Category Archives: Tips & Resources

Why do content articles fail?

To be Better on the blackboard with chalk writing.

For anyone who does it, you’ll know that content marketing is a time-consuming task and as such it can be incredibly demoralising when you’re not getting the results you’d hoped to see.  Before you start believing you’re the worst content writer ever, it’s important to remember there are many, many reasons for it to crash and burn; so chin up and let’s look at some of those first.

 

  1. Strategy – Do you have one? Do you stick to it? If you’ve answered no to either of these questions then this could be one of the main reasons why your content is flopping. Although its findings are based on businesses in North America, there are many interesting figures in Content Marketing Institute’s annual research papers. Their research identifies that those B2B and B2C businesses who view themselves as being successful at content marketing are more likely to have a content marketing strategy and clear vision of what it looks like. From the B2B side, 79% of those organisations who view their content marketing to be ‘effective’ are ‘clear on what an effective or successful content marketing program looks like’ compared to only 23% of those whose view the content marketing to be ineffective. Likewise, 53% of the ‘effective’ respondents have a documented content marketing strategy in place whilst the figure is only 13% for the ineffective respondents. These figures speak volumes!So, get yourself a clear vision and strategy and stick to it.  Then don’t forget to revisit it periodically just to check what’s working and what’s not. What format and platforms are working best for you and what content topics are driving high interest? Focus on these and learn from the areas that are underperforming.  If, for example, your Twitter activity isn’t as strong as your blog, don’t automatically rule it out; your approach and content for this channel may just need some tweaking.  At the same time, don’t flog a dead horse. If over time you’re able to identify a channel that isn’t working for you then don’t invest your time and money in it.
  1. Resources – It’s typical for content marketing strategies to fail if they aren’t given the time and resources needed to succeed. Those businesses that see success tend to be those that see its worth and are prepared to invest a significant chunk of their marketing budget.   Going back to the research, the ‘effective’ camp invest a whopping 42% of their marketing budget compared to only 15% for the ‘ineffective’.  That being said, simply throwing money at it isn’t the answer.  If your budget allows, investing in an in-house dedicated and experienced resource to drive your content is a great move and often works better than investing in expensive agencies.
  2. Marketing – it’s called Content Marketing for a reason and you can’t simply rely on it being in cyberspace for it to be seen; it needs to be promoted. If you’ve spent time writing a blog article, then for goodness sake tell people it’s there. Use your social media platforms, newsletters and website to inform and direct. Likewise, let people know you’re on social media by making your SM buttons highly visible on your website and blog pages.  If you have a good social media following then encourage them to sign up to your newsletter.
  1. Patience – Good things come to those who wait. You won’t see results overnight so make sure you’re tracking your results carefully so that you can see the improvements you’re making overtime. As with all marketing a steady release of content works best.
  1. Content – If you’re happy you’ve done all of the above and even Googled some more ideas behind any unfavourable results, then maybe, just maybe you need to take a long hard look at your content and style. But don’t dismay, even this area is normally an easy one to fix, just ask yourself the following questions: Is it what your audience wants? Does it answer their questions? Does it inspire? Does it strengthen your relationship and their trust in your brand? Is the style appropriate to the platform? No amount of content will result in leads if it doesn’t meet the needs of your audience, no matter how hard you try.

How to Write Content, not Keywords

Red apples. Fruit with leaf isolated on white.

Increasing your SEO ranking organically is most likely to be in the top five priorities of a digital marketer; let s face it, who doesn’t like free marketing? But where you rank depends on how well you’ve optimised your content and unfortunately it’s not just a case of dumping keywords in willy nilly, which was once acceptable.  For your content to be effective and deliver your desired goals you need to be a bit savvier.  After all, what’s the use of getting people to your site organically if they are not then met with engaging content that builds trust in your brand and increases the likelihood of them making a future purchase?

Below are a couple of tips of what you can do and what you should avoid to help make your content serve its true purpose.

Keywords for keywords sake

Only use keywords if they are relevant to the content.  Randomly inserting them or duplicating the same keywords over and over serves no purpose.  Search engines are clever and ‘keyword stuffing’, as it’s known, will do nothing to increase your ranking.  The only thing it will do is make you look ridiculous.

