Updated November 30, 2017
In 2017, content is king. On my blog, I’ve already gone into detail about content marketing, discussing topics such as developing your content strategy, assessing your strategy’s effectiveness, and common mistakes in the process. However, now it’s time to address one of the most important aspects of content marketing: creating content that will lead to links.
A large portion of good search engine performance is links. Think of it as an endorsement of your content: someone has trusted your content enough to cite and share it. Search engines also consider who is linking your content in determining how highly you rank: which means that you want your content to reach the right audience. Here are a few pieces of advice in getting your content to the right readers, who will read it, learn from it, and link it.
1. You have to give it away to get it.
If you aren’t giving away what used to be considered “trade secrets” then you probably haven’t reached the give-it-away-to-get-it threshold. Obviously, this doesn’t mean that you should publish confidential, classified information on your company blog. What I mean here is that you need to provide information that no one else is providing, that your target audience is interested in hearing and could only get from you.
For example, one of things we are known for in the insurance industry is telemarketing. Most people in the industry already know that we offer telemarketing services, so telling them what great telemarketing experts we are is far less effective than telling them some of the insider secrets we have learned from years of experience and how we’ve managed them. They may not know the turnover rate in a call center, or the average salary of an outbound telemarketing agent. By giving away in-depth knowledge and experience I can establish credibility, position myself as an expert and have a much better chance of my article being read and shared more widely.
2. Don’t be afraid to be bold to grab their attention.
Write an attention-grabbing headline that would appeal to you. The first step to getting someone to read your blog is getting them to click on the link. Think of it like the first bite of an apple. It could be the most delicious apple on the planet, but if the outside looks bad, no one will ever know.
Here are a few tried and proven tactics that work pretty well.
- Lists are good because people like to scan rather than set aside the time to read an entire article. As an added bonus, content that contains bulleted or numbered lists typically performs better in search engine rankings.
- Using phrases such as “How To”, “The Secret To”, or “The Agent’s Guide To” will also let your reader know that you’ve providing information and that it’s coming from a more reliable source.
- Throw in important keywords. If your content is about digital marketing for the insurance industry, let the audience know right away! People search the internet because they’re looking for information, and having a more specific title with the right keywords will let them know exactly what you’re offering.
While it’s important to create an engaging title that will encourage a click, make sure you don’t take it too far into the realm of clickbaiting. We’ve all seen content with titles like, “You’ll Be Shocked to Learn This” or “You Won’t Believe This”, and more often than not the content is not shocking or unbelievable. It’s fine to try to draw in your readers’ attention, but you never want it to get to the point of exaggeration or even completely misrepresenting the content solely for clicks. In 2017, your readers know what clickbait is, and it’s a pretty reliable way to lose respect from your audience.
3. Prioritize quality, value, and relevance.
Links are still the lifeblood of search engine rankings, but the old thinking of links for links’ sake is shifting to one of links as a result of providing value: in other words, focusing on how an article or blog brings value to your reader. Your link-building success will be the direct result of high-value content. If your writing goal is to pass some imaginary quality threshold in order to appease Google, then you are probably still in link-building mode rather than adding value mode. Put all thoughts of links aside for a minute and think about what you can write that is relevant, valuable, and unique that will add long lasting value to the community.
Please let me know if this blog passes the test. Did the title pique your interest and draw you in? Was the information high quality, valuable and relevant?
About Agency Tsunami
Agency Tsunami has over 20 years of experience building, managing and delivering quality marketing media and excellent customer care. We offer a fully integrated marketing strategy customized for you that incorporates an effective online user experience designed to convert leads and position you ahead of the competition. We implement robust and ethical SEO practices to drive relevant traffic and leverage the way businesses and consumers interact. Contact us today to take your content marketing to the next level.