Can you believe it’s 2014 already? Instead of getting nostalgic about all of the ways that SEO changed in 2013, let’s instead focus on the here and now when it comes to gaining internet marketing traction in 2014.
It’s no secret that high-quality content is rewarded by the search engines and by readers, but how can you create better content this year? Here are a few simple tips that can help you create more efficient, interesting and engaging content.
1. Be Smart, Clever & Personal
Since content doesn’t just go on your website, but is also used in email marketing, newsletters, printed media, etc., it is important to tailor this content to the appropriate audience. This means that the traditional and generic cliches timelessly used need to change in order to offer a fresh angle to you marketing content.
Example: When we created our holiday marketing pieces this year, we wanted to move away from the traditional “Happy Holidays” theme in our content and do something that was a bit more clever, smart, and on a more personal level with our clients. As part of our marketing campaign, we sent some stress balls to many of our clients – boring right? To keep things fun, we tried to turn something boring into something funny by creating an instruction sheet for the stress balls – see below.
We got a great response from our existing and potential clients as they talked more about the funny instructional sheet that they received instead of any of the other marketing pieces that were also included.
2. Measure Success
The value of content goes far and beyond that of the search engines. While the end goal is to make sales, content value can be measured by other factors such as traffic, social shares, leads, etc.
Using a platform such as Hubspot or Pardot is a great way to start measuring other factors other than search engine rankings. By measuring content, you will be able to get a clearer picture as to what makes your content work for you and your readers.
3. Create Content For Readers
Link building is still a very integral part of gaining traction within the search engines; however, the notion that content should only be created for this purpose needs to be completely eliminated and discarded this coming year.
With Hummingbird in full swing, creating content that answers user questions is more important than ever, so make sure you are creating content that isn’t thin in subject matter and that will actually help a reader find the answers they are looking for.
4. Make it Mobile Friendly
The mobile statistics are startling, and are only going to increase as the year unfolds! Whether you create a responsive or m. site for mobile users, make sure to test your content on these devices before making it live.
For example, with a responsive design, written text will often be moved below pictures or other types of items within a post. When this happens, does it look good? Nothing turns off a reader faster than content with wonky spacing or strange looking formatting.
Making sure that your content is mobile friendly will let your readers know that you care about them seeing your professional content on any device they own.
Does your content have a certain voice, or better yet an actual name tied to it? If not, you are doing yourself a huge disservice. Creating authorship is an important step as it gives the content an identity. The days of anonymous content writing are over as Google Search takes authorship into account when it decides what to serve up to a user.
Authorship is easy to use, and even if you have a marketing team, or vendor writing your content, still attribute a name to it. By doing this, it shows the reader that you or your company stand behind the information presented and that you aren’t afraid to share this information with the public. In short, smoke and mirrors are bad, but transparency is overwhelmingly refreshing.
As you can see, creating better content is attainable in 2014. Content is still a huge factor when it comes to marketing and always will be, so make sure to create content that truly resonates with your ready and the results will follow.
Greg Secrist is the CEO and co-founder of BKA Content, a full service content creation company.