How To Come Up With Great Content Ideas For Your Website Or Blog
One of the biggest challenges our clients face when dealing with content marketing, content creation, blogging and the like is figuring out how to come up with topics to write about. Despite most of our clients being true experts of their fields, they still don’t regularly provide content that helps to fill voids within their industry. This is sometimes due to a true “lack of ideas” or often the result of believing their knowledge is “common sense” and therefore not worthy of further discussion or exploration.
But what is elementary to you, is NOT elementary to us, your potential customer. As a plumber, you know the best angle to insure my main sewer line easily transports my homes waste out of my home and into the city sewer line, but I sure as hell don’t. Even better, if I were to stumble upon an article where you explain this aspect of plumbing to me, in a way I understand and in a voice I relate to, that is going to go a long way towards earning my trust, and future business.
This topic is important to me, and would relate to it because my home did in fact have an improperly sloped sewer line that was responsible for transporting waste from my home to the city lines outside, and it’s poor slope resulted in what my wife and I call “The Shit Storm of 2009”.
Content creation is a challenge for everyone, but one simple tweak to the way you consider new ideas is all that is needed to open up the flood gates. You will here many talk about free writing, and researching other industry related blogs, and watch YouTube videos, sure, all very good ways to come up with ideas. I have employed them all at one point or another. Being that this “practice what we preach” series is supposed to teach “easily actionable” strategies, I’m going really, really simple here…
So what’s the best way to develop new ideas for useful content for your website or blog? Put yourself in your customers (or potential customers) shoes and ask yourself the questions you think they should be asking.
To make this easier, some of you already have an FAQ’s page. Start there. Take each topic, write a custom page of content or blog post about it, explaining the “why” or the “how” of the question in as much detail as you can muster. Maybe it only ends up being 3 paragraphs, or maybe you luck out and come up with 30 paragraphs, a few images, charts and graphs.
Even better, keep the FAQ’s in place, and link from each of the quick hit Q&A’s into the individual posts that further elaborate, allowing for quicker indexing by Google, and a nice little internal link scheme.
Examples, if you provide security software for doctor’s offices, some questions that might need answering could be…
- How does your software keep our patient data safe?
- What are the risks involved in not taking action to keep our patient data safe?
- What are some real life examples of patient data being compromised?
If you’re a contractor, let’s say a landscaper…
- Why should we trust you anymore than your competitors?
- What jobs have you done that would give me a good idea of what you could do for our home?
This question could result in 3 or 4 different pages of content, as you can write about and show examples for homes of like size and neighborhood. Showing someone in a $130,000 house pics of only your projects completed for $500,000 houses isn’t necessarily the best way to pitch and attract them.
- What equipment do you use?
If you’re a restaurant…
- What kind of events do you cater?
Another example of a topic that can branch off into multiple pages of content, each geared towards further explaining each type of catering niche you service, showers, team parties, family reunions and so on.
And the list goes on. In my case today, I decided to try and provide a practical answer to the question,
“How the hell do I come up with content ideas for my website/blog?”
The answer: Figure out what questions your customers are (or should be) asking, and answer them, in detail, and make the presentation worth of their time. Add nice pictures, include supporting data, include charts (people especially love pie charts…mmmmm…pie).
I learned from Kevin Costner that “if you build it, he will come”. I think in our case we could say, “if you write it, and write it well, they will come”.
If you consistently add new, quality content to your website, it is almost guaranteed to get you some new traffic, and sometimes you’ll luck into huge swells of traffic that can provide temporary, and sometimes permanent, boosts in leads and revenue generation.
In closing, if you provide clean up services for someone who’s main sewer line dropped off the wall and spilled all of the waste that was backed up into their basement, maybe you should write an article titled, How We Can Rescue Your Basement From A Shit Storm. That is an piece I’d be willing to read.
One of the biggest challenges our clients face when dealing with content marketing, content creation, blogging and the like is figuring out how to come up with topics to write about. Despite most of our clients being true experts of their fields, they still don’t regularly provide content that helps to fill voids within their industry. […]
Beef Up Your Websites Copy, Increase Your Rank
Today’s “Practice What We Preach” search marketing tip is one of the easiest we will cover. I mean really simple stuff here.
We see far too many clients skimping on the “content”. Granted, we are to some degree guilty of this ourselves. Everyone knows the cobbler’s kids have no shoes, and we have certainly fallen victim to that sickness over the years. So busy taking care of our clients, we sometimes forgot to take care of ourselves, as in our own website.
Those days are now far behind us, and one of the first things we started doing was improving both the quality of copy, and the amount of copy on every service page within our website.
