The rules for content are always changing. As digital marketing grows and search algorithms learn, our methods to keep our content interesting and search-worthy are in a constant state of change as well. How do we not only keep up the pace, but also improve our content?
Businesses are always on the lookout for new and innovative ways to keep their content on top, each claiming a different concept as the key factor in content improvement. The real key factor, however, is not one single action; instead, it is numerous actions that work together to create top-notch, interesting content that’s search algorithm approved. In fact, according to an infographic created by Demand Metric, 28% of businesses use 5-9 different tactics to create, optimize and distribute content, while 11% use over 20. It’s no wonder why the most successful websites enjoy a degree of exclusivity, because a majority of businesses don’t utilize the full breadth of techniques, tips and tricks at their disposal.
Everyone wants to be the best, to appear highest in the search results, and to gain the most traffic. It can be difficult to compete when everyone is using the same tired methods, so in order to make life a little easier for you, the following are eight tips to improving your online content:
- Be an expert
It’s crucial when creating online content to command respect and authority in your field and for your business. There are many ways to do this, one of which is by using a news aggregator to pull together relevant content and news that relates to your topic. Other ways are to seek out expert advice, use accurate statistics and statements from reputable sites, and create content that you have thoroughly researched.
For example, if you are a web designer and you’re running a blog from your website, the content that you create should focus on website design, digital design and all matters pertaining to your profession. If you then decided to write a blog post about pet care, with no facts other than those you have drawn from personal experience, not only would this not fit into your business’s brand, but your lack of authority on the matter may alienate your readers away from your content.
This is a term you have probably heard a lot about. In the online marketing world, you can’t get anything done without coming across it, but what does it really encompass?
For those who don’t know what SEO is, it stands for Search Engine Optimization, and is the term applied to techniques used to optimize any online content, websites, blogs, social media posts and the like to appear higher up in the search results.
Incorporating SEO can start with the basic inclusion of key words and phrases into your online content, and lead all the way to studying the online behavior of the audience you’re trying to reach. There is a lot that goes into SEO other than key words, though; title tags, meta descriptions, and most importantly the quality and quantity of content play a huge role in SEO. Orbit media reported the ideal length of a blogpost to be 1500 words, title tags 55 characters and meta descriptions 155 characters at maximum. These can be used as general guidelines, but shouldn’t be prioritized over the creation of good, well-thought-out content.
3. Premium content
Following on from the above information, premium content that’s made for people rather than search engine algorithms, is going to stand out to viewers. At the end of the day, the number one thing that drives online marketing and SEO is what people are searching for, and how they’re searching for it. Online users want to find answers to questions that are well-written, informative, and compelling. Great content helps to keep people on your website as well; if they find what they are looking for, they will be less inclined to bounce back to the search engine results page (serp). It’s important to not only answer the questions that online users are asking, but also to engage them enough to keep them on your website, and to encourage them to find more answers on other pages of your site.
Premium content is usually larger, more in-depth content that takes a little more effort to read than your average blog. The great thing about premium content is that it’s well-researched, and this helps it to stand out amongst the other more basic blogs.
User experience (UX) has been rising to the top of most content marketers’ lists. This plays along with the idea that the online user is more important than the numbers used by algorithms. Great UX will also keep users on your page and stop the dreaded bounce-back. UX incorporates both design aspects and written aspects of online content, and deals with user-centered concepts. These concepts can be nailed town to three terms: why, what and how?
“Why” utilizes motivations and the user’s values and views, so what it is they want to know and why. “What” is all about functionality and specific features, so it’s mainly the technical design aspect of things. “How” deals with accessibility and aesthetics—essentially, how easy the features are to use. Getting a good understanding of these concepts may help you to improve your online content from an overarching perspective.
UX is crucial to the way in which users consume your content, and therefore has a strong connection to the quality of content. From the overall flow and aesthetic, to ease-of-use and originality. It’s been proven that a large majority of online users appreciate learning about a company or business through their own custom content—nearly 80%, in fact.
5. Know your audience
You may have noticed a trend so far in these tips: that they all somehow relate to online users or your audience. Knowing your audience, their motives and likes and dislikes is going to help to improve your content from the ground up. If there is a disconnect between what you’re creating and your reader, then you’ll need to head back to the drawing board and reevaluate who your audience is and what they’re after.
Think about your content the way you would the design of your website, with the idea that someone else is going to see it and use it. This may help to keep your audience at the forefront of what you do. Remember that you’re not creating for you or your business, but for them.
6. Images and videos
According to a survey conducted by The Content Marketing Institute, the use of visual content such as images, charts, and videos is on the rise. Visual content helps to draw the reader’s eye, to keep them engaged with your content and even to establish a deeper connection with the content. It can also help to break up text, to keep the overall look of your blog or webpage more appealing.
Visual content may add expertise in the form of infographics, interviews, comparative lists and the like, and you can use them for SEO too. Each image or video can have its own title tag and meta description, in which you can put key words and phrases to help to optimize your content
7. Get inspired
Finally, take inspiration from other blogs and online content. When looking for the right strategy, it can be easy to overlook other businesses in an attempt to appear more original, but a lot of businesses actually struggle to create content that breaks through the crowd and makes an impact. You could bend your back trying to do it all on your own, or you could look for inspiration in other’s success—especially the success of influencers.
These savvy entrepreneurs should not be underestimated; they live, eat, and breath their content, and know exactly what their audience wants to see. Taking a look at some Pinterest pages, fast growing Facebook groups, and influencers’ Instagram pages may be a great place to start if you’re starving for inspiration. You never know what tricks you might come across that could help to give your content the exact kind of boost it needs.
There are many aspects that go into improving your online content, and they are not all about numbers and beating algorithms. It is more important to look at the quality of what you’re creating to improve your content, and who you are creating it for. While there are some amazing content marketing tools out there that may help behind the scenes, don’t forget to dig deeper into the content that you’re publishing.
Creating premium content that’s insightful, original, and informative might win over your audience more easily than stuffing your blog with key words and phrases. Curating your content for a positive and meaningful UX may encourage people to stay on your page, and improve the overall traffic. Typically, the more people who see your content and want to read it, the more appealing it is.