Category Archives: Content Platform

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Producing Useful Content Is the New SEO

Producing Useful Content Is the New SEO written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

A great SEO strategy has a lot of moving parts. For small business owners, it can be difficult to keep pace with the ever-changing elements that go into optimizing your content for search engines. After all, Google alone uses hundreds of metrics to rank pages for search results, and they keep those metrics (and how exactly they’re weighted and used) under tight wraps.

So if you’re already busy running a business and don’t have time to stay up to date on all the ins and outs of SEO, I have a shortcut for you. Focus on producing useful content, and in the process you’ll check off a lot of SEO boxes.

Why Should I Focus on Producing Useful Content?

Search engines like Google and Bing are so ever-present in our lives that it can be easy to lose sight of the fact that they’re also just businesses. They want to be helpful to their users, just like you want to solve problems for your customers.

For a user visiting a search engine, they want to enter a query and get a useful response in the fastest amount of time. So search engines have a vested interest in putting the best content front and center on their first page of search results.

To do so, they look at hundreds of metrics. Some of these are common knowledge, but for the most part Google doesn’t release details on their metrics, so even the greatest SEO expert can’t be 100 percent sure how Google is ranking sites. There are factors like dwell time (how long a visitor stays on a given page), click-through rate (how many people click on your blue link on the SERP), and number of external links that we know are a part of SEO.

But rather than driving yourself crazy trying to focus on each of these specific factors involved in ranking, creating great content will inherently check those boxes. If your content is useful, people will want to click on your link in SERPs. They’ll stay on your page for a while, combing through the rich well of information. And your meaningful content will be backed up by research from other reputable sites, which you’ll link out to. Just by focusing on creating a well-researched and informative piece of content, you’ve already ticked off several SEO boxes in the process.

What Does Useful Content Look Like?

Okay, so you want to create useful content, but you’re not sure where to start or what it looks like. It’s best to start by doing some keyword research. Knowing the keywords that your audience is using to search for your products or services, or for general information on your field, can help you to hone in on content topics that will address their biggest questions and concerns.

Let’s say you run a lawn care service, and you discover that a lot of people are searching for green or pesticide-free alternatives to maintaining a great lawn and garden. This gives you the opportunity to highlight your environmentally-friendly offerings on your homepage, build out your product pages for your green lawn care services, and create a blog post about why green lawn care is important to you and why your services work so well for your clients and the planet.

So the first step to creating useful content is understanding what your audience wants to know. Next, you should shake up how you tell your story. Think beyond the written word when it comes to content. Today’s consumers want image-rich blog posts, videos, infographics, and podcasts. Content is only useful if it’s in a format that’s easy for your viewers to digest. That means it’s time to think beyond just blogs and consider other media.

How Can I Get the Most Out of My Content?

Once you understand how to produce useful content, you want to maximize its reach and effectiveness to get even greater SEO results. That’s where hub pages come in.

Hub pages are ultimate guides to a given topic that’s relevant to your business. Returning to the lawn care example, you learned in your keyword research that customers are concerned about green lawn and garden care practices. That’s a pretty broad topic to cover, from reducing water waste to natural alternatives for chemical pesticides to selecting the right mix of plants for soil health—the list goes on.

A hub page can become the go-to section of your website for everything related to that topic. You create “The Ultimate Guide to Green Lawn and Garden Care,” and build a table of contents that covers all of the major subtopics. You include links to your relevant blog posts, videos, and podcast episodes, plus link to a number of relevant posts from reputable outside sources.

This page is a gold mine for your prospects and customers. They come to your hub page and read multiple articles, share links with their friends and neighbors, return again after a few days to learn even more on the topic, and spend a long time on the page sifting through all the great content.

These hub pages address a lot of the major SEO metrics, and search engines realize that readers love them. Pretty soon, this page is ranking at the top of the first page of SERPs, and you’re getting even more eyeballs on your great content.

Building hub pages around your most relevant topics is the final piece in the content creation puzzle. It ensures that your meaningful content is all housed together, and rather than relying on each individual piece of content to carry its own weight, the hub page elevates all of your content simultaneously and gets you noticed in SERPs. By starting with smart keyword research and ending with a well-structured hub page, you set your business up for content success.

How Repurposing Your Old Content Brings New Life and New Traffic

How Repurposing Your Old Content Brings New Life and New Traffic written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

If you’ve been in business for a while, you’ve probably generated a lot of content over the years. From blog posts to social media updates to podcasts and webinars, many businesses have shared tons of valuable information with their audience.

