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The 7 Easiest Ways to Master Keyword Research

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Isn’t it frustrating not to drive traffic to your website despite putting so much effort into keyword research and content creation? Isn’t it sickening enough to see your competition command all the visibility and attention online? Your pain ends here with this guide.

Keywords are the foundation of any SEO strategy. But despite many business owners knowing this, they are yet to grasp the ins and outs of finding keywords that will drive traffic and leads to their websites. Consequently, they experience low revenue generation while losing plenty of business to their competitors ahead of the curve.

You do not have to keep losing revenue opportunities to low online visibility. This guide gives you practical keyword research tips you can leverage for your business or your client’s business. Let’s dive right in.

1. Analyze Your Business and Customers

The first keyword research step is understanding your business and customers. You want to determine what makes your business tick: financial stability, unique products, dedicated staff, or anything else.

Understanding your business helps you align relevant keywords with your business goals. For example, if you want to drive more organic traffic to your website, you might target high-volume or trend-based keywords. In contrast, niche, local, and how-to keywords are best suited for lead generation.

Understand how potential customers search for businesses/products like yours online. From there, create content that suits the keywords your customers use.

Another integral part of analyzing your customers is building buyer personas. These are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customer and contain quantifiers like:

  • Demographics
  • Behavioral traits
  • Challenges
  • Stage of life
  • Spending power
  • Interests

Take your time to create thorough customer profiles. That way, you understand your target buyers’ needs and appeal to them better.

2. Determine the Query Intent

Organic results are primarily based on what the search engines interpret to be the searcher’s intent. There exist three common types of search queries:

Informational Query

With informational queries, searchers are not looking for a particular website or intending to make a commercial transaction- they are simply looking for answers to questions or guides to perform particular tasks.

An example of an informational query would be “making coffee.”

Results for the informational query, making coffee

To effectively target informational queries, offer helpful, industry-related content optimized with long-tail keywords. This will help your content perform well on search engines for relevant but less competitive queries.

A navigational query suffices when an individual looks for a specific website or webpage. For example, when you enter “facebook” into the Google search bar to find the Facebook site rather than type the site’s URL.

Results for navigational query, facebook

A navigational query has vivid intent and isn’t easy to target unless you own the website a user is looking for. The searcher has the specific website in mind; if it’s not yours, you stand no chance of ranking in the organic results.

To know whether you need to optimize for navigational queries, search for your company on Google. If it ranks at the top of organic results, you are good to go. If not, optimize your website to ensure Google finds relevant information about your company. For this purpose, include business-specific information like brand name, services, products, and location.

Another trick is running PPC ads for your business to ensure your site appears on top of your brand’s navigational query results. See how Harmony Home Medical does this below:

organic results for navigational query, Harmony Home medical san diego

Transactional Query

Searchers perform a transactional query if they intend to complete a transaction, such as a purchase. These queries may include terms like “order,” “buy,” or “purchase,” or specific brand names and products like “Tecno Spark 5 Air”. A generic like “iced coffee maker” can also work. Many local searches are transactional, for example, “San Diego Medical Equipment Supplier.”

To optimize your product listings or service pages for transactional queries, ensure you include transactional keywords in your content, title tags, image alt text, and more.

3. Create a List of Keywords

Using the knowledge from the discovery stage, build a list of topics relevant to your business, separating these ideas into groups based on their similarity. Understand some keywords are good for informational queries while others will likely lead to a customer transaction.

Using Google Analytics, Search Console, or any other rank tracking tool, check the keywords your business rank for. Skip any branded term. Next, search the search terms on Google and check for their variations in the “People Also Ask” section and related search terms in Google’s organic results.

You can discover more variations using free keyword research tools such as Answer the Public, Google Trends, and more.

Results in a keyword research tool

It is important to refine and prioritize your phrases. Start with distinguishing between short-tail and long-tail keywords. Short-tail keywords are broad terms often consisting of one or two words and have higher search volume and competition. Long-tail keywords are more descriptive terms comprising three to five or more words and have much lower search volume and competition.

Don’t just focus on short-tail terms with higher search volume. It is difficult to outrank the big boys using these phrases.

Keyword research tools usually indicate keyword difficulty for each phrase. The higher the metric, the harder it is to rank for that particular keyword. Many opportunities lie within the long-tail keywords as consumer searches continue to be more conversational.

Experts recommend targeting short-tail keywords for long-term wins and long-tail phrases for short-term wins. The soft spot is targeting keywords with higher search volume but with keyword difficulty of less than 60%.

4. Analyze Your Competitors

Your competitors have already conducted keyword research, built content, elevated their link-building efforts, and optimized their pages to boost performance. Checking and evaluating their SEO strategies (especially if they perform better online) can greatly help your keyword research process.

The main goal of competitor analysis in keyword research is to identify valuable phrases and concepts. Enter the competitor’s URL in a keyword research tool, and look for metrics that display the value of the phrases your competitors rank for, from keyword difficulty, and potential traffic to CPC (cost per click).

