You’ve heard the phrase ‘content is king’ and you’d be forgiven for thinking that as long as you produce brilliant pieces of content for your company blog that traffic will come. Unfortunately, attracting web traffic just isn’t that simple. In fact, securing the web traffic you desire is probably one of the most common, and frustrating, online marketing tasks that you will come across. Even when you’ve increased your web traffic, you’ll always be wanting more - so it’s an ongoing dilemma for businesses big and small.
While excellent content is certainly one way to increase the chances of your site getting attention, there are five more specific and powerful strategies to implement in order to really do your blog justice:
1. Flagship Content
The term ‘flagship content’ was coined by Chris Garrett, Chief Digital Officer at Copyblogger, and relates to content that is ‘must-read’. If you want people to not only read your content, but to share it and come back for more, you have to give them incentives.
Creating substantial and helpful content is one way to incentivise visitors to return. This ‘meatier’ content can take a huge amount of time and effort to create, but will provide your visitors with something truly worthwhile that they can bookmark and refer to repeatedly. Flagship content not only creates a good impression, it establishes trust with your reader and helps build authority. Trust and authority are crucial if you wish to expand your readership and convert them into paying customers.
An example of ‘Flagship’ content can be found in Copyblogger’s Ultimate Guide to Twitter Marketing. It provides everything you could want to know about Twitter and how to use it most effectively. It is clear it has been exceptionally well researched, containing hundreds of links to other relevant resources. It has accrued over 3,400 shares on Twitter alone.
The benefit of such content is that it doesn’t have a shelf life. It will continue to attract new users and repeat visitors long after a single blog post.
Flagship content is also straightforward to promote. You can maximise your blogs potential by promoting them to new and existing audiences via social media, guest blogs, mailing lists and aggregators.
When a new visitor finds these insightful posts they are likely to bookmark your blog and may sign up to your newsletter or follow you on Twitter meaning they are likely to visit time and time again. Make sure your sign-up form is in a prominent location on your site to increase engagement with your brand collateral.
Lists! Everybody loves lists.
These make great page titles in the SERPs and web users are drawn to list formats because they know exactly what they’ll get when they click through to your article. You will find that list content is shared widely across social media. The succinctness of lists bodes well with the ski-reading habits of those who use social networks like Twitter and Facebook.
A website that has built its reputation from list post popularity is BuzzFeed. It features list post after list post of humorous lists shared repeatedly across social networks, forums and email. A few examples of popular titles include:
27 Things Every Woman In Their Late Twenties Should Know
47 Things You Might Not Know About Yorkshire
22 Mesmerising GIFs That Show How Things Are Made
Next time you go to your local corner shop or supermarket take a quick peak at the front-page article headlines on the magazines. A wide variety of them regularly use numerals to start off their headlines.
3. ‘How To’ Guides and Tutorials
Another lucrative form of content are ‘how to’ guides and step-by-step tutorials. The phrase ‘how to...’ is a much searched for term and may be part of some very relevant long tail search traffic for your business. Use Google’s Keyword Planner to give you ideas of keyword popularity and help generate ‘how to’ suggestions in your niche.
Take the example of running a cooking blog. If you wanted to write ‘how to’ guides for this niche, you could do a quick search for ‘how to boil an egg’ on Google’s Keyword Tool and find that the monthly search volume for related terms was as follows:
Based upon these results, instead of writing a blog post titled ‘How to Boil an Egg’, you might choose ‘How to Soft Boil an Egg’. These ‘how to’ guides are typically longer than an average blog post. They could include easily digestible photo or video illustrations. The more thorough your guide, the more likely it is to be shared by your readers.
By asking visitors to enter an email address before downloading your tutorial content, you can use these ‘how to’ guides to build a mailing list.
An example of a great ‘how to’ article is Wordtracker’s own guide ‘How to recover from a Penguin attack’.
While Data may not sound a thrilling topic for most, gathering and analysing data can be a brilliant way to create stories to share with your web visitors and attract traffic to your website. It’s also great for encouraging citations and referrals to your work and, again, building that all important trust and authority in your field.
For example, if you can provide accurate data in your industry that may not have been covered before, or updated for a long time, you’re the only source that users will refer to.
The results of Moz’s annual Link Building survey produces great content. It analyses the results and provides completely unique information covering a popular topic in its industry. This post has had a number of interactions in terms of comments and likes, as well as thousands of shares amongst social networks.
There’s the potential for such content to provide spin off data sets too. In this case, ‘73% of SEO Consultants plan to increase link building spend over next 12 months’ or ‘Paid links are the most harmful tactics for your site’. Plus, content can be presented in different ways - graphs, presentations or an infographic.
People love sharing data, so give it a unique spin, freshen it up, make it enticing!
5. Free eBooks
Further strengthen your authority in your field with a well-executed eBook that your web users can download for free - preferably in return for an email address, allowing you to strengthen your mailing list at the same time.
You need content that is thorough and compelling - usually a few thousand words, although quality is more important that word count. Make sure you split your writing into separate chapters to make it easily digestible and carefully consider the colour and images you use in your design.
The expectation is that eBooks will be in-depth; make your free content as valuable as possible.
Drive More Traffic Today
This guide, combined with the knowledge you have in your field of expertise will hopefully help you create those awesome ideas for new blog posts that will drive traffic and interest to your website.