Content marketing has never been more important. Blogging is particularly valuable because it’s much meatier than social media but much more concise than your entire website. But what’s the point of all that time and effort – and let’s be honest, angst – if no one can find your content online?
The last thing you want to do is get in your own way by holding your content back. As one of my clients recently pointed out, online searchers – especially B2B – are often “window shopping.” If there’s nothing in your window they’ll pass right by. So make sure everyone can find your content, and when they see something interesting they’ll come further in the door to see more.
Here are five things you can do to ensure your content is eminently “findable:”
Just because it’s easy for you to navigate your website doesn’t mean it’s obvious to others. They won’t stick around long enough to puzzle it out, so make it easy to see what you have and how to quickly click to it. Well-coordinated creation and marketing efforts will ensure your content doesn’t wind up buried somewhere in the darkest recesses of your website.
Don’t forget to link from content details to your site’s most relevant page(s) and vice versa – include a prominent link from your home page to your blog, social media pages, etc.
Tell them what to do next.
So they found and read your content. Information is great, and you want to be seen as a first-choice resource, but you aren’t the public library.
What is the next step you want readers to take? Share your article, enter a contest, download something, buy now? You have to deliberately lead them there by telling them to Like, click, etc. to keep them engaged and move them farther into your sales funnel.
Reinforce your call to action.
Use your social media community to tell people when you post something new. Be sure it’s worth sharing, include that all-important link, and specifically ask friends and fans to pass it along.
Strategically place buttons at both the top and bottom of articles, because out of sight is truly out of mind online.
Incorporate SEO-conscious content.
Use keywords in your headline, body text, H1 and H2 html tags and in anchor text that links to outside material.
Search engines love images, both photos and video, just as much as people do. Images are receiving higher and higher “relevance” marks, even more so if they have Alt tags and image descriptors, so don’t skip those behind-the-scenes details.
Remember that marketing success has always depended on consistency and repetition. Many things have changed over the years, but that fundamental fact remains. Online marketing giant HubSpot reports that posting to your blog at least weekly as opposed to monthly can boost your content’s chances of being found online by up to 350%.
Don’t inadvertently create your own firewall.
Requiring visitors to supply information on a registration or entry form helps you gather valuable intelligence about them, and you certainly want to do that. But remember it’s all about them, not you, especially early in your relationship with them.
If you must get information, ask for as little as possible, even make it optional. Tell them why you want to know, and if there’s something in it for them (a small thank-you or reward of some sort), that could help soften them up. Regardless, if it takes time or involves too many clicks, visitors will buzz off and you could lose them forever.
Draw them in first – using your great, findable content – and they’ll be more inclined to share their details with you later on.
That goes for selling your content, too. If your organization has members or offers premium content, you can certainly offer tiered access, but you should also offer something for free. Once visitors see your content has real value they’ll want to sign up to get more.
Have you been holding your content back? Using these techniques will help make your content available as widely and easily as possible. Having quality content is essential, but setting it free will certainly boost you toward marketing success.