Don’t forget to check the phrases your competitors use in their ad campaigns. If they use phrases with high CPC, it indicates they are valuable phrases with high conversion potential. But don’t ignore their low-CPC terms.

Another way of discovering concepts that matter to your ideal customers is by checking your competitor’s link profiles. If there are content pages with a significantly higher number of inbound links, that indicates the content is valuable to the competitor’s customers and audiences.

Identify unique links too! If a page covering a certain concept receives inbound links, but no other business/website is getting links related to that concept, then you know that’s a worthy concept. And since there is little competition, you can build better content and potentially outrank your competitor.

Additionally, if two or more competitors are getting links to pages about the same idea, look to target that concept on your website.

Evaluate the Pages

Competitor analysis is incomplete without an evaluation of their pages. Study the heading, page structure, and critical optimization elements such as title tags, H1 headings, image alt texts, and meta descriptions.

Analyze the content quality, and determine its readability score. Is it tailored to expert readers or lower comprehension levels? Is it long-form or short-form?

Check how the competitor incorporates visuals in their content. Do they include multiple images? Do they embed videos on their blogs?

5. Create Unique and Valuable Content

Now that you have your keyword lists and know what works for your competitors, start creating content that offers value to your target audience. Create different kinds of content for particular keywords, including blogs, eBooks, whitepapers, case studies, guides, etc. You can start with blogs and build your way up to the advanced content types as your business grows. For example, case studies require real-life customer success stories.

Common is the advice that repeating your target keywords as much as possible and in several spots makes it easier for search engine bots to find your pages. This has to be the worst advice you can offer an SEO beginner. The practice is known as keyword stuffing and is focused on manipulating search engine organic listings. Not only does keyword stuffing damage your communication efforts, but it is also highly frowned upon by search engines. The image below illustrates this black-hat SEO technique:

An example of keyword stuffing. Source: Contentwriters.com

In white-hat SEO, it’s not about stuffing your copy with keywords; it’s about ensuring the terms appear in an appropriate frequency in your copy. Highly recommended keyword practices include:

  • Placing your target keyword in your title, meta descriptions, H1 and H2 tags(if possible), in the beginning, middle, and end of your copy,
  • Using at most two unique keywords per page
  • Starting your title tag with your keyword
  • Beginning the first sentence of the first paragraph with your keyword

7. Evaluate and Optimize

Evaluate your site and see what’s performing and not working. Check your rank tracking tools to see what draws more attention from users or experiencing higher than normal bounce rates. Check whether you are ranking for certain queries or losing visibility.

Using the evaluation data, dive into on-page optimization, including optimizing your title tags, Hi headings, alt attributes, meta description, and source code.  If your web pages are not ranking at all for your target keyword, there could be a few reasons:

  • Your content quality is lacking.
  • You need better titles and H1 headings.
  • The pages need some inbound links from reputable sites in your industry.

To grow your authority and credibility, you must create new content continually and update your old content to align with new trends and information. But always remember, it is quality over quantity when it comes to content marketing success.  

Repurpose the old, well-performing content to drive more results. You can tweak an old blog with a new twist or convert a blog into a video.

The Bottom Line

There you have them, practical keyword research tips to drive the customers you want to your website. However, keyword research is not a one-and-done technique. Continually evaluate your website’s performance and look for new keyword opportunities.

If you need help with content marketing for your business, don’t hesitate to drop ContentGenics a message here.

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Content Marketing for Small Businesses

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Content marketing remains at the heart of digital marketing for small businesses. However, being unsure of where to begin can be overwhelming. You might also be wondering if this investment will take up a ton of time and money that you could spend on other important tasks.

This guide has you covered.

It delves into the essentials of content marketing and practical tips for making this online marketing strategy count for your business. Also included are examples of successful content marketing campaigns for your inspiration.

Let’s get started with content marketing definition.

What is Content Marketing?

HubSpot defines content marketing as:

the process of planning, creating, sharing, distributing, and publishing content to reach your target audience to boost factors like brand awareness, sales, reach, interaction and loyalty.

This is a solid definition but could do better with some explanation.

Simply put, content marketing is a long-term strategy that aims at establishing a formidable relationship with your target audience by consistently offering them valuable content that is highly relevant to them. It is not just the stuff you write to generate traffic or long-form articles or infographics. It is anything that speaks a message to your audience.

In a busier and noisier world, content marketing is a great way to show customers that you care about them…contrary to one-off advertising.

Using this strategy, you can nurture your prospects through the sales funnel, gradually building trust along the customer journey. In the long run, your prospects will buy your products/services and become loyal customers. Keep reading to learn about the current position of content marketing.

The State of Content Marketing in 2021

You must stay on top of the latest content marketing trends and advances to remain ahead of the competition. Following are the top content marketing statistics of 2021 that could help shape your promotional strategy.

