How do I get more traffic & exposure on the web?
A common question indeed. And one that many online marketers and small business owners have yet to answer.
It’s been a well known fact since the late 1990’s, early 2000, when Google came on the seen with their revolutionary search engine – and that, content is king!
And it’s still true today.
Content is the vehicle upon which new customers, new leads, and ultimately new sales come to any business. It’s just the nature of the web these days. Everyone is online searching for products and services, and nearly 100% of those potential customers are reviewing content to help in their decision making process.
It’s content that ultimately turns prospects into customers.
There’s really only one place that brings this truth out more than any other, and that is Google Adwords. How, or why, does Google make so much money (literally billions each and every year) from their pay per click model?
It’s simple really – because all marketers, and small and large business owners, do not understand how to leverage content to market and promote their business. And since these business owners understand that their customers are searching on Google, but yet have no idea how to leverage content to connect with these customers, then Adwords is the only option.
And since Google is making billions off of the millions of advertisers who use Adwords, I can only conclude that the lack of content marketing knowledge and understand is what drives new customers to Adwords. Because when it comes to Google search, you’ll either show up in the natural search results, or you have to pay Google a set cost per click to have your ad appear.
How much nicer would it be if you had a way to achieve top search results in Google for your targeted keyword phrases, and didn’t have to pay per click to be there?
That’s what content marketing can achieve – and so much more.
3 Tips For Content Marketing Success
I want to give you 3 tips that will help you be more successful in your quest to achieving top search results in Google, and leveraging content that will connect you to new paying customers.
1) Create long, informative posts
There is certainly no minimum that’s ever been established for how long a blog post of content piece can or can’t be. But from my experience, the longer the post, the most valuable the content opportunity can be.
Now I’m not saying to create a long, drawn out post just for the sake of having a long post.
Oh no, that would actually work against you and your readers would immediately detect that you are using filler content just to make the post longer.
I the guess the best rule of thumb would be, no matter what piece you are getting ready to write, to create 3 – 5 main bullet points or headings that will make up your article, and then ensure that you fully develop each of those points.
No matter what your content piece is about, if you create 3 – 5 bullet points and ensure that each point is fully developed, then I’m quite sure you’ll be creating posts that are sufficiently long enough.
The reason for creating long posts is simple – Google loves content. And the reason Google loves content is because your readers love it as well. If the post if fully developed, giving the readers valuable information to feed off, then Google will also find your content favorable.
2) Outbound linking
I can’t overstate the importance of linking out to other content enough. When you create nice long posts that are actually creating value and have fully developed points, then there will be ample opportunities for you to link out to other valuable resources.
The value of outbound linking is something that has been debated a lot in the world of search optimization. But ultimately, it’s been proven time and again where content that’s linking out to valuable resources achieves top rankings for targeted keyword phrases.
And not only top rankings, but content that does a lot of outbound linking will typically shoot up to a high PR (Google Pagerank) much faster than content that does not do any outbound linking.
Look no further than Wikipedia to see this rule play out.
In nearly 100% of all topic keyword searches, Wikipedia is either in the #1 position, or very close to it. You might argue that inbound links (those from other sources to the Wikipedia article) are the main thrust of this ranking, but I’d argue just the opposite.
For each Wikipedia article there are massive amounts of links going out from the article to other resources. Especially when you get to the bottom of the Wikipedia article where you find “References”. The references section is nothing but a list of outbound links to other valuable, and supporting resources.
What’s interesting about Wikipedia articles is that throughout the content of the article, the majority of the linking is internal – meaning the links point to other Wikipedia articles. But then at the end, in the resources section, this is where the heavy duty outbound linking takes place.
Another example of the power of outbound linking can be found right here at Bipper Media.
I wrote an article called Top 10 Industries & Keyword Spend on Google Adwords in 2011, and within 6 days, this article popped up to PR4 in Google and has been, without a doubt, the most popular article in Bipper Media since it was published.
Quite honestly, I’ve never seen something like that happen before. I’ve never seen a website, article, or any other webpage, pop up to a PR4 in less than a week. But after studying of this article, and analyzing every aspect of the piece to see exactly what happened, I’ve ultimately determined that the outbound links contributed to this rapid growth in PR (PageRank).
The main reason I believe that outbound links contributed to this rapid growth in success is because, quite simply, there weren’t any backlinks pointing to the article yet. So if there aren’t any backlinks yet, and the article is less than 1 week old, the next logical reason for this growth in success is outbound links.
So in addition to writing nice long, informative, and well developed articles, you’ll want to build up an ample amount of links that point out to authoritative sites or references. Perhaps even follow what Wikipedia is doing and at the bottom of each article, simply create a Reference Section where you list out a bunch of sites that either support your current article, are great references for follow up information, or sites that you directly referenced in your article.
