These days it’s all about the content marketing, and being able to get your MOST valuable posts in front of the right people. When you can accomplish this, you’ll be able to gain traction very quickly which is great for your bottom line. However, I’m surprised as the amounts of people who continue to make the common content marketing mistakes which delays their exposure. For example, if you make sure everything is done right from the beginning, you can start to build momentum quickly through social media. Some platforms like Twitter and Facebook have changed the way we market our businesses and how quickly we can build a brand for ourselves. At one point, you would have to write content and start a long marketing campaign to build awareness. These days all it takes is some time to write value, and then a single “tweet” on the right network. Since everyone else essentially “share” for you, it can build momentum quickly.
Content marketing started to take shape 1-2 years ago when Google started to put a lot more emphasis on value and quality. To help provide a better user search experience, it’s important that people find what they are looking for and it’s of the quality they want too. No point in having websites rank high when they are providing low quality content because this hurts the overall user experience. There is NO point in having 3 pieces of content provide the value that can be found in one piece of content. By eliminating unnecessary content which is of low quality, Google will be able to provide users with less choices but full answers which is exactly what they need. You’ve probably noticed that Google is even doing more updates in recent years to their algorithm to fine tune the user experience.
However, I still see people making huge content marketing mistakes which is costing them time and money. Time because if they use alternative strategies, they’ll be able to accomplish what they have to more quickly. It’s costs them money because some marketing channels do require you to invest money in order to be listed like Facebook marketing, etc.
Let’s look at some deadly content marketing mistakes people have been making which destroys their bottom-line:
1. No SOLID Plan
With content marketing, it’s important you have a solid plan because this will help guide your research and structure. If you have been reading any of my other content, then you know the importance I put on research because this helps you understand what you should add within your content. For example, the substance added to your content will depend on many factors like audience, severity of problem, competition, niche, etc. By having a plan, you’ll be able to structure the way you want your content to be and make sure that it builds the momentum it should.
If you don’t have a plan, then you’ll write out your content and won’t know what to do next. In the beginning when I first started I started writing without any plan and once I published, I was lost on what’s next. For example, I didn’t know what #hashtags to use on social media. I didn’t know who my audience was and if they wanted to read my content because it’s recommended to find a common problem in your niche. I also didn’t know what off-page SEO I should be doing because I had no clear keywords within my content. Always have a plan before you start writing content because this will help guide the direction of your content.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when writing content and then marketing is to be inconsistent. Even Google is starting to reward websites who provide fresh new content on a 2-3 day’s basis because this increases the user experience. You can no longer write 1 piece of content every two weeks because your site tends to be flagged as not updated and has below average engagement. I know how hard it can be to write fresh new content daily, but you can make a few adjustments which will help you long-term. Let’s look at this a little further:
First, you don’t have to write fresh new content daily because an average of 2-3 per week is good enough. It’s now more about quality NOT quantity so focus on length and depth. Collect topics which you know your readers will like and then schedule your writing so you publish every 2-3 days. Secondly, to help me I’ll write 700-800 words daily so in 3 days I’ll have 2,400 words which is more than enough to add value. Third, when regular visitors come back and you are publishing every 2-3 days, it still shows your blog is active and provides the value they are looking for.
A few years back, Google introduced the freshness update which rewards websites who keep up-to-date content published on their blogs. Websites will enjoy higher rankings and engagement when they provide their readers with a portal full of value. This is more of a reason to ensure you provide your readers with value and keep posting fresh content.
3. No Visual Content
One of the biggest changes I made and this increased my traffic and brand awareness was adding images or infographics to my content. I’ve always said that the internet connects people from all over the world, and this means some people are from non-English speaking countries. This is why it’s even more important you have incorporated visual aids to your content to help them understand your bottom-line. In other words, NOT having images, infographics or even a video can be detrimental to your websites success. This is even more important because adding these elements does not take long and can be created for a fraction of the price.
Start by understanding your audience and your acquisition like what location most of your traffic comes from. This will help you develop a content strategy especially the format you should be creating. I always like to perform split tests which means I’ll create different formats of content, and collect data on the ones getting the most engagement. Adding the Google Analytics code will provide me with the information I need to narrow it down to the best performing content. Going forward, I’ll write more content which my audiences loves because I know in the end it will help build momentum. The more people reading my content, the more people sharing and this is what’s important to build traction.
