Blogging, content marketing, & SEO (Search Engine Optimization) are all important aspects of a well rounded Internet marketing strategy to generate buzz, and drive Web traffic.
But publishing content is not easy, and many businesses do not see decent returns.
SEO is subject to constant Google algorithm updates that make organic search traffic unstable, and blogging is time consuming, and requires practice and skill before it becomes profitable.
Almost all aspects of content based marketing, regardless of whether it is via social media, or a blog, comes with significant challenges.
That's why it is really important to get the most out of the time, money and effort your business puts into generating content.
This article shows four great strategies and blogging ideas to make a blog buzz, increase page rankings, drive more organic search traffic, and convert it better to generate the best possible ROI (Return On Investment).
SEO & market research
Optimizing content for search is not about cheating the system, and running the risk of incurring Google algorithmic penalties.
Good SEO is about understanding what your message is, who the target audience is, and how best to put that message into content in order to generate interest.
Every bit of content you create represents and investment. As such, each piece of content needs to have a business objective - some sort of goal that is of value to your business.
A business objective could be to give your brand authority on a certain subject, getting people to sign up to a newsletter, funneling traffic through to an affiliate partner, whatever.
By understanding the objective of a piece of content, and making sure you understand the niche audience of that content, it is possible to create highly relevant, focused content that meets the needs of your industry.
Read How to research keywords to learn more.
Powerful & visible "Calls To Action"
Blogging and content forms a contract with readers. You give them information that is engaging and of value, and they give you their attention.
What you do with that attention plays a great role in how successful your blog or content campaign will be.
One of the cornerstones of great content is that it has a clear Call To Action (CTA).
A call to action invites the reader to meet one or more of your business objectives (for that piece of content).
For example, if you write an article with the intention of getting people to sign up to your food recipes newsletter, your call to action might be:
"Sign up to my newsletter, and get all the hottest new recipes every week."
Remember to make your CTA highly relevant for the reader. A good CTA should be a "natural" next step for the reader to take - based on what they have just read.
Make your CTA prominent and clear, but not overbearing and spammy.
Convenient social media sharing
Ok, so almost everyone knows that social sharing buttons are important for a blog - but that's not the end of the story. How you implement social sharing can play a role in how popular your content becomes.
Social networks have the power to drive server crashing traffic volumes, and, more importantly, form part of Google's page ranking metrics. The more a piece of content is shared, the better it will rank in search.
Many blogs and websites stick a few sharing buttons right at the top or bottom of the page. But neither of these places are optimal for social sharing.
A reader would have to really trust the quality of your content before they would share it without reading it. So sharing buttons at the top of the page probably won't see much use.
By the same token, social share buttons at the bottom of a post will also miss out because many people skim read, find out what they need to, and move on.
To get the maximum benefit from your social sharing buttons, they need to be in the right place at the right time. A user will share your content if they are satisfied with it, and the share buttons are conveniently in front of them (very few will make the effort to scroll up or down looking for them).
Take a look at SME Pals's social share buttons.
We placed our social buttons inline at the middle of the page (once readers have had enough time to decide if the content is good).
Scroll further down, and the social share buttons follow the page - so they are always visible and accessible from half way down the page.
This also frees up valuable above the fold screen real estate for us to fit in more content - thereby improving the user experience.
Generating plenty of great content for your blog will bring in new readers and potential customers.
People who have found your content once, are most likely going to be people who are interested in other blog posts and content from you. So why not try keep them in the loop?
There are three powerful ways to convert a once-off reader into a follower or fan.
Get them to:
- follow you on a social network
- subscribe to an RSS feed
- opt-in to a newsletter
It can be very difficult to build up your own network of connections, fans, followers, and customers. But, it is well worth the effort, because it is this core of people who will become your very own team of marketers.
Building a loyal following of readers is a powerful strategy that all bloggers, brands, and businesses should work towards.
Having the ability to reach out to thousands of opt-in email newsletter readers whenever you have a great new product, service, or discount, makes life a heck of a lot easier.
Not only that, but a decent size following also becomes a powerful Web traffic driver and helps to increase page rankings and organic search traffic by adding social authority to your content.
What strategies do you use to drive buzz and Web traffic for your business or brand? Share your tips and ideas in the comments.