When you've learned how to write a website people want to read, it's time to get a bit technical. However good your content is, people aren't going to find it unless you help them.
Whether you run a cafe, clinic, travel agency or any other organisation, these steps can help anyone write and promote content that converts.
Keyword research is the foundation of digital marketing, and it's not as complicated as it might sound.
Keywords are the specific vocabulary (single words and longer phrases) that describe what you offer. These are the search queries people type on their keyboards or speak into their phones when they're looking for a 'late night dentist brisbane,' 'cheap wedding reception venue sydney' or anything else.
You'll already have an idea what your keywords are, but you can get a clear picture using tools like Google's Keyword Planner or just by playing around on search engines. Making a list of the most valuable keywords and including these in all of your content can help you rise through the ranks and get noticed – especially when you include keywords in titles, headings and even image descriptions.
But don't get carried away! Keyword stuffing was a big problem in the old days, and Google and other search engines have clamped down on this practice to punish those who try to game the system. Including keywords naturally makes your pages better for Google and for people.
After you've written your essential pages, it's time to start growing your website to increase traffic. If you offer a lot of products or services, you could create further sub-pages devoted to more specific topics to capture highly targeted search queries. Another way to grow your site is to publish a regular blog.
The biggest concern for people who haven't blogged before is – what do I write about? While you might have some ideas already, these are likely to run out before too long unless you do your research. Check out what others in your industry are blogging about to get ideas for the type of content that's appropriate. Think about the type of content you find interesting and whether it could work for you.
While you should update your readers with important announcements about your organisation, your blog shouldn't only be used for self-promotion. Like the rest of your website, it should help readers by providing information of value – whether that means answering a question, offering advice, covering industry news or just sharing something fun.
With experts recommending that you publish a blog post at least once a week (or as often as you can), planning a schedule weeks or months ahead will eliminate the uncertainty and help you get the best results from content marketing.
Rather than trying to cover everything, focusing on a few core themes can help you build a regular audience and a reputation as an authority. Spread these topics out in your calendar to avoid repetition and stay current by planning themed blogs to tie in with significant dates, from Christmas to Pride.
Blogs don't have to be wordy, and you can experiment with different lengths of posts and different types of content like images and videos to see which perform best for you.
Writing your blog is just the beginning. Many experts recommend an 80/20 rule for content marketing – spending 20% of the time writing a piece and 80% of the time promoting it.
Setting up social media accounts for your business lets you interact directly with your audience and share your latest news and advice. Facebook is still the number one – used by over 15 million Australians and 2 billion people worldwide – but you should also check out other sites that are relevant to your target demographics, such as LinkedIn for B2B and Instagram for image-focused industries like travel and wedding planning.
You don't just have to promote new content either. As time goes on and your audience grows, you can re-post older content or repurpose it in different forms so you have even more to share. Make sure you link to your business blog in all your account profiles, newsletters and email signature for maximum exposure.
For more in-depth advice about getting started with your website and content marketing, see our digital marketing guide.
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