Your website has a purpose -- to promote your products or advertise your services. Content marketing has emerged in recent years as one of the most important marketing strategies for reaching this goal and growing your business.
Content marketing is shown to significant impact on growth for companies in the recent year, as many as 62% of B2B marketing experts have seen great success for using content marketing as means of business growth.
Source: Content Marketing Institute annual research on the effects of content for B2B businesses.
Now we know that content is showing promising results for marking efforts, the next step is to learn about ways that you can use content to help your brand grow and products sell.
SEO Trends You Won’t Want to Miss
Search engine optimization is the primary source of organic traffic to your website, a source of visitors that will often convert into customers based on your ability to answer their questions and provide them with valuable insight. The last 2 years have changed the landscape of SEO so significantly that it’s more important than ever to focus on producing content that connects with each reader individually, whilst maintaining an easy to consume design for everyone.
1: Featured Snippets
Have you been doing any Googling recently? Chances are that you’ve come across a result that’s dubbed a “featured snippet” -- an excerpt from content pages that gives a paragraph-based concise answer to your question. This answer can come in the form of a paragraph excerpt, a list of items, or even in the form of a table.
Google has put in a lot of effort to try and answer questions for users in real-time, which is now becoming a rather competitive market as search marketers understand the impact of being featured at the top of the search results pages.
Here is a search for “how to cook pasta” -- first result is a clear outline of the process of cooking pasta for yourself at home. The excerpt was taken from the Real Simple website, although the actual Real Simple link is result #2 on the search engine results page. This shows that when it comes to featured snippets, Google doesn’t just care about your rankings in general -- it also takes into consideration the way your content has been designed.
How to design your content for featured snippets?
- Write clear and concise paragraphs that are packed with instructions whilst answering a user's question to full extent.
- Use ordered lists to show step by step guidelines on how to achieve a particular goal.
- For showing data from your own studies use tables so that the information can be consumed and understood without having to read lengthy paragraphs.
Understand the questions that users are asking by doing thorough keyword research, which will help to create more meaningful content.
The team at Moz did an extensive study on why featured snippets matter and how well the Google search algorithm can understand a page to excerpt a featured snippet for search users.
2: Schema Markup
Schema.org is a project that was launched by well-known search giants such as Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Yandex. Their collaborative effort towards organizing the data on internet has led to several developments in what is known as schema markup -- a number of properties that can optimize a content page to be easier understood by search engine algorithms.
Searching for “vitamix reviews” outputs a result from CNET -- as you can see the search result shows the ratings of the product based on customer answers, this is a perfect example of how schema markup works and how your own search result pages could be made more visible to search users.
Whenever search engines scan your website and notice schema markup tags, they automatically “improve” your search results by displaying information that’s relevant to the users.
For example, here is a search about the electric car company Tesla:
This result was possible because external 3rd party websites are using Schema Markup to outline the most important information about the Tesla business.
It's worth noting that Schema is particularly useful for websites that write about books, movies, recipes, share events, talk about people and their biographies, products, local businesses, and general reviews as the markup provides the necessary tags to make such content be indexed by search engines in a more understandable and user-friendly manner.
How to add schema markup to your own website?
- The official documentation is a great place to begin as it covers every single aspect of implement Schema into your own website pages, and how to go about doing it.
- Use the Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper to help you add custom markup to your website pages, quick and easy.
- Test your implementations by referring to Google’s official Structured Data Testing Tool.
The Weebly platform fully embraces the evolution of web technology, and provides an automated solution -- for eCommerce stores and businesses who are using Weebly -- for adding schema markup to products and product pages. This announcement of new eCommerce features shows you the workings of Structured Product Data on your eCommerce websites.
Since this was all about the recent trends in SEO you might feel that some questions have been left unanswered, in that case please head over to the Weebly’s SEO Guide for information on topics like keyword research, link building, content optimization and many other areas that will help you create a better strategy for your content marketing efforts.
Repurpose Your Content for Better Exposure
The thing about written content is that it only goes so far with its original purpose, which is why repurposing can be a valuable asset to expose your message to a new audience, whilst growing your business at the same time.
Studies have shown that repurposing existing content can actually drive up user engagement, increase conversions and sales, and boost your website traffic significantly!
So the question is, what else can you do with your blog posts?
- Create slideshows -- converting a blog post into a slideshow shouldn’t take too long, any modern document processing software allows you to create slideshow based content that can be converted to PDF format, which is the primary format that sites like SlideShare are accepting today.
- Make visuals for social media -- chances are that some parts of your content are particularly juicy, for those specific parts you could resort to creating easily shareable social media visuals that will naturally attract shares, likes and tweets. People love to share bite-sized information on the go.
- Infographics -- another option is to convert your full post into a visually appealing infographic, many beginner-friendly tools exist that allow you to create an infographic of the content that you’ve written. You don’t need to hire a freelance designer to do the hard work for you. Infographics have been shown to increase traffic, build authentic links for your website, whilst promoting the brand message to new audiences, oftentimes exceeding the expectations of marketers who build the infographics.
- Turn it into a video -- perhaps the least affordable method for repurposing your content, but certainly one that’s highly emphatic and appealing to an audience that appreciates a deeper connection between the information that they’re learning.
The possibilities are endless, so you have to ask yourself -- what are the marketing channels that I have recently overlooked? It might be time to think about the ways you can rebuild your strategy for better growth and increased sales through content promotion.