“If a tree falls in the forest, but no one is around to actually hear it – did it make a sound?“
Perhaps you’ve heard this age-old debate. It’s quite fitting for this chapter, where we will talk about distribution methods for content and website structure tactics for maximum engagement. That’s because your content can be some of the best your industry has ever seen – but if no one actually sees the content, it’s as if it doesn’t exist.
1. Before anything else, know your audience
- Who are you trying to reach?
- What is a typical day in their lives like?
- How old are they? Where do they live? What do they want?
- You can’t create amazing content that quality leads will want to read if you don’t know who you’re creating the content for.
2. Build a solid foundation
Create epic, cornerstone, evergreen, keyworded, visually rich content. Here’s what we mean:
- Epic. Create long-form content that tells a compelling story and offers useful solutions.
- Cornerstone. Your content needs to be authoritative. Show that you know your business inside and out.
- Evergreen. Your content should be relevant no matter the time of year or what’s going on in the news. It’s always there to help when people need it.
- Keyworded. Use primary keywords for what you’re trying to be found for. Don’t forget secondary keywords as well as long-tail keywords that consider every last type of potential customer who may need you.
- Visually rich. Pepper your content with relevant, appealing images and graphics that help to tell your story and make your points.
3. Utilize your owned media
Post the content on your company blog and distribute via company social media channels. Include the content in your e-newsletter, and use it to gather more subscribers.
Now, reach a little further.
- Reach out to relevant bloggers and ask for guest blogging opportunities.
- Reach out to relevant social media influencers and ask them to review and write about your product or service.
- Consider sponsored content by using resources such as Outbrain or LinkedIn Sponsored Content.
4. Drive traffic to your content with search engine optimization (SEO)
When you know your audience and have fully defined the different faces and personalities that an ideal lead can embody, your SEO strategy can begin to take shape. When you know your leads, it’s easier to pinpoint what they might be looking for when they happen to find your content instead.
Find target keywords. Do your research – For example, put some possible keywords into a Google search and see what comes up. Are your competitors ranking for those terms? Then maybe you should be, too.
Monitor search engine results page (SERP) rankings. When someone searches for one of your target keywords, where are you in the results? Are you on Page 1? Are you not there at all? Continuously monitor your SERP rankings for your blog posts and website and adjust as needed.
Optimize your homepage and blog.
- Use keyword research tools to help build and then narrow down a solid list.
- Audit your website content to ensure it follows SEO best practices.
- Does your website use keyword-rich titles?
- Is the text broken up into short paragraphs using easy-to-read, plain language?
- Do you use lists where possible to help break up text?
- Are relevant links to other websites peppered throughout your content to help it build backlinks and authority?
- Scan for mistakes.
- Don’t overdo it on the keywords – search engines can figure out what you’re up to and penalize your website for it.
- Don’t duplicate content on your site.
- Fix broken links.
- Convert to an SSL website. Switching to https:// preserves your referral data and assures both search engine and visitors that you provide a safe online experience.
Utilize social media. Remember when we talked about where your potential leads hang out? Well, chances are, they’re hanging out on social media, but WHERE on social media?
Focus your efforts. It’s very tempting to be everywhere at any time to appeal to as many potential customers as possible, but this isn’t the way to go. Find out where your customers hang out and then focus on preferably no more than two or three social networks. Better to be amazing at a couple than spread too thin across many.
Leverage audience targeting. Facebook is particularly good at this. Using your social networks’ analytics capabilities, zero in on who engages with your content the most and then cater to their habits, such as the times of day that they are likely to be online.
Bake social into your website. Make sure your website prominently utilizes social sharing buttons.