As brands look to get more ROI out of their content marketing investments, they’re turning to BrightEdge for advice on how to get their blogs, knowledge center articles, glossary entries, campaign landing pages, and other pieces of content – easily discoverable in organic search and, once found, do a better job at engaging and converting readers into customers. We’re happy to oblige.
We’re introducing here our free Smart Content eBook, which includes a content checklist that you can use today to improve the performance of your organic search channel. The items on the checklist have been tested by numerous BrightEdge Content customers who have seen tremendous success from their efforts.
Who should read this eBook?
This Smart Content eBook is suited for anyone who develops marketing content and is responsible for driving performance–traffic, conversions, and revenue–from that content. It’s not limited just to content marketing teams or agencies. Anyone who develops campaign landing pages, website copy, microsites, and knowledge center articles can benefit from this eBook. Digital marketers, demand generation managers, social media managers, SEO pros, and content writers should read this eBook if their key priorities are to:
- Understand how their content is performing (or not performing) given today’s noisy marketing ecosystem.
- Improve the performance of new content items by getting them to increase website visits, engagements, and conversions.
- Develop Smart Content on their own and be able to demonstrate how their investments drive marketing and business success.
Why we wrote this eBook
Content is a big deal today. In the beginning of this year, we asked over 250 marketers about their priorities for the next twelve months. As you can see from our survey results, Organic and Content Marketing were the top two initiatives for 2017 by far. Marketers have been realizing the imperative for their brands and content to show up in the moments that matter to consumers and business buyers. The reality, however, is that most marketers believe that their content is not resonating with their target audiences. In separate research that we conducted, only 50% of B2B marketers and only 20% of B2C marketers believed that their content engaged their readers. The prevailing perception today is that content marketing is simply not generating sufficient ROI. This perception is so pervasive that companies, such as UBS are decreasing their content investments, focusing instead on other digital marketing strategies.
It’s is not hard to understand the thought process of companies that wish to scale down their content volume and cadence. After all, there’s already a ton of content out there, and much of it is never found by its intended audience. We at BrightEdge, however, do not believe that simply decreasing content output is the right answer to winning in search and digital marketing. The problem lies with the quality of content, not its quantity–and how it addresses the needs of consumers.
The answer, instead, is to bypass the content congestion with a new type of content–one that ranks quickly, engages the reader, and drives conversions. At BrightEdge, we call this new approach Smart Content. When the Smart Content framework is adopted fully it generates content pieces that achieve four goals:
- Targets precise consumer intent
- Empowers the marketer
- Delights the readers
- Drives measurable ROI
This eBook offers concrete steps that content marketers can take today to deliver on these four goals. You can read more about our thinking about Smart Content.
What’s included in this eBook
The e-book includes specific recommendations for content ideation, development, publication, and amplification so that new content successfully targets demand, empowers the marketer, delights the reader, and delivers results and ROI. The e-book covers the points below, providing specific guidelines on how to implement each point:
- Content Marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) are converging. Brands can no longer afford to implement SEO after the content is written and published. SEO best practices must be integrated into content ideation, development, and even amplification.
- The importance of establishing clear content strategies cannot be overstated. Brands must realize that content authority and domain expertise are developed when content items are developed and organized in logical clusters. Publishing random content pieces seldom increases site performance.
- Marketers must target precise customer intents. Generic content pieces that attempt to be jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none–i.e., cover too many intents related to a single seed topic–are doomed to fail. Search engines are becoming smarter about discerning user intent, and if your content is vague on its purpose, then it will underperform.
- Content development must focus on profitable topics. There are simply too many ideas to write about, and if strategists and marketers do not prioritize topics effectively then they run the risk of developing content that has low demand or strong competition, which can make it difficult to reach its intended audience and generate a return.
- Content performance must be top-of-mind. Every piece of content, even aspirational or educational pieces, should directly lead to conversion points so that engaged readers can easily convert. Embedding call-to-action (CTA) blocks or even lead generation forms directly in the article makes it easy to convert.
- Incorporating relevant content recommendations at the bottom of the content reduces site abandonment, keeping readers who are not yet ready to convert on the site longer clicking and reading more. Content recommendations are like a safety net for CTAs.
- The characteristics of content–its length, preferred readability level, and keyword density–vary from one intent to another. Marketers must understand the needs of their audience–for any given intent–and structure their content in a way that meets that intent.
- New content must be optimized for search performance, mobile friendliness, and user experience from day one, not after it’s published. SEO is particularly important since search engines do not re-crawl site comprehensively.
- Content must be well-linked to and from. For content to be found by search engine bots and humans, it must be easily discoverable via site navigation. It’s often difficult to think about what content items you should link to from a new piece of content you’re creating, so having a framework to embed links automatically will go a long way in making content more discoverable.
- Smart Content should automatically adopt all the latest SEO and digital marketing best practices. For example, schema tags and social tags should be included in every content item. It’s great to have an Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) version developed and linked to the canonical page, even for product pages.
- Images should be organized and optimized and aligned with the spirit and intent of the content so that text and imagery enhance each other for maximum impact.
- Attribution reporting should be used regularly to effectively assess content’s contribution to website visits, conversions, and revenue.
How you will benefit from this eBook
By reading this eBook you can develop an understanding of why simply generating new content pieces without a thought about performance is a failed strategy. You will then obtain a framework that you can use to improve the performance of your content items given the resources you have today. By having this framework at hand, you can also define the different solutions, processes, and skillsets you need to put in place in order to develop Smart Content at a bigger scale.
We at BrightEdge will be happy to learn about your Smart Content goals and brainstorm ideas with you on how to implement the framework for your organization. Get started by downloading the Smart Content eBook.