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How to Use Content Marketing to Get Higher Rankings, Traffic, and Sales

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Your website is your digital storefront. It’s the first place potential customers will go to learn more about you and your business. They won’t stick around to learn more if your site doesn’t stand out. Even worse, they won’t be able to find you again if they want to buy from you in the future. 

Your content marketing strategy must target search engine crawlers as much as human visitors. After all, Google spider bots are essentially a user of your website, too (albeit one with an inhuman level of intelligence). 

With the right balance of content, keywords, and design, you can improve your SEO ranking and drive more traffic from Google searches. Let’s dive in…

Define your content marketing strategy

What do you want your content to do for you? This is the first step in any content marketing strategy. 

For example, let’s say you run a landscaping company. A content marketing strategy designed to generate leads from people searching for landscaping services might look very different from one designed to attract people searching for DIY landscaping ideas. Keep this in mind as you build out your strategy. 

In general, the main goals of content marketing are to grow your audience, drive traffic to your website, build trust and authority with your brand, and generate leads and sales. 

It’s a broad set of goals that can be broken down into two main components: 

  • Getting found online: Getting people to visit your website so they can learn more about your business. 
  • Getting them to take action: Convincing them to become customers, whether that’s through repeat purchases or initial purchase.

Write for humans – not search engines

Remember that you’re not writing an instruction manual for Google’s search algorithm when you’re writing your content. You’re writing for humans. That means that your content needs to flow naturally for readers. 

If Google has to puzzle through your content in a way that confuses readers, it won’t rank as well. What does this mean? Well, for starters, don’t go overboard with keywords. 

If you really want to rank well, you need to be judicious with your use of keywords. Go too overboard, though, and your content will look spammy. The goal is to make your content appealing enough to attract readers while still appealing to search engine bots. 

Remember, the more people you can draw to your website, the more people you’ll have to convert into sales.

Use Google’s semantic understanding

Google has come a long way in terms of understanding context, tone, and the overall meaning of content. That doesn’t mean you can just write whatever you want and expect to rank well. But it does mean that you can make some of your content more valuable to readers by taking advantage of these semantic insights. 

For example, let’s say you’re writing a blog post about the best ice cream shops in your city. You have a few choices for how to structure this piece:  

  • Ice cream shops in [city] 
  • What makes [city] great for ice cream? 
  • The best ice cream shops in [city] 

The first two options focus on the ice cream shops themselves. The last one focuses on why your city is the best place for ice cream in general. The third option takes advantage of Google’s semantic understanding to create more valuable content focusing on your readers rather than on ice cream shops. This gives your post greater value to readers and could help you rank better.

Leverage long-form content

Long-form content can help you rank higher in Google due to its high quality, but it also appeals greatly to readers. 

Long-form content is usually between 2,000 and 4,000 words long. This is much longer than most online content. 

Some online articles, for example, are just a few hundred words long. Longer articles are often cited as more authoritative due to their in-depth information. This can help you rank higher and lead to more backlinks to your site. 

Long-form content can also be leveraged for social media. While short articles may not get as many shares and likes, long-form articles can be broken into smaller chunks to make them more shareable.

Show, don’t tell with video

Video can be an excellent marketing tool, but it’s important to remember that it should still be informative. 

When creating videos, don’t just read off a script. Instead, get creative with your content and make videos that show viewers what you have to offer. 

Let’s say your business is an online t-shirt shop. You can make a short video showing off different t-shirts, their designs, and why someone would want to purchase them. This would show viewers exactly what your business offers while also being informative. 

It’s also a much more engaging type of content than just reading off a script. There are tons of different video types to create, but the most important thing is to be creative with your content.

Don’t forget about SEO in your design

This is one of the most basic tips for SEO and content marketing. 

Make sure your website is mobile responsive, uses clean and appropriate keywords, has plenty of internal links, and has a unique design. 

However, creating a website that ranks well on Google is only half the battle. Your content still needs to convert visitors into customers.

Enormous traffic numbers are useless if people aren’t converting. This is where your marketing strategy needs to focus on driving leads and sales.

Make sure your website has a strong call to action that encourages visitors to convert. If you’re selling products, make sure you have an easy checkout process. Make it as easy as possible for your visitors to buy from you. 

If you’re creating content for an audience, ensure you’re offering them something in exchange for their email address.

Wrapping up

Content marketing is an essential tool for any modern business. It can help you better connect with potential customers, drive more traffic to your website, and improve your SEO ranking. 

With the right content strategy, you can build a more robust business that thrives in today’s changing marketplace.

Need help creating content that actually resonates with your audience, driving awareness, intent, and positive purchase decisions?  Drop us a message or schedule a call with our digital marketing experts for a free marketing consultation.

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