It’s a fact: creating and sharing awesome content – whether it’s a blog, videos, help resources or anything of value to your audience – is invaluable to growing your business. It can also be really fun and rewarding.
However, what if I could turn you on to a few pro tips to magnify the power of the already great work you’re doing and save you some time in the process?
Just for fun, let’s imagine you’ve been driving your vintage Aston Martin all along the Italian Riviera a lot lately (hell yes!). Besides sporting that amazing suntan you got, I’m guessing you’d also make darn sure that gorgeous piece of machinery had a great tuneup and everything was all checked and topped off so she’d keep on running at peak performance for you.
Well your content is no different. It may be getting along perfectly fine the way it is, but sometimes you don’t know how much more power it has until you’ve given it a nice tuneup!
I’ve got some ways you can…
- give your content more visibility
- get more interaction and sharing on your posts
- encourage visitors to spend some more time on your site so they can find those great offers you’ve got
- become more consistent, organized and focussed with your blog writing and posting
Sound good? I thought it might. So let’s go!
You don’t have to be an SEO guru to put some simple things into practice and have them work for you. There are two areas you can easily use right away which will give you an edge with minimal effort. Keywords and your meta description (if you want to run for the hills at the mention those words, fear not. I promise I’ll make it do-able for you).
Put simply, a keyword is what your future clients type into a search engine when they’re looking for you, for what you offer. Ideally, you’re looking to find out what the people you want to do business with will most likely search for to find your content and then use those words or phrases strategically in your post.
Using keywords in your titles and content is not as hard as it may sound. First off, if you keep your writing focussed on the subject(s) most meaningful to your ideal audience and write in a natural style, you’re halfway there. You don’t need to go crazy with keywords all over the place; in fact overuse can actually be detrimental. The days of bloating your page with a million keywords in hopes of getting high search rankings are long gone. Google-bots can tell when you’re trying too hard (just like that hottie you had crush on in ninth grade), so keep it simple and conversational and you’ll do fine.
Not sure how to find the right keywords for you and your audience, or even what a keyword is? No worries! It’s not as mysterious as you may think. A great place to start is the Google Adwords Keyword Planner to start searching for possible keywords and phrases (if you’re not running Google analytics on your site, you’ll need to set that up). Once you fill in the “Service” and “Category” fields, look for the “Keyword Ideas” tab and click on it, then – like magic – you’ll see a whole list of potential keywords to try! You can play around with the fields you first entered for more ideas as well. You also may want to check out this great link from Moz (tip: the whole SEO section is well worth the read).
A meta description is the little blurb you see in a search just below the title, like this:
It’s a short and succinct description (around 140 characters) of your site or individual page/post. It’s main purposes are to inform and entice: to let someone know what they’ll find when they click on your link and hopefully entice them to click. To look at it simply, think about what makes you choose one search result over another when you are looking for something online. The one that gets right to the point? Sounds professional? Friendly? Describe what your post is essentially about and what a potential reader would be interested to find there.
Your site admin or theme may already have settings for SEO and a place for a meta description. If not, and you’re using WordPress, you can make it easy peasy and use Yoast’s SEO plugin. Also check this out on writing a great meta description.
Be Mobile Responsive
One essential way to optimize your post visibility is making sure your site is mobile responsive, meaning it views clearly and is easily usable from any size device. As of April 2015, Google recognizes mobile friendly sites and gives them preference in all mobile searches. As percentages of mobile use on all fronts continue to rise, those who make it easy for smartphone and tablet use will increasingly have the edge, so if your site is not already responsive, now is a great time to make that change. If you need help getting your site up to snuff, let’s talk!
Engagement and Interaction
It’s lovely when someone is interested enough to click on the “Read More” link to read your full post. Nevertheless, if they don’t find anything else on the page of interest to them, they’re apt to jump ship as soon as they’re done reading. But wait! You want people to stick around and get to know you, your business and what else you’ve got to offer. SO…this is no time to be shy!
