The world of marketing can be a fast-paced one, and it often requires that we adapt to its stringent demands. Regular updates to search rank algorithms can make or break an e-commerce business, as has been seen with updated Google algorithms like Penguin, Hummingbird, and Panda. To market in the 21st century, companies must set aside strategies that aim to game the system and focus on creating content that people want and distributing said content to those people.
The phrase "Content is King" has been uttered innumerable times at marketing conferences and webinars over the years. Indeed, as time goes on, the web becomes more amenable to quality websites that offer users the exact information for which they're searching. This means that the best way to build an online presence is to actually create a useful website.
I began working in content marketing in the Summer of 2012 for the tech start-up, Appcelerator, Inc. It was there that I first attempted to increase the SEO of a website by creating useful content. There, I wrote about our product, a mobile development platform called Appcelerator Titanium, and any important news that affected our company or our industry. This content included descriptions of our partners and the applications built with our platform and well-researched marketing white papers about mobile app development.
Although I was trained to include keywords and call-to-actions, to build backlinks with traditional methods, and to effectively use marketing language- I had only scratched the surface of online marketing. It was when I started working for a pet supply retailer called HealthyPets, Inc. that I first learned in-depth how to use content to drive revenue and magnify our presence in SERPs.
Our strategy evolved from creating miscellaneous content and dumping them on the site to one in which content was organized and omptimized for both users and search engines. By improving the lackluster organizational structure to our web pages, a colleague and I were able to increase the natural traffic (and consequently, revenue) to our top-converting pages. Simple techniques like inbound linking, adding canonical tags to point duplicate content to the top-converting pages, and using optimizing on-page HTML gave amazing returns on a minimal budget.
We also diversified the content our site was producing in order to meet different ends. Some content is written about products and is focused on improving SEO for long-tail keywords, while other content is news-centered and focuses on trending topics. We also create technical content that improves our clout by establishing us as a reliable source of valuable information. Additional content is oriented towards sharing across social channels by emulating viral content producers like Buzzfeed and Upworthy. Each piece of content is also focused on meeting the needs or desires of the average pet owner to ensure that each piece of content adds value.
Using tools like BrightEdge and Linkdex, our team tracks our blog's KPIs with vigilance to determine which content creates a visible increase in revenue. Attribution is key to ensuring that your team is producing the right content. Additionally, attribution can help determine which channels are most effective for promoting said content. Our team works daily with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other social sharing sites that work to promote our posts.
It's been a long journey but our content strategy is coming together more effectively than ever. Since starting with HealthyPets, Inc. I have created the content for more than 1000 web pages across our servers. Even now, however, I am still learning of ways to grow our reach. That's my favorite part of working for a smaller company- there's always room to grow.
Examples of Content:
I've had a few posts on the EntirelyPets Blog go viral, with some of my most popular posts being:
Coverage on Sochi's mass killing of dogs:
A piece on the Labrador's record breaking popularity:
Additionally, I've added and edited content to some of our top performing pages that has made a significant difference in their SERP rankings and their generated revenue. One such page is our page for the Top 10 Cat Treats, for which I completely created new content and replaced two broken links:
I also performed an audit of existing content in our professional resource center. This is where the more technical posts inform pet owners about medication, diseases, and other complex concerns. The content from this section of the site drove more conversions- but received less natural traffic. An example of a page I created for this section about Canine Heart Disease is included below: