Remember all those things Matt Cutts has told us about how important great content is? How you need to try to be the authority on a subject? Maybe you’ve heard the buzz over the last 2 years about Content Marketing. Or maybe you are a marketing major and familiar with the AIDA Funnel, and understand that your content strategy for the web can be molded to fit this funnel to help convert the consumer during their purchase journey.
If you haven’t, then the below should interest you. Starting a blog for your business may be the best way to get your internet marketing off the ground. Blogging is one of the best ways to increase web traffic and also a great way to communicate with a customer.
What is a Good Topic to Write About?
Brainstorm your main words, you may know 2-3 major words you wish you could rank for right now. Those words are probably unobtainable. But dream big, and I’ll show you some tactics to get there.
Let’s start by choosing a few words that are most important to your business. The names of the products themselves are a great place to start when researching blog topics. Hypothetically if you were an insurance agent, then the product names you would be most interested in selling might be: life insurance, critical insurance and health insurance. If you are a service based business such as a plumber, your main services are the best place to start. For example clogged toilet or faucet drip are two common services to write blog topics around.
It would be great to rank in the top 10 in search results for the term “Life Insurance”. You could create a product or service page about Life Insurance, optimize the page for “life insurance”, but no matter how you track details like co-occurrence, internal linking and backlinking, you will not be making any progress to becoming the most relevant page on the internet about “life insurance” with just one page devoted to that broad topic. Creating a blog and adding fresh content that supports this word and many associated words will make a difference. For example, there are a hundred questions that a consumer has about Life Insurance – “how does life insurance work”, “how much life insurance do I need”, “how much does an average plan cost”, “should I buy whole life or term insurance?”
Uncovering these questions and using them to create a simple content plan, and then creating great content and promoting that content, will begin funneling traffic into the website early in the buying cycle.
Creating Good Blog Titles
Start with a question like “How” + a phrase like “Life Insurance”. Write a few of these down that you are interested in answering, and be sure to cross check them with how much keyword volume they have. I like “How life insurance works” and “How life insurance rates are determined”. Both of these topics look like questions for a new consumer or possibly a first time buyer. Answering them could bring a slew of traffic, as well as a few hot prospects. Most importantly, publish a great piece of content with the goal of setting a number of consumers on their way to finding the best life insurance plan for them.
If you want to work with a few more topics at a time, then head on over to Ubersuggest.org. This tool suggests a large number of possible blog topics. Try the same tactic, and add the keywords that you are interested in writing about. The goal is to find a blog topic that you think could lead to a sale, and also check how many searches are happening that use that phrase. You don’t need to choose the blog topic with the most searches, just the topic that has both traffic and the potential to generate a sale.
Google the Keyword
It is a great idea to check out what types of posts have already been published on this topic. Sometimes you find interesting things in the results that may incentivize you to write about one topic over another. At other times you may find that the long tail topic is already too competitive and has tons of great blog posts that are ranking well. It’s critical to be original in your writing, as that is what will get you to the top. Think of the best way to answer the question, even if and especially if it has never been said or done before. In the end, the content that is the most informative and helpful will win. So stay away from topics that are too big for you to bite off and chew. You need to be able to provide the best answer to the question and that means collecting and distributing the facts.
Seeing Keyword Data/Checking Competitor Blogs for Similar Words
Once you decide on the keywords for your topic, you need to get an estimate about how many people are actually searching this phrase. Visit Google keyword planner and load in your list of keywords. Then download the most important words to you. These can become a part of a single blog topic, or they might make better separate blog topics.
How to Promote Your Blog
SEO is sometimes like perpetual motion. Does it exist, how do I get it started? Blogging can be that initial start you are looking for. Many consumers read and consume blogs on a daily basis, especially when they are looking to purchase a product or service for the first time. Most want to know what the average price is up front, what they are buying, or get the general consensus of which brand/product/service they should buy up front before they call you. Because your customers are going to do this anyway, it is in your best interest to be the one writing about the specific topic they are researching. It can lead to a quick chat with a customer and a sale later.
Using social media to promote your blog is the best way to build an audience. Getting more followers leads to more shares, likes, links and leads. Paid social promotion is something that many internet marketing companies are just starting to push hard. You should listen, because building an audience is important. If you syndicate out blog posts to no audience, or just your friends and family members, you are correct in assuming social media will not work for you. However, when you use paid promotion you extend your reach to a larger target audience, people you have never met, never spoken to, who never existed in your network. Getting likes and shares from these new audience members is a key point in making social media work for you. You will be driving new traffic to your website, with a chance to convert it and you will also get the ball rolling with a real chance to create something that not only sticks but accelerates.
You also need to consider paid promotion to these blogs with normal PPC campaigns. It is the same concept as social media promotion. PPC and social media are not always in the last part of the funnel, but consumers are smart enough to understand who can help them and who can’t. Instead of setting up a PPC campaign to bid on “Life Insurance”, try using a small bucket of long tail terms like how life insurance works and bid a very low dollar amount like 10 cents or 15 cents a click. Point these ads at your blog post on the topic and that should get you a great quality score for your ad.
Upping the Ante
Too often I see a business budget the same dollar amount for marketing every year. Here’s the question – Did your marketing budget pay off for you last year? How many leads did it generate? Do you have plans for growth? If you want to grow your business, you need to spend more on what works. SEO, PPC, social media, website, blogging, print advertising – track your efforts and boost your investment in the winning tactics.
Videos/Infographics/Surveys/Polls/Interactive Pages/Calculators/Widgets… all of these types of content are ways to increase traffic and leads. Starting with a blog is a great idea, but it’s just a beginning. To be successful, you have to continue to grow. The largest corporations and the smallest sole proprietorships need to continue to increase how much money they make each year and one way to do that is to invest more in online marketing.