Search engine optimization is one of the most effective ways to increase the visibility of your brand. But if you want to really kick things up a notch, optimize your content creation to help your business stand out even more. In this article, we’ll talk about how to take your SEO to the next level by providing some content creation tips.
1. Evaluate Your Current Content
Before you can improve on anything, you first have to know where you are. Take inventory of the content you currently have and determine what needs improving. Review analytics data for your website to see which pages received the most and least traffic. Blog metrics you’ll want to look at include organic search impressions, clickthrough rate, time on page, and bounce rate. An initial quality assessment will keep you from wasting time on content that isn’t working.
If you’ve got some stellar content from a few years ago that received heavy traffic, consider updating it. This is a great way to improve your SEO! Maybe you’ve published a few articles on a particular topic but want to position your company as an expert on the subject. Make a list of what pieces of content should come next to achieve your goal.
2. Get Organized
Your company is definitely an expert on something, or two things, or 10! Grouping similar pieces of content together into topic clusters lets visitors to your site find what they’re looking for easily. At the center of each topic, the cluster is a pillar page, which provides an overview of what’s in store. Individual cluster pages offer more in-depth information to your reader. Make sure these pages link back to your pillar page, which indicates to search engines what matters most.
Some companies focus heavily on a flagship product, which may not be what new visitors are looking for. Other companies focus too much on broad themes and popular keywords. While either approach can drive buyers to your site, they may not discover content that meets their needs. By putting yourself in the mindset of the customer, you can create a more organic experience that covers all stages of the buyer’s journey.
3. Key Into What Your Customers Want
The best way to come up with ideas for new pieces of content is to hear what your customers have to say. Understanding your audience is crucial to succeeding with a content strategy that provides value. Social media listening and hosting live events are two great ways to start.
If you’re active on social media, then your customers have likely let you know just how they feel — positive or otherwise! Keep track of these inputs in a central location for your marketing team to share; they are golden. If you haven’t received a great deal of commentary on social platforms, then start inviting it. You can ask your customers directly what topics they are interested in learning more about. Encouraging them to share their pain points is also a great way to help them feel valued and glean insights for future offerings.
Face-to-face interaction is another good way to strengthen relationships and discover what your customers are truly thinking and feeling. Consider hosting a roundtable event with your top clients and hearing from them directly about their experiences. They know better than anyone (even you) what tweaks your products need and, moreover, what the competition is offering. When you understand what they care about most, ideas for content creation will flow effortlessly.
4. Experiment With New Types of Content
Your customers are unique. Some will gravitate toward reading blogs, while a growing number of people are opting for audio and/or video information. YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google, with visitors consuming more than a billion hours of content a day! Podcasts are flourishing as well. In 2021, 57% of Americans tuned in, compared to just 11% in 2006.
If the thought leaders of your company are also spokespeople available for interviews, podcasts may be an avenue to explore. If you offer products that are complex, consider a video animation that demonstrates their workings. Videos are a great way to increase customer engagement, and you don’t need in-house resources to create them. A number of companies offer video animation services for a fixed fee, making this content creation method feasible for businesses of all kinds.
Whatever content you decide to create, always optimize it for SEO. This means using the right title, keywords, and a text-based description. Over time, you’ll be able to track what content is resonating best with your audience and build on it.
5. Optimize for Mobile
What good is great content if no one can find it? The mobile version of your website matters — especially to Google. The search engine giant announced a move to “mobile-first indexing” in 2019. That means its algorithm indexes and ranks web pages primarily by crawling mobile versions of sites.
As a best practice, you’ll want to make sure your desktop content and mobile content are the same. The mobile version should not in any way be a reduced version of the browser-based content. Metadata should be the same on both versions as well. Meta descriptions for content pieces should be short (150-160 characters), use clear language, and include keywords.
Scannability is also an important factor when creating mobile-friendly content. Keeping sentences and paragraphs short is a plus, and clear subheadings and illustrations also help. Make sure hyperlinks and calls to action are easily spotted. And last, but certainly not least, don’t underestimate the power of blank space.
If you’re not sure whether your site is well designed for mobile devices, you can use Google’s mobile-friendly test tool to find out. Simply type in your site’s URL, and the tool will crawl the site and render a “mobile-friendly” or “not mobile-friendly” verdict. If your site falls into the latter category, the tool will offer suggestions for improvement.
Keeping these tips in mind, remember that the purpose of creating content is to inform and aid the consumer. Share your expertise as honestly as possible. Keep up with new marketing trends and SEO best practices to boost your efforts. Flexibility is key here. By reviewing your SEO progress on a regular basis, you’ll find it easier to reach your goals.