I used to be skeptical too. I used to think that with billions of websites internet there’s already too much content in the pool and less chances for new content to surface unless you have the online authority of presidents and celebrities. That skepticism quickly faded as I once wrote a blog post that brought in two business inquiries in the following week. This actually works!
So how to create content that drives traffic to your website?
Finding TopicsStart by finding a topic for your content. Your target market or audience is the reason you’re creating this content so your topic should be something they’re interested in. Your products and services don’t make a good topic, but the need they cater to or the problem they solve is a good one.
Think of your target audience and what they would be searching for on Google. Try to narrow it down and be as specific as possible so you can reach what is called a Long Tail Keyword. You see the internet already has billions of pages, if you choose a generic keyword you will be competing with millions of other websites and won’t have a chance to show high up the search results. Let’s say you’re in the business of selling training courses. A generic keyword would be “training courses”. A long tail keyword would be: “soft skills training courses for middle management”, or “project management course for healthcare professionals”, or “career growth training courses in Dubai”, etc.
Let me warn you, finding long tail keywords is not an easy feast. It takes a lot of work and thinking but it is extremely rewarding.
This guide from Moz will help you understand Long Tail Keywords better in details.
You can use tools that help you find keywords from scratch such as the Keyword Planner from Google AdWords (you need to create an account, it’s free). You can also use advanced tools for keyword research such as Moz or HubSpot Marketing to get keyword ideas and suggestions along with insights about the search volumes and difficulty of the keywords and the potential of ranking high on them.
Answering QuestionsIf you’re finding the keywords exercise difficult and time consuming, don’t worry! There’s another way to finding topics and it’s a lot easier; answer questions!
Your target audience is most likely online already asking questions on social media groups and pages, forums, and Q&A websites. Try to chime in to Facebook and LinkedIn groups that your target market would typically join and see what kind of questions they’re asking. You can use the search functionality to retrieve such conversations.
Another great place to find questions is Quora. I can’t say enough how effective this platform is to find questions that your target audience is asking. You can also read the answers by others to get more ideas and offer unique new answers.
You can also look into forums that your target audience is likely to visit frequently.
Once you have found a bunch of frequently asked questions in your industry, work on creating content that answers them, one question at a time. Try to use the “How to” structure whenever possible.
Choosing the FormatDepending on the topic that you’re trying to talk about or the question you’re trying to answer, choose the format of the content that is the most effective in delivering the content. It can be just a short and sweet blog post of 300 words, or it can be an infographic that delivers the content visually, or it can be a short video.
Validating the ContentIf you’re shooting for a written format, once your blog post is done make sure to validate its content against the keyword of focus. This means that the title of your post, the headings, and the content written are all highlighting the focus keyword. If your website is WordPress based you can use a plugin such as Yoast to audit your blog post against the focus keyword and alert of any required fixes.
You can also check your post for human readability using a tool such as Hemingway App.
Sharing the Content
Don’t just sit around waiting for the Google bots. Go ahead and share your content on social media and in your regular email shots. If your content is answering a question that you found online, go back to that question and post your answer there with a link to your blog post.