Content marketing doesn’t work overnight. You need search engine marketing (SEM) for fast results, and SEM is a complementary marketing strategy.
Over several months, you should see positive results from content marketing. What if you don’t, though?
Start with obvious, simple remedies and work toward more complex problems. That way, no step is wasted in improving your content marketing. Here’s how to approach it.
Check for Obvious Issues First
Creating a website and content that you’re proud of and then discovering Google hasn’t been crawling it is a horrible feeling. Sometimes your site isn’t being crawled and indexed because a plugin hasn’t been set correctly.
Have your site designer or IT person ensure your robots.txt file doesn’t say “Disallow: /” and that meta tags are set to “index” and “follow.” Ensure also that someone has submitted an XML sitemap to Google.
No other steps will help your content marketing if Google isn’t crawling and indexing the content. Therefore, check your technical SEO first and ensure Google has what it needs to crawl your site.
Fix Grammar and Spelling
When you receive an email full of incorrect grammar and spelling, one of your first thoughts is probably, “This is a scam.” Web pages and blog posts filled with mistakes also rub people the wrong way.
Everyone makes mistakes. Fortunately, many browser extensions (like Grammarly) can take care of 90% of your grammar and spelling mistakes. Most have free versions, so there is no excuse for ignoring basic mistakes.
Content Marketing Depends on Good Links
All types of links matter in your web content. Be aware that quality matters more than quantity when it comes to links.
Does your content link to sites with questionable content or reputation? Your readers won’t notice whether a link goes to a high-quality site unless they click on it and find out firsthand. But search engines know low-quality web addresses, and you won’t benefit from linking to them.
Internal links connect your pages and blog posts into a coherent network. But they shouldn’t connect haphazardly. Organizing your site hierarchically and linking to preserve this hierarchy is the best internal linking.
Backlinks are links from other sites to your website. The most obvious example would be a link from your social media pages to your blog posts. Never buy or trade backlinks. Promoting your content and earning backlinks from high-quality websites is far better. There are several above-board ways to get backlinks.
Know Your Content Marketing Audience
Your content marketing audience is people whose problems you solve. If you own a carpet cleaning company, your content marketing audience is people with dirty carpets, for example.
It can be easy to write your content for the wrong audience. For example, your boss is not your audience. While you may naturally want to impress your boss, content marketing must impress your audience if it is to work.
Another easy mistake to make is writing content solely for search engines. Search engine optimization can be a hard taskmaster. However, search engines (and SEO) aim to get the best content in front of the human looking for it. Ultimately you write for people.
Your customers and potential customers are your audiences. Do you know them? Do you know what problems they experience? Do you know what their pain points are? Do you know what their money concerns are? Content marketing won’t work if you don’t know your audience.
Writing Content to Shine on the Web
Your instructor probably wanted you to write detailed, well-developed paragraphs in English Composition classes. That’s great for an essay on Hamlet, but it doesn’t work well on the web.
Few things are as off-putting to web users as a wall of text. The eye doesn’t know where to go. Web content should be skimmable.
Headings should proceed logically, and the text under them should relate to the heading. Tables, bulleted lists, numbered lists, and the like can make sense of a large amount of information in a relatively small amount of space.
Content marketing should present the audience with useful, relevant information in a format that is easy to scan. And it should be easy to go back and find a piece of information later. It doesn’t so much “spoon-feed” information as it does break it down into snack-size pieces.
Don’t Put Bad Frosting on a Good Cake
Finally, to continue with the food analogy, good content marketing “frosts the cake” in a way that elevates the user experience.
The content marketing team must ensure the pages load quickly in both a desktop and mobile environment. Equally important is that pages must look as closely alike as possible between the desktop and mobile versions. Sites that don’t do this risk incurring a Google penalty.
Content marketing may not depend on imagery the way, say, eCommerce sites do. However, that doesn’t mean content marketers should be lax in choosing site imagery.
People in every industry immediately recognize cheesy and overused images, so try to avoid them. A little extra time to find the perfect image gives your content more gravitas.
If you get your images from a stock image provider, try to avoid the habit of choosing different versions of the same image. You may need to check out a site like unsplash.com or something similar to find an image that the audience can appreciate more.
Or Just Let the Experts Do It
Content marketing is no cakewalk. It requires planning, execution, and regular review of analytics. You may want the control of doing it yourself. Or you may want professional content marketers to take care of it for you.
When we build websites for our clients, we ensure that SEO is baked into every page we create. And we know how to use analytics to ensure that sites perform how clients need them to.
If this sounds like something you would like to explore, set up a call with our team. We would be delighted to discuss web design, content marketing, and other types of digital marketing because we thrive on our customers’ success.