Why isn’t our ROI increasing now that our content marketing campaign is in full swing?
If you’re asking this question, it looks like you are taking content marketing seriously. You’re concerned about getting the best results. You know the value of your customer and understand the value added to your own reputation through great content marketing.
But even if a strategy has worked swimmingly for the past year, it’s smart to keep an eye out for the next opportunity or avenue to provide valuable information and resources to your readers.
You already know that Content Is King. The term is as played out as “it is what it is,” but until we find a better way to hammer the point home, there is no better way to say it. Relevant content remains at the top of Google’s preferences for awarding a website higher visibility in searches.
But just how much copy does Google want to see? Let’s look at what’s working across the web today.
1. Use long form for higher optin conversions.
To make sure that users still expect a content rich experience, digital marketing guru Neil Patel applies A/B testing to determine what works best:
- Neil’s original article contained 1292 words, and the call to action was at the very end of the entry.
- The revised article contained just 488 words and the call to action was placed higher on the page.
The longer version converted 7.6% better than the shorter version. This is interesting because, as we know, users like visuals and forms. When the two were competed, longer content came ahead of the version with more visuals.
Conversion results from similar tests also provided insight into why more content is better for search and social. These will be addressed below.
2. Give your prospects what they want.
Trying to create content without knowing which direction you want to move in is like shooting in the dark. Once you do identify your direction, stay focused and do your best to stay on course.
A company that sells $2.00 hair bows for pre-teens doesn’t need content on “The History of Hair Bows.”
Marketingexperiments.com recommends weighing the perceived importance of a product. Know the value of what your provide as well as the value of commitment your customer makes when they decided to use your products or services.
- It takes longer for a customer to commit to spending $500 than to spend $20, and your copy should take that into consideration
- Information-based products whose customers seek a high level of quality will especially benefit from longer copy
- Higher-priced products also benefit from more content
Information is currency. People trust content.
- When people trust what you have to say, they link to your article and share.
- The more links, the more important Google thinks you are.
- The more value Google places on your site, the quicker you’ll move up in search.
This is not to say that a ton of content is necessary to make your point. Cost and product aside, you must also consider the persona of your visitor.
If your client is an Urgent Care Center, or an medical advice site, the visitor who finds you through search likely wants a quick and clear path to information.
If you are not sure you content is relevant to your audience, simply ask. Use tools such as Qualaroo to create in-page surveys to collect customer feedback.
Consider a mother who is seeking medical advice because her son was just stung by a wasp. She searches “what to do for a wasp sting,” which leads her right to your client’s site.
She doesn’t want to see “The Top 10 Homeopathic Ways to Treat a Wasp Sting.”
She wants immediate information regarding the signs of an allergic reaction, and whether or not her son’s throat is going to swell to the point that he can’t breathe. She needs to know whether she should call an ambulance or head to the emergency room, and she wants a phone number STAT!
If data are telling us anything, it might be that if you DO offer “The Top 10 Homeopathic Ways to Treat a Wasp Sting,” within your site, the chances of that mother landing on the site increase.
More relevant content = higher rise to the top of search. She may not want to see that article, but the fact that you mention it establishes you as a better authority. The more helpful information the site puts out that customers want to see, the better.
Google likes a lot of content. Plain and simple. “The Top 10 Homeopathic Ways to Treat a Wasp Sting” is relevant to the Mother’s search, and the list deserves to live on that page. Should the list be front and center? Of course not.
With proper placement, the mother will likely go back and visit that list after she’s been assured that there is no need to panic. Simple logical consideration of the prospect’s needs is all it takes.
4. Focus on long tail keyword related topics to improve reader retention.
If you pull into a shopping center and remember that you need to purchase shampoo, are you more likely to go to the beauty supply store right in front of you, or the grocery store just 10 feet down the block? They’re both easily accessible, but clearly, one has a better variety and carries higher quality brands. This is not a scientific poll by any means, but if you’re a person that cares about the health of your hair, you’ll likely choose the beauty supply store, right?
Let’s say you’re out to purchase a new golf club and right beside the sporting goods store there’s a big box store that carries discount items from frying pans to bicycles. Both sell golf clubs. One carries a brand that you’ve come to know and trust.
If you care about your game, a gamblin’ man would put his money on you walking into that sporting goods store. When we search for a product – the closer we get to exactly what we want, the more likely we are to purchase that product.
Google understands this and has improved the user search experience, enabling users to enter EXACTLY what they want and to receive more accurate results. How does this relate to whether or not More content is better? Check this out!
We’ve inched our way to longer and more specific search terms over the years. As we’ve tested the waters with each added word, we’ve begun to receive better and more accurate results. Google obviously took note. Those who are searching for longer terms (even up to 8 words!) are being served a more accurate display of companies ready to do business.
A few years ago, users may have searched for:
“wasps” rather than “what to do for a wasp sting?”
“Elle shampoo” rather than “Elle shampoo on sale area code 28031”
“golf clubs” rather than “best iron to improve my golf game”
Companies who depend on keywords like “wasps” or “Elle shampoo” or “golf clubs” to bring visitors to their site are going to be disappointed. They’re swimming in a pool with too much competition. Search results for “wasps” may result in 1000s of options, while “what to do for a wasp sting?” may result in 50. It’s an easier space to navigate and there’s still a lot less competition.
Google really is in the business of brining users EXACTLY what they are looking for.
5. Are You Ready to Deliver What Users Want?
Can you write? Can you determine what your client’s prospects want and need? Do you have the ability to produce content in a manner that is true to your client while providing the prospect with information they seek?
If you answered yes, then all you need to do is what you know best.
This is your playing field. It’s valuable turf. Google gives everyone the opportunity to try out. The ones who do it best stay in the game and Google rewards you for doing what you know best, champ.
Clean, concise, targeted content – and lots of it! This is what Google wants. This is what users want.
Make sure your website content writer avoids these following PR mistakes as well.
Do you know any other ways to improve content marketing ROI? Please share your thoughts!