Content Writing is at the heart of a digital marketing strategy for inbound lead generation. But what are the best approaches for content writing?
1. Pick an interesting subject and keep focus
When picking a subject, best practice dictates that it is something relevant to your business which people will enjoy reading about. Your audience will be potential customers who will judge your company based on your content. And Google bots will also judge it.
Google currently uses “semantics” when rating content for ranking – in other words it looks at the overall content and judges it based on the depth and meaning. It needs to be well written and not stuffed with keywords that you are trying to rank against otherwise you can be penalized, and your content will have an overall negative effect.
Also, if you try to mix too many subjects into one piece, it will not only confuse your reader, it will also harm any SEO juice you are trying to squeeze from your content.
2. PR, Blog or White Paper – language and writing style may vary
There are various styles of writing – a journalistic approach to Press Releases, or informal story telling in blogs, to formal writing and layouts in white papers. But it should be free of spellings and include good grammar. Keep the content educational, focused and compelling.
3. SEO – Keyword research – relevant keywords
From an SEO prospective, to help with higher organic listing in Google, it has been proved that backlinks using longtail keyword links will work. Longtail keyword links are links back to your website such as what is digital marketing? But these themed backlinks must still be used in a grammatically correct context.
It is a waste of time to optimize on specific keyword links if no-one ever searches on them. That is why it is important to research keywords before you write your content using Google Keyword Planner.
Short tail keywords can be used, but the danger is they become more generic and harder to rank on. The idea of long tail keywords is though people may search on them less, they are more applicable to your business and so giving a better conversion rate.
4. Themed keyword links – maximum of 5
Do not stuff your content with url links – from a reader’s prospective, it becomes harder to read. I believe having three to five links is enough. From a Google prospective, the higher the link in the page, the more SEO juice it gets. The first link is believed to get back more juice then subsequent links. Internal and external linking is good but be wary that external links to webpages could disappear and if you don’t notice and the link remains, it will harm your SEO ranking.
If you plan on posting content externally to your website, then these links back to your website will give maximum SEO effect, assuming that it links back to a web page with the same relevant theme as your posted content. So a blog on 4K cameras with for example the longtail keyword link “The future of 4K cameras” should go to page that contain information about 4K cameras.
5. Length is not important
Actually, not quite true. There is a minimum length for it to be SEO effective of around 300 words. It is recommended blogs of a 1000- 1500 words perform better than blogs of around 500 words, but longer content becomes indigestible for people wanted a quick review of information in their busy work life.
I believe that content should not be excessive but long enough to get your point across. My recommendation is to put the needs of your audience above optimizing on trying to please Google.
6. Incorporate snippets for the more advanced SEO
What is a snippet? A snippet in terms of SEO is where an answer to a question in Google gets ranked at the very top beating all the organic results. If you have high performing pages in Google, then you can optimize your content for snippets.
7. Use a Call to Action
If you are seeing a considerable amount of website traffic but very little conversion in terms of contact, then maybe a call to action will help. A call to action is where you can prompt website visitors to fill in their contact details for example to download a whitepaper or to take part in a promotion with opt-in permission. Once you have their contact details then you can email them, for example once a month, with a newsletter to nurture them until they are ready to buy.
8. Include a picture!
Content is king they say, but an unappetizing king will not get the traffic. Make the layout of your content appealing and its always best to include a relevant picture. If you are posting to social media, then it will automatically pick the picture as part of the social media post meaning it looks more engaging for clicking on.
Once you have the content, then naturally you will need to distribute it. Social media is an easy place to post content but is limited to your circle of influence. Press Releases can be submitted to news portals that are relevant to your business, but it is also worth researching other online platforms that are relevant to your business and offering guest blogs. There are also a range of other platforms such as Medium, TechCrunch, Recode, Forbes and Quora that have a large amount of traffic but the trade off being that they may not be relevant for you as a business.