Interests for content marketing has increased dramatically since 2004.
Basically, everyone talks about content marketing, but the question is: How does your content marketing process look alike?
In this blog post, I’ll explain you:
- Why do you need content marketing
- What are SEO requirements for the best results
- How to generate content marketing ideas
- How to write your first blog post
- How to measure content marketing success
Now, let’s start with top reasons why do you need content marketing today.
Why Content Marketing?
Each day 92,000 articles are posted to the web. Once you see this number, you’ll definitely know that content marketing is the incredibly competitive field.
But, these are only articles.
According to ACI, every minute Facebook users share nearly, 2.5 million pieces of content, Twitter users tweet 300,000 times, Instagram users post nearly 220,000 new photos, and so on.
Content marketing is available for everyone, but you need to figure out how to outrank your competitors. In fact, there are so many small businesses who have grown thanks to the smart content marketing process and strategy.
The next image will show you the best how competitive content marketing is. Marketers are spending $44 billion on content marketing.
That’s a huge amount and also one of the signs just how competitive content marketing is. But, the real question is why do people invest so much money in it?
B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads per month than those who don’t, according to Social Media B2B
. If you don’t use content marketing, it will definitely be harder for you to succeed.
Next, organizations have different goals for B2B content marketing.
The most obvious reason is generating new leads and sales.
However, with content marketing, you’ll definitely increase brand awareness.
Now that I mention brand awareness, let’s see how much does it cost you to increase brand awareness on Facebook advertising.
It depends on the industry, but if you’re in the E-commerce industry, you’ll pay $5.06 per 1,000 impressions, according to MarketingCharts
As for me, it’s not the small amount, and content marketing is a lot cheaper.
In the annual report
for 2016, HubSpot said that their marketing team focuses on inbound marketing and attracts over 57,000 new leads per month through their industry leading blog, and other content - free tools, large social media, high search engine rankings and personalized website and email content.
Imagine how much would it cost to acquire 57,000 leads per month without producing great content?
Well, here are some data, again from HubSpot
Blogs have the lowest average cost per lead. After that, we have social media and SEO.
But, what about above average cost per lead?
For example, telemarketing has 26% costs above the average.
As you might noticed, lots of data in digital marketing industry comes from HubSpot.
These guys invest huge amounts in marketing research, and basically, everyone links them and that’s very important since links are still the most important Google ranking factor. They create linkable assets and lots of content, and that’s the reason of collecting 57,000 leads every month. One of the biggest challenges for small businesses is producing enough content due to the lack of time.
Now, let’s see what SEO requirements you must have if you wish to succeed in content marketing.
SEO and content marketing are very connected and related to each other.
SEO is everything about improving user experience, building high-quality links, on-page factors, and other tech stuff. On the other hand, content marketing is everything about creating outstanding content in a way that targets potential customers.
Producing great content attracts links and increases your SEO success. SEO and content marketing are actually complementing - like pizza and ketchup.
Without content, there’s no SEO. Without SEO, there are no visitors and your content is useless.
There are more than 200 Google ranking factors and we can divide them into two groups:
- On-Page SEO factors
- Off-Page SEO factors
On-Page SEO factors are the easier part because you can influence on them completely. For example, you can do keyword research, pick a clickable title, write attractive page description, and so on.
Off-Page SEO is definitely something that requires tons of time and efforts. Now, when I say Off-Page factors, you probably think about backlinks.
Yes, they are the most important factor, but backlinks are not the only Off-Page SEO factor. We have factors such as how trustful your site is, how many social shares you get, etc.
Let’s return to On-Page and see what do you need to have before you start writing amazing pieces of content.
Your site should be ready for mobile devices since Google has introduced
that mobile responsivity is a ranking factor and even if Google hasn’t done that, you should think about user experience.
In fact, even Facebook revenues are mostly from mobile advertising, not desktop.
This shows you how everything goes on mobile devices. If you don’t know how to check if your site is mobile ready, here’s how.
