How to Improve Your Construction Content Marketing
That’s the estimate of how many blog posts are posted each day.
And you know what’s even crazier?
Expecting to be able to compete and stand out from all the noise if your content isn’t up to scratch.
The first step is knowing how to find and use the best keywords, but that’s just part of the content puzzle.
The next step is to create genuinely helpful content.
The type of content that not only answers your target audience’s burning questions as fully as possible, but that keeps them interested, engaged, and entertained at the same time.
Fail to deliver, and you can be sure that they’ll click away from your site as quickly as they arrived, straight onto your competitors’ websites.
It isn’t just human visitors you need to impress though.
Google’s ranking algorithm uses several different metrics to figure out whether you’re giving people what they want and need, including time-on-site, repeat visits, bounce rate, and social shares to name but a few.
There are two key requirements to make your content stand out for all the right reasons for both humans and Google:
You can’t have one or the other, so you need to focus on both to stand a chance of outranking your competition.
Here’s how to use them both to your advantage…
Looking at relevance first, this means publishing content that is closely related to what your business offers and all the other content on your site.
If it isn’t relevant, there’s no point wasting time or resources putting pen to paper.
Yes, it could boost your site’s traffic (especially if the search volume is high enough and the keyword difficulty is low enough), but if the extra traffic isn’t made up from the people who are genuinely interested in your brand, what good is it going to do your business or blog?
The saying may be, ‘turnover is vanity, profit is sanity’, but we’d argue that ‘traffic is vanity, profit is sanity’ is far more appropriate in this case.
So, let your competitors worry about vanity metrics while you focus on growing what matters; a highly-targeted audience.
To help the blog owners we work with figure this out, we have them ask two questions before creating any new content:
- Will the content directly relate to the their brand and any products or services they offer, the type of visitor the site owner is looking to attract, and the niche they’re involved in?
- Is this something that they have any business talking about? Are they a genuine expert in this area?
We’d recommend that you do the same for your website. You need to be ruthless too.
If the answer to either of these questions is no, move on and find a more appropriate topic.
You’ll be much better off in the long run.
Just as important as relevance is the quality of whatever content you publish.
Your website and your brand as a whole will be defined by the content you produce, so it’s worth investing extra time and effort to create something truly amazing.
Here are the main benefits of focusing on quality over quantity when it comes to SEO:
- More repeat visitors
- Visitors spending longer on your site
- Reduced bounce rates (i.e. where fewer visitors leave your site without interacting at all, or after visiting only one web page)
- More brand searches (i.e. people Googling your business’s name)
- More social shares of your content
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that search engines look at each of these things favourably.
While they’re nowhere near as strong a ranking factor (either individually or collectively) as say, your website’s authority, they are used by Google and the other search engines to figure out which content deserves the highest rankings.
Because of this, you can’t rely on crappy content when your goal is to outrank your competitors.
The next step, therefore, is to figure out what you can do make your blog posts, articles, or whatever else you want to publish better, more engaging, more interesting, and more shareable…
How Can We Define ‘Quality’ Content?
With ‘quality’ being one of the search engines’ various ranking factors for web pages, wouldn’t it be good if we could get some pointers from them on exactly how they define this?
Thankfully, we can.
Firstly, here’s Google’s advice:
Think about what makes your website unique, valuable, or engaging. Make your website stand out from others in your field.
A bit vague, but still valuable nonetheless.
Thankfully, Bing’s Webmaster guidelines are far more descriptive:
Content is what Bing seeks. By providing clear, deep, easy to find content on your website, we are more likely to index and show your content in search results.
Websites that are thin on content, showing mostly ads or affiliate links, or that otherwise redirect visitors away to other sites quickly tend not to rank well.
Your content should be easy to navigate, rich and engaging to the visitor, and provide them the information they seek.
In many cases, content produced today will still be relevant years from now. In some cases, however, content produced today will go out of date quickly.
Now that we have an insight into what the search engines want, let’s look at a few tips on how you can make your content as valuable, engaging, actionable, and as beneficial from an SEO perspective as possible…
Optimizing Your Content for SEO
Here at ToolCrowd, one of the issues that we see time and time again is the website owner that prioritises quantity over quality.
Now, don’t get us wrong, this is great when it comes to a competitor’s site, but it should be a big no-no for your website.
The fatal flaw is treating content creation like a race, writing heaps of blog posts and articles to try and rank for as many different keywords at once.
This is fine if the content is well-research and carefully crafted, but in most cases, rushing leads to it being the polar opposite of what Google, Bing, and the target audience are looking for.
The fact is, short-form, me-too articles that provide nothing unique, insightful, or engaging will never perform well.
And the results prove it.
Yes, they may rank, but usually well outside the top ten results meaning they generate little to no traffic.
Here’s how you can avoid the same mistake with your content:
Don’t forget the first rule of quality content:
If the topic isn’t closely related to your product/service, customer’s interest, the industry you’re in, or if it’s something that you have no business talking about (i.e., you aren’t an expert), choose something else.
Type your chosen keyword or search phrase into Google and look at the top ten results in detail.
Whatever you create needs to be better than each of these to stand a chance of ranking.
We cover the different ways to do this in the upcoming ‘specific tips’ section.
Why reinvent the wheel?
You can learn a lot about what Google and Bing want to rank by checking out your competitors’ best-ranking content.
Tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush make this super-easy, helping you save heaps of time when researching article ideas by helping you pinpoint what already works.
You can then put this freed-up time to good use by creating content that sits head and shoulders above that of your competitors.
Specific SEO Content Tips
1. Have a Clear Purpose
Avoid creating overly generic content.
Everything you write should have a distinct purpose.
The purpose of this post, for example, is to help readers understand key problem areas when it comes to content for SEO, and to provide information and tips to help readers overcome these to boost their rankings.
We could have included sections about the history of SEO, or the pioneers of SEO too, and while these may have been interesting, they wouldn’t have helped people understand specifically how to create awesome content.
So, remove any text which distracts or pulls your content in a different direction from its core purpose.
2. Create Actionable Content
What does your content achieve?
Does it merely provide more theory on a topic, or does it show the exact steps required to overcome a particular problem?
We’re not saying that theory isn’t important, but your content will resonate much more with your audience if it helps them achieve something tangible.
3. Keep It Accurate
Backup your theory with citations, and provide links to any facts or figures that you use in your content to boost credibility.
Don’t forget to test out any actions steps to ensure they work as expected, too.
4. Make It Highly Readable
Your content needs to be easy to read, both in terms of the language you use, and how you present the content on the page.
It should also be easy to follow, so if you’re providing action steps to achieve a specific outcome, for example, make each step as logical and straightforward as possible.
Don’t forget to use different headings and sections to break up large sections of text too.
5. Add Multimedia
No one enjoys reading endless amounts of text.
Split up your content with images, infographics, audio, or video files to help keep your content as interactive and engaging as possible.
This also helps keep people on your site for longer, something which Google looks at favourably.
6. Write Longer Content
Several SEO experts have found a link between how long an article is and how well it ranks.
Neil Patel points out that the average length of a top-ten ranked piece of content in the search engines’ results pages is 2000 words, while Brian Dean from Backlinko found that the average length of content ranked number one by the search engines was 1890 words.
Neil Patel also advises that longer articles and blog posts typically receive more backlinks, a critical ranking factor when it comes to SEO.
7. Use Varied Types of Content
Posting a variety of different content types will help keep your audience engaged and interested in the long-term.
There are loads of options available, including how-to posts/tutorials, list posts, resource posts, roundups, reviews, interviews, case studies/ personal stories, research reports, and guest posts.
8. Limited the Distractions
The odd advert here and there is okay, but we’ve all experienced web pages that have filled every bit of free space with ads.
It makes the content super-hard to read, and it just looks spammy.
Nothing shouts amateur more than over-using ads on your content.
Is that the image you want to project of your website and business as a whole?
9. Avoid Overusing Keywords
Often referred to as ‘keyword stuffing’, this involves using the same keyword over and over again excessively in an attempt to boost rankings.
The overuse of keywords came about from the (now disproven) concept that the more times you use a particular keyword or phrase, the better when it comes to ranking higher.
An example of keyword stuffing is as follows:
It’s clear from the paragraph above that the phrase ‘weight loss supplements’ has been overused, and it negatively impacts a visitor’s experience by reducing the readability of the text.
This example goes against Google’s and Bing’s guidelines of creating a web page primarily for the benefit of your visitors, as opposed to trying to game their rankings.
Your keyword usage should appear natural and not forced.
Start stuffing your content with keywords and don’t be surprised when your search engine rankings start to fall.
10. Avoid Cloaking
Another on-page SEO no-no, this involves showing one version of a website to a search engine and a different version to human visitors.
An example of cloaking is hiding content which human visitors cannot see within the HTML code of a web page – for example, adding extra keywords within the text which would make it unreadable if a human could view them.
Search engines frown upon this because they view it as disingenuous.
It manipulates their rankings and can lead to them promoting websites that are different from what a human visitor expects.
This not only wastes their time but can cause potential distrust in the search engine’s recommendations.
Be wary of cloaking, because if you get caught, the offending web page or your entire website could be penalised within the rankings or removed from the SERPs altogether.
11. Avoid Hidden Text
Similar to cloaking, this is another thing that search engines frown upon.
Instead of hiding additional text within a web page’s HTML code, it could involve:
- Using a text colour which matches the page’s background colour
- Positioning text outside of the screen boundaries
- Hiding text behind an image or embedded video file
- Using a font size of zero
Each of these will result in the text being included within the HTML code which the search engines crawl and index, but will ensure the text is effectively invisible to human visitors to prevent issues with readability.
Again, the search engines view this as trying to manipulate their rankings, and they will typically penalise offending websites as a result.
12. Avoid Duplicate Content
While the repercussions of duplicate content are somewhat exaggerated, it’s still worth covering how to deal with it within your content.
Firstly – don’t produce duplicate content if you can avoid it.
If you can’t, use the rel=”canonical” tag to help Google figure out what the original version is, or which version you want to give ranking priority to.
There’s often a logical explanation for why content could appear more than once.
For example, you may be republishing a guest post that you produced for another website on your website, and you can easily keep the search engines right by using the rel=”canonical” tag mentioned above.
You can read Google’s guidance on how to use this tag here.
That’s all, folks.
We hope that you’ve found this article valuable.
The key takeaway here is that you can’t expect your website to rank or resonate with your audience if you aren’t creating amazing content.
We’ve given you everything you need to get started.
There’s no point reinventing the wheel here, so feel free to steal our content strategy to massively improve the impact of your construction company’s content marketing.