Content marketing can be a highly effective tool for driving a steady stream of new traffic to your business, but it only works if Google ranks your content. Without the right strategy, it is possible to put out volumes of content without making an impact.
Making your content discoverable means creating value for the end user, your prospects and customers, and the search engines. Here are ten ways to make discoverable content that brings you new leads long after it’s posted:
1. Write for Humans First and Search Engines Second
There was a period during the fight to rank on page one of the search engine results when businesses were stuffing content with keywords to ‘trick’ the search engines into ranking their content. With Google’s endlessly evolving algorithm, a search engine approach to SEO is no longer effective.
Google tracks how long users stay on your page once they click your link. If your content doesn’t deliver what the people want, it won’t show up in the results.
Google also has strategies for identifying AI-written content versus human-written content. While giving your writing to a smart program can be tempting, the results will not be the same as having a writer create content for you.
There are a lot of technical strategies to make your content discoverable, but none of it is as important as delivering valuable, relevant content that people want to read.
2. Target Topics People Want to Read
A good keyword research tool is essential to a solid digital marketing strategy. Ahrefs, Ubersuggest, Semrush, and Moz are popular software options with helpful content and keyword research tools. Some have free versions with limited access, but you’ll want a paid subscription for long-term content development in-house.
These tools help you identify the topics people search for online. The paid keyword research tools will also tell you how much competition there is for each topic. Instead of spending time and resources creating content no one wants to read, you can develop a strategy that targets topics people want to read but are not already saturated with competitive content.
3. Match Search Intent
There are two critical layers to search intent that can significantly impact how well your content ranks. Before you commit time and resources to a topic, you want to know the following:
- Are the results of this search term what I think they are? For example, “how to identify an illegal fence” brings up results about property boundary lines and topics related to a fence on your property. This would not be a good blog title if you intended to teach law enforcement officers about identifying an illegal fence (someone buying or selling stolen goods).
- What stage of the buying process are people using this search term? For example, someone who wants to know ‘how to buy a web camera’ is looking for general information. Someone who wants to ‘compare Logitech web cameras’ is closer to a buying decision.
There are four primary types of search intent, which reflect stages in the buyer’s journey. They include:
- Informational (who, how to, what is)
- Navigational (business name, weather, XYZ login)
- Transactional (buy MacBook Pro, buy Nike running shoes, pickleball paddle on sale)
- Commercial investigation (Filmora versus Camtasia, Ahrefs vs. Ubersuggest, Nike vs. New Balance)
Your strategy should include content that satisfies informational, navigational, and commercial investigation search intent. One is not better than the other; a complete content strategy speaks to consumers at every step. However, matching your content to what the user wants to find when they type in the search is essential.
While this alignment with intent is essential in search engine optimization (SEO), it also applies to all pay-per-click (PPC) search engine marketing (SEM), including:
You will see better results when ad copy and promise matches the consumer’s intent wherever they are in their buying journey.
4. Avoid Broad Topics
The more specific you are in your target keyword phrase or content topic, the more likely it is to be discoverable. For example, imagine you created videos for businesses. Topics like “video marketing” or “custom videos for your business” are too general. Anyone new writing on those topics is going to compete against established brands.
However, if you were to create content on “how to use video to market your Volvo dealership,” you are now targeted enough that your content will be discoverable. It’s true fewer people are searching for something so specific, but winning a big percentage of a small pool is better than putting out general content that no one ever sees.
5. More Is Better Than Perfect
In your comprehensive marketing strategy, paid ads are like specialized fish hooks with bait. They are targeted and bring in leads or generate sales as long as you run them.
Your content strategy is like a net. If you have holes in your net, you will bring in fewer leads. This is why creating content regularly, consistently, and on various relevant topics is important. You also want to target various stages of the buyer’s journey and different target customers. The bigger and tighter your net, the more people can find your company and its products or services.
6. People Love Video
Video can be used in social media advertising, on a company’s website, or a landing page as part of the buyer’s journey after they click on an ad. In 2022, G2 posted the following video marketing statistics:
- 84% of marketers say video marketing increases lead generation
- 86% of marketers say videos bring in more website traffic
- 78% of marketers believe video marketing increases conversion rates and sales
- 83% of marketers say that videos help increase how long the average user spends on a page
7. Share Content on Your Social Networks
Some companies make the mistake of publishing content and expecting the search engines to do the rest. Search engines are powerful, but there’s nothing wrong with giving your content a little boost.
When you create a new video or publish an article or blog, let your audience see it. Sharing your content on your active social networks helps you gain visibility. Additionally, if a piece of content is liked and shared enough, it will gain a life of its own and generate both backlinks and new traffic.
8. Create the Best Version Available
Imagine you’re planning to create content on “how to get the best mileage from your diesel engine.” You’ve researched the concept, and it’s something people want to know, but the topic isn’t too competitive. It’s specific enough that you’re more likely to rank among the competition.
Before writing the content, your first step is to check out what is already ranking. What do they cover, and how can you do it better?
Your content must be unique and original. You never want to copy a competitor’s blog, but you can cover the same topics better than they do. Perhaps they left out some critical information, or you can add personality, experience, and insight to the piece.
Creating the best content on a topic makes you more likely to be and stay visible. After all, the best part of content marketing is creating something valuable that ranks; it can continue to bring in leads and sales for weeks, months, or years after it’s posted.
9. Add Internal Links
An internal link takes readers from one page on your website to another. For example, from the home page to a product page, or from a blog on the best rain weather tires to a blog on the best tires for snow.
Internal links are important for two significant reasons. They keep prospects and customers on your website longer because they can go from one interesting topic to another. They also help Google and the other search engines understand the structure of your site and how different content relates.
Before publishing new content, add as many internal links as relevant. It gives people more content to read and helps Google understand the topic.
10. Get Quality Backlinks
While internal links connect pages within your website, backlinks lead prospects and customers from another website to yours. For example, if you were to publish articles in the Forbes Business section, the link from each Forbes article to your business website would serve as a backlink.
Backlinks are one of the most impactful ranking factors for Google. However, it’s not as simple as getting backlinks wherever you can because the quality of the website that recommends you is part of the algorithm.
The best backlinks come from websites with a lot of traffic and are authoritative. News sites or big companies with significant web presence that are in some way related to your industry are examples of quality backlinks. Google likes backlinks from quality websites because they assume that means the link is to valuable content.
How to Find Great Topics
As you build your net of online content, you’ll need to consistently generate specific, engaging, and relevant topics. If you’re ever stuck, here are three ways to get ideas:
Check Top-Ranking Pages for Relevant Keywords
Many keyword tools will help you identify what keyword phrases are helping different top articles rank. You may find some helpful ideas and then adapt them to your business or make them more targeted and unique to help your pages be more discoverable.
Check the ‘People Also Ask’ Results
Most search result pages have a ‘People Also Ask’ section designed to answer similar questions. This is a rich source of potential topic ideas.
With three free searches a day, AnswerthePublic can be a fantastic way to find out what people are searching for and the questions they want answered. Keep your input simple, target the U.S., and you’ll be amazed at the number of search terms and questions that come up in the results.
Leverage Your Content Into Leads
With a solid content strategy, you can make your content discoverable. Whether you create videos, articles, blogs, or white papers, the better you understand your audience and deliver value through your content, the easier it will be to gain traction on the web.
If you want to discuss your marketing strategy or are ready to drive traffic to your content through paid ads, we are here to help. Connect with our team and find out what we can do for your business.