Or more specifically, “how can I drive more organic traffic to my business website”.
So, what do we mean when we say “organic traffic”?
Organic traffic is website traffic that you haven’t paid for. Directly anyway. For example, your company is featured on a news website or someone has typed one of your business keywords into Google and they’ve followed a link to your business (that was not one of the paid ads at the top).
The holy grail, right? It’s sometimes mistakenly referred to as free traffic. While you may not be directly paying for the persons click, I can all but guarantee you that an investment of some kind – whether it be time or indirectly paid for via a digital marketing agency – has been made.
It’s so incredibly cliche, but it really is true. When it comes to organic traffic, content is king.
After reading this article you will learn
What content marketing is
How you can use content marketing to drive more traffic to your website
How to create a content marketing strategy
We’ll also provide you with a content marketing bluep
Before you can determine what content marketing is, you need to know exactly what content is.
Fortunately, there’s a nice and easy way to define it: Content is…well, it’s everything.
The text on your blog posts, the graphics on your website, the images you share on social media, the instructional videos you showcase…it’s all content, and the list is endless.
So how on earth do you market everything?
The wide range of content is precisely why you need to have a cast-iron content marketing strategy in place.
Website owners who leave their site unchanged for long periods of time or those who upload content with no real long-term objective are missing out on the benefits of a cohesive content marketing campaign.
By taking a holistic approach to your digital content, however, you can use it to increase website traffic and boost engagement, as well as sales figures and profits.
Lets get down to the nitty-gritty.
While this is list is certainly not exclusive, here are some of the types of content that you could have in your content marketing campaign:
Depending on your brand, your products, your services and your target demographic, some forms of content will be more appropriate than others.
However, an effective campaign will market your content to your target audience in an effort to motivate them to take action. With a clearly defined goal, every campaign and marketing activity will use bespoke content to help you achieve your objectives.
If you want people to sign up to your eNewsletter, for example, you may use content marketing in the form of blog posts, social media, guest blogs, images and videos to show users the value they’ll get from signing up.
Alternatively, if your objective is to increase sales of a particular software platform, you may use instruction videos, blogs, infographics, eBooks, social media and case studies to highlight how and why the product will benefit the user.
Now you know what content marketing is, let’s take a look at how you can use it to increase website traffic.
If you’re looking to grow, launch a new product or service, improve your business leads or just retain the customers you have, then this is for you.
People will only visit your website if a) they’re aware of it and b) they gain value from it.
Content marketing ensures both of these needs are met by putting your website on the user’s map and ensuring they gain value from their visit.
Once your content has been created, how you choose to promote it will help to increase website traffic, so content promotion is a vital part of your content marketing activities.
If you create an informative, useful and insightful blog post, for example, don’t just upload it to your site and leave it there, hoping that people will stumble across it. Instead, you need to shout it from the metaphorical rooftops and make people aware of it.
Sharing a blog post on social media immediately increases its reach, whether you have hundreds or millions of followers.
Using hashtags and incorporating topical content means plenty of users who aren’t yet following you have a chance of seeing your content and visiting your site as a result.
Furthermore, social media gives users an easy way to share your content, which compounds the effect it will have.
Properly formatted content will always provide a way for users to get directly to your website and/or perform an action. Perhaps your blog post will be peppered with useful links, include a sign-up form for newsletters or feature a clickable promo code?
With these incentives, combined with high-quality content, your website traffic will increase significantly, which ensures that users will be exposed to a whole load more of your fabulous content. Easy? Well, almost.
Effective SEO, or search engine optimisation, ensures your website is at the top of the rankings when users search for relevant terms. Search engines, such as Google, crawl and index web pages according to their quality, response time, mobile-usability etc.
There is no such thing as SEO without content.
There are huge overlaps between SEO and content marketing. I think Neil Patel explains it best when he says: When SEO shouts, “We need more content!” content marketing responds, “Gotcha taken care of!”
Simply put, SEO is more technical. It’s concerned with optimisation and keywords. Content marketing creates content around those keywords.
For example, if you were running a local mens shoe shop, SEO would probably identify “Chelsea boots” as a keyword. Content marketing would then be your blog post on this topic full of useful, value-adding content with video and high quality images to enrich the copy.
The other big player in SEO is backlinks. For pages to rank well in Google they need high quality links pointing to their piece of content.
What’s the best way to get back links? Produce killer content.
SEO and content marketing go together hand in hand.
An effective content strategy can take some planning, so don’t jump in too quickly. A content audit is a great way to determine what content you’re already using and where it needs improvement. In addition to this, identify your long-term objectives and set a serious of short and mid-term goals to help you achieve your longer-term aims.
Once you have these in place, you’ll know exactly what you want to get out of your content and can set about achieving it.
How To Create Great Content
With a fantastic selection of products and services, you’re probably keen to tell people just how great they are, right?
After all, the ultimate goal is to boost sales and cultivate a loyal customer base, so what’s more effective than telling people how brilliant you are, right? Not quite.
Let’s imagine you’re selling a laptop. A blog post which tells you how much RAM it’s got and what type of processor it uses may be informative and useful…but it only tells you about the laptop itself.
Similarly, a how-to video may show you how to switch it on and get online but, again, this information relates solely to the laptop.
