Introduction from Hike – this is a guest post from our friend Dani over at Scribly.io. Dani is an expert at creating content that is not only engaging, but search-friendly! Here, Dani discusses how to make sure your content is maximising it’s SEO potential 🙂
So without further ado, enjoy this guest post…
Organic traffic can be a tough nut to crack. Especially if you’re used to paid marketing and driving visits through Google Ads or other PPC platforms.
After all: buying ads is fast, easy, and can bring instant results. That’s why it’s often the first port of call for marketers looking to make an impact without investing time, money and energy into less immediate techniques.
But while organic traffic takes a little longer to generate results than paid marketing, it is more valuable in the long run.
Content is one of the core ingredients in any effective organic growth strategy — but there’s tons of room for error if you’re new to it.
So, in this post, we’ll run through four effective content tactics to drive organic traffic, covering:
– Using outlines to structure your content and streamline the writing process
– Testing different headlines to boost engagement
– Linking to other content on your site to improve rankings
– Monitoring your content consistently, to maximise quality and reach
Let’s get started…
1. The Power of A Great Content Outline
Briefing a content writer can be as simple as giving a list of general topics, some keywords, and then letting the writer go and do their thing.
But before you go down this route: stop 🖐
Our experience shows that this approach is a mistake and that it’s far more effective to create a watertight outline for every brief.
Put simply; outlines create much-needed structure and serve as a valuable guide for writers — especially when working on long-form content.
There are a few key things that can go wrong without a content outline, namely;
- The writer forgets to incorporate keywords into priority parts of the text
- The information included isn’t relevant to search intent
- The content is unstructured or rambling, and key points (or conclusions) are lost.
Creating an outline reduces this risk, as you’ll be much more likely to get back something that actually meets your strategic needs.
When outlining content for your writer, think about:
– What should the H2 and H3 headers be? What keywords should they ideally include?
– What are the most important points to outline? What order should those points be in?
– Where are the main keywords, and can they fit in naturally?
– Are there any other LSI keywords that the writer should try to include?
Take it from our past mistakes: it definitely pays to put time into outlining your content properly. Don’t get bogged down in planning every minute detail — just make it clear what they should be writing, who they’re writing it for, and why they’re writing it in the first place.
2. Test Headlines and Experiment to Increase Engagement
Did you know that just under 3 million blog posts are published each day on WordPress alone? 🤯Today’s readers are quite literally drowning in information overload.
A good headline makes it much more likely that your content will get noticed among this noise.
That’s why it’s so important that headlines shouldn’t just be an afterthought. They’re a core element of any valuable piece of content.
The best content with the best headlines is far more likely to perform well. It’s not a guarantee, of course, but putting effort into your headlines reduces your risk of slipping below your target audience’s radar.
Not sure where to begin with headlines? You’re not alone. We dissect the anatomy of a great blog headline in this article to get you started.
One other thing about headlines… they’re never finished.
Writing great headlines is a learning process.
You have to keep monitoring your click-through rates, comparing your headlines to the highest-performing content, and experimenting.
Take content with a lower click-through rate and change the headline. Track its performance for a month, and see which version scores the best. Study the data carefully, to gather as many insights as you can.
– Did your adjustments attract more readers?
– Did bounce rates drop?
– Did conversions increase?
Keep testing headlines, tracking performance, and incorporating lessons learned into future content.
Top tip 💡: Headlines between 14 and 17 words long tend to attract 76 % more social shares than those with fewer words.
3. Interlink Your Content to Improve Your Rankings
Interlinking your content is a simple but effective way to improve your ranking, and it’s important for 2 key reasons:
- Linking content together creates helpful information pathways for your readers. This both helps readers to find answers to key questions they’re facing across their buyer journey, and also increases their time on site (which can positively influence how your site ranks).
- Interlinking content also helps search engines to determine how relevant your content is for a given search term.
Let’s dive into this second point in a bit more detail…
A TL;DR on the pillar and cluster methodology
Grouping related posts helps to define your site’s purpose and value — the more internal links to a page, the more relevant and authoritative that page will appear to be on a given topic.
But you can’t start writing content just to cram in anchor text and interlink pages. Relevance and quality matters, too.
So, start by finding one piece of content you want to link other pages to — this will be your piece of Pillar content.
Then get to work brainstorming the related pieces you can write to interlink in a helpful way. Come up with several ideas on a theme, and build a connected series that offers real value to users. These will be your cluster pieces.
Hubspot dives into the impact this pillar and cluster approach has on SEO in this super in-depth guide.
4. Monitor Your Content Consistently to Maximise its Quality
You write a blog post. You publish it. You let it go into the ether and never think about it again.
You should strive to make every piece of content the best it can be, even if that means revisiting and updating it from time to time.
The more relevant and valuable you can make your content over time, the more backlinks it should earn. Over time, this should positively influence the organic traffic you see.
For example, one thing to consider optimising is content length.
Long-form content tends to rank well, achieving 77% more links than shorter content on average. Don’t add words just for filler, though: focus on enhancing value, not reducing it.
Also, pay attention to:
– Keywords — do they fit into the content organically, or do they stand out
– Headlines — are they between 14 – 17 words long, and do they catch the reader’s eye?
– Links — does the content link to relevant pages, and if not, what opportunities are there to do so?
Try these 4 content tactics to drive organic traffic, and — over time — you’ll see real, measurable results.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with content, don’t worry. This all takes time to grasp and put into practice, but that’s okay. Focus on quality, value, and relevance — over time, this should translate to more (free) visitors to your site.
If you take one thing from this article make it this: always try to make content the best it can be, no matter its mission, no matter its channel. Focus on quality over quantity, always.
And if implementing these steps yourself is something you’re struggling to manage in-house, remember that you can always reach out to a proven content partner to lighten your load.
Author bio: Dani is founder of Scribly.io, a productised content marketing service that helps businesses unlock the power of content to generate more traffic and leads.