Whether it’s to improve rankings or entice your readers to take an on-page action, there are many ways to take a good idea and turn it into a great piece of content. Perhaps the most infuriating thing for us creative types is to write something that we know in our hearts is good, only to have it underperform, or worse, not perform at all.
If there were a little button we could press to give our piece the boost it needs as there is on social platforms, our lives would be so much easier. But until that becomes a reality, there are three things you can do to increase your chances of content success.
Improve website content by assigning a marketing goal
Fresh and updated content is an essential part of digital marketing. It helps keep potential and loyal customers engaged, answers their questions and solves their problems, all while nudging them closer to a conversion.
However, content for content’s sake is going to do nothing but eat up your precious time, bore your readers and potentially force them to look someplace else for interesting topics, like your competitor.
A way around this is to assign a goal to each and every piece you write. Your goal could be:
- Answering a common question that your sales team gets asked a lot
- Creating supportive copy for a PR campaign
- Bolstering specific search terms by internally linking from your blog post to a category or service page
And if you can’t figure out what the goal should be, then perhaps you need to consider whether you’re creating something of substance or merely ticking off a task in your Trello board and moving on to the next project.
Research the intent as much as you can
When you know what topic you’re going to cover and have done some preliminary search term research, spend some time on the SERPs you are targeting (it will most likely be Google but other platforms are available) to see if your topic fits in with what actually ranks.
You’ll want to check not only the topic being discussed but the format and page-types too. If you are writing a blog post and the SERPs are full of eCommerce product pages, it’s doubtful that your piece will show up high enough to get clicks.
This doesn’t mean binning the idea and starting from scratch, though. Your next steps involve reviewing your target search terms and rejigging them until you find a search results page you are more likely to rank on.
It can be beneficial to look through the People Also Ask boxes that appear on the search results too, to give you even more ideas on the kind of things your target audience is looking for.
Think about your platforms
This is an important, but often overlooked, step in the creative process. Do you know what platforms your content will sit on? Supportive pieces will likely be positioned on the blog or news section of your site, but are you planning on sharing them organically via social media or utilising paid platforms like Google Ads?
If so, we highly recommend touching base with these teams to ascertain what types of content have performed well historically. Don’t assume that you’ll find success by uploading it to every platform possible. You may find, for example, that articles advertised through PPC have found more success when they are long-form, whereas social media posts or paid ads work best if they are shorter, snappier and use more visuals.
Take the time to consider which platforms will help you achieve the goal your piece aims for and go with that; formatting your content in line with your co-workers’ advice.
If you plan on solely trying to rank organically, think about other ways to win a space in the SERPs other than through blue links. Is it worth targeting a featured snippet or PAA? Is it worth trying to rank your images or build entities? SEO is so much more than it used to be.
These are straightforward steps that, together, can help you take your good content idea and make it a great piece.