Great content attracts more visitors to your site. And more visitors on your site means more conversions and sales. Simple, right?
Creating content that attracts a lot of web traffic is anything but simple, and it doesn’t (or shouldn’t) end once you’ve hit publish. There’s still much work to do in terms of promoting and building authority into the page, if you want it to receive the attention that your hard work deserves.
Writing for people rather than for SEO
It is well understood that Google has the ability to determine what quality content looks like, but it can be forgotten that the audience you are writing for is even more intuitive, and understand quality when they see it.
Google explains how they rank content by saying:
“Search algorithms look at many factors and signals, including the words of your query, relevance and usability of pages, expertise of sources, and your location and settings. The weight applied to each factor varies depending on the nature of your query. For example, the freshness of the content plays a bigger role in answering queries about current news topics than it does about dictionary definitions.”
If your goal is to attract more traffic to your website through the content you publish, you’re going to have to work hard to deliver content that provides answers to your audience’s searches. The advice has always been, and will likely always be, “Write for humans and the search engines will catch up”.
To get started, let’s go over the fundamentals when creating new content for audiences:
Research your topic to within an inch of its life
You need to know your stuff. Quality content relies on fresh research and information, provided by an authoritative source that is explained in a concise format for audiences.
Before choosing your topic, make sure you are able to deliver on E-E-A-T — or “Double-E-A-T”.
Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness is a well-known concept in the industry that refers to how Google evaluates whether a result is providing helpful and relevant information to its users. Although this framework doesn’t directly influence ranking, it is a guiding principle in helping to assess the content we create online and ensures that what we are writing is authoritative with a people-first approach.
Once you’ve determined that you can deliver on E-E-A-T, the first step is reading what is already being covered online for the topic. Read the first page results on Google’s SERP and learn what other websites, bloggers, and industry publications have already shared and make your content 10x better; provide a new perspective, opinion or insight to the conversation.
How to beat the competition? Reference more recent studies and news articles, quote industry leaders and be sure you’re offering something of value to the topic that hasn’t yet been covered.
Optimise your content
All the standard work still applies once you’ve created your content and you are ready to publish:
- Keep the URL short, avoid using dates and be descriptive
- Create an enticing page title (between 65 to 70 characters), make each one unique and avoid keyword stuffing
- Create a meta description (up to 155 characters) that will entice users to click through. Be sure to include keywords that are relevant to the page content
- Use compelling headlines, and avoid long and wordy sentences
- Break the text into easily digestible paragraphs – keep in mind audiences reading your content on mobile
Include visuals and rich media
Not all content is written. If you are referencing data, demonstrate the information visually with a graph, table or infographic.
Film a supporting video, audio clip or podcast that pulls your written information together into a more digestible medium.
All supporting visuals should be high-quality, and credited appropriately to avoid licensing issues. Finally, don’t forget to optimise images to avoid sluggish load times for your website.
Spellcheck and proofread
Silly mistakes can just make your content look amateurish. It’s always worth utilising free tools like Grammarly or Hemingway before publishing your work. That said, there are plenty of issues that aren’t quite so obvious, but have a huge effect on the user experience and the potential traffic your content could generate.
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Understand your goals
Never go into a piece of content without understanding its goal.
You should have a clear idea of what you want to achieve with the piece by answering two key questions:
- Who is this content for?
- What problem is my content providing a solution for?
Are you trying to provide information that helps your target audience and position your brand as an expert? Or is this purely a piece designed to sell a product?
Yes, we’ve got the goal of getting more traffic, but drill deeper: what kind of traffic do you want landing on this page?
According to Siteefy, 252,000 new websites are created every day and over 4 billion pages currently indexed. With the volume of content being created, in order to rank in search and gain traffic to your website you need to ensure you are providing value to the topic and industry that you are in.
Tell a story
You need to engage your reader. The best way to do that is by telling a story with your content.
Businesses often make the mistake of talking too much about themselves and less about helping their audience and engaging with them.
The best brands in the world avoid putting the business at the centre of the story: that position is saved for the customer. Try to understand where on the ‘customer journey’ your specific reader is, and cater that piece of content around them.
