3 Steps to Creating Useful Content
:: By Allison Howen, Associate Editor ::
Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller confirmed the importance of high-quality content and user experience in a Google Hangout he conducted in Dec. 2015.
In the Hangout, Mueller said that Google wants to bring people the content that is useful to them. This means that brands need to step up their content strategy if they want a better chance at being found in the search results.
Luckily, creating unique content that serves a purpose is easier than it seems. Read below to discover three steps to creating useful content:
Step 1: Identify a Need
To create useful content, brands first need to identify a need for their audience. This can be done by looking at data and customer feedback. For instance, if a pet store owner frequently gets questions on social media about potty training a new puppy, it is a good idea to create a “how to” blog post on this topic. Conversely, if data shows that a lot of site visitors view a product page for dog boots but don’t convert, the retailer may want to create content that sheds light on the benefits of this product.
It is important to note, however, that in addition to identifying a need, brands should also make their content as actionable as possible in order to truly benefit their customers. Doing so will not only have a positive impact on search engine optimization (SEO) initiatives, but also create a happier, more loyal audience.
Step 2: Go Beyond the Blog Post
While blogging may be the star of most brands’ content marketing strategies, it shouldn’t be the only player. In fact, an easy way to increase the life of a topic is by repurposing it for different channels. For example, if a beauty retailer notices a blog post about contouring is popular, why not make a video or infographic on the same topic?
Repurposing blog content into something more visual (like a video or infographic) not only helps ease a brand's brainstorming efforts for new content, but also can significantly boost traffic. This is because visual content often performs better than text-based content – especially when shared on social.
Bonus: Better Plan Your Brand’s Content with Website Magazine’s “Content Development Checklist for 2016.”
Step 3: Titles are Everything
Last, but certainly not least, brands should pay close attention to the titles of their content. While it may be tempting to be creative and clever with titles, it is also important that titles end up being a good representation of the content they accompany.
For example, if the aforementioned pet retailer decided to title his potty training blog post something like “Dog Training for You” or “Learning to Love the Crate” audience members may not have a clear idea of what the post is about, which could lead them to not click the post at all or to click the post and then be disappointed by its content. Conversely, if the post has a clear title, such as “3 Potty Training Tips for Puppies,” consumers will know exactly what the post is about and if they want to click on it. This will lead to less page abandonment, which is a good sign for the search engines. Clarity always beats out cleverness. What’s more, the title now includes keywords such as “Potty Training” and “Puppy,” which also helps boost SEO initiatives.