Ever been cornered at a party by someone who only talks about themselves? This is what product, service or brand-specific content is like. We may all enjoy talking about ourselves but for the listener, it gets boring QUICKLY.
When you’re creating content, keep your audience in mind. Before you begin producing any content, think about who it’s aimed at, what its purpose is and what a user will get from it.
Sure, listing the features of a laptop might provide some info, but it doesn’t put the information content and it doesn’t tell the user why it benefits them.
A 2.4 GHz processor? Great, but what does it mean for the user? Instead of telling them your latest laptop has a 2.4 GHz CPU, tell them how much faster their laptop will run, how many more programs they can open at the same time and how much battery life they’ll get from it and why this benefits them specifically.
If you’re creating content for people between the ages of 16-24, they’re probably going to use the laptop for school, surfing and social media, so tell them how its features will enhance these functions.
Alternatively, if you’re producing content aimed at working professionals between the ages of 30-40, they’re going to be more focused on security, reliability and ease of use, so tell them why your laptop’s features meet – and outstrip – their needs.
By creating buyer personas, you can determine exactly which demographics can benefit from your products and/or services and create content just for them.
Whilst one product may suit SMEs and large multinational corporations, for example, the content you use for each of these buyer personas will be very different.
An SME will have different values, and priorities compared to a larger firm, so you’ll need to produce a varied selection of content in order to put the benefits of the product into context for the specific user you’re targeting.
Your product or service may solve a whole myriad of problems, but an individual user doesn’t really care whether it’s going to benefit other people. They want to know how it’s going to solve their problem, so tell them!
The AIDA principle is a great way of looking at the buyer’s journey.
First, they’re AWARE of a brand, product or service, then they’re INTERESTED in it, now they DESIRE it and, finally, they’re ready to take ACTION.
Your content can help to propel a user along the buyer’s journey, but you’ll need to produce content aimed at users who are at each stage of the journey itself.
Someone who is AWARE of a product may spend a brief amount of time looking at content relating to it, whereas someone who already DESIRES it may be willing to reach a long-form piece about it.
Content aimed at buyers on the first stage of the journey should pique their interest, whereas content designed for interested users should effectively transform interest into desire, and so on.
Generating content ideas can seem tricky at first but when you look at things from a buyer’s perspective, it becomes much easier.
With a variety of buyer personas to cater for and users at all stages of the buyer’s journey, you can generate a considerable amount of unique and interesting content, even when you’re focusing on similar topics.
However, researching popular search terms and finding ones which relate to your brand is a good way to generate content ideas and incorporating newsworthy and topical events into your content helps to keep it fresh and interesting.
Keyword targeting should be incorporated into your content marketing strategy, as it can help to ensure you’re reaching relevant users.
Before you know which keywords to target, however, you’ll need to conduct some keyword research.
With keyword research, you can find out which terms users are using to search for related products and services and match your content to them.
If you’re offering cloud storage services, for example, users may search for ‘secure clouds’, ‘cheap cloud storage’ or add a geographical element to it and search for ‘cloud storage UK’.
By matching the right keywords to your users and including them in your content, you’ll ensure that more users will reach your website.
However, beware of keyword stuffing.
Traditionally, using keywords repetitively told search engines that your page was highly focused on a topic.
As online marketing has evolved, however, the quality of content has become more important than ever.
By stuffing keywords into your content, it can become unreadable and nonsensical. Not only will this put users off, it will have a negative effect on your SEO rankings too.
We already know that high quality is important but how you share your content is vital too. Again, the buyer personas you’re targeting will play a critical role in determining which distribution methods you choose.
If one buyer persona is more active on Instagram, for example, you want to be sure to get your content on that platform.
However, you’ll also need to consider whether you’re going to use organic or paid options, or a combination of the two.
Paid advertising options, such as PPC, can be an effective way to get your content to the top of a SERP, but the cost of this type of advertising can creep up.
If you’re competing for popular keywords, for example, the price per click could run to £10-£15, which isn’t viable for businesses of all sizes.
By looking for relevant keywords with less competition, however, you can drastically reduce the cost of paid advertising and make it a long-term component of your content marketing.
Organic marketing doesn’t require an outlay as such, but it can take longer to get the results you want and the time and effort you spend on your campaigns is, of course, an investment.
Although it may take a little longer to increase website traffic significantly via organic marketing, this shouldn’t put you off.
In reality, a mixture of both paid and organic advertising is the most effective way to increase website traffic.
In order to achieve this, many companies rely on the services of professional online marketing firms.
With extensive expertise and in-house resources, accessing professional advice and assistance can be the most cost-effective way to approach content marketing and boost your website traffic.
Content is a great way to drive traffic to your site and should feature heavily in your digital marketing strategy.
Having a solid strategy in place is the best way to ensure your pipeline is full of perfect customers who can’t wait to do business with you.
We’ve produced a useful Marketing Blueprint to easily guide you through the process.
Through a series of easy to follow steps, we’ll take you through the different elements that should be included in your marketing strategy. We’ll explain why each is important and ask questions that will allow you to apply each element to your business.
The end result will provide you with a holistic marketing strategy that you can implement right away.
So if you’re looking to grow, launch a new product or service, improve your business leads or just retain the customers you have, then this is for you.
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