While producing daily content for your website is crucial for improving your brand’s web presence, simply writing without a purpose and plugging in keywords isn’t a sound content strategy.
When Google determines where to place a website in search results for a specific query, its algorithms consider much more than the technical optimization of its pages – though this shouldn’t be overlooked either. To determine whether or not internet users will find a particular page valuable, Google analyzes different factors, including:
- The rate of visitors who enter through the page and leave right away (the bounce rate)
- The number of times the page has been linked to on relevant websites and social media platforms
- The context within which a keyword is used.
There’s a lot that goes into creating the perfectly optimized article, but the primary objective should be to produce content that your audience actually wants to read. Many of those other important elements will naturally fall into place if you produce engaging content that is fun, relevant and fresh.
So what types of articles will work best for your specific business? Here’s a look at what Contentlead has found generates great results for our clients.
From our legal clients to ecommerce sites, content that gives an in-depth look into the services or products businesses offer has produced some impressive metrics.
Specifically, attorney and law firm profiles have generated the highest percentage of PageViews for legal sites. On one attorney’s site, articles about areas of practice and FAQs regarding tricky legal situations drew in exactly 120 entrances over the last three months and had a combined bounce rate of 0 percent.
Similarly, our ecommerce sites have seen great results from information about their products and services. The best numbers from a sporting goods client actually came from product overviews. A B2B GPS tracking company and an anti-aging treatment center both have had a lot success with articles about how their services work and the benefits they provide to their customers. Furthermore, those pages had lower bounce rates than the news-based stories on their sites. In other words, the content likely drove visitors to check out the products they just read about.
Tips and How-Tos
Tips and how-to articles target those who are looking for guidance or help from an industry expert and have proven to support long-term and sustainable content strategies.
Internet users who search the web for educational tips or how-to guides may be early on in the sales cycle, but well-written copy may push them along much quicker than other content types. A client of ours who helps individuals and businesses protect themselves from identity theft has received a bulk of his traffic from articles that do just that on a smaller scale. His most popular article of the last three months, for instance, has been a step-by-step guide to delete a Facebook profile. That particular piece accounted for 11.6 percent of all entrances into the site in that timeframe and an average time on page that was more than five minutes longer than the site average. Those visitors may not have been necessarily looking to become a customer of his initially, but the bounce rate for that page was 2.47 percent lower than the site average, meaning that article was more likely to spark their interest in his services that most pages on his website.
We have a brand name beauty client whose top seven articles over the past three months have all been evergreen makeup and beauty tips. Those pieces have been responsible for 617 entrances into their site in that span and have an unbelievable combined bounce rate of 1.30 percent.
Bounce rates this low are remarkable and rare, but even on industry-news driven websites, the evergreen tips and advice articles have significantly lower bounce rates than regular posts. A prestigious staffing agency based in Southern California has a healthy mix of news related to celebrities and advice for both job seekers and employers. Both types of articles bring in a lot of traffic, but the latter has significantly lower bounce rates, which is great because it means that the right people are finding that content.
At this point, you may be convinced that the focus of your content shouldn’t be on news-based articles, but despite the consistent traffic the other types of content generates, hot news topics can establish your company as an authority in your industry.
While the majority of Contentlead’s legal clients are seeing great returns from educational content, the most entrances to one website over the last three months came from a blog post about a popular malpractice case. The pure traffic numbers are a big boost to the site’s web presence, but news sites generate social shares and linkbacks from relevant resources.
On a green living blog we run, an article about Warren Buffet published in early January 2013 has 320 unique PageViews in just a few weeks, and has earned 42 “Likes” on Facebook and 12 Tweets on Twitter. Those numbers trump even the most popular evergreen advice and eco-friendly auto-related news on the site, proving how just one spot-on news story can have an enormous impact on a website’s reach.
No one content type will drive brand engagement, social commentary or increase ROI, so brands must have a healthy media mix to establish credibility. The educational pieces give your customers a chance to learn more about what you do, the tips and tricks prove that you’re a thought leader in your field and the news stories highlight the fact that you’re brand understands the industry it operates within.
With engaging content, a sound keyword strategy, comprehensive technical SEO and a user-friendly website, you’ll be well on your way to the first page of Google.