A tax consultant called me to talk about her content marketing plan. She complained she wasn’t generating any quality leads by using a subscriber-based content marketing service.
So I visited her website and read her blog. I liked the articles. They were fun and informative. Each article also ended with a good call to action. The CTA, however, did not link to an opt-in form.
Then I searched for tax consultants in her area. I couldn’t find my tax consultant within the first 10 pages of Google search results. Most people can’t be bothered to look at search results beyond page 3. So someone searching for a local tax preparer would have never found her.
Subscriber-based content services are efficient. You don’t have to worry about writing content because someone already does it for everyone in your industry.
And there’s the rub. Prefab content will not distinguish you from anybody else who has the exact same content unless you customize it for your small business.
This is what news editors do when they publish articles from news wire services such as AP or Routers. They edit the content so it fits their publication’s guidelines and audience. They also optimize each article so it ranks well in search.
So what can you do make your prefab content fit your business and improve your page ranking?
1. Have a Keyword Strategy
Make a list of the keywords that people will use to find your business. You target those keywords by using them in your titles and throughout your content.
2. Have a Call to Action Strategy
What do you want people to do when they read your call to action?
Usually a call to action is linked to an action or landing page where there’s a contact or sign up form. People will give you their contact information in exchange for something, for example, a white paper or a no-obligation estimate on a project.
Once you have their contact information, you can nurture that qualified lead until he or she becomes a customer.
3. Link Keywords to Relevant Content on Your Website
Internal linking is a key component of search engine optimization (SEO). Most content marketers say you should link a keyword to another post or page within the first paragraph of a blog article.
For internal linking to work, however, you have to be aware of what you’re publishing. Having a search box on your site will help you with this problem.
4. Make Your Content Visible with Meta Data
Meta tags tell search engines what a web page or blog post is about. The engines then display this information in search results.
The meta title field will help you optimize your post for search. You want the title to be about 60 characters long. Otherwise, Google will cut off the title in any search listing. Also, make sure you use a keyword from your content strategy.
You can enter up to 150 characters in the meta description field. A good description compels a potential customer to visit your site. It will not help you optimize your website, though.
5. Add an Image
Images increase interest, they’re shareable on social media, and you can optimize them for search.
So, if your content service does not supply images with your articles, you can find images either through Creative Commons licensing or via a stock photo service such as Dreamstime or Shutterstock.
You can automate some content marketing processes, for example, lead nurturing with autoresponders. Content marketing isn’t automatic, though. You still have to edit your content so people can find you when they start searching for answers to a problem.