Apple is one of the most iconic brands known for its storytelling when launching new products. Apple takes a customer-centric approach in their infamous marketing campaigns, with a consistent focus on positioning their products through the eyes of their customers and providing a solution to consumers’ problems.
For some inspiration on how to tell your own story through content marketing, watch Steve Jobs’s announcement of the ‘Think Different‘ campaign back in 1997.
How to get quality backlinks that are relevant
Google’s mantra has always been to provide content that is so good it attracts natural backlinks, and that is always the best policy. However, it can be frustrating if you’ve published a masterpiece – but no one sees it, as the page doesn’t rank. A criminal waste of time, effort and a good read for your audience.
There’s no escaping it, your website needs authority in order for your content to reach its audience. One blog in isolation is unlikely to get noticed, however, as part of a high quality series, each with natural, topically relevant backlinks – the traffic and authority will increase over time.
Getting relevant, quality backlinks is much easier said than done. We’d recommend working with link building professionals (like our team of specialists at Hive19) but if you’re going it alone, be aware that building relationships is everything.
At Hive19, the reason we’re able to get exceptionally high quality links that are relevant to our client’s niche is that we’ve spent many years perfecting the methodology, whilst also creating long-lasting relationships with publishers in industries related to SaaS, Fintech and more.
You must first identify where the client sits in the landscape against its competitors, and then understand the correlation between authority and relevance for each opportunity. That’s the science, the art comes down to understanding the content gap within a niche, and how to cater for their target audience whilst naturally referencing our client’s website or resources within the content.
Creating content that attracts traffic
Before we get into the tools that will help with content ideation and curation, it’s important to consider search intent when looking to attract traffic to your website.
When you think about creating content, you need to think of your target audience first. But it’s still the case that your audience is only going to find you if you play by the rules of the search engines.
That means you need to think about the queries that users are searching for in order to find your content, and how to optimise for them.
The traditional method of creating content that attracts traffic is to find out what readers are searching for and to then publish content that serves that need; providing information or answering questions.
But this is forgetting the importance of the search intent behind a query. For example, the term ‘birthday cake’ has an estimated 71,000 monthly searches.
You might assume, then, that creating a fantastic resource about the types of birthday cake you can find might be an effective piece of content.
The truth is that if you Google ‘birthday cake’, you’ll find that the top results are a mixture of three things:
- Cakes to purchase
- Recipes for cakes to make for yourself
- Images of stunning cakes by professionals
Google is choosing to present those pages to their audience, in the order that best suits the likelihood of the search intent. The recipe hunter is not interested in purchasing from a supermarket, and likewise, the searcher looking to be wowed by sugar sculpted character cakes would just like images to marvel at.
It can get much subtler, so it’s really important to check the kind of terms that you’re optimising for and make sure that you are creating the same type of content that Google likes to display for those terms.
It is always the case that Google can change its mind about the intent behind a particular search term and this will make the results look very different. As such, you might need to update your content with regard to these changes.
11 content curation tools for marketers
Digital marketers, content writers, and SEOs will all have their favourite methods and tools for content ideation and curation. But if you’re using them all the time, after a while, they will start throwing out the same ideas, and you can get stuck in a content rut. As a first step, utilise free tools available on Google such as People Also Ask. This provides insight into what audiences may be looking for and asking as a result of their initial query.
Once you’ve gleaned all you can from the People Also Ask boxes and need a tool offering something a little different take a look at our top recommendations below.
Landing page report on Google Analytics
Perhaps one of the best – and most often overlooked – sources for content curation can be found in your own Google Analytics.
It should be stated, of course, that this tool is only really useful if you already have traffic coming into your site. But with that said, the information here is as relevant and useful as it can get.
The Landing Page Report feature in GA allows you to see which of your pages and blogs are the most popular. This is direct insight into the kind of content that your audience enjoys and wants more of.
The report is very simply accessed through GA – open up the menu and choose the ‘Landing Pages’ option under the Site Content section.
Comments on your blog
Once again, this one only really applies if you already have a significant amount of content on your site and are regularly getting good numbers visiting and commenting.