Here’s a fine example taken from an article on SEO Pressor 5’s site.  Can you guess what the keyword is?! It’s in no way appealing to a consumer, is it?  It just reeks of Spam.

Welcome to Red Apples Online!

If red apples are what you are looking for, then you are definitely in the right place to buy red apples.  When it comes to red apples, you won’t find a higher quality selection of red apples anywhere!  Our red apple experts know how to pick only the best, most savory red apples from the bunch, and we sell these premium red apples right here for you to enjoy (red apples).  So, go to another red apple website and try their red apples.  We guarantee you’ll come crawling back to buy our red apples, buddy.

http://seopressor.com/blog/does-google-hates-seo/

 

Write consumer-specific content

If you’ve got some time then I highly recommend you check out this article by Ronnel Smith which gives you some fantastic ideas about how to write consumer friendly content that is more likely to show up organically in SEO listings.  This is achieved by applying the reasoning behind Google’s Hummingbird engine.  Hummingbird combats keyword stuffing by intelligently analysing the context of a search query and tries to judge an individual’s intent.  Therefore, if you write content around someone’s intent on purchasing your company’s product or service then you stand a better chance of a higher ranking. The example he provides is based on mattresses. If you sell mattresses, what are the most common questions your customers have?  You then write an array of content based on these questions.  Not only are you fulfilling your audience’s needs by providing them with content they want to read, but you’re also helping yourself by creating a long list of content topics that will keep you busy for months to come.

 

Refine your topic

It’s much easier to have keywords appearing naturally if you start out with a clear and very well-defined plan of what you want to write.  Think of all the different ways your keywords and phrases can be introduced or written.  If you’re struggling then use a keyword help tool such as Google’s keyword planner which will help you research additional keywords that you could use.  This way when you come to write your content, the words will flow better and the article won’t seem as if it’s been forced.

 

Don’t forget the basics

When writing content, it’s all too easy to get hung up on keywords and forget what’s important; writing a reader-friendly, informative and engaging piece that builds a relationship with the reader. You can rank as high as you like on the search engines, but that doesn’t mean you’ll see a positive impact on your bottom line. If you’re content is full of grammatical errors, doesn’t make sense and goes dramatically off topic then you’re unlikely to see any sales come through as a result. The easier it is to read the more likely your audience will get to the end of the article.

 

So the moral of the story is: Write for humans, not search engines otherwise you risk high bounce rates, low repeat visitors, un-sharable content and low conversions.

5 Ways to Increase Your Twitter Audience

Stock Photo

The number of social networking sites has skyrocketed in recent years and it seems like there is something for everyone. Whatever niche or quirky interest that exists, there is a site or app to connect like-minded people. However, nothing has made quite the impact like the juggernaut that is Twitter. Whilst Facebook may have cornered the market in personal relationships, Twitter has become massively influential in all areas of life, including business. Twitter allows businesses, large and small to connect with their consumers in a way like never before. Tweets can therefore have a large effect on the company, how it is perceived and even its overall success. With this in mind, increasing your sphere of influence on Twitter can be incredibly beneficial for your business. Here are just some of the ways in which you can achieve this.

Build a Profile

Your Twitter profile is the first thing that a follower or potential follower will see. Therefore, you should make sure it looks professional and represents what you are as a brand. Your profile picture is going to show up next to every tweet you send, so aim for an image that you feel comfortable with everyone seeing. This can be a face picture or a business logo, whatever you prefer. The Twitter bio allows users to write a little bit about themselves and this feature shouldn’t be overlooked. It doesn’t have to be long, in fact the shorter the better with some people choosing to showcase only a few keywords in relation to themselves. In terms of business, the bio allows you to talk about your company, what it offers and what makes it different.

Content

Creating high quality, thought-provoking content is one of the best ways in which to gain more followers on Twitter. Your content can come in many forms, whether blogs, articles, videos, lists or even the tweets themselves. The majority of the time, Twitter users will follow accounts which offer them something and this is why content is so important. It should also be pointed out that this is a two-way street, good content will attract more followers but Twitter can also help to stream more consumers to any blogs you may have- it’s a symbiotic relationship.

Retweet

The retweet function is often underappreciated and underused. Retweeting content which is relevant within your area can help in legitimising your account as a reliable source for quality information. It also allows you to build connections with similar businesses or individuals within the same field. This is a very subtle form of networking which can help in getting your name out there without being too forward.