4. No SEO Strategy
Google is built on keywords and links so it’s important you have a solid SEO strategy. By structuring your website and content around specific keywords, you increase the chance of organic traffic. For those of you not aware, organic traffic is the best type of traffic you can have because it’s free and highly relevant to your website. This is why no matter what type of content or website you have, it’s always important to do on & off page SEO. When Google crawls your website it looks for certain keywords and references to understand what your content is about. Furthermore, having external links pointing to your page will help boost its value increasing your rankings within the SERP’s.
What’s important when building a solid SEO strategy?
- On-page tags: Make sure you have your target keywords in all the right places. I like to have them within the URL, title and scattered throughout the body with long-tail keywords. It’s also a good idea to have some target keywords decorated with bold, underline, and H1, H2 and H3.
- Off-page: Make sure you acquire solid external links to your page from other relevant websites. It’s important these sites have been around for a while and provide high value. It’s also a good idea to checkout their domain and page authority.
- Images: Make sure the images on your page are named correctly. Save them using your target keywords, and it’s a good idea to change your ALT tag.
- Structure: It’s very important to make sure that your content reads easily because this will increase engagement. Make sure you use the right font and color, have the right spacing between your lines, and use the right keywords in the sub-headings. Pay close attention to your side-bar and its placement because some might find it distracting especially with banners popping up everywhere.
- Mobile-Ready: With 75% of the worlds populating using smartphones to navigate the web, it’s important to make sure you have a fluid layout for your site. Google has a new rankings system for sites which have been mobile optimized so don’t lose traffic because of a poor layout. If you are using WordPress this can easily be done by installing a plugin, however all new themes have been mobile optimized.
5. Broad Niche
Another huge mistake made by bloggers in relation to content marketing is they focus on too broad of a niche. By doing this you end up making your marketing campaign way too broad causing it to take months or years to see any significant growth. Success has to do with the amounts of people you can engage, but by having too broad of a niche, you won’t be focusing on any specific audience. Even your audience won’t know what the main purpose of your blog is which is why you should have a narrow focus.
Do your research and understand your audience before getting started because this will help you create the right plan. Then you can start to narrow your focus even more gathering the right topic ideas at the same time. By understanding my audience, I was able to find common problems that my readers are having and create engaging content. I was also able to jump onto social media networks engaging the right followers and utilizing the right #hashtags. Because of my main focus, I was able to generate way more momentum and at a quicker pace then if I had focused on a larger audience base. Do your research and always narrow down until you have a specific group of people as your audience.
6. NOT Networking
Content marketing is all about getting your value across to the right people. This is why I have always encouraged my clients to network with others within their niche. This will help them build the right paths so that they can ask others to share content getting it in front of hundreds of new people. For example, some bloggers have been around longer so have built a network for years, and they have thousands of followers. This means a simple tweet from them can generate more traffic than if you had been optimizing your site on your own. The good news is building a network these days is NOT hard at all because you can use the following strategy.
I encourage all of you to write a blogging series interviewing the top bloggers within your niche. Send them a series of questions which you know your readers will find interesting. Having the input of an authority bloggers is a great way to add value to your website, and further build a following. Once they have sent back the questions with answers, you can publish the content on your blog. However, at the same time you should ask the blogger to share the content with their followers because they would probably find it interesting too. As an added bonus I like to include a few links back to the bloggers products and website because this not only encourages when to answer the questions, but share the piece of content too. Give this strategy a try and give me some feedback on the results because I guarantee you’ll be surprised how well it actually works.
Content marketing can be huge for your bottom line however you have to make sure you know how to implement the strategies correctly. If you make the common mistakes discussed, then you might push away readers from understanding the value furthermore becoming loyal readers. Go through each item discussed on the list and look for ways to tweak your existing content.
No matter what tweaks you’re using to build your content marketing strategy, it’s important you have a method to track the results. Google Analytics is a great way to keep an eye on your progress because it gives you all the important DATA you need. I’m sure if you avoid these common mistakes, you’ll be able to improve your GA metrics increasing your audience and user engagement.