content marketing tips guidesYou know content marketing is essential in today’s world, and you may already have a good strategy going. To stay on top of your competitors, it’s time to turn good into great. Here are some tips to improve your content marketing strategy:

Be Intentional When Crafting Blog Articles

Publishing as many blog posts as possible isn’t a guaranteed ticket to success. Some say having tons of content indexed in the search engines will make your website rank higher, but that’s only true to a certain extent.

Standard advice says the real solution is to publish as much relevant content as possible, but that isn’t an open invitation to go wild, either. Relevant content is the key to a successful blog, but relevance isn’t qualified by quantity. Relevant content is essentially determined by how useful it is to the visitor.

For instance, if you run an ecommerce website selling freshly roasted coffee beans, you could easily write thousands of articles about coffee. Technically, that content would be relevant, but it wouldn’t necessarily be useful to your visitors who just want to buy a bag of beans.

Breaking down the elements of good content, here’s what you want to aim for when writing your articles:

Create Article Titles Intentionally

Your titles should promise to solve a visitor’s problem, give them what they want without something they don’t want, or simply capture their interest. Here are examples of each:

How To Win An Argument In 3 Easy Steps by John Carlton promises to solve a common problem. Who doesn’t want to win an argument easily?

7 Reasons You Shouldn’t Turn Your Home Into A Rental from Green Residential captures the interest of investors about to make a common move that could turn out to be a mistake.

How to Quit Smoking Without Medication published by Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof blog tells people they can have what they want (to quit smoking) without having to take medication (what they don’t want).

Constructing your titles according to these requirements will ensure the content gets read.

Concise Content Is More Important than Word Count

There are plenty of conflicting opinions about how long your content should be, and each opinion comes with research to back it up.

The jury is always going to be out on whether short copy or long copy works better; comparing one piece of copy to another is like comparing apples to oranges. There are far too many factors involved in maintaining the reader’s interest. Though, to be fair, visitors do have a tendency to skim long content and not finish reading articles.

Conflicting Conclusions

To find out how their visitors were consuming their content, CoSchedule implemented heat maps that tracked the way visitors viewed pages. They discovered that only 10-20% of readers made it to the bottom of their posts and many read no more 20-30% of their content. Their conclusion was that the longer a post is, the less likely readers were to finish it.

On the other hand, they support long-form content marketing and provide evidence that pages with longer content ranked higher in the search engines. However, they make it clear that these findings don’t support extending blog posts for no reason. “I don’t think length itself is really the point,” they write. “Our goal shouldn’t be to arbitrarily make content longer just because Google may care–it is to lift the ban on long-form content in the first place. It’s time we give ourselves the freedom to ‘go there.’”

In other words, if you need to write longer copy in order to clarify your message, you should. If you can clarify your message with less copy, that’s perfectly acceptable as well. Content should always be written for the visitor first.

Always Include a Call to Action in Each Article

No matter what subject your blog covers, all of your articles should have a call to action. Your blog posts are part of your content marketing strategy. Your content marketing strategy is part of your overall marketing strategy. If all you want is to get people to read your posts, that’s all they’re going to do. If you want conversions, you need to direct readers to take the next step, whatever that may be.

Focus on Solutions

As long as people use the internet to find solutions to their problems, content marketing will be relevant. To go from good to great, be concise with your copy, but don’t hold back when you need to say more. If you can solve someone’s problem, they’re going to read your article.

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