How content marketing can help grow your online business

The infamous ‘Content is King’ essay published by Microsoft founder Bill Gates back in 1996, has proved to be particularly accurate in its predictions. Over twenty years later, it couldn’t be more relevant, with content driving the internet as we know it.

Today, content marketing has become a key priority for brands and forms the foundation of any digital marketing strategy. This is due to the influence that quality content can have on organic search visibility and converting leads to customers.

Content marketing is a non-intrusive form of marketing, which consumers love because it provides them with the information they are looking for, assisting them in their purchasing decisions. A content strategy must be carefully crafted to engage your audience and answer any questions they may have around your products and supporting subject matter at different stages in their buying process, or even product lifecycles. These journeys must be mapped out and considered as part of a wider content plan, considering the brand awareness stage, research stage and decision-making process. It is important that all content created must not only connect with your customers’ needs but must also reflect your brand values and identity. This will lead to generating the right kind of traffic to your website.

How will content marketing drive traffic to my website?

Well written, relevant, optimised content will make all the difference to your website visibility. Google uses many different factors to rank websites in search results, including site speed, site health and whether it is mobile friendly, or not – but aside from the technicalities, it is known that having fresh, related, optimised and linkable content is seen as a primary indicator that your website is both pertinent and credible within your area of expertise.

When it comes to working out your content strategy, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ formula here, but it is known that by regularly updating your website with a variety of carefully crafted and relevant short and long-form content you will begin to see an uplift in your organic traffic.

Failing to plan, is planning to fail

Expecting to produce content on a regular basis without first building a publication schedule is not a viable strategy. First, you need to set a goal in terms of the amount of content you want to publish each month or week, then create a calendar to follow closely. Stay on top of this, aligning to customer lifecycles, seasonality, events and keyword planning – this will help you develop a relationship with your readers, building trust and loyalty.

Do your (keyword) research

We recommend starting by analysing your customer needs and carrying out keyword research, looking at both high-intent and long-tail keywords to identify content themes to build upon. Long-tail keywords make up the majority of search traffic online, therefore you have a good opportunity to reach a new audience by integrating this into your strategy. The results from your keyword research should inform new content ideas and headline phrases. While you should identify a focus keyword, it is also important to include other semantically relevant keywords. That’s search with real meaning rather than just literal matches – in order to demonstrate your relevance around the subject matter.

Set a writing style

You have created a range of content ideas, but before you get started you must ensure your writing style reflects your brand values and tone of voice. This will ultimately ensure you deliver the most relevant content for your audience. You can be creative: original and qualitative content will help make your website unique. Don’t forget, different types of content will meet different customer needs – find out more about the different types of content on our other blog post.

Nail your headline

A strong headline is one of the most important things to consider when aiming to ‘up your SEO efforts’ – always consider how you can make the headline as catchy and clickable as possible, answering your customer queries.

Yes, on-page optimisation is still a thing

This still adds value to your SEO efforts. You can create a checklist of things to consider if it helps! Are you mentioning your focus keywords in the first 100 words, are you using header tags (H1, H2s etc) correctly, have you added alt text on any images used, have meta-descriptions been considered and are you linking into any other pages on your website? We always recommend linking through to product pages and other blogs to help reduce website bounce rates and encourage users to visit other pages on the site.

Keep posting great content

Posting regularly is important when it comes to generating news and blogs – never let your website go dormant, as this will impact your audience and signal to Google that you are not keeping your website fresh. If you have a steady frequency of content, your consumers will get used to the rhythm of your publications and will then come to expect fresh content regularly. It will encourage them to visit your website, subscribe to your newsletters, and follow your social media networks, contributing to increase return visits.

Does this all sound too much for you to tackle alone? If so, our digital marketing team is here to help. To find out more about how content marketing could be beneficial to your business, please contact us on 01603 252555 or fill in a contact us form.