Whenever we write content, our ultimate goal is to drive organic traffic to our blog. Organic traffic is the most valuable type of engagement as it is targeted and free because it’s directed through search engines. Imagine ranking #1 for a keyword that gets 50,000 visitors a month? This can lead into enormous conversions, readers, profit, and engagement. However, over the years, Google has shifted the way they value content, and furthermore, changing the way they rank it within the SERP’s. The methods we used to rank our pages high in the search engines no longer work because they don’t add value to the visitor. It’s simply not about building backlinks, writing content, and performing on-page SEO, but the way we implement those EXACT strategies that make the difference.
If you want to publish content that drives organic traffic, then you need to put a twist on the way you produce content going forward. Don’t waste time on strategies that don’t work anymore and put 100% effort into strategies that set you up for long-term success. Remember: value = backlinks = opportunities = organic traffic.
Now, it’s important to remember that to attract organic traffic, you create valuable content. Content that is thin and low quality will no longer succeed online. It’s been shown that those who publish high quality content once or twice a month have seen enormous rankings within a couple of months. This is another example of how quality will outweigh quantity. However, the next time you get ready to produce epic content, consider implementing the following to increase the chances of driving organic traffic to your content.
Over the years, blogging and content writing have taught us a lot. For example, we have been able to narrow down our content writing into “3” categories: case studies, unique prospective, and tutorials (guides, lists, etc.). Each of these categories has allowed us to provide our own knowledge or twist on things. We’ve been able to tweak existing content so that it provides readers with a unique perspective on things. The one thing bloggers have going for them is there is no shortage of competition and content. Many would ask: How is competition a good thing for bloggers? I always give the same answer…they do most of the work for us.
Through competition, you can quickly learn what’s trending and the hot topics within our industry. You can learn from their statistics about your target audience and how to quickly resonate with them through social media outlets. Their followers or fans are your potential followers or fans. In the end, you can take trending content they’ve created and create something special of your own. So, how can you add value?
Above, I discussed “3” value categories: case studies, unique perspective, and tutorials…right?
If you learn through your competitors that “content marketing” is a huge trend that is gaining momentum, then you can do the following:
First, perform a case study over several months on how content marketing can increase user engagement or conversions. I would try different things and find a content marketing strategy that produces results. Then create case study content with data and charts. Another method that has worked well is gathering pre-existing data and bringing it into one place. For example, a few months back, I noticed people were searching for SEO, blogging, and social media case studies, so I decided to produce and publish the following on my personal blog: 122 Epic Case Studies from My Top Bloggers & Blogs.
If you are an expert within a specific category, you can find content and add a twist by showcasing your expertise on the topic. Experts are usually part of exclusive events, groups, and networks with others so they have knowledge not yet available to others. If you have knowledge that will add value to your industry, then create something unique and publish it. Because you’ve published something that is fresh and unique, you’ll attract an audience almost immediately. Not to mention, other bloggers within your industry will love to share or link back to it because it provides value to their readers as well.
Simply taking text and creating a video tutorial can work magic, especially after the growth of websites like YouTube.com. Many people don’t grasp content as well as other forms of presentations like videos, images, or infographics. Do some research and find “how-to” keywords with potential so you can find text, later converting it into a video tutorial. It’s simple and very effective!
Now that we’ve discussed a few awesome ways to add value to your content, it’s time to look at how we can attract backlinks through our content.
You have to realize that valuable content and backlinks go hand-in-hand. The more value you provide in your content, the higher the potential engagement. Today, you have additional portals available to you that would have not been around years back. For example, social media can skyrocket a blog’s popularity within a few days if the right people shared your content. Remember, social media users come from all backgrounds: users, businesses, bloggers, marketers, etc. This means they have their own websites and following, which, again, increases the ability for you to build valuable backlinks. Here’s a scenario:
You write epic content that you share and it is re-shared by a top ten authority blogger within your niche. This blogger has 100,000 followers, of which 5,000 are other small bloggers. These bloggers publish relevant content frequently and find your content valuable. They decide to write content based on your content and link back to your blog as a reference. Through this process, you’ve gained a valuable backlink that is relevant and of authority.
I always encourage bloggers to network with other authority bloggers within their niche. This increases the chances of your content being shared by someone with an authority in your niche. The next time you write content, you can simply shoot them an email with a link to your content. In most cases, they’ll be happy to share your content with their followers as long as you provide value.
What about Evergreen?
There has been talk about the value of evergreen content. Evergreen content refers to content that has no deadline or expiration date. Essentially, it’s content that adds value for years and is applicable today and few years later. Google loves evergreen content because it continues to provide value with no expiry date. It provides value to readers, which is the objective of Google’s search algorithm. A search engine is only as good as the value it provides, so if Google search can’t provide up-to-date information to searchers, they’ll lose traction in the market quickly. As a matter of fact, what many of you don’t know is Google has added a “freshness” update to their algorithm, rewarding those who post and update frequently with higher rankings.
Let’s take a quick look at a chart…
Here’s something from: http://moz.com
“For example, a document whose content is edited often may be scored differently than a document whose content remains static over time. Also, a document having a relatively large amount of its content updated over time might be scored differently than a document having a relatively small amount of its content updated over time.”
Essentially, Google tends to score changes differently and that can have an impact on your rankings. The more frequently content has been changed indicates to Google a series of updates or freshness, usually involving up-to-date information. This is a bonus for Google search as it can continue to provide people with the most accurate, up-to-date information. Next, it’s a reward to you as you can enjoy higher rankings over time.
Wrapping Things Up…
As you can see from the factors discussed above, the way traffic is generated through organic search has changed. If I go back 4-5 years, it was easy, writing low value content, keyword stuffing, and building irrelevant backlinks from every possible source. People would use software to spin content and build multiple backlinks and they would prosper with higher rankings within the SERP’s. However, no high quality content that provides value is paving the way. Next, we have relevant backlinks from authority websites and content that has no expiry date. It’s amazing!