The bottom line is that outbound linking helps your site (or web page) become even more authoritative and will give you great leverage in your efforts to ranking for your targeted keyword phrases. And ultimately, all of this makes your content marketing endeavors that much more effective.
And this leads me to point number three…
3) Create Keyword Targeted Content
We’ve already discussed the importance of creating nice, long, informative content – and within all of that great content, creating ample amounts of outbound links, or even a References section where you can create a lot of authoritative outbound links.
Let’s now target our content, and our outbound links, to the variable that’s going to help you hone in on connecting with the absolute highest quality customer for your business.
And that is – connect to the prospect who’s searching for what you have to offer.
In order to do this effectively, you must utilize keyword phrases that are actually being searched by your most profitable customer. That is, what keyword phrases are being searched that, more than likely, reflect a customer who has a need that your business, product, or service can fulfill.
Once you identify those keyword phrases, you’ll then be able to integrate those keyword phrases into your content.
Let’s say, for example, you are own a computer repair shop in Athens, Georgia. What I want to know first is, what keyword phrases are being searched right now in Google that most reflect a customer with a computer repair need.
I’m going to turn to Google Adwords free keyword tool to do some quick research. I’ve simply entered in some keyword phrases that seem to be reflective of a customer in need of computer repair. I then look at the search volume to ensure there is sufficient search data to back up using this keyword phrase – here’s what I get:
And then you can look below the keywords that you specified and analyze what other keyword suggestions that Google is making. You’ll need to look down through this list and determine, ultimately, what the best keyword phrase are for you to use.
Then what I do is start putting together a list that best reflects the keyword phrases that show intent, or a need, from someone who needs what I offer. In this case, it’s computer repair.
But I offer computer repair in a local city – like Athens, Georgia. So how do I deal with the fact that I’m targeting a local city or metro area?
Most people who are searching for a business, product, or service in their local market will simply add the city or metro name to the beginning or end of the keyword phrase.
So for example:
Let’s take a look at the actually search results to see the difference between the general search phrase, and the search phrase that has a metro area tagged to the beginning or end of a phrase:
computer repair (no metro area tagged)
athens ga computer repair (athens ga tagged to the beginning)
Do you see the difference here with these two search phrases.
Better yet, with a lot of mobile devices – iPhone, iPad, Android devices, etc… – “my location” is enabled. This means, when someone searches “computer repair” in Google from an iPhone, the search results are going to automatically show listings from the local Athens area, all without you even having to tag a metro area before or after phrase.
This is based off the local search technology that’s becoming more and more common with mobile devices. Google’s search algorithm is starting to figure out that even though you typed “computer repair” into your mobile phone, more than likely you’d be best helped from a local business.
Now that you’ve boiled things down to a targeted list of keyword phrases that seem most likely they are coming from highly qualified (or highly profitable) customers, you are now armed with keywords to build your content off.
You can use your list of targeted keywords to build things like bullet points, sub paragraphs, and other supporting content.
And most of all, don’t forget to use your targeted keyword phrases to build your outbound links – this is a critical step.
Utilizing keywords in your meta data
Finally, you’ll want to use your keywords not only in your content, but also in your meta data.
What is meta data you ask?
Basically, your meta data for any page is made up of the <h1> tag, which is typically your page or article title, and then your <description> and <keyword> tags.
If you use WordPress, there’s a great plugin you can use that makes optimizing your meta data super easy and it’s called the All In One SEO Plugin.
Otherwise, if you are building your pages with in a standard HTML format with something like Notepad or Dreamweaver, etc… you might need to grab some standard header html code and then build your meta data from there.
Here’s a quick example of a standard header html element:
<meta name=”title” content=”Your Article Title Here”/>
<meta name=”description” content=”Your content description here.” />
<meta name=”keywords” content=”your keyword list here, separated by commas” />
<meta name=”author” content=”Your name or author name” />
<meta http-equiv=”content-type” content=”text/html;charset=UTF-8″ />
So with your targeted keyword phrases, you’ll want to leverage them both in the title of your article or webpage, within the meta tag data of your webpage, and throughout your article.
Again, look at Wikipedia (any topic will do) as an great example of how their articles are able to achieve top rankings in Google for some many different keyword phrases.
I hope these three tips for successful content marketing helps you in your endeavors for leveraging content to achieve maximum exposure to customers and prospects who are searching for what you have to offer.
And now it’s your turn! Let us know in the comments below about any other ideas you have in regards to content marketing, and what other strategies you’ve implemented that have delivered success.
Wikipedia: keyword Marketing
Bipper Media PR4 article
Free Google Adwords keyword tool
Keyword search: computer repair
Keyword search: athens ga computer repair
Social Media Examiner: How Content Turns Prospects Into Customers
W3 School – HTML Code
Image from CopyBlogger