Open Google Mobile-Friendly Test
, enter your URL, hit enter, and the results will come after a few seconds.
The photo above is exactly what you’re looking for.
Your page title should always be attractive to people. Higher CTR means more clicks and better rankings since it is very important Google ranking factor.
CTR is one of the best indicators how your page is engageable and relevant.
Imagine that you rank on #1 for the term SEO, but nobody clicks. Everyone clicks on the position #2. What will happen? Your rank will definitely go down since people don’t recognize your page as a relevant and engageable.
How to check CTR?
The best (and the only) option is Google Search Console
. There, you can easily see what your average CTR is. Also, you can check CTR of specific pages, so basically, you can know which pages have CTR that is below the average.
Once you improve your CTR, your ranking will go up. Optimizing title and page description are ways how you can improve CTRs.
For example, you can use magnet words if you wish to optimize your title. Here are some magnet words:
When it comes to the title length, you should keep your title length up to 55 characters. I’m telling you this because you probably want that Google users see your full title
and not partial (cut).
These previews came from Moz’s Title Tag Preview Tool
Number of Words
Writing in-depth articles will also lead to better rankings.
Analysis from Backlinko shows us that articles with +2,000 words tend to rank higher.
In fact, the average word count of a Google first page result is 1,890 words.
This completely makes sense.
Because when someone searches for How to create a first ad on Facebook, it’s obvious that he or she looks for the in-depth piece of content.
You can’t expect to have 300 words articles and getting a high rank.
That’s not gonna happen because Google wants to provide a top class experience for their users. Also, people are willing to link +2,000 words articles because they find it useful, and we know that there’s a strong correlation between backlinks and rankings.
Furthermore, long articles may include images created by you.
Below is the image created by me a few months ago.
Now, one site with 71 Domain Authority gave me the credit and linked me back. This is how my ranking increases, and if I write 300 words articles, I would never be able to acquire links such as this.
So, write in-depth articles!
Security is important to Google and it should be important to you too. In fact, SSL is a ranking signal
since August 06, 2014.
However, if now receive solid amounts of traffic, and you have achieved some ranks, you should be careful when you migrate.
As you can see, it might happen that you lose 90% of your Google rankings.
You should always create a 301 redirection in order to avoid duplicate content.
Next, be sure that you add HTTPS property in Google Search Console
because GSC treats it separately.
Furthermore, you can get a free SSL certificate provided by CloudFlare
which is quite good for new sites.
The conclusion is that need your site safe if you wish to reach the full potential of content marketing.
The safe site is not enough, you also need to have fast site since nobody wants to visit slow. You can check your site speed in tools like Pingdom and Google PageSpeed Insights.
For example, this is faster than 89% sites tested in Pingdom, and trust me, there are many sites that are tested.
Pingdom will always tell you what improves you can take, so you can get achieve rankings easier.
I’ve written an article about generating content marketing ideas
. Here, I’ll show you three ways that you can use to generate an unlimited number of articles.
First of all, open Quora
and search for the topic that’s related to your business. For example, I’ll open the content marketing topic.
When I open the topic I can see four links:
- Topic FAQ
- Most Viewed Writers
Obviously, I’ll click on Answer because I want to see the latest questions.
Here are some ideas I just got:
- Where are the best places to purchase well-written content?
- What is the best content to use for restaurants?
- Which format of the eBook to you prefer: Portrait or Landscape?
- What niche content should I produce?
- How much content have you produced in the last 30 days?
Next, I’ll open UberSuggest which is a perfect tool for getting the list of long-tail keywords. As you probably know, long-tail keywords are keywords that are easier to rank.
As an example, I’ll tell that it’s much easier to rank for email marketing for small business
than for email marketing
. The competition for the second term is unbelievable.
Also, the more words in the phrase users type, there will be higher chances of converting.
That seems totally logical because when you search for red Nike shoes for running
, it means that you probably already know what you’re looking for, and basically, once you find it, you’ll purchase it. That’s what we call commercial intent.
