2016 is here, we are now entering a new (content-filled) year! So what are you going to do to create better content? What steps will you take to succeed in writing?
The current question that is stumping marketers is "How do we actually produce more engaging content?". In fact, a whopping 72% of B2B content creators will be tackling this problem for 2016!
Crafting high quality content should always go hand-in-hand with optimization techniques for your blog, but we encounter many whom still find it difficult to balance the two. You want your audience to love the tone, style, and value that your writing provides, but you also want to create far-reaching content that is optimized for SEO.
In just 3 steps, let's find out how you can create content that is both engaging and optimized for search:
1. Find out what's being discussed amongst your audience right now
When you're trying to find out what really resonates with people, look at blog post comments and trending social media discussions. In forums, look for what your communities are discussing on sites like Reddit, Quora, and Triberr.
- The writer's and commenter's tone of writing
- The questions they're asking
- How the author or community responds to these questions
- Articles embedded in that blog post
By learning what topics are being discussed and the tone of your audience, you will be able to grasp how you can approach topics for your blog. Relate first, and branch out when you've gotten the hang of what your audience likes to communicate with each other.
2. Research where and how you should be optimizing your post
It's always a good reminder that you should never overload your blog post with keywords. Google sees this as spam. Instead, use one or two keywords, long-tail if possible, to establish yourself as a legitimate source of information for your audience.
Where keywords should be found:
- Near the beginning of your blog post's meta description
- Near the beginning of your blog post title
- Appropriately throughout your body of content
- When naming your visuals that will be embedded in your article especially in the alt descriptions
- In the tags and category you blog post is classified under
When you're promoting your blog post on social media, make sure to do research ahead of time. Search for that keyword's popularity in text and hashtag formats. Simply typing it into tools like Twitter's search bar; Buzzsumo, and Social Mention will show you the context in which your keyword is being used for on social media.
Ensure that your shared article is associated to relevant social media posts from your industry. You want your brand to be highlighted in the right way amongst the right people.
Curate a list of hashtags, calendar hashtag events/holidays, and buzzwords for every social platform you're active on as a quick reference. Pull this material out when you're making your social media posts.
3. Practice what you seek
Ask yourself why are you writing about this topic and where do you hope it gets read.
We're all vying for more engagement from our readers. We all wish that we could get audience engagement down to a true science in hopes to create more effective content strategies.
This step requires you to now be the example for those just starting at step 1. With a published high-quality blog post floating amongst the social media world and possibly a few inboxes, you should now share your experiences and interact with others in your online groups. Seek feedback and contribute to conversations or even start your own.
Your audience cares about seeing the person behind the content. They want to know if you've really read their work and are able to provide an honest opinion about it.
It's always good practice to give back if you've found value in other people's work.
The art of crafting content both high in quality and optimized for SEO continues to shift as Google and people continue to change the way we interact with content online. As these algorithms become more intelligent, this separation diminishes, but the search for content that we genuinely connect to will always stay the same.
What are some trends you're seeing amongst the content marketing world? Leave your thoughts in the comments and share!