO best practice and fine content go hand-in-hand.
Distribute Content According to Your Key Channels
There are 3 main channels to consider with your content distribution strategy: Owned, Paid and Earned.
Owned media are those you have “ownership” over – like your website’s blog and your business’s social media accounts.
Paid media encompass your advertising avenues and can take the form of a PPC campaign – see our PPC service to find out more.
Earned media represent a great opportunity to broaden your scope by getting your content shared in external publications and by users online.
Produce Shareable Content to “Earn” Better Coverage
Nothing strengthens a webpage like a strong list of referring domains linking back to it. Attaining backlinks to a piece of content is one of the surest ways to show Google it’s worth ranking high for a query, so lean into an Earned Media strategy wherever possible.
How do you do this? Well, legacy linkbuilding methods as part of your business’s Digital PR strategy can be very effective here, but it also comes back to general shareability. If a piece of content is good, it’s more likely to be shared and referred to organically by your users – and this is exactly the level of quality you should be targeting.
Building & Developing Your Brand’s Content Marketing Strategy
Like any other branch of digital marketing, content is most effective when produced from a clear strategy.
Your content marketing strategy relies on your business’s defined goals and, like any strategy, requires research of the competitive landscape and a full audit of your existing content to know where you stand. See our blog post on how to develop your content marketing strategy for a full breakdown of getting started.
Do Keyword Research to Identify Content Opportunities
Keyword research will not only help you to understand which terms you should be targeting; it will also highlight some of the questions people are asking online and, by extension, give you a clear focus for future content.
Perform keyword research and pay particular attention to search terms that:
- Contain long-tail keywords, as these are perfect for building informative blog posts around
- Align with your brand’s identity
- Are questions that your audience are likely to be asking
When you have your keywords and some rough ideas on which content gaps to fill, it’s time to turn your focus to producing high-quality content that sends all the right signals to Google and your users.
Top Tips on Content Writing Best Practice
Click on the first result for any popular search query and chances are you’ll be greeted with well-written, engaging copy that clearly and concisely answers a question. This is what you’ll want to aim for when producing your own content.
To that end, here are a few things to keep in mind and some tips on how to hit the right notes in your writing.
Develop Your Brand’s Tone of Voice
A strong, reliable, and relevant tone of voice will communicate who you are and what you stand for to your audience. Key information like your values, USPs, and core messaging can all be conveyed through an engaging TOV to inspire readers.
As such, it must remain consistent throughout the content you produce. Assemble a style guide and tone of voice document to keep track of the messaging you want to get across, as well as what you want your tone of voice to say to readers.
Relaxed? Formal? Restrained? Rambunctious? Ask yourself what tone of voice would complement your values and business’s identity, and strive to make it consistent across all your channels. Check out our Beginner’s Guide to Perfecting Your Tone of Voice for more helpful tips.
Informative, High-Quality Content Wins the Day
More than ever, content must be well-written and informative to stand out from competitors. The webpage with the most value typically wins, so injecting your knowledge and insight into the pieces you produce is a must.
As we’ve already mentioned, Google is becoming increasingly intelligent at categorising content value. In fact, the search engine takes an almost human-like approach to ranking content; readable, informative and original articles that adhere to SEO best practices are the most likely to rank well.
Use your own expertise to write content that stands out in demonstrating value – it provides users with the content they need and reflects well on your business’s unique voice.
Use Keyword-Rich Titles and Headings
A strong page title will snag a user’s attention and get them interested in what you have to offer. Be descriptive and try to make the title an answer to a question – after all, the page title will be the first thing users see when browsing search results.
On the page itself, your headings should likewise be snappy and informative, guiding the reader through. Use your focus keywords in headings wherever possible, as this will both help navigation and signal to Google that the page is answering the right questions.
To get an idea for well-written titles and headings, look at what your competitors are doing. The top results on Google are usually the best examples to follow, so don’t be shy to borrow ideas here (without copying word for word, of course).
Add Internal Links on Relevant Anchor Text
Internal linking is a powerful SEO practice that improves user navigation around your site and enhances its crawlability as well. Linking to relevant categories, products and services will point users in the right direction and signal to Google what the intention of the content is.
Aim to only add links to relevant anchor text (the section of copy to which the link is attached): no “click here” links or entire URLs in the copy. As a rule of thumb, explain what is being linked to in the anchor text to make it the most relevant and navigable it can be.
Lean Into the Powerful Potential of Blog Articles
Blogs are excellent for targeting long-tail keywords and showcasing content that is useful to readers.
A neglected blog is a missed opportunity, so keep producing regular content that targets relevant keywords in line with your strategy.
Don’t Be Shy to Repurpose Old Content
If you have content that has potential but isn’t performing well, don’t just delete it! Repurposing old blog content can be a great way of seeing it rank well again, particularly if it’s receiving heaps of page views but not enough conversions.
Tweaking it with updated information and a refined CTA (call to action) can be highly beneficial for your digital marketing efforts. If you find the content on your existing pages is lacking somewhat, here are 4 ways to increase content on your landing pages.
Reach New Content Marketing Heights with Peaky Digital
Need help developing and implementing your content marketing strategy?
The content marketing landscape is constantly evolving and as such demands a consistent approach. If you find yourself in need of some extra help, enlisting a digital marketing agency may be the path for you. There are many great benefits to outsourcing your business’s copywriting.
Peaky Digital is a UK-based agency with an experienced team that makes your content marketing simpler.
Contact us today to find out more.
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