THE BLOG
11/07/2013 05:20 pm ET | Updated Jan 23, 2014

5 Tips for Successful Content Marketing

The expression "content is king" is used all the time to describe effective SEO strategies these days, but what exactly does this increasingly popular phrase really mean? My SEO and marketing company is always coming up with new ways to create website content for our clients that engages the reader and causes an action.

These actions include social sharing, newsletter registrations, lead capture form submissions, online purchases, phone calls and physical business location visits. The goal of all content marketing is to convert a visitor into an action.

Here are five tips to help develop a more effective content marketing strategy:

1. Write for your audience and not the search engines

Content marketing is not just about achieving high search engine rankings. When you do it right it will naturally result in solid rankings, but more importantly it will assist in helping the website create conversions. Businesses devote a percentage of their marketing budget to content marketing and at the end of the day it needs to provide a healthy ROI.

I cringe when I see website content that screams, "Outsourced!" Years ago it was possible to achieve high website rankings with content that was jam packed with keywords. Many companies exploited this and outsourced their web content and were more concerned with the keyword density rather than the grammar and readability of the content.

Do not write for the search engines. Write for your audience instead. When you provide your website visitors with informative content they are more likely to share it, providing you exactly what the search engines love: natural actions that show how popular and informative your content is.

2. Share your content across your social media profiles and make sure your visitors can do the same

Anytime you add new posts to your website make sure that you also post it to your social media accounts. At the bare minimum you should be sharing every post on your Facebook page, Twitter account, and Google+ page. Having active social media accounts results in more followers to drive to your main website.

It is also important to make sure that you make it easy for your visitors to quickly share your content as well. Install a social sharing toolbar to every single post. This gives your visitors the ability to quickly share with a single click.

Social signals are an important component of search engine optimization, and while they do not carry the same weight as a natural high quality backlink, they do factor into the rankings. The authority and activity of the account sharing the content holds more weight than the total number of social shares. Just like with backlinks, quality is always more important than quantity.

3. Get visual with infographics

Most people absorb information much better when it is presented to them in a visual manner. We are all visual creatures, and infographics allow you to put content in front of your readers that will stimulate them, while allowing you to deliver your message.

A professionally designed infographic will attract and educate your readers. It is much easier to tell a story visually that it is through text. Infographics are also excellent link bait because they are so good at stimulating the mind that it will result in social sharing. They are also great for helping to develop a brand, as they enhance memory and brand awareness. For more information explaining why your business should be using infographics read this blog post I did last week.

4. Constantly monitor analytics and adjust

It is important that you have a system in place to monitor how your different content strategies are performing. Are you seeing more conversions coming from your social media pages? Or are they originating from your websites blog? Maybe you are building your newsletter or subscriber list through your blog and the conversions are originating from email marketing. Monitoring your analytics is very important and it is the only way to truly know what is working. A simple solution is to use Google Analytics UTM parameters, which are just tags that are added to your URL that allow you to do extensive and detailed tracking.

The reason you want to keep track of your analytics is to be able to make adjustments along the way. With so many different content marketing strategies available you need to know what works the best for you and your business. When measured and analyzed correctly it allows you to put your time and resources into what works, and eliminate what is not producing results.

5. Consistency is key

Once you begin to add content on a frequent basis it is important that you maintain consistent updates. Your website visitors will begin to expect it and if they return to your website and it hasn't been updated they will likely lose interest and not return.

Everyone will have different frequency needs. Some websites will need to be updated several times daily, while other websites can get away with weekly updates. Many people will start off strong but then the content marketing slows down to the point of a dead stop. Make sure it stays consistent regardless if you are doing all of the content creation in-house or hiring an agency to provide it.

Implementing these simple tips can help increase website traffic, engagement, conversions, and even organic search engine rankings.