Consistency

This may seem like an obvious solution but if you want to become more influential on Twitter, you have to actually tweet. This means creating and posting quality tweets on a regular basis. Those who fail to be consistent are unlikely to attract any new followers and could actually alienate their existing followers. It should be pointed out that it’s not just the volume of tweets that you send but also the time at which you tweet them. Aim for high traffic periods, such as early morning rush hour and around 5/6pm when commuters are making their way home.

Live in the moment

Twitter is all about the here and now, it’s one of the main reasons so many people use it each and every day. The social networking site has completely changed the way in which we consume news, with information reaching consumers as it happens. This is important to keep in mind when using your own account. Keep up to date with recent events and incorporate these into your tweets when appropriate. If you are commenting on a current event, use a trending hashtag as this will allow a much larger group of people to view your tweet and could lead to more followers.

 

How Can I Improve My Content Marketing?

good, better and best word written by 3d hand over white

good, better and best word written by 3d hand over white

It’s good practice to have a regular look at your content marketing strategy just to check it is current with regards to what’s trending in your industry right now and to re-align it with your targets.

Here are a few pointers to get your marketing content spic and span and working for your business:

  1. Quality not quantity

    The objective of marketing content is for it to engage viewers and build relationships. As such you need to produce appealing pieces of content that strike a chord with your target audience.  Make content as relevant as possible, offering insightful information and sharing your expertise and knowledge.  This helps to build trust and makes people feel they’re gaining something from you.  Don’t forget to check what content your competitors are releasing.  If you want to keep ahead of them, then you need to produce better content across all channels.

  1. Mix it up!

    Blogs are great, so are podcasts, but the best way to see what’s most productive for your business is to test out your content across several formats and see which ones work best. Different people are responsive to different media and there are lots of options to choose from including infographics, webinars, videos, vlogs, ebooks and imagery. It’s a great way of speaking to your audience in different voices, but bear in mind you should retain consistency and ensure all content remains sincere to your brand personality.

  1. Spread the love

    Just like different formats, you should also make sure you’re exploring different channels. If you’re having success with the blogs you post on your own site, then that’s great, keep it up, but try branching out to Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube, Instagram and Facebook.  If used creatively and consistently these channels work just as well for B2B as B2C.

  1. Playing the SEO game

    Along with quality content, there are a number of other ways you can improve your content that should have a positive impact on your SEO ranking. Weaving keywords into your content, where relevant, will help Google do its job.  It also helps your rankings if people stay on your site longer as it is deemed to have quality content.  Do this by increasing interest with the use of videos and imagery. Also, something as simple as changing the words in your URLs to reflect keywords from the page content can increase visitors from search engines.

  1. Spring clean your website

    This is a great time to look at your website with fresh eyes and ensure your content has the best backdrop possible. Spend a morning exploring the following questions and see if there are any quick improvements you can make:

    1. How mobile friendly is your site? According to a study by comScore, more people are now accessing the web from a mobile device than desktop so it is vital to check that your website is properly optimised for mobile devices of all sizes.
    2. Take a look at your bounce rate and time spent stats. Are there any design tweaks you can make to improve engagement, such as clearer layout or improved colour contrast? Is there enough whitespace? It’s tempting to fill your pages but whitespace allows visitors to better navigate your pages and makes the content comprehendible.
    3. Does your site load fast enough as visitors lose interest whilst waiting for slow sites to load. Google’s PageSpeed Insights is a great tool for checking your URLs.
  1. Planning

    Readdressing your content marketing strategy should be an ongoing activity and without clearly defined plan you can easily find yourself releasing content for the sake of it and getting nothing from it. Just like all other marketing activity, any content marketing strategy should be accompanied by a set of KPIs to strive towards. Your strategy should encompass a full year and include monthly and daily tasks. Your KPIs will then lead on from this and should include targets for elements such as web visits, number of downloads, social shares, cost per click, bounce rates and page time. Although content marketing is a great activity for raising awareness and building relationships you should also include KPIs for leads, conversion rates and revenue generated.

When executed properly, a content marketing strategy can be one of the most important ways to increase customer engagement so it’s certainly worth putting aside a couple of days to check your all set for the year ahead.