  • The percentage of marketers who document their content marketing strategy rose a few inches higher from 65% in 2109 to 69% in 2020. (Content Marketing Institute)
  • Quality lead generation is the top priority for content marketing, accounting for about 75% of marketers’ goals. Driving traffic to a website and improving brand reputation follow closely 71% and 56%, respectively. (SEMrush)
  • Bloggers now spend 63% more time crafting a blog than in 2014. The expectations for content are higher than ever. As such, creating unique content worth sharing takes a ton of time. (Orbit Media)
  • The top metric for content marketing is organic traffic (76%), followed by lead (62%) and pageviews (60%). (SEMrush)
  • At 84 percent, content creation is the most outsourced content marketing activity by B2B organizations.
  • The average length of a blog post is 1269 words, up 57% since 2014. Additionally, 90% of bloggers include images in their posts. (Orbit Media)
  • The top skills required in the content marketing industry are Marketing (81%), Social Media (50%), Strategy (42%), SEO (38%), and Research (37%). Other essential skills include editing, analytics, and email marketing. (SEMrush)

Remember to keep the above statistics on top of your mind as we delve into the benefits of content marketing.

Why is Content Marketing Important?

It is normal to doubt the importance of content for your business if you are still on the fence or need some benefit guarantee to continue investing in the digital content marketing strategy. Following is a compilation of long-term benefits to consider.

Enhances Your SEO Efforts and Traffic

You cannot win at SEO by just addressing technical issues in your website. Any inbound marketing-savvy individual knows that content is central to success in organic search and traffic generation.

You need to consistently generate content that resonates with your audience. Content that answers their questions comprehensively. By doing so, Google rewards you with better rankings in search results, increasing your website’s visibility. Remember: Google ranks web pages, not websites.

On top of that, backlinks from trustworthy sites and blogs enhance search engines’ trust in your website. However, only unique content that inspires, excites, entertains, and intrigues readers is worth the link juice.

Builds Trust with Your Target Audience

Content creation is elemental to forming strong relationships with your audience. it is a solid way to create value without asking for anything in return. And by continually answering your prospects’ questions, they are more likely to trust your opinions and recommendations.  

It follows that publishing content at the right time and place improves your brand’s reputation. As such, customers won’t feel burdened to associate with your brand.

Builds Authority

Content marketing is your ticket to building solid authority and thought leadership online. By distinguishing your website as a preferred information resource, you are more likely to rank favorably on Google and other search engines.

Additionally, your audience is most likely to trust you and keep coming back for more if you set yourself apart as an expert in your niche. As such, create content that demonstrates your expertise and answers your prospects’ questions.

Generates Leads

Another impactful benefit of content marketing is the ability to attract leads. According to a HubSpot report, companies with a blog generate 67% more leads than brands without content… and marketers who focus more on blogging drive 13X more ROI (return on investment) than companies that do not prioritize blogging.

Prospective customers who read your content are more likely to buy your products/services in the future.

To generate leads, offer free, useful information to your audience, strategically placing actionable and clear Call-to-Actions(CTAs) in your content. The more a reader is excited by your content, the higher chances of them clicking your CTAs and proceeding to your landing pages.

Enhances Conversion

Having a low-conversion website is like fetching water with a leaky bucket- you put too much work into it without gaining meaningful results. Why not fix the bucket, instead?

Assuming your website has a great user experience and speed, you can improve your conversions with high-quality, consistent content that helps your audience connect with your brand and offers them the information necessary to make educated buying decisions.

Top-Performing Types of Content Marketing

Blogs

Blogs are the most popular content format for small businesses, with 86 percent of marketers using them as part of their marketing strategy. Blogging is popular for a good reason- it is among the best ways to enhance SEO and drive organic traffic to a website.

Besides, blogs offer you an excellent platform to discuss popular topics in your industry, position yourself as a thought leader, and showcase how your solutions can help customers’ everyday problems.

Statistically, websites with blogs boast 434% more indexed pages, meaning these websites have higher chances of ranking on the first page of search engine results for relevant keywords. Still, companies with blogs drive 97% more links to their websites.

Another benefit of blogging is that you can repurpose your content into other content formats, including infographics, long-form content, email series, social media posts, eBooks, and videos.

To learn more about getting results with blogging, check out this post by Forbes.

Infographics

An infographic is a visual type of content marketing that helps viewers effortlessly visualize data and information.

People love infographics because they are fun, understandable, and deliver concrete information using less space. You can use them to explain certain subjects and offer statistics about your industry/business, all geared to showcase the value your brand provides.

The point of infographics is to break down complicated information into important points. Make them simple, meaningful, and impactful. Here’s how Happify organized science-backed steps to reduce worry and anxiety into an easy-to-follow infographic.

Case Studies

Case studies are basically true customer stories illustrating how your businesses helped a particular customer alleviate a certain challenge. Case studies are a favorite among customers because the content type gives them a practical example of how a brand can improve their lives.