Interested visitors, loyal and engaged fans (and eventual clients) want to know more about things that will solve their problems, and how you can help them with that. This is how you build valuable relationships so give them ways to find out more, and make it easy. Here are some simple things you can do within your posts to encourage engagement on the rest of your site:
Including links to other content on your content pages when appropriate can help encourage visitors to look around at what else you’ve got going on. These are referred to as internal links. For instance, there may be times in your blog posts or videos that you will mention a subject that you’ve covered in a previous blog post. Create a corresponding link so readers can check it out if they feel so inclined.
It’s Fun To Share!
People love to share, we’re hardwired for it, so making it super easy for your audience to spread the word on your content shows them you care while helping you out too!
There are oodles of social sharing plugins out there, my current faves are Add This and Genesis Simple Share (for WordPress Genesis users) for ease of use, versatility and sleek look. For some other great options, you can also check out this article or just do a search for ‘best wordpress sharing plugins’ and try some out to see what works best for you.
Sometimes it’s a singular quote or phrase that really speaks to your reader and inspires them to share. I really love the Click To Tweet plugin by CoSchedule, which enables readers to share Tweet-able lines with one swift click. You can see it in action (and tweet it out if you like:) ) in the orange call out box above.
Don’t Leave ‘Em Hanging
The space after your content is one of the richest – yet often untapped – areas of the page. Below your content, offer your visitor some other options to explore other things on your site that may be of interest to them. You want to finish with one or a few Calls To Action (CTAs). Some ideas of what you can do:
- Finish with a question to encourage interaction and engagement – “have you tried the Whirligig? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!” – in your comments or on social media…and give them that link.
- Link to other related content and related posts on your site (check if your theme or site has this functionality already, or see Starbox, below).
- Invite them to signup for your email list or newsletter (do you have a free giveaway to sweeten the deal?)
- Share info and links to other offerings you provide – have a webinar coming up or a course you’re offering? Provide a link for them to take action!
- Invite them to connect with you on a specific social media platform* (i.e. “join me in the conversation on Twitter!”). *Consider if it’s better for your particular business to keep them on your site rather than sending them off-site to social media.
- Give them some insight into who you are with an author box. I’m loving the Starbox plugin, which gives you several styling options and a tab for related posts as well!
Pull It Together Like A Rock Star
So now you’ve got some great options and ideas for spicing up your content visibility and engagement, however, there is one more aspect that I have found to be key and that is streamlining your process of creating and organizing your content.
Ah, The Sweet Sound Of Organization
Keeping on track with a consistent content creation plan takes solid dedication, laser focus and good planning. Enter the Editorial Calendar.
If you’ve not yet tried this tool, then I highly recommend you give it a whirl. Trust me. You need this. Now, there are plenty ‘o templates out there, Excel and the like, however, I’m going to steer you to a couple options that just may totally change your life.
First, the free option. The WordPress Editorial Calendar gives you the essentials you need to effectively plan and edit, all within your WordPress dashboard. What’s not to love? With it you can:
- See all of your posts and when they’ll be posted
- Drag and drop to change your post dates
- Manage your drafts with their new drafts drawer
- Quickedit post titles, contents, and times
- Publish posts or manage drafts
- Easily see the status of your posts
- Manage posts from multiple authors
For a more complete, robust content marketing solution, you will love CoSchedule (they’ve also got a friggin’ amazing blog). They’re monthly plans start at $10, going up based on your business needs. Planning and organizing your posts is just the tip of the iceberg. You can also:
- plan and schedule all of your social media
- optimize your sharing schedule for peak times
- create your blog and social media content at the same time, before you publish
- manage everything you create in one place
- boost traffic from your old posts
- access key analytics to help you make strategic decisions
- can be used separately or within WordPress
- integrations with Google Docs, WordPress, Buffer, Evernote (way cool) and more
Sometimes you don’t know how much more power your content can have until you’ve given it a nice tuneup.
Go Forth. Rule The World.
I’ve shared with you some effective ways to gain more eyes and engagement on your content and empower your workflow. It’s by no means an exhaustive list, but one I hope will help you put some extra juice behind your what you’re sharing.
I’d love to hear what has been working well for you and if you have other ideas to help power up your content. If you enjoyed this post and found some cool stuff you can use, please consider sharing on your social networks via the buttons right below. Thanks for reading!