Written content continues to attract Internet users to blogs, websites, and social media properties. It can be written in a way that will suit your website’s blog, but more often they are published on quality third-party websites, with the objective of the reader clicking a link within the article that will bring them to your website.
Articles that provide answers to questions, and solutions to problems, when published on well-ranking sites, tend to deliver better search engine results than sales pages that aggressively promote products and services. So its important that businesses devise and implement website content and article creation strategies that focus creating information-rich articles on topics that will engage readers.
Identifying topics for web content
A key component in effective online business marketing is having an ongoing supply of informative content (written, visual and audio) that uses subtle language that
- shows your expertise in a particular field
- demonstrates your authority on relevant topics
- projects your credibility as a business owner, and/or
- creates trust in your business/product/service.
When online searchers arrive at your website after following an article link, they are pre-qualified as ‘warm’ prospects. They have demonstrated that they are already interested, and are now looking for more information on the specific topics included in the article. They may be looking to find out more about you and your business, how to do certain things, or where to buy what they need.
The Challenge of Writing Ongoing Content
Here are some tips – from my writer/marketer perspective – to help you with your article and content marketing.
Identify the general topic of a business:
Focus on the general subject of your business, product or service. Break it down into different components e.g. if you have a consulting business, identify the different services that you provide, and then the different components of that service. Each of those components may be able to be broken down further to reveal suitable topics for your articles. The articles don’t have to be just about you (in fact its best if they aren’t), but might revolve around the different types of industries that you service.
To learn more about what subjects most concern or interest to your targeted user, tune in and contribute to online conversations on social media sites and forums. Activate your own social media properties in Facebook and Twitter and pose the right questions in order to elicit responses from fans and followers.
Design a series of articles:
General topic articles, in my opinion, need to be only 400-500 words in length. Any more and you are probably providing too much information, and are not giving readers enough incentive to click on your link to learn more. You might consider creating a series of articles that will form a ‘how-to’ resource that discusses how to make the most of a product, or creative ways to use it (this could go on to become a free download report on your site as a lead gen tool).
Keep promotion in its place:
Article marketing yields the best results when it delivers solid information, one article at a time. Any mention of a product or service in the title is premature and will discourage readers from exploring the full article (we are not talking about ‘product reviews’ here). Where available, a resource box containing the name of the author, a short bio, and A REASON TO CLICK on your link for more information, will capture those lovely ‘warm’ prospects: your potential clients or customers. Consider a sweetener for your readers to follow the link in your resource box, by offering a free report, newsletter, coupon or other incentive.
My tips for managing a consistent content schedule
So we know that publishing articles to solid third party sites can bring qualified leads to your website. But what about new content for that site??
You see, it is imperative that your website grows, over time, with the addition of new material. If it doesn’t the search engines will cease to visit it and rank its pages (the more frequently a site changes, the more often the search engine’s will crawl it looking for changes).
After your website is up and populated with quality web page copy, coming up with new ideas for fresh written content can be difficult, even for the most seasoned content writers.
Here is what works really well for some of my top clients:
- Identify and list your topics – create a mindmap if this works for you
- Be aware of new, relevant topics, being discussed on social media, or in the news media, and add these to your list/mindmap
- Write (or have written for you) a solid blog post on that topic – say 500-600 words – and publish it to your website. Use social media to promote this.
- Write (ditto) several articles on that same topic, say 400 words, and publish them on third party/social media/feeder websites (e.g. article directories, your facebook/LinkedIn/G+ page)
- Link from those articles back to page/s on your site* with a subtle call-to-action, that may or may not take the reader to a sales page.
- Rewrite those articles (or have rewritten for you) and publish them on third party/social media/feeder websites that you’ve not used in Step 4.
*Depending on how you have set up your content marketing strategy you may link to a relevant page on a feeder site rather than your main money site – putting another step in the information delivery process/engagement process.
If you have other strategies for ensuring you have a constant supply of well written content, I’d love to include them in a future post. You can email me your written content management ideas – email Kerry Finch.