Case studies often feature at the bottom of the sales funnel because it is far easier to convince leads with a true story about a happy customer.

However, it is important to carefully consider the customer you intend to use as your case study example– ideally, a customer who has substantially benefited from your products/services. Also, look for a customer willing to offer you permission to use them as your example and some statistics and quotes that prove how your business helped them solve a particular challenge.

Case studies are often housed in a company’s website, but you can incorporate them in your other marketing materials, including social posts, blogs, and eBooks. Learn more about case studies here.

Whitepapers

Though more difficult to produce, whitepapers still rank among the most effective types of content marketing. In the world of content marketing, a whitepaper is a long-form piece of content tailored to help readers understand and solve a particular issue.

Whitepapers and eBooks are similar in several ways. But whitepapers tend to be more data-backed, technical, and detail-focused. This positions whitepapers as a more effective content marketing type for small businesses looking to establish thought leadership and gain more authority in their industry.

A vast majority of web users admit to sharing information about themselves in exchange for a valuable whitepaper. Done right, whitepapers can help you gather information about new leads, giving you a way to keep them in touch even after accessing your report. However, this strategy of information collection can only work if your whitepaper is gated. See the image below demonstrating how TATA Motors does this:

Source: LyfeMarketing

eBooks

An eBook is a digital book that offers valuable information and insight to a particular audience about their challenges and needs. Often, they are packaged in the form of PDF files for easy access and sharing.

However, eBooks require a bit more investment in terms of resources and time than other content marketing types such as social posts and blog posts. But this should not scare you from creating an outstanding eBook– you stand a chance to derive incredible benefits from this content type.

An eBook is not a 10-15-page ad. Instead, it should provide valuable information that resonates with your target audience, standing out as a great way to deliver a lot of critical information in a form potential customers are most willing to read.

One of the greatest advantages of eBooks to a business is that you can gate them in some kind of an opt-in, meaning visitors must provide their information to download your eBook. This technique’s output is more leads that you can nurture through the sales funnel until they become paying customers.

Videos

Video content can be money- and time-consuming to produce, but it’s among the best types of content marketing to grab an audience’s attention and engage them fast, regardless of your business size or industry.

The demand for video content is ever-increasing, with 6 out of 10 people preferring to watch videos than television. And according to a HubSpot report, the percentage of businesses using video as a marketing tool has risen from 63% in 2017 to 85% in 2020.

Talking of video marketing potential, businesses that utilize video on their webpage are 53X more likely to appear on the first page of Google results. Still, adding videos to your emails can boost open rates by as much as 300%.

A thoughtfully produced video demonstrates a unique side of your business, allowing you to create content that shows potential customers how to do something, how your product(s) works, or how you manufacture your products. The sky is the limit when it comes to the information you can offer with videos. But always remember to create closed captions for your videos and text introduction for a unique user experience.

See how DollarShaveClub uses video to make something boring as razors funny and memorable.

Examples of Content Marketing Done Right

Get inspired by the following examples driving content marketing a step ahead:

HubSpot and Blogging

A marketing innovator, HubSpot creates lots and lots of in-depth blog posts to help readers progress their marketing. The articles are high-quality, relevant, engaging, authoritative, and detailed, which is central to great search rankings. Also available are content upgrades like user guides, videos, and e-books.

HubSpot is also behind Inbound.org, an educational and content sharing hub that allows the company to promote its certification and partnership programs

Be Vocal’s Beyond the Silence Documentary

Be Vocal, a non-profit organization focusing on mental health, partnered with Shaul Schwarz and Demi Lovato to produce Beyond Silence– a 29-min documentary that takes a new approach to discussing mental health.

The documentary follows three people -Jeff, Lauren, and Lloyd- who portray their struggles with mental illness and demonstrate how their lives changed by speaking out. The film’s reach was humongous. It was covered in over 240 articles and hit over 415 million impressions without any paid promotion.

Getty Images-Amanda Foundation Image Collection

Pet adoption is a fantastic experience. And the Amanda Foundation, an LA animal rescue foundation, understands the power of injecting the ‘aww’ factor in their content using cute pictures of animals under their care.

The foundation partnered with Getty Images to make a stock image collection using photos captured by its staff in their day-to-day efforts to help homeless pets find loving homes. As of January 2021, the collection has 218 high-resolution pictures of cats and dogs. The organization receives a donation for every stock image purchased on Getty Images.

AARP

AARP magazine, the world’s largest circulation magazine, demonstrates the importance of understanding your audience and offering them the information they want. The magazine has received multiple awards for its content, web design, and photography.

However, AARP’s ticket to its success is not a mystery. It’s basically what any savvy marketer would advise you- listen to your audience. AARP listens to their readers who reach them via social media, letters, and email and use the information to identify topics that will best resonate with the audience. Therefore, it comes as no massive surprise that AARP is American’s most-read magazine, reaching over 22 million American households and boasting an estimated 38 million readers per issue.

