Compelling, relatable content is an essential ingredient of a winning digital strategy. But, if you look around, you may think we’re in the middle of a content glut. HubSpot says that more than three out of five marketers are actively investing in content marketing. WordPress users alone generate 70 million new posts every month.
It can seem impossible to get noticed with numbers like these until you realize one thing: a lot of the content out there isn’t all that great. When marketers seek out SEO content that doesn’t fit their marketing audience, doesn’t meet the latest SEO best practices, or is simply poorly written, they are throwing their money away.
Fresh, quality content isn’t just something to get your site noticed by search engine spiders. It can be the first step in forming a relationship with new prospects.
Our list of content marketing tips helps you ensure the content you buy isn’t a waste of money. Before you publish a piece of content, make sure it hits the following marks:
1. It aligns with SEO content best practices
The content that performs best with search engines continues to evolve. Quality content is written with these changing requirements in mind. Engaged professionals will ensure they are using the same keywords viewers use when looking for content like theirs. They’ll make sure their writing communicates what their business – and their expertise – is all about.
Make sure the content you create appeals to the audiences you are seeking. Think about what they are likely to search when they are looking for businesses in your industry. Also make sure you are avoiding the top SEO content errors. These include:
- Keyword stuffing
- Forgetting to include a few related keywords that align with your main keyword
- Failing to do keyword research at all
On the flip side, you’ll want to ensure your SEO content is capitalizing on current best practices. These include:
- Creating long enough pieces to encourage readers to stick around your page
- Making great use of ease-of-reading elements, such as bullet points
- Including your most important keywords in your header and sub headers
- Making use of images and helpful links to keep your reader engaged
2. It showcases your knowledge and authority
When prospects read your content, they are looking for evidence that they can trust you. The content on your page should be informative and educational to illustrate you have the expertise your clients are looking for.
A good content strategy involves developing ideas across several posts. For instance, a real estate professional may offer moving checklists, home staging tips, information about curb appeal, and other tips to help sellers get the best price for their homes.
As your prospects go through your content, you want them to get a sense of your expertise. This makes them more likely to choose you when it comes time to pick the right professional for the job.
3. It isn’t littered with industry jargon
Because you are immersed in your industry, you can easily become deaf to technical terms and jargon that can confuse the average reader. A good content writer will weed out the jargon, translating your ideas into language anyone can understand.
Content writers have the advantage of bringing a layman’s perspective. They can understand your industry’s lingo, but are not automatically compelled to use it. This allows them to communicate in the language your clients are more likely to use, helping your readers understand exactly what you do and why you are the best at it.
4. It makes choosing your business a no-brainer
In the digital sphere, your competition is only ever a click away. Good content shows why prospects should pick you instead.
It is written in a way that can help you get to the top of the search for relevant queries. Then, once prospects are on the page, it makes it clear your business is the right choice.
Thousands of pieces of online content deliver roughly the same information over and over again. Some of it is nearly line-by-line identical. Tools like Copyscape can help you avoid duplicate content that’s been lifted from another site and can harm your search engine result ranking.
But publishing original content is only half the battle. You also need to showcase what makes your brand fresh and unique. Focus on what makes your business special. Shine a light on factors like:
- How long you’ve been in business
- Why you started the business in the first place
- What special services you offer
- What makes you stand out from the rest
5. It is actually useful to your readers
Content that is optimized for search engines gets users to your site; however, once they are there, you need a reason for them to stay. Quality content gives readers something they can use. They’ll come away with a better understanding of how your business can solve their problems. Examples of content that readers can use include:
- Case studies to show how you solved dilemmas like theirs
- Checklists to help them determine if and when they need your services
- Blog posts that detail common pitfalls, and offer tips to avoid them
6. It’s easily skimmable
A little more than half of the worldwide web traffic is mobile. Even when people are visiting your site on desktop, they often do not have the time to take a deep dive into dense content.
Making content easy to skim helps your reader assess whether your content is useful for them. They can scan your work in seconds, , and then choose whether or not to examine it further.
Short paragraphs, frequent headers, and features like bulleted lists make it easier for readers to quickly get the gist. Skimmable content is also far easier to read on smaller phone and tablet screens.
7. It captures readers from the beginning
You have mere seconds to catch a reader’s attention. If they aren’t engaged from the beginning, they will navigate away to any of the other 2.5 quintillion bytes of data generated online every day.
There are dozens of ways to engage people from the start. Draw readers in by:
- Stating a problem
- Sharing an interesting fact
- Starting with a story
- Using varied content, such as blog posts with images and video
8. It’s well-researched
When readers arrive at your page and find broad generalities or even outright inaccuracies, it can hurt their opinion of your business. Their first visit to your site has a major impact on their impression of your brand.
One way you can make your content more accurate and detailed is to provide comprehensive content briefs and research documents to your writers. This can help them craft content that communicates valuable information to your audience.
Skillful content writers will not only appreciate detailed content briefs, but they will have the research skills needed to fulfill the requirements while creating easy-to-digest pieces for your audience.
9. It’s grammatically correct
Glaring errors can end your relationship with a potential customer before it even starts. Poor spelling, awkwardly constructed sentences, and other flaws can make you look less professional. Clean, well-written content makes your prospects feel at ease.
There are many platforms offering cheap content. But underspending on content typically gets you less-skilled writers who rush through your work. An investment in quality content tends to mean an investment in more reliable expertise.
It can also be a good idea to spend money on editors or proofreaders to look over the work before you post it. They can ensure that more subtle errors, like using “less” when you mean “fewer,” don’t make it into the final draft.
10. It’s written for humans first, SEO second
When you’re clawing your way to the top of the search engine results page (SERP), it can be easy to forget why you are posting content in the first place: your readers. Content needs to be written for them first; all other concerns are secondary. Writing for the reader means:
- Opting for readability over awkward sentences jammed with longtail keyword phrases
- Choosing an array of related synonyms and related keywords instead of overusing a single keyword phrase
- Focusing on the value your product or service brings to them. Discuss benefits instead of features. Talk about the readers’ pain points and how your offerings address them
Summing It Up
When you begin to understand what your prospects are looking for, you are in a better position to supply the content that will foster a relationship—and result in a remarkable ROI. Hire skilled freelancers to create work that addresses your clients at every stage of their journey toward making a decision to buy. Answer questions that range from the most basic to the highly advanced. Show readers you are knowledgeable, helpful, and eager to give top-level service.
Your content is where your audience members will form their first impressions of your business. By ensuring you have invested in great assets here, you can start your relationship right. Start working on those great assets now with a free trial to WriterAccess.