So this tip is something that is once again, very simple, and easy for any business owner to attack themselves. IMPROVE AND ADD TO YOUR WEBSITES COPY/TEXT. Make sure that your page is informative. Make sure that the copy is readable and the presentation attractive. Don’t write copy trying to fool or spam Google. Write truly engaging copy that informs your visitors what it is you’re all about, while being intelligent about your wording so you can in fact get those needed “keyword hits” mixed in.
Today for instance, I further optimized some copy on our Miva Design services page, and I added new copy that consisted of 460 words, and 2,675 characters. I worked in a couple more keyword mentions in a very natural, not spammy way. Not huge in the general scheme of things, but I’ll follow up in a week or two and will provide some insight into what that did for us from a ranking perspective for terms relating to Miva. I also added a couple of blog posts at the bottom that also touched on Miva with the aim at making my site in general a bit more “relevant” as it pertains to Miva.
Through today’s work, my goal was to slightly improve our rankings for terms relating to Miva that we currently rank on the first page for, but down towards the bottom. I’m thinking that the simpletag edits, mixed with the text optimizations and the added 460 words should be enough to give us a slight boost, maybe jumping us up a position or two.
For posterity, here’s where we were at prior to my edits, and note, I won’t do anything more, other than maybe add another section or two between now and coming back to update this post.
Rankings for some targeted terms as of 8/3/16…
Miva Design – #7
Miva Designer – #6
Miva Web Design – #9
Miva Web Designer – #10
Miva Developer – #18
Moral of the story, beef up your content. Our goal here is to slowly but surely build each of our service pages into near books about their topics. Content is back to being king again. But the key is that the content must be high quality. The days of fooling google with a shit ton of spammy text have passed, but that doesn’t mean that a boat load of high-quality, readable and useful information won’t be highly rewarded. The fact is, it will be.
Today’s “Practice What We Preach” search marketing tip is one of the easiest we will cover. I mean really simple stuff here. We see far too many clients skimping on the “content”. Granted, we are to some degree guilty of this ourselves. Everyone knows the cobbler’s kids have no shoes, and we have certainly fallen […]
Practice What We Preach Series
I am famous for NOT practicing what I preach. This holds true with my kids, with lacrosse coaching and in business.
Example, as a lacrosse coach I would constantly badger my players about shooting form, constantly reinforcing shooting overhand. The “why” of it is simple, “You’ll hit the cage more often, and see that shot you took there just now, you missed.” However, as a player, I was proficient enough as a scorer to not do that at all. I scored goals side-arm, behind-the-back, underhand, a couple between the legs, even one-handed. I once scored four goals in a club game, all four a different variety of behind-the-back. I also scored ten goals in a single college game off just fifteen shots and I’d wager that five or six were scored using a non-traditional shooting form. While it feels great to brag, there is actually a larger point to all of this. Relax I’m getting there.
Bringing it home with this example, as the owner of AarcMediaGroup.com, I found an amazing niche in the early days developing ecommerce websites using the Miva Merchant platform (now known as Miva, I like what they did there). Even better, I found a single keyword term, that while expensive, converted like a gang buster, and I rode that wave for a good 5 or 6 years. In that time we pretty much lived off of that single keyword term and client referrals for lead generation and revenue. It was marvelous.
HOWEVER, by around 2010, that keyword terms use started to decline drastically so I scrambled to improve our adwords ads for the variations we were also bidding on. In the end it seemed the keyword combos we were living off of simply stopped being searched. We’re lucky to see 100 impressions per month nowadays for that campaign in total and maybe we’ll end up with 10 to 25 clicks depending on the month.
The problem here was I wasn’t “practicing what I preached” to my clients all the time. I wasn’t making sure to optimize all of our advertising resources for the simple fact I didn’t have to, and the result come 2012 was we hadn’t grown our revenue since 2010, something that continued up to 2014. Then I finally decided to break myself out of the marketing myopia I had fallen into and put into action the strategies that we successfully use for our clients every day.
So my goal with this series is to share this experience with any and all that care to read along and maybe even try out the strategies I’m about to lay out. All of them will be easy to act upon, and most can be employed by you, yourself and you.
And as always, feel free to farm these tasks out to us should you decide you want to “leave it to the experts” as I outlined in a blog post last week.
So without further burning your valuable time, here is the first tip in this marketing series, “A Quick And Dirty Way To Decrease Your Average Cost-Per-Click”.
I am famous for NOT practicing what I preach. This holds true with my kids, with lacrosse coaching and in business. Example, as a lacrosse coach I would constantly badger my players about shooting form, constantly reinforcing shooting overhand. The “why” of it is simple, “You’ll hit the cage more often, and see that shot […]