Coke’s Share a Coke Campaign

Coke harnessed the power of personalization in marketing to get everyone talking about the brand. The ‘Share a Coke’ Campaign allowed people to customize their drink, making them feel like it’s them and their bottle against the world.

The campaign kicked off in Australia by swapping Coke branding on cans and bottles with 150 of the most popular names in the country. The campaign’s success was unexpected. In the summer of 2011, the campaign sold over 250 million bottles and cans in a county of about 25 million people. This equates to approximately 10 bottles per citizen. ‘Share a Coke’ has since rolled out across the world, currently reaching over 70 countries.

You can personalize your bottle now, as I did here:

GoPro and Visual Content

GoPro, currently with 17.7m followers on Instagram and 10.2m subscribers on YouTube, understands the incredible power of visual content. Their marketing strategy is about quality visual content and products. They know what their ideal customers love and thus provide precisely that- quality pictures and videos.

Visual content is no longer an option but a necessity for a successful content marketing strategy.

But what do statistics reveal about visual elements?

Blog posts with images get 94% more total views, and Facebook posts with photos get 37% higher engagement than text-only posts. On top of that, Twitter research on post engagement factors revealed that photos and videos average 35% and 28% boost in retweets, respectively.

The 9 Most Important Content Marketing Hacks for Your Business

As you delve into the content marketing game, you’ll need to leverage ways to drive customer growth, not just more content. Here are a few content marketing tips you can start using to grow your business. 

Set Your Content Marketing Goals

You need to know what you want to achieve with your content marketing efforts. You could want to grow your reach or generate more revenues, generate more leads, or boost your revenue.

Your content marketing goals will determine the KPIs (key performance indicators) you use to measure your progress. Standard metrics include web traffic, number of leads, social engagement, sales, and SEO success.

Get Your Content Ideas Right

Why do some ideas go viral while others sink into the abyss?

If you’re looking for ideas on creating content that people will want to share, Jonah Berger’s insights may prove to be useful. In his guide to creating contagious content, Jonah stated that helpful, emotion-evoking content gets the most shares. He was right.

When we mention emotions, think of laughter, pain, anger, fear, loss, etc.

Because search engine results are currently linked to the quality of content, it’s no longer enough to simply create content that matches search terms. Now, you need to focus on creating emotionally resonant content that has value for your target audience, so they’re more likely to share it.

Get started with the following questions when brainstorming ideas for your content:

  • What trending idea do you have in mind that people will want to know?
  • Will your idea be controversial?
  • Will your idea provoke an emotional response in your target readers?
  • Does your target audience love long-form or short-form content?
  • Which of your already-published blog posts and articles account for the most social media shares?
  • Can you partner with industry influencers to promote your content?

There is an alternative approach. Identify thought leaders in your niche. Find their best-performing content and use similar topics and headline styles to create something more compelling.

With a tool like Buzzsumo, you can find the most viral headlines on a specific topic (keyword), so you generate better ideas for your own content.

Target the Right Keywords

To rank favorably in organic search results, you need to optimize your content with highly relevant keywords. Incorporate these words in the title and throughout the rest of the copy, while taking care to describe your product or solution accurately. 

When you’re trying to find a keyword, try starting with a broader topic like “women’s health” and then narrow it down with Google autocomplete. Or if you already have a good idea of what you want to write about, you can use keyword research tools to narrow down your keyword options, depending on factors like search volume and SEO difficulty. 

Experts suggest that you focus more on long-tail keywords– those phrases containing three or more words. These phrases are more specific than short-head keywords and people using them often have a higher search intent. Ultimately, they get you highly interested visitors and help you weed out the people likely to find your website by mistake.

Let’s assume you own a travel agency and intend to write a blog post about the best places to visit in France. Now, if you Google the phrase “best places to visit in France,” autocomplete offers you the following suggestions.

Google Autocomplete

With the above suggestions, you know the related phrases commonly searched on Google. Such are the terms you should incorporate in your blog post to boost its ranking. 

By carefully selecting the related phrases commonly searched on Google, you know which keywords to incorporate in your upcoming blog post. Make sure not to overuse keywords (to manipulate rankings), or you will get punished by Google for keyword stuffing.

Learn more:

Write More In-depth Articles

A detailed article on a subject is better than a short one. A shorter one ignores essential details and leaves out valuable information, which may upset your potential customers and even Google.

Now that you know that Google and your future customers won’t stop at just the article title or intro, it’s time you start developing detailed content. By “detailed,” we are talking about a 1500-word article (at least) thatdigs deep into all the aspects of a subject.

