So, one of your clients is interested in creating a content strategy that will help them rank for additional keywords. However, they're unsure whether or not they can come with the necessary resources that they need in order to develop a blog. This probably sounds pretty familiar to you, doesn't it?
If you have a tight marketing budget, it can sometimes be tempting to put more of your money behind a paid media campaign. This is because you can see the optimizations and advertisements that are producing the most revenue month after month.
With earned media, this isn't as easy. However, it is important that you view blog content creation and development as a long-term investment. Just like financial advisors tell their clients, you need to start investing early - the same is true with blogs. This is how you make sure that the blog will continue to pay out for you for years.
So, Why Should You Get a Blog?
Whether your website is primarily focused on self-service, e-commerce or something else entirely, you need to look at a set of keywords that will help you create relevant content that can serve your users all the time. In other words, you wouldn't post an article about spring fashion on a kitchenware e-commerce website.
Ultimately, your website needs to provide expert information specifically about your subject matter. This ensures that you are always meeting the quality guidelines that have been set forth by Google. Of course, if your primary goal is not to outrank your competition and rule the SERPS, then you can think outside of the box in order to expand the depth of content.
By creating a blog, it will help you gain SERPs, which helps search users find your brand. By developing brand new content, you're expanding your keyword set - and you should use the Keyword Planner tool by Google to perform your keyword mapping, as this will help to avoid any URL confusion and keyword overlapping.
The Role of SEO in a Conversion Funnel
The more often than you can appear in the SERPs, the more click-throughs you are going to see. However, it is important that you are able to understand how important the role is of SEO in the overall conversion funnel. Some people do not use SEO for discovery purposes, which results in landing pages with general keywords rather than long-tail keywords.
When customers enter the conversion funnel, they may have no idea that they have started their purchasing journey. Some may start by researching a desired product or service and then comparing the found offerings across a number of different brands. Some may start by looking for a solution to a problem that they have, and while reading answers to their problems, they could discover that they need to buy a product or service to solve their problem.
The overall strategy is to help and educate your consumers when they are most vulnerable, while also staying in line with your brand. Organic search marketing campaigns tend to have a different impact on your consumers and it all depends on the moment that the consumer interacts with them. Ultimately, the first point of interaction with consumers are with organic search and social media campaigns. While this will vary by industry, it is still incredibly important to realize that an early presence organically is critical and that SEO is still helpful with conversions during all phases of the consumer buying process.
Expanding the Depth of Your Content
When it comes to creating high-quality content, you need to put yourself in the consumer's shoes. What are they looking for? You need to determine what they're looking before they even realize that they need it -- and it refers to YOUR product or service. Questions can pertain to something that spikes their curiosity or something that is strictly informational. Either way, blog posts can help to educate consumers and increase the chances that they keep your brand at the forefront of their mind at purchasing time.
Persuasive and educational content can be beneficial for your brand. However, at the same time, it is just as important to focus on semi-related content, as these topics will help to expand the overall scope of relevant keywords. In order to start your ideation process and keeping your overall budget intact, you may want to get a good look at the blogs of your competitors. This will give you a good sense of the topics that they are using. It also doesn't hurt to look at your competitors' backlink profiles to see if they have authoritive websites, as you can snag a few of the names and reach out to them yourself, if necessary.
To boost your keyword set, you can publish high-quality content on a number of expected topics. However, the most effective way to get your brand out there is to cover more loosely related and unique topics. Take Nordstrom for example. They have found success in the past by creating a blog focused around recipe posts. They were able to understand the needs of their customers and position themselves as a helpful suitor before their customers even realized that they needed assistance. They used the blog to bring foot traffic into their restaurant. If you want to try to create indirectly or loosely related content, you need to first figure out a persona that will help you determine your consumers' behavior, lifestyle, and needs.
In the aforementioned Nordstrom recipe example, the company could easily link back to their bakeware landing page even though most people searching for this recipe probably doesn't need a piece of bakeware since they're looking for a recipe and need to fulfill an immediate need. However, consumers will keep Nordstrom in mind when they do need to buy new bakeware, which is one of Nordstrom's strategies. After all, statistics show that around 60 percent of consumers tend to buy products from familiar brands. Another strategy of Nordstrom was likely to get their blogs to appear as often as possible in the SERPs. For the particular recipe mentioned (lemon ricotta cookies), it ranks for over 260 keywords and 16 of them are on page 1.
Obtaining Quick Answers and Featured Snippets
In addition to all the above, a blog will help boost the likelihood of obtaining quick answers and featured snippets. Why would you want these? Well, even if your page can't make it to the number one position in the search engine results, it may still be able to appear at the top of them all. This happened with yet another recipe from Nordstrom - a grilled shrimp and asparagus risotto with lemon.
As a general rule, these featured snippets rely on structured data mark-up; however, they are pulled organically from the content on your page. This reduces the overall need to monitor your implementation of mark-up. Google has not yet released any formal and official guidelines regarding how they obtain snippets, though there are some studies that have been conducted that tell you how to improve your overall chances of your pages appearing as a featured snippet and provide tips based on the industry that you are in.
At a bare minimum, you need to make sure that you page focuses on a specific query, which should be the keyword that you want the featured snippet to appear for. For the Nordstrom recipe, it was "shrimp and asparagus risotto". One of the best ways to determine the competitiveness level is to view the Domain Authority of the current featured snippet website and go from there.
Content creation, especially on blogs, can be the key to your overall success when it comes to brand presence. If you can continue to create fresh, high-quality content, you are guaranteeing that Google will crawl and index your website on a regular basis, which will help to get your site ranked higher in the search results. If your website currently lacks on-site content, then a blog is one of the cheapest, fastest and most effective ways of getting brand-specific content on it.
Yes, it can be a bit overwhelming to need to make a commitment to a blog. However, you don't necessarily have to make a daily commitment, as you may only need to make a weekly commitment in order to get return visitors. It all depends on your industry and audience. You just have to give it a try and see what works. If you aren't sure where to start, make a list of some seasonal and evergreen content, and start to capitalize on topics that your searchers may find particularly interesting.
Overall, the end game here is to get some backlinks one way or another. This helps to boost your Domain Authority, while also improving your overall online exposure and drive some much-needed traffic to your website. If you have not been on social media, make sure that your new content is shared on social media and that you focus on engaging your followers in some conversation. Feedback from your users can be some of the most valuable feedback that you ever receive.
If you need assistance getting this all done or feel that you just don't have the time, give us a call here at WebDetail and we'll be happy to lend a hand.