Content marketing. It’s the magic sauce to make your website show up when people in your area search for the service you provide. Showing up depends on your Google rank, but many people don’t realize that Google doesn’t rank websites—it ranks webpages, according to Andy Crestodina, strategic director of Orbit Media Studios. That means your own website’s pages are in competition with each other, and with tons of other pages.
Crestodina’s two presentations at the 2016 Senior Care Marketing Sales (SMASH) Summit, covered the ABCs of content marketing. The key is to make your webpages, and especially the pages where you’re trying to compel visitor action, as competitive as possible, he advised session attendees
There are two things that matter most when it comes to improving your website’s rankings: Relevance and authority. They’re achieved when other people share your content and link to your pages. Research gets lots of links; opinions get lots of shares. It all comes down to producing content.
The three steps to content marketing are:
- Make content (i.e., blogs, white papers, studies, etc.)
- Promote your content via search engines, social media, email, etc.
- Measure your results.
Here are tips for mastering the first step:
Tip 1: Start the conversation. Content marketing’s primary role is to answer people’s questions. People do a lot of research before making big decisions. Many senior living shoppers get answers online before reaching out to your sales team. That’s why your webpages should seem like a conversation with a salesperson. Find people’s questions, put them in an article, and answer them.
Tip 2: Say what no one else is saying. Make a list of your strongest opinions, then write about them. If you’re stating a strong opinion—especially one that no else is sharing—it catches people’s attention and is more likely to get shared. Get people talking about you. Increased interactions improve visibility and promote higher levels of interaction.
Tip 3: Produce research. The three main ways to produce research are through observation, aggregation, and surveys. Look at available data sets, then write about your observations. Aggregate research that others have done. Create your own data by surveying others and writing about your findings.
Tip 4: Make your content reader-friendly. Most people visiting your site are scanning your page, so make your content scannable. Use lots of headers, subheaders, and bullet points. Avoid large blocks of text and make use of white space. Include lots of images.
Tip 5: Create the long click. Keep visitors on your page as long as possible. Sometimes visitors find the answer to their question on the first page they look at—and that’s OK. But if you can interest them in something else, they’ll stay on your site longer and give you more conversion opportunities.
Tip 6: Start a “mastermind group.” Talk to, say, five other content producers—noncompetitive people who also blog or write—each month. Ask them, ‘What are you doing that we can promote? What are you writing that we can collaborate on? Do I know anyone that you want to meet?’ The benefits can be enormous, and it costs nothing.
Tip 7: Collaborate with guest writers. When writing a blog post or article, get quotes from experts, then get your contributors to share your article. Alternately, ask someone to write a post that links to your website. Or, write a guest post that links back to one of your blog posts.
Tip 8: Game the system. Google is now paying more attention to what’s called “semantic SEO” by giving more weight to topics over keywords. Optimize your Google rank with blog posts that are about a topic, not just a word or phrase.
Tip 9: Get ideas from analytics. Google Analytics provides key word and phrase reports that you can use for ideas and examples. If you have a topic in mind for a blog post, create a list of all the phrases that are linked to your topic. Include them in your article to generate more search hits.
Make sure to check out our next post, Part 2 of 20 Tips for Kickstarting Your Content, to learn how to implement Crestodina’s next steps for creating irresistible content and improving your web presence.