When it comes to conversions, long-form content typically outperforms short-form content. In a recent study, Crazy Egg found that making their homepage 20X longer increased their conversions by 30%. Visitors wanted their questions answered comprehensively, and that’s precisely what Crazzy Eggs delivered. This proves that you cannot have a page that is too long- only a boring one

There are many ways to write a detailed article. For example, you could interview experts in the niche and then paraphrase their answers. Or you could research the topic and then write your own answer to an imaginary question. If you choose the latter, here are few tips to get you started:

  • Pick a broad topic/subject.
  • Target a long-tail keyword in your headline- for example, how to build a successful travel business
  • Research current, accurate data on the subject
  • Create exciting content. Remember to mention reputed blog authors in the body.
  • Add some visual element to your content (images, graphics, slide presentations, videos)
  • Use a lead generator in the article’s body to collect emails 
  • Ask mentioned influencers to share your article

Write Compelling Headlines

Next on our list of content marketing tips involves nailing your headlines. 

Headlines are the secret sauce to generating more clicks, blog readership, shares, and sales. They are the first thing users see after clicking on your listing and are a critical tool for luring readers into your blogs.

A good headline is what makes the difference between someone who visits your blog/listing and eventually buys your product and someone who doesn’t. 

But you have barely 8 seconds to grab your readers’ attention; otherwise, you lose valuable prospects to your competitors. 

The most important thing is to ensure that your titles are compelling to encourage readers to click and read. Add some touch of curiosity and creativity, too.

According to Single Grain, headlines with numbers tend to get more clicks on the organic search results. Additionally, longer headlines (12-18 words) typically account for the highest number of Facebook engagements. 

While you can include buzzwords that get users excited and eager to learn more, refrain from using business jargon. It’s noted that phrases like “need to know,” “the future of”, and “X ways to” drive the highest engagement for B2B (business to business) companies. In comparison, phrases like “X reasons why,” “this is what”, and “X things to” work well for B2C (business to consumer) brands. 

Finally, split test your headlines to see which ones generate the best results. Learn more about A/B tests. 

Work With a Content Calendar

If you want to boost your rankings and web traffic, then you need to publish content regularly. Follow a publishing schedule and it won’t be long before content marketing becomes part of your daily routine. Once you’ve published enough articles, readers will start coming back to check out your latest posts. This brings us to an important tool for effective content marketing strategy- a content calendar.

A content calendar helps you stay organized by mapping out your content creation for the month or a whole quarter.

Based on your audience, you decide what to produce and on which platforms to publish. Each piece of content will have a life cycle (creation, editing, and publishing), and it’s important to know how long each stage takes. 

That’s how you maintain consistency in your content publishing schedule, avoiding a situation where you might overwhelm your fans with content or appear inactive.

Add Actionable Call-to-Actions

If you have only written content and nothing to capture leads, it’s time you try out CTAs. They can help you generate more leads for your business. In fact, you can increase clicks by 371%  by including a single CTA in your email. You certainly don’t want to miss out on such customer acquisition gains.

The goal of a CTA is to get someone to take your desired action, such as subscribing to your email list, reading more of your content, or making a purchase. 

You can try both written CTAs and CTA buttons. 

With CTA buttons, use informative phrases to inform users what happens next. So, you want to avoid generic phrases like “click here” and instead say “click here to get your free ebook.” Instead of “buy now,” say “add to cart- save 30%”. 

Don’t push potential customers to buy anything, though. Rather, appeal to what they want and how you can help them.

Above is an example of an actionable CTA button by Giftrockets. It does not urge customers to “buy” or “subscribe” but nudges them to “Send a Giftrocket” to their loved ones. 

Developing successful CTAs also requires split testing (A/B testing). Test things like button text, shape, color, and size to determine what works for you.

Continually Update Your Content  

Updating content has to be the most underrated hack for content marketing. 

But truth be told, your industry and business change frequently. And so information changes too. Consider also that Google constantly changes its algorithm. As a result, articles that offer outdated information often drop in rank as more counterparts offer updated information. 

Maintaining fresh content is vital for any website to rank well on Google. It’s essential that you update old content to be as up-to-date as possible, and ensure that every detail of your content is accurate. 

Repurposing your old content in new and interesting ways is a great way to get existing customers interested in your old content. Examples include turning an old blog post into a white paper or repackaging an old webinar as a podcast. Also, you can use an old blog post as the basis for a new webinar or create a video from an old blog post that you can post on social media.

Share Your Content

Don’t rely solely on organic searches to grow your traffic and business. If you have social media marketing or email marketing, you can use the mediums to promote your content. As a result, you not only boost your traffic for your blogs but also create opportunities for your fans to share your content, further expanding your reach. 

You can elevate content promotion using automation. Rather than sharing content manually, you can, for instance, integrate social share buttons at the bottom or top of your blog posts to make it easy for readers to share your content on their social media pages/accounts. 

Measuring and Optimizing Content Marketing

The last content marketing tip we will look at involves measuring results. Below is a list of indicators to monitor closely to accurately assess the effectiveness of your content marketing efforts.

