Successful content marketing takes the right attitude as well as patience. Similar to your staffing agency, it isn’t built overnight. There is a lot of hard work that goes on behind the scenes before your firm really takes off and finds success.
The same thing happens with a content marketing program.
Everyone wants to rank on the first page of Google, right away. (And I don’t blame you.) But that won’t happen at the beginning of your blogging program.
However, it can happen if you stay dedicated to blogging and implement the right tactics and strategies. Let’s check out two textbook examples of blogging content working perfectly.
My first example comes from Energy Services Group International. They are a power generation recruiter located in the Norfolk, Va. area. The Haley Marketing Group has been blogging for ESGI for nearly three years.
In our standard blogging program, we produce four pieces of custom-written content for clients with the goal of driving targeted traffic back to the website. Before posting the content, we optimize the blogs with strategic keywords for Google to pick up on. Google wants to see keyword-rich content being added to websites and wants to serve that content to people conducting searches.
Google helps answer the queries of its users. If the content from your website answers a user’s question, your content will move up on the search results page. This is an important piece of information for later in the blog.
Not only do we produce content for our blogging clients, but as part of our blogging program we monitor Google Analytics and draw conclusions from the data:
- Is there something we should change?
- Is there something we should do more of?
- Are there any industry-wide trends in the staffing industry?
Recently, I was looking at the data for ESGI and saw the blog traffic start to increase, quickly:
To see this increase in the fourth quarter of the year was really unusual. Staffing agency websites typically see a sizable decrease (commonly 20-25 percent) in traffic during the final three months of the year. (And naturally, a bump in January of the new year when everyone has resolutions.)
So when I saw the organic traffic (think traffic from Google, Yahoo and Bing searches), for ESGI take a big increase in November, it was time to do more research.
The research showed this:
A blog post originally published on May 5, 2015, all of a sudden was bringing large amounts of traffic to the ESGI website. More than two years later!
How much traffic?
In November, that one blog accounted for 20.6 percent of all website traffic for ESGI. 20.6 percent! (And it’s good traffic – they are spending 4 minutes, 20 seconds on that blog post.)
In the first 10 months of 2017, that same blog accounted for 1.7 percent of all website traffic for ESGI. At some point in the end of October, this blog gained a lot of authority in the eyes of Google.
How can we tell this?
The image below explains it:
As I said earlier in this blog, Google wants to answer the questions and searches of its users. When we go to Google with a question and get that question answered (instantly), then we are more likely to go back to Google and ask more questions.
The rapid growth in traffic for this one piece of content shows why a long-term commitment to blogging is imperative. At some point in the past couple of months, users were searching for terms related to this blog. The blog answered their question and Google increased its presence in search results.
Another one of my clients, Systems Personnel, has been using a number of our programs – blogging, blogging newsletter and the award-winning Social Pro – for nearly two years.
Similar to ESGI, Systems Personnel had a piece of content really drive a lot of traffic back to the website.
A really exciting detail about this piece of content was that it posted on April 20, 2017. It only took a few months to take off!
From August 1 to November 30:
- The blog accounted for 20.4 percent of overall website traffic
- People are spending six minutes, 40 seconds on the blog
- It’s the second-most viewed page on the website (behind the home page)
- Organic traffic (Google, Yahoo, Bing) brought 7,482 sessions to the website, compared to 1,893 in the same timeframe last year – an increase of 295 percent
Why did it take off? Similar to the piece of content from the first example earlier in this blog, the content must be answering the question of Google searches and users are finding it helpful. The blog post is gaining authority in Google’s eyes and it’s being pushed out more often.
What’s really interesting about this piece of content is that it was written by the client. We write four pieces of content per month for Systems Personnel, but the CEO of the company wanted to share this content with his audience. It worked perfectly!
However, if Systems Personnel wasn’t using our services, they wouldn’t know this blog was really taking off and wouldn’t know what to do next.
So what do we do next?
What Do We Need to Do With High-Performing Content
Earlier this year, I was listening to a podcast and heard a really insightful piece of information. We can create 100 pieces of content but as humans, we aren’t capable of creating 100 awesome pieces of content. A handful will stand out. These pieces of content are called “unicorn content.” It’s content that works so perfectly it’s almost too good to be true. But once you get this unicorn content, it’s time to take it to the next level.
These two blogs are perfect examples. It’s great to have them drive 20 percent of the traffic to your website, but they can do even more.
1. Re-Purpose the Content
This content is working very well in a blog format and now we need to re-purpose it into other formats. Can you create an infographic? Can you create a video? Can you include it in your newsletter?
If it works once, there’s no reason to re-invent the wheel. Create different formats of the same piece of content and share it everywhere. Share it internally. Share it with your job candidates. Share it with your clients. Print it out and leave it in your office. Print it out and use it as a drop-off with your local businesses. Share it with local publications.
Anything you can do to share this content everywhere.
2. Write Similar Blogs
If this blog content worked once, what can you do to write similar blog content? Does the blog have separate sections you can develop into a multi-part series? There will definitely be similar topics you can create based on the main subject of the blog.
When you write the new blog, put a link to the high-performing blog. Those internal links will only help keep users on your site longer, which is great for potential conversions and a positive ranking factor for Google.
3. Look at the Search Terms
This gets into more of a technical part of content marketing, but there is probably one (or a couple) of search terms driving a lot of that traffic to the blog. At the Haley Marketing Group, we use tools like SEMRush and Ahrefs to gain this information.
You can look at individual web pages and see which term is driving the traffic to your website. Once you find that term, implement it into your blog a couple of more times. Put it in the first and last paragraphs. Put it in a subheading on the page. Put it in a tag.
The blog is performing well, but there’s no reason it can’t be performing even better!
4. Consider Paid Promotion
This content is working extremely well in the organic world. People are going to Google and it’s literally answering their question. If it’s working well in one part of the marketing funnel, we have to push it out even more.
Look into Facebook promotion. Take the blog and create the target audience you think will gain value from this content. It will take some trial-and-error with the headline, ad copy, and image, but small tweaks can drive even more targeted traffic right to your website. That’s where we want them!
Stay Focused on the Long-Term Goal
As I talked about at the start of this blog, content marketing takes the right attitude and patience. Both of these clients trust the Haley Marketing Group with the strategy of its blogging program.
It can be difficult when you never receive a phone call that says “I’m calling today because I read your awesome blog post.” It is nice when more people call your business because your staffing agency is ranking higher on Google. These two perfect examples show that content marketing and blogging work and drive more traffic back to the place you want them – on your website.