I’m sure you’ve seen those handy guides in magazines that tell you to eat 13 pretzels instead of 100 M&M’s or taco pizza instead of taco salad. This is like that, only less delicious. (But reading, like celery, has negative calories!)
Here are a few ideas to help you a) use your time more efficiently and b) get out of a content marketing rut.
Target a Competitive Keyword with a Video, Not an Article
Unless you are lucky enough to write for a very authoritative domain, it’s pretty difficult to rank anywhere near the first page for competitive keywords – that is, if you try to compete with a blog post or article. In general, at least for now, it’s easier to achieve first page rankings with a video. This is because Google likes to incorporate videos into its universal results, so you’ll be competing with other videos, not every other page on the web, for one of those first-page spots.
Of course, not every keyword or topic lends itself to video marketing, but “how to” keywords are especially video friendly. Take a keyword like “how to trim your bangs,” “how to tie a tie” or “how to grout a tub” – these are all concepts that could be illustrated with a video more easily than an article.
With videos, as with text, focus on creating quality content, not thin content, and don’t forget your on-page optimization.
Update an Old Page Instead of Creating a New Page
I read once that something like 90% of scientific and medical studies don’t lead to any additional research or change in practice, and that most of the time, whatever questions a new study proposes to answer could be better answered by reviewing the existing literature (aka meta analysis).
Marketers are guilty of this too – starting over from scratch when frequently it makes more sense to repurpose or build on what’s already been done.
Before you reinvent the wheel to target a new keyword, ask yourself if you’ve already created high-quality content on a similar topic. For example, let’s say you want to target the keyword “green cleaning supplies” – do you already have a page optimized for “eco-friendly cleaning supplies” or “environmentally friendly cleaning supplies”? It might make the most sense to primarily target the highest-volume keyword (in your title tag and URL), and include the other variations on the page, to see if you can draw in traffic for all three variations. An older page that has already accrued links and value often has a better chance of ranking faster than a newly created page. You also accomplish your goal – getting traffic for the desired keyword – while putting in a lot less time and effort.
Similarly, if you’ve already created an authoritative guide on green house cleaning, you could simply add a section to the guide on green cleaning products. Often, by using optimized subheads and a table of contents with jump links, you can get Google to treat a section of a page as its own page in the results.
Do a Group Interview, Not a Singlet Interview
I wrote about the benefits of group interviews here a couple of months ago. To summarize, group interviews:
- Are great for link building
- Trigger an avalanche of social shares
- Bring in lots of search traffic over time
Unless you have an opportunity to speak with someone really, really famous, the odds are that more people are interested in any given expert’s area of expertise than are interested in that particular expert alone. So let’s say you’re considering asking a star blogger to do an interview with you about blogging. Instead, consider gathering a handful of other big-name bloggers to answer the same set of questions. Your final content piece will have broader appeal and five times the shares and links.