Traffic 

If nobody is visiting your website, your content (no matter how amazing) means nothing to your bottom line.  That’s why you must measure traffic, which can be divided into three categories:

  • Users: the total number of unique visitors
  • Pageviews: the total number of times a web page has been viewed
  • Unique pageviews: The total number of times a single user has viewed a page combined into one pageview. 

Traffic data offers valuable insights. You can get a sense of where your visitors come from, what kind of devices they use, and how much traffic you get to specific pages on your website. 

Use this information to better tailor your content to your target audience. For instance, if you primarily target UK customers, but most traffic comes from Canada, you can tailor future content to your Canadian visitors.

Conversions

What actions are your visitors taking after reading your content? Are they signing up for your newsletter? Are they clicking on your links and CTA buttons? Are they making a purchase? These are just a few examples of conversion.


If you own a B2B business, we must mention that your ideal customers will hardly move from the awareness stage to completing e-commerce transactions after reading your blog post. They take several steps on their journey to conversion. Track each step from the lite actions of clicking a blog post or subscribing to a newsletter to the more profound actions like registering for an offer.

Engagement 

Engagement indicates how good your content is, unlike traffic which typically shows how effectively you get users to click your links. 

You undoubtedly want a lot of visitors on your site, and you want to keep them there as long as possible. You can use Google Analytics to see how well you do this. 

Analytics lets you know the average number of pages that people visit per session, the average amount of time they spend on each page, and your bounce rates. Aim for a high number of pages per session, long average session duration, and low bounce rate. 

A  high average session duration means you’re offering something that keeps users engaged. If users frequently bounce from your website, it means they can’t find what they need. Such are the details you should use to adjust your content marketing strategy.

Another practical approach to content engagement analysis is to analyze performance on social media. The most important metric here is the number of times your content has been shared on social platforms- it’s a good way to track how well your content resonates with your target audience. 

You can use BuzzSumo to track social media shares and quickly identify your top-performing content.

SEO Performance

Organic traffic does not give much insight into your site’s performance in search engines. SEO performance analysis comes in here. 

The search engine ranking position is arguably the most critical metric to track when analyzing SEO performance. That’s because rankings are straightforward indicators of how well a page is doing in organic search results for a particular term. Better rankings, logically, equate to more traffic and conversions. 

Whereas your ranking may fluctuate a little, you want to see it stay in a good spot or improve. 

You can use Google Search Console to see the terms your website is ranking for and how your ranking fluctuates over time. 

Another indicator of good SEO is when your content appears in answer boxes for relevant keywords. For example, if you were selling a product that helps people cut their heating bills, an article entitled “How to Reduce Your Heating Bill” might appear in the answer box for this query.

Authority 

Measuring authority is not as straightforward as most other metrics we have discussed. 

Domain authority measures the likelihood that your site will rank on a search engine results page (SERP). It is calculated by Moz. The more authority your domain has, the more authoritative your content will be and the more people will trust your brand.


 You can use Moz’s domain analysis tool to determine your domain authority(DA) and page authority(PA). Let’s catch a glimpse of Apple’s DA scores.

Note that DA and PA scores range between 1 and 100, with the higher scores indicating higher authority. And while there is no universally accepted ideal DA/PA score, essentially, you want to outscore your competitors.

Don’t just collect data. Analyze the metrics to discover where improvement opportunities lie. 

Bottom Line

Stop being a content marketing amateur. Understand that it doesn’t matter how much you spend on content marketing if you don’t do it right. 

So, what are you waiting for? Gather your resources and put the above tips into action to build an effective content marketing strategy for your business.


So, you want to be an expert in your space. Congrats. But what if you don’t have the time? There are services that can help you fix that. 

With a strong understanding of your business and your target market, ContentGenics can craft compelling content that converts, builds engagement, and helps build your brand. Contact us today to turn your ideas into compelling content that builds value for your business

5 Powerful Ways to Improve Website UX Fast

Aren’t you fed up with high bounce rates and low engagement on your site? If so, perhaps it’s time you check your website UX.

There several SEO practices to increase a site’s visibility on the web, including link building, excellent content, and email marketing; however, these strategies will remain ineffective if your website’s UX is mediocre.

Site UX is all about how visitors experience your site. Do they seamlessly find the information they were looking for on your website? Do they leave your site frustrated because it doesn’t offer them the experience they expected?

Undoubtedly, you want Google to find your site useful. But you can’t achieve this aim by solely putting up great content for your visitors. By accompanying your SEO strategies with great UX, you can significantly reduce your bounce rate and have more users complete the intended actions on your site.

That being said, keep in mind the following best practices of website UX.

1. Ease Navigation

To offer users the best experience, ensure that your navigation is straightforward. The aim is to minimize the energy your visitors spend to reach particular pages.

The further a user has to scour your site to get what they are looking for, the quicker they give up. So, ensure that your most important pages are at most three clicks away.

Moreover, provide some sort of map to simplify navigation so that your visitors can quickly get back to the home page or previous pages. You can achieve this by showing breadcrumbs or having your menu present above all pages throughout.