But sometimes that older content starts to collect dust. It’s out of date, it’s buried deep in the archives, and it’s not doing anything for your business. Repurposing old content can be a great way to save you time with respect to content creation, all while getting the most out of your existing assets, and drawing new traffic into your site.

Want to learn more about how to repurpose your existing content? Check out these tips.

Add New Information to Evergreen Content

Some content never goes out of style. Many businesses have created foundational content that provides readers in-depth information on their industry, and this content can continue to be useful for years. But just like anything that’s getting up there in years, it sometimes needs a refresh to regain some of its old sparkle.

Take our content here, for example. We’ve written thousands of blog posts over the years on just about every digital marketing topic. Something like a foundational piece on SEO can remain relevant for a long time, but some of the specifics will need to be updated as search engines change their algorithms and best practices shift.

Refreshing content and republishing anew, with an acknowledgement that it’s been updated to reflect the latest on the given topic, is one of the quickest and easiest ways to repurpose your old content. This allows you to hang onto any goodwill that particular link has garnered in terms of ranking over the years, while introducing it to a whole new audience and allowing it to generate even better standing in search results.

Incorporate Media into Existing Posts

Blog posts can get boring after a while. Reading through one after the other demands a lot of focus from your audience, and today’s consumers are looking for new ways to engage with content.

Video has become hugely popular of late and can add a lot of visual interest to existing pages. Plus, if someone’s unable to read through an entire blog post, they may have the time to watch a quick video that provides a summary of the information in the post. You can incorporate other forms of media, too. A relevant podcast episode, infographic, or webinar can spice up existing content.

Because you’re creating dynamic media to accompany the existing content, it’s easier to script out what you need and get it done. You can quickly distill the blog post down to a handful of bullet points and from there create a video that riffs on those key elements.

Again, this saves you time in the content creation process and allows you to attract a new audience to this content. While someone might not have wanted to read 1,000 words on the topic, that infographic that hits all the highlights might be just what they were looking for.

Transform it Into Other Content

Creating content takes a lot of time. You need to put together a thoughtful strategy and build your content calendar around that. Then there’s the process of actually making the content itself. Blogging involves research and revision; video and podcasting means you need to adopt production skills and be able to edit video and audio.

If you go through all the trouble of creating content in the first place, why not get as much mileage out of it as possible? Let’s say you own a home remodeling business. A while back, you posted a video walking prospective clients through the ins and outs of the kitchen renovation process, from budgeting and planning to selecting materials to managing construction timelines. The video generates lots of views and drives traffic to your website. You know that the content is useful to your audience and helps win attention for your business.

Don’t just leave it at that video! Instead, get the video transcribed, so you can easily convert it into a blog post. (I love Rev for fast, accurate transcription services). And don’t stop there: Take the audio from that video and transform it into a podcast episode. Suddenly, your one piece of content has multiplied into three. And that provides more opportunities for you to reach your audience through the medium that works best for them.

Assemble Hub Pages

Most businesses have their content scattered here, there, and everywhere. There are videos and podcast episodes on various pages on their website and hosted on external platforms. Their blog posts are so numerous they could rival the National Archives. But the content is scattered, so it’s not actually serving a purpose.

If you want to get the most out of this content, you need to organize it around hub pages. I’ve described hub pages as your own mini-Wikipedia on your website. You start by identifying a broad topic that’s of interest to your readers. For example, we work with a lot of local businesses, so we’ve created the Ultimate Guide to Local Marketing hub page on our site.

From there, we walk local businesses through everything they need to know to supercharge their marketing efforts. We cover the basics of Google My Business, paid search, SEO for local businesses, and reviews and competitive analysis. Under these broad topics, we’ve gathered together relevant content.

For local business owners, this repository of information is a gold mine. Rather than having to search through our thousands of pieces of content, the most relevant ones are organized nicely for them in the hub page’s table of contents. Suddenly, this page becomes a go-to resource. Visitors return again and again to go deeper in depth on the topic, and share the posts with their colleagues. Search engines take note of this behavior. They realize that the content is useful, and suddenly our hub page moves up the SERPs.

When done correctly, hub pages can get your local business ranking on the first page of results for relevant search terms. And you achieve that strong ranking by repurposing and reorganizing existing content, rather than having to start from scratch.

Creating content takes a lot of time and work. Repurposing your existing content allows you to get the greatest benefit from that investment. Not only does repurposing give it a new life and introduce it to a new audience, it can also help you boost your SEO standing and grow your reach even further.