A Foolproof Method for Creating Content That Converts

The changes that Google are making have made good content and social signal all the more important, so it was a really nice surprise when I found this article on both.

The fact of the matter is that many sites have very poor content, also known as ‘thin content’ when reviewed by Google. This sort of thing can effect both the rankings of the site and also, perhaps more importantly, it can also effect the sites conversion and bounce rates.

The rankings are effected as Google down grades any site it finds with what it classes as poor content, this being either:-

  1. too short
  2. badly written with poor grammar
  3. duplicated content
  4. uninformative

On the plus side, good content has the opposite effect and also if it gets shared on Social Media (like Facebook, or Twitter) and thus generates what is known as ‘Social Signal’ it can really boost a sites rankings.

Getting a site on to the first page of Google is of course good news, but as getting traffic to a site is the real goal, what if you could get envolved in a conversation on the web and thus get visits that way.

Surely that would be good wouldn’t it??

Well if you think so too, have a good look at the article below, its full of great ideas on how to drive traffic to your site.

A Foolproof Method for Creating Content That Converts

When your content is mediocre, it’s nearly impossible to get people to pay attention.

But when your content is amazing, it’s easy to promote it. It’s easy to drive traffic. And it’s much easier to pull in qualified leads.

To create amazing content, we’re going to steal a technique from Brian Dean.

It’s called the Skyscraper Technique, and it’s based around creating content so valuable that it “towers” above your competitor’s content – hence the name.

This is what gives your content a competitive edge, making it easier to get social shares and backlinks.

The technique involves three main steps:

1.    Find content that’s already proven to get social shares and backlinks
2.    Publish content that’s better than anything else out there on that topic
3.    Promote it to drive traffic and capture leads.
Simple enough? Let’s break it down.
1. Find content that is proven to perform well

To find content that is tried-and-true, we’re going to start with a tool called Buzzsumo.

Buzzsumo is a search engine that finds the most highly shared content for any given search term. It even provides the exact number of shares per article on each of the major social media networks.

If the most shared articles on a topic have a lot of social shares (in the ballpark of 500+), that topic is proven to be popular. This means that if you create a piece of content on that topic, it’s already predestined to get social shares.

So here’s what you’re going to do:

First, do a search on Buzzsumo for a topic you would like to write about. If the top articles have received a good amount of social shares, make a list of the most shared articles and read through each one.

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As you’re reading, jot down two things:

1.    The information that is mentioned over and over again in each article. This is standard information on the topic. Therefore, it should not be left out of your content, otherwise your content will be incomplete.

2.    The crucial information that most of the articles are not addressing or are only touching on. This is one of the components that will set your content apart.

I prefer to keep track of this in a spreadsheet

Then gather data from Topsy

Next, we’re going to use another useful tool called Topsy.

Topsy is a search engine that shows you all of the top tweets for a given search term. You can also filter your searches by influencers, links, tweets, photos and videos.

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For example, if I do a search for “website design,” Topsy pulls up the top tweets within a specific date range:

You’ll want to use Topsy to find all of the tweets related to your keyword. Then, you’ll want to see which related articles influencers are tweeting about. To do this, get another spreadsheet ready:

Search for articles that are getting a ton of tweets. Then, filter your search by “Influencers” to see what people with the largest social media followings are tweeting about. To do this:

1.    Use the sidebar option to filter by influencers.

2.    Then click on the “Mentions” link below each influencer to see what content they’re sharing.

3.    Grab those URLs as well, and jot down which influencers are sharing this content.

4.    Next, follow the same steps you did with the articles you found using Buzzsumo. Take note of 1) the information that’s mentioned over and over again and 2) the crucial information that is being left out or neglected.

Then grab some data from good ol’ Google

Finally, we want to find content that is proven to get backlinks and rank in Google. Get a third spreadsheet ready for this step and then:

1.    Type your keyword into Google and grab the URLs of the top 10-20 search results (skip Wikipedia pages and such).

2.    Plug each URL into a backlink checker, like Ahrefs or SEO Spyglass. Copy-paste each URL that has received a good amount of backlinks into your spreadsheet.

Depending on your niche, this threshold could be over 10 backlinks – or it could be over 50. You can’t say without looking at it relatively. Look at how many backlinks the top ranking articles are getting, and compare those numbers to the lower ranking articles. This will give you an idea of what an impressive number of backlinks looks like.

3.    Lastly, go through each one and take note of the same two pieces of information you did with the previous articles.

And what are you left with?

By now, you know which types of articles are proven to get social shares, backlinks and rank in search engines.

But you also know:

  1. What information must be included
  2. Which information will set your content apart
  3. What content the most influential people/companies are sharing on this topic (and who they are!)

Not bad. But now it’s time to make your content better than anything else out there.

Create amazing content that’s better than the rest

Since you read through all of the most shared articles, you have intimate knowledge of the best content on your chosen subject.

Now it’s time to make your content better. Your goal should be to create the number one resource for this information

.
How do you do this?

Well, you have a number of options:

  1. Make it longer. As long as you’re making every word count, more information = more value. Longer content also gives off a higher perceived value, because it has a “wow factor” that makes people more likely to share it.For example, if most of the current articles give 5-10 tips, include 15-20 tips in your article, and you could induce that “wow factor.”

    In terms of ranking in Google, this study found that at least 1,500 words is a good starting point for ranking on the first page (and thus receiving more backlinks).

  2. Make it actionable. Think of your article as a dinner recipe. Give people step-by-step instructions on how to accomplish what you’re teaching.Link to tools and credible sources that will help them out. Give them everything they need to master the topic at hand. The more tangible value people get out of your content, the more likely they’ll be to share it on social media.
  3. Make it visual. Include screenshots, diagrams, pictures, and videos to help explain your topic. Not only does this make your content more useful, it can increase its perceived value as well.
  4. Make it user-friendly. Consider user experience as you create your content. Include in-text navigation links so people can jump from one section to another.Create a table of contents at the beginning of your content and a link within each section that brings people back to the top of the page.

(Here’s a nifty guide for including in-text links.)

All of these things provide added value on top of the information you’re teaching people.

This makes your content more shareable and more linkable. And what do shares and links get you?

That’s right!

Traffic, subscribers and leads.

Promote your content to get social shares and drive traffic

Now that you’ve got so much awesome content, it’s time to push it out into the world. Here are four traffic generation channels you can try:

1.    Twitter
2.    Forum marketing
3.    Quora
4.    BuzzBundle

(Tactics for using these channels for lead gen are broken down – in detail – in my previous Unbounce article, A Step-by-Step Guide to Generating Leads with Your Content.)

These strategies will help you generate consistent traffic with your content. However, if you want big bursts of traffic, you need a little muscle play.

Now, if you don’t have a large social media following, email list, or high-powered connections, it can be tough to make this happen.

The solution is to harness the followings of other people, even if you don’t have a personal connection with them. All you need to do is reach out to social media influencers in your space and ask them to share your content with their followers.

I know. You’re not the asking type right? You’re used to making things happen under your own control? I’m the same way. But you’ve got to suck up your pride and nurture some humility, because you absolutely don’t want to miss out on the results this can bring you.

Please see the entire article on Content for a full explanation.