As a content marketer, do you find yourself caught up in constantly churning out content? This article shares some tips on how to make your content work more effectively and attract traffic to your website.
Content marketing is not a race; the brand with “most” content does not win, but brands with a smart content strategy certainly do. So, maybe it’s time to pause and reflect before you jump to your next content project.
How much time do you spend planning your content? By planning, I don’t just mean doing keyword research and creating content around select target keywords. Let’s face it; SEO and content marketing have gone beyond mere keyword research. Today, you have to mix and match several SEO analysis tools and techniques to plan your content and develop a focused strategy.
Here are five smart ways to uncover content opportunities and generate more traffic.
Leverage Website Analytics
It’s the age of data analytics — in order to succeed, you have to do a deep dive into your website analytics and evaluate how your content is performing.
Speaking of website analytics, there’s no better tool than Google Analytics to help you gather detailed insights on your audience, where they’re coming from, and their behavior on your website.
It’s common to get overwhelmed, looking at the Google Analytics dashboard, but when you know what to look for, it certainly gets easier.
One of the first reports you should look at is the All Pages report.
This report gives you an overview of how the individual pages on your website are performing. What’s important to note is the page views, average time on page, and bounce rate.
While you may think a page with more page views is popular, it’s not necessarily the case. It’s also essential to account for how much time people are spending on each page and the bounce rate.
The next step is to identify pages with high bounce rates and high unique views. These metrics suggest that in spite of generating interest and attracting traffic to those pages, your content didn’t manage to entice users.
Clearly, something’s not working. Here are some ways to optimize content and reduce bounce rates:
- Update it to make it more relevant by adding newer statistics or removing outdated information
- Insert additional content, making it more insightful and value-driven
- Make it more visually appealing by adding charts, graphs, videos, timeline infographics, and GIFs among others
- Improve the formatting by breaking down long paragraphs and using bullet points, making it easier to read
Here’s an example of a piece of content that was updated after getting published.
Apart from the All Pages report, you should also pay heed to the Site Search function to evaluate what people are commonly searching for on your website.
This will let you identify gaps between what you’re offering and what your audience is looking for, helping you uncover potential content ideas.
Study SERP Features
The Search Engine Results Page (SERP) is a goldmine of insights. In order to create content that has the potential to appear on the first page, it’s a good idea to study the SERP features that appear for a search term you’re aiming to rank for.
The key elements of a SERP include:
- Direct answer box
- Featured snippet
- Rich snippet
- Image pack
- Knowledge graph
- People also ask
- Related searches
If there’s one common takeaway from all the SERP elements, it’s an insight into the user intent, which plays a crucial role in optimizing content for search engines. So, perform a SERP analysis to understand what the dominant search intent is (for a particular keyword) before you proceed to create new content.
For instance, when you search for a ‘lifestyle blog,’ the direct answer box (and most of the top-tanked pages) talks about the top lifestyle blogs.
Hence, in order to rank for that keyword, you can’t be writing about how to start a lifestyle blog because clearly, that’s not the dominant search intent.
Analyze SEO Trends
As marketers, we cannot afford to live in our shells and follow a one-dimensional strategy. It’s important to leverage what’s happening around us and understand what our audience is searching for.
The team at Venngage recently published a comprehensive SEO content marketing study on the trending search terms since the coronavirus pandemic outbreak and how one can use this data to create/reposition content.
Let’s take an example — as per the study, there was a 45% decrease in the search term ‘best restaurants near me.’ Considering that most countries are in lockdown, this isn’t surprising.
While ‘best restaurants near me’ plummeted, the search term ‘food delivery’ saw a massive spike this year.
So, for someone into restaurant marketing, it makes more sense to create content to inform and educate customers about safe food delivery options because that’s what the need of the hour is.
It’s incredibly important to use Google Trends and implement search data in your content strategy, thereby adapting to the shift in consumer behavior and creating more relevant content.
Perform a Competitor Analysis
It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your competitors’ content and implement findings to improve your content strategy.
Start by making a list of five to seven competitors you want to track. You can then use Ahrefs’ Content Gap tool to identify content your competitors are ranking for, and you aren’t.
The good part about this feature is that you not only see what your competitors are ranking for but also get access to content that’s working for them.
Once you’ve gathered this data, all you need to do is rank for the same keywords, create better content and supercharge promotion, helping you outrank your competitors.
Use Social Listening
One of the easiest ways to give your audience what they want is by listening to them. This is where social listening comes into the picture.
With the right social listening tools in place, you can monitor conversations, evaluate what your audience consumes (and shares), and identify trends, helping you create more useful and viral-worthy content.
So, make social listening an integral part of your social media marketing plan and leverage that data to make smarter content decisions.
Content creation is a time-consuming process and certainly not limited to blogging and “waiting” for your content to get discovered. So, make your efforts count — adopt a data-driven approach and make informed decisions to develop the right kind of content that will drive quality results in the form of traffic, engagement, and conversions.
About the author: Simki Dutta is a content marketer at Venngage, a free infographic maker and design platform.
Title image from Pixeltrue pack in Ouch vector library