The key here is to recognise that the comments on your blogs can offer a goldmine of ideas for content.
Whether your audience are asking questions, adding information or simply discussing the topics further, the blog comments can reveal useful ideas that can easily be turned into powerful content.
Ahrefs Content Explorer
The first paid tool on this list: Ahrefs Content Explorer. On the surface it does seem quite similar to Buzzsumo – but at Hive19, we make use of it all the time. Here’s why:
Content Explorer has a number of handy features that make it really useful for gathering new content ideas that could form the basis of your content strategy.
These features allow you to do things from searching for content that has success in the rankings for the most competitive keywords and the highest cost per click (CPC).
Another interesting option allows you to search only for broken links. This will mean that you can search for the content that was once converting at a very high rate, but now is inaccessible.
Facebook Ad library
Another rich source of good ideas is the Facebook Ad Library. This tool allows you to search for a term and see the adverts that are currently promoted on Facebook.
How does this help? Well, companies will only tend to put advertising into content that performs at a high level.
Look for ads that specifically direct viewers to a piece of content. It can be a real goldmine of proven ideas that can add a lot of value to your site.
Google image search tags
This one is a simple idea, but it can work wonders when you are looking for popular topics that are going to be genuinely relevant to your audience. The only tool here is Google image search, but it’s an effective one.
Search for a broad topic that you are interested in creating content for. Now look for the tags that Google suggests regarding the most popular images.
These tags are the terms that are most commonly related to the topic. This means that you can simply combine the broad topic with each tag to give rise to a more specific subject area that your audience is interested in.
Reddit keyword research tool
Another good tool is the Reddit Keyword Research Tool which makes use of the content on Reddit to provide ideas for content.
Simply search for a popular sub-Reddit in the topic that you are interested in, and the tool will create a list of popular subjects and key phrases most often found in that sub-Reddit.
It even pulls in Google Keyword Planner monthly search volume data, which makes it very easy to see which of these topics are going to be good to go ahead with.
This one is a little different. Product Hunt is a curation of the best new products on the market. Users can find the latest mobile apps, websites, and technology products that everyone’s talking about.
It is not necessarily a good idea to create content about these products, but rather look a little further. What problems are these popular products solving – and which niches are growing in popularity?
Rework existing content
Not all ideas have to be completely new ideas. Reworking some of your existing content and then relaunching it can be very effective.
It may be that you have existing content that has slipped out-of-date, or perhaps there was a piece of content that you thought was good, but never got traction.
If you have a large bank of content, it is likely that some of it can be reworked.
BuzzSumo is easy to use and a standard for many marketers and content strategists, simply because it provides great results.
Simply type in a topic you want article ideas for and BuzzSumo will find all of the top content around that idea – based on metrics like how much social media engagement these posts get, and
The YouTube channels of your competitors
Another simple way to get more ideas for content that has been proven to be successful in your industry niche is analysing your competitors’ YouTube channels.
Get a list of your competitors – those who are most likely to have an audience that is similar to yours – and take a look at their YouTube channels. You can sort by their most popular videos and take inspiration for your next ideas.
Explore popular podcasts
If you are looking for a source of popular content ideas in your industry, another great place to look is in popular podcasts. Sometimes overlooked, podcasts are a rich source of information from people who have put a lot of work into getting them to market.
Scan through the episodes of popular podcasts in your niche (you don’t need to listen to all of them) and check the titles for ideas that have made it to an actual discussion.
Focusing your marketing efforts to increase website traffic using content won’t happen by accident, or overnight (in most cases). It takes strategy and dedication to become an authority within your niche and provide real value to your target market.
Targeting a specific audience, creating useful and engaging content and having a website that Google deems relevant for the search terms your audience are searching for.
This can be a daunting task for marketing managers with a million and one other things on the to-do list – and that is why it is often much more cost efficient to work with an expert to deliver this. At Hive19, we specialise in creating powerful content campaigns that drive authority, topical relevance and traffic for our clients.
To find out how we could help your business reach its audience through targeted content marketing, contact us today.