On the other side, when you search for shoes
, it means that you’re still getting informed and it doesn’t mean you will make a purchase.
Now, I’ll search for content marketing
Here are some long-tail keywords:
- Content marketing best practices 2017
- Content marketing case study
- Content marketing editorial calendar template
- Content marketing interview questions
- 5 content marketing strategies for small business
Another great tool for generating content marketing ideas is Keywordtool.io
, but I won’t explain it in this blog post.
I recommend checking our blog post about generating blog post ideas.
Writing a First Blog Post
Once you generated lots of new ideas, you can start writing your first blog post. But, before that, you need to organize it somehow because you probably haven’t generated only one idea.
As for me, I always use Google Calendar which provides me a great overview how my content producing goes well.
Also, it makes pressure on me because when I see how many blog posts I have to write, there’s no time for relaxing. Here’s how my Google Calendar looks alike.
Next, you must pick a tool for writing. Now, you probably think about Microsoft Word, but I wouldn’t recommend that.
Firstly, it’s not free, but more important, sometimes you need to collaborate with your colleagues. Because of that, I’m always recommending Google Docs which is a wonderful tool. Surely, you can use Office 365 if you prefer Microsoft.
If you decide to share a blog post with your co-founder, you simply click on Share
and you’ll see something like this, where you can enter your co-founder’s email.
Furthermore, there's a Zoho Writer app which is very similar to Google Docs. In fact, Zoho Writer has one feature that Google Docs doesn’t - The Visual Edge.
The idea of the visual edge is that you can easily embed images or video files from Flickr, Picasa, and YouTube.
In Google Docs, you can’t easily embed videos from YouTube, and sometimes you’ll need it.
However, since I don’t prefer embedding videos in my posts, it doesn’t mean so much for me. I prefer making a screenshot and pasting it in Google Docs and my blog posts as well.
Finally, I enjoy when I press CTRL + SHIFT + C
because I get this small window.
Within a second, I easily check how many words there are in my blog post. Remember how writing in-depth articles provide better ranking?
Writing a content without promotion doesn’t seem promising. Well, it isn’t.
You have to promote your CONTENT if you would like to succeed, but how? Here’s how.
Twitter & Email Outreach
Let me say immediately that this is not so easy, but I can definitely say that Twitter Outreach strategy works, but it takes time.
The idea is to find a similar article with lots of RTs. Here’s how.
Firstly, open Followerwonk
which is the place where you can easily find influencers and people who have lots of followers. People that have lots of followers probably have lots of RTs.
So, in the menu click on Search Bios
After that, enter content marketing
and click on Do it
This will return you the list of influencers. I sorted it by social authority.
Next, pick some user (I picked Kerry Butters) and open FollowFly
, where you can filter her tweets with most likes and RTs.
Once you enter her username and click on Show
, you’ll see the list of tweets ordered by most likes.
For example, this tweet got 45 RTs which is not bad at all.
Finally, see who retweeted her and find their email
. When you get their email addresses, you can shoot a message.
Just tell them that you found that their retweeted Kerry Butters’ tweet which is great, but you have something similar. This way, you’ll see how your number of RTs increases.
This is why I sad that this job isn’t easy, but it works.
If you have enough money, you can buy an ad on Facebook and that way promote your content.
This is easier than outreaching but it costs more.
Assuming that you run a store where you sell baby clothes, you can definitely write an outstanding piece of content where you can answer on many parent’s questions. Again, you can use Quora to generate content ideas, or you can even check it on Reddit
However, your costs also depend on your country. For example, advertising in Japan and Norway is very expensive.
On the other side, in countries like Poland and Portugal, it’s cheaper a lot.
As for me, if I decide to promote my content on Facebook, I’d always advertise eBooks where I can get more leads or even blog posts with content upgrades since they tend to have higher subscription rate.
