Yes, I am giving you three. It can’t get easier than following these three golden rules.
Could I give you more? Sure, but because I try to stick to content marketing and not to SEO optimization – sometimes they are difficult to separate – in this blog post I will focus on these three.
Get ready for them.
Give answers to questions your audience might have
Google doesn’t award quantity anymore. It is not about how many posts you have but the quality of them.
Always question them, revisit them and update them if necessary. But above all this, think whether you’re making the internet a better place by creating your piece of content.
This doesn’t apply only to the content of your website, but also your branded content. I recently watched a video by Tara Hunt that explained why branded content fails.
Of this video, what more draws my attention is the concept of trust. We make purchase decisions based on how trustworthy a company is.
Let your audience know what you are good at. They will trust you for that, so you will easily convince them to try your services.
How do you do this? Well, by helping them. Your content should give them the answer to their questions.
It is worthless – and useless – to just ask someone to believe you are the best based on some reviews, testimonials or numbers. You must bring some value to the table.
At the end of the day, it is like going on the streets with a billboard screaming your brand name. Bad idea. Content marketing is about informing, being helpful and giving answers.
And why is that? Well, audiences are becoming more and more active. They aren’t only consuming what they want, but they help to construct it. Your whole business, even your content marketing strategy, should have the customer in mind at all times.
In July 2018, Google updated its Quality Rater Guidelines. This new algorithm redefined what low and lowest quality content were.
Consequently, it started to award content that answers questions. Try to write “what is” and the word of your choice. Google might show you a featured piece of an article that is many people accepted as the right answer.
Conclusion: don’t try to sell your product, inform. Give your audience a reason to keep on reading by delighting with good content. If your content doesn’t help, it just makes noise.
Pay attention to the pictures you use in your content
This is for me one of the most important aspects. I wish I could explain in just a post everything I would like to say. Sadly, you’ll get the summed-up version.
If you created content in the past, audit your images. It is very important.
There are three reasons and they are interdependent: brand, SEO, and equality.
First and foremost, images aren’t simple text breakers or beautifiers of your blog posts. They have the mission to add value to your context and illustrate your ideas.
As it happens with content, if they don’t help, they make noise.
Look at your pictures: Are they worth it to be on your website? Because if you doubt of their quality, perhaps it is time to look for something else.
This is related to the brand, as your pictures should represent your brand. Remember you know your brand better than anyone, you can also make your own pictures if you want.
Alright, not all the companies have the possibility of having an in-house photographer or pay for a good collection of stock pictures. I am also well aware of the difficulty of finding some good stock pictures.
Then, let me give you 5 resources for free stock photos:
This is a big site, so that implies that you might need to be selective. They have videos too: Vexels.
Good quality pictures. It is as well a very big platform, therefore you’d better search for whatever best represents your ideas.
For those with a flair for quirky and campy pictures. I have mixed feelings as they will remain in your audience’s retina forever and if some other website uses it, you might be less original.
Very casual, sometimes too much. But those mundane pictures can help you to tone down the level of pretention we see in some blogs.
The opposite to Morguefile, very blogger-oriented. However, Rawpixel has a good sense for diversity in stock pictures, something very rare in that industry.
Most of the pictures have CC0 o Creative Commons Zero. Or in plain English, you can copy, adapt them and do whatever you want to do with them, but not selling them.
Once you know where to find pictures that can empower your content and yet keep aligned with your brand, you might see an improvement in your SEO.
If the readers believe your pictures and your content, they might continue reading. In this way, you will reduce the bounce rate and increase the average session duration.
On top of that, you have improved your brand. But what about the equality I mentioned before?
Well, this is not about the diversity in stock photos – a topic I would love to discuss more in-depth – but about those people with reading or cognitive disabilities.
Alt Text (alt=” ”), or alternative text, is a short description of an image or any other graphic file on a web. It helps to identify the images with no text associated.
Therefore, this is very common for those who use a screen reader software, as it will describe what the picture should represent visually.
Ignoring this is ignoring those who have visual or any other of cognitive impairment and can’t see your website as others do.
On top of that, good Alt Text provides a huge SEO value since you are telling search engines how to classify that picture you uploaded.
It’s a win-win: you’ll gain SEO juice and won’t be a cold-hearted prick.
Adapt your content to your audience by using storytelling
Do you know who reads your content? There are ways of looking at the demography of your audience but it’s never certain.
People search and find continuously on the internet, however, your audience should be your target audience: those you want to make them convert.
Either you are selling a product or a service, your content should be aligned with those who will consume them.
So, you can start by getting to know who your customers are and create content that will relate to them: both in terms of knowledge and aesthetics; yes, you can tell a story visually, too.
Sometimes, we marketers commit the mistake of creating content full of cultural hype, intellectual snobbism or too much complexity. Tone it down.
It should be easy to read, approachable and for those you want to target. Unless you are a reading club, perhaps you should keep your rhetorical figures for your peers.
As well, a little bit of quirk and humor never hurt anyone. And if has been proved that storytelling is the best way to do it.
It is so deep inside of us. Humans, we are a very storytelling society. Either written or orally, we have been transmitting stories from generation to generation and adapting them to our audience.
We look at their reactions and we make emphasis on those aspects that seem to draw more the attention of those who listen to our stories.
A good way of adapting your content to your audience start by using you. Second person singular, it never disappoints.
As well, don’t talk about topics that are totally unrelated to your company in your content to attract more traffic. Those are not the audience you are looking for.
Create three personas that might buy your product and read your blog posts to improve your content marketing.
If everything else fails, you might need professional help. That is why there are people out there who can help you with your problems.
You can always drop me a line and I will take a look into your case and try to find the best informational content to create, or help you with those pictures you need for your content strategy, or even adapt your text to your audience.