A breadcrumb is a small clickable text path, usually found at the top of a page as illustrated on the image below.

The arrow points to a breadcrumb on Wpbeginner site

2. Communicate with Your Visitors’ Words

One of the top priorities of getting the user experience right is communicating in the language of the users. No doubt, you are an expert in your industry; however, your site visitors could be using different terms when looking for your products or services.

Here, the top tip is to avoid being overly technical. For instance, instead of saying, “Do you want more conversions?” say, “Do you want more paying customers?”.

3. Improve Your Buttons

Indeed, simplistic design works best for interactive elements, such as clickable buttons. However, the science of actionable buttons does not stop at the design. Give your readers an idea of what they are about to do using simple, action-provoking text.

Nonetheless, inserting some text inside a block is not enough to define a button. By adding rounded corners and increasing the depth, you make your buttons more distinguishable and clickable.

There are better ways to craft call-to-action buttons other than using the phrase “Click here to…” By focusing on the action you want the visitor to take when creating CTAs, you make things easier for the user, improving your conversions. Thus said, use words like “Activate,” “Download,” “Buy this product,” etc.

The image below from Crazy Egg shows an actionable CTA.

fancy graphics CTA buttons

4. Get Creative with Links

For years, people have known blue, underlined texts as links. It’s now easier to eliminate underlining. Whereas this may seem cleaner, it may be difficult for users to identify the blue texts as links.

Changing the color might pose a new challenge, especially to colorblind users. However, this does not leave underlining as the only solution. Play with the font type, size, and capitalization to define your links.

5. Maintain Consistency in all Platforms

It’s incredibly important to offer a consistent experience across all access platforms, whether desktop, smartphone, and tablet. You want to ensure your visitors can access all the basics of your site, regardless of the access medium they use.

Keep in mind that an incredible percentage of site traffic comes from mobile users. If a user is not satisfied with the mobile experience, don’t expect them to follow up with a desktop.

There is an urgent need for website owners to work on their sites’ mobile-friendliness. If you’re building a website, it’s wise to start with a mobile version and then scale it up to desktop version.

Bottom Line

The best result not only comprises the best information but also takes care of the user experience. It’s for this reason improving your site’s UX should be one of the top priorities in your SEO strategy. Having lured potential customers into your site with various SEO techniques, offer them inexplicable experience with the above tricks.

Digital Marketing: Why it’s a Must-Do For Startups

Forms if digital marketing

Digital marketing is not a new word for most people looking to scale their business. Sure, the world is going online. With the use of traditional marketing techniques slowly fading away, it’s not surprising that you see fewer billboards today. 

Businesses are now turning to digital marketing to reach and engage more customers. Here are reasons why that’s a wise decision for startups.

Digital Marketing is Cost-effective

Think about the cost of setting up a billboard in a strategic location or funding TV or radio adverts. Funding such ventures is almost impossible for startups. Contrarily, the cost of getting your enterprise known in the digital sphere is minimal.

Making SEO work for your website traffic is straightforward. Take advantage of valuable, optimized content, improved site performance, relevant videos, and a good reputation. With ready-available templates and plugins, you can effortlessly build a business site that showcases your products or services and engages new and existing customers.

Digital Marketing Expands Your Customer Base

Traditional marketing methods are limited to a few targets, especially within a particular geographical region. Even reaching customers within your local region using typical marketing techniques can be tricky and costly. Contrarily, online marketing enables you to reach a vast number of targets without geographical limitations.

A large percentage of the world population can access the internet and can be easily reached with online content and adverts. With digital marketing, you can expect to enlarge your customer base and increase your sales and profit margins.

Easy Performance Evaluation

It’s easy for small businesses to track the performance of their marketing efforts, whether email marketing or social media marketing. It becomes possible to make the appropriate adjustments, with a clear view of where to spend your budget more and the campaigns to do away with.

Businesses can Target Specific Customers

You don’t have to interrupt everyone with ads. Using digital marketing methods, you can target a particular audience, depending on their location, spending habits, preferences, age, and other factors.

Target group marketing

If you are targeting young women aged 26 years, living in Ontario, and interested in trendy handbags, online marketing tools can help you reach them and nurture them into new customers and brand ambassadors.

        Gives Businesses a Competitive Edge

If you are worried about competition when setting out, online marketing could be your timely savior. Strategies such as SEO, PPC, social media marketing, and email marketing can help you increase the awareness of your brand, attract more traffic, and score higher profit margins than your competitors.

You want to learn online advertising tactics that are working for your competitors and implement them besides others, to gain a competitive advantage over them.

Conclusion

It’s easier and almost costless to showcase your brand to a massive audience using digital marketing tools such as an optimized website and content and text and display ads.

The fact that you track performance and target specific audiences also makes online marketing a necessity for small businesses looking to maneuver around competition, maintain a more extensive customer base, and increase their revenue.