In fact, I collect my emails on my Content Marketing Quotes
article. This is how it looks.
Never and never pay ads without marketing objective.
Even before you create your first Facebook ads, you’ll always have a question: What’s your marketing objective?
In this case, I’d recommend you Collect leads for your business
, because, who cares about Send people to a destination on or off Facebook
if you don’t collect leads?
Clicks without leads and conversions are useless.
Also, you can create a content with the results of industry research, add a few carts and promote it through Facebook.
People like researches and they tend to copy your image and of course, give credits back to you. Link also.
This is something that works in the long terms. For example, when you create an outstanding piece of content, you can easily find similar blog posts, and check who linked them. Once you realize that, you can outreach them and ask for the link.
You should expect about 2-3% of people to link you back. Now, if you send 1,000 emails, that’s about 20 - 30 new backlinks.
Furthermore, you can use broken link building tactic. Everything you need is to find a blog post that doesn’t exist. After you find it, you have to create something similar and outreach people who linked that piece of content.
There are many ways how can you find these pages. For example, in Ahrefs you can click on Broken Links in the menu, and get the list. However, Ahrefs is not free, and here’s one tool that’s free.
The name of the tool is Broken Link Checker
. You just have to enter some popular website because they will 100% have broken links.
For example, I entered moz.com
and found the list of broken URL and pages where they’re found.
It’s very simple, but again, requires tons of work.
p.s. I wrote an article about driving traffic to your site
, so you can find 15 ways there, too.
Finally, you need to measure your content process. The most popular and used tool is Google Analytics.
I’d always suggest picking a few KPIs because it’s hard to track everything. We can group KPIs into three groups:
This is actually from Google Analytics.
Acquisition metrics answer how many people read your content, from what location people visit your site, etc.
Next, acquisition tells you where do your visitors come from.
Finally, behavior is how much do people interact with your content. It tells you what are your top pages and what percentage of them immediately leave (bounce rate).
This is the most used metric in the world of the web analytics. It’s a good indicator how many conversions you can get although it’s possible to have lots of unique visits without conversions.
You can also see a number of visits of your competitors using tools like SimilarWeb.
Demographics & Location
When you start writing a blog you will know who your potential visitors are. However, within Google Analytics, you can check how old are your visitors and what gender they are.
Furthermore, you can see where do your visitors come from, which locations have the best bounce rate and so on.
shows that up to 60% of Direct traffic is actually Organic.
However, you should always check how many traffic you get from Organic Search since that’s one of the best indicators how well your content is.
Google tends to award highly valuable content with great ranks.
Social networks are always important since they can always be a good source of traffic. For example, you should check how many visitors from Facebook you get, and how that source of traffic converts.
For example, this photo above suggests that YouTube can be an untapped source.
Bounce rate tells how many visitors who leave your site immediately without any further actions are there.
There are many potential reasons why your bounce rate may be high:
- Slow website
- Low-quality content
- Too many ads on the page
- Design issues
In Google Analytics, click on Behaviour - Site Content - Landing Page and see which pages have the highest bounce rate.
In general, highest bounce rate means lower conversion rate. Also, you can identify which type of content leads to the best engagement.
Heatmap and Clicks
Within Google Analytics, it’s not possible to check how do people scroll and browse your site, but you can use tools like Yandex Scroll Map
which is completely free.
You can also check where do people click and how they use your forms. These heatmaps are unbelievably useful because you can learn where you can place your opt-ins, offers, etc.
As you can see, content marketing requires lots of work, but it’s a great option for the small businesses who don’t have enough money for PPC advertising.
You shouldn’t expect great results within a first few months, especially if you have a new domain. It takes some time to get trust in Google’s eyes.
Here’s the trick that Dorie Clark
, author of Stand Out, said.
One post, or 10 posts, or 100 posts probably won’t make much of a dent in raising your profile, or your company’s. But 300 or 500 or 1000 will, and very few people are willing to commit to that.
You just have to be persistent.