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Un-Gated Content

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The 3 Steps to Blogging for Business

1. Creating Quality Content

The Why of Content?

The goal is to create content that provides informed answers to the questions of your industry. Blogging when done with a purpose, attracts business to you. The elusive, ready-to-chat, qualified leads. When users are searching for content online, they are selecting specific keywords or asking a specific question they would like answered. To do this well, you will need your blogs to be both reflective of your industry experience and understanding of your end customer’s questions.

You are an expert of your field—whether it feels that way every day or not. As the expert, what you identify as industry pain points is a great starting point for creating content that will resonate. But sometimes that expertise can blind you from identifying easy content that does not feel as relevant to your own questions. Remember, you are the expert. Whether you are new to your field of work or a veteran, it is crucial to remember that your reader/customer is not always informed to the same extent you are.

Related Post: How to Create Content That Sticks ➢

Using Google AdWords for Blog Topic Ideas

While your own experience in the industry is a great place to start, there are tools available to help you generate ideas for blog topics. Google AdWords is a tool we recommend for identifying your top performing pages. It also lets you review competitors most successful blogs as well. No, do not just repeat what’s working. Use this as a guide, something that shows you what topics are currently performing well – and vice versa – which topics aren’t resonating with your customer.

Make It Easy for Google to Find Your Blog

Blogging is a phenomenal way to drive traffic. However, the traffic potential of blogging hinges on your focus and understanding of on-page SEO [Search Engine Optimization]. As your customer uses Google to answer their question, Google’s algorithm is determined to find the most highly-relevant content for a specific search. In a competitive market, chances are you aren’t the only company out there with some answers. If you work with Google and prioritize on-page SEO, that is the “secret sauce” that puts you in a good position to rank high and capture organic traffic.

Watch On-demand: Check out this webinar to learn how you can implement content marketing into your strategy ➢

2. Promoting Your Content

Where to Promote?

So great, your blog is answering difficult questions and is optimized for your selected keywords, AND you rank competitively on Google. Still not getting the traffic you like? Where to next?

Social platforms and e-marketing are opportunities to amplify your best content. By getting your brand in front of more people, you’ll increase your leads. Let’s review how LinkedIn and E-Blasts will assist you in driving web traffic that leads to conversions and sales.

Note: LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter can all be utilized as both Paid and Unpaid Advertising platforms.

Unpaid LinkedIn Promotions

This is simply creating a brand online. Whether it’s your own personal page or a company page, there is no charge for posting and sharing with your network. If you are still in the process of growing your own personal brand, look into joining LinkedIn groups as an option to get your activity and content in front of more eyes.

LinkedIn Paid Promotions

If you are looking for a more tailored audience, utilize LinkedIn Ad manager. Narrow your target audience down to the specific demographic that you identify as an ideal customer. There may be trial and error at first and that’s part of the process. LinkedIn provides countless filters that you can alter until you find your target market. This may vary for different content types.

E-Blasting Blogs

We will use that hard-earned list of contacts from trade shows, client happy hours, your local association, etc. You worked on building relationships and paid a premium for these contacts. Set a cadence for a newsletter, compiling all that work you put into your blog into a format that communicates that value to your end-customer.

Blogs answer the questions your prospects are asking. Use this to build rapport and a relationship with your prospect list. Don’t just send another salesy piece of collateral, boasting about your brand, or jamming all your products and services in one email. Blogs allow you to send tangible value to your prospects, answering questions about problems they need answered today.

Related Post: 5 Content Marketing Mistakes – That Give Competitors the Edge ➢

3. Quantifying Success with Analytics

Google Assistant

Utilize Google as a tool to assist in tracking, and more importantly, identifying your successes and challenges with blogging. Google Analytics is FREE – check out the demo account here. It is a phenomenal tool to help you identify what works, and what might need some more work.

Below is a quick guide to some of the most important website metrics that you can analyze with Google Analytics.

Website Metrics

Page Traffic [or] Blog Traffic: How many people landed on that webpage?

Bounce Rate: Are users getting to your pages then leaving immediately?

Keywords: Does Google Analytics rank your keywords as relevant search terms?

Social Metrics

Impressions: How many people saw your personal or company post on your blog?

CTR [Click-Through-Rate]: Out of all those people that saw it, how many clicked your link?

Engagement: Are people interacting with your social posts? Liking, commenting, sharing on their own accounts? That might seem basic, yet crucial in gaining exposure.

Related Post: Google Analytics 101 ➢

Next Steps

Still trying to make sense of it all? Check out our webinar, where Parqa’s CEO Tony Sorensen outlines “the why” to blogging, content marketing, and how Parqa incorporates an inbound strategy to differentiate their clients.

Schedule a call with a content strategist on the Parqa Digital Marketing team. We’re here to chat, brainstorm startegy and answer any questions you might have on your first steps towards a 2018 Inbound Strategy.

Content Marketing Webinar

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Gated Content vs. Ungated Content: When to Use Each

When building out a plan to grow your business through digital marketing, you’re going to need to include a way to capture leads once visitors land on your website. For better or worse, the internet is powered by a certain kind of digital currency. No, I’m not talking about Bitcoin, I’m talking about email.

Whenever you fill out a form on a website and give out your email address, you’re exchanging your email address for information. Your email address is the digital currency that allows you to transact with a website for educational content–this is how marketers generate leads online from website visitors. The content behind these forms are what marketers call gated content.

Watch On-demand: Check out this webinar to learn how you can implement content marketing into your strategy ➢

What is Gated Content?

Gated content is educational content that is so valuable to website visitors that they’re willing to give up their email address in order to get it.

Sounds like a good deal, right? If you give up your email address, you get a copy of an eBook for free. You get the eBook, and marketers gain the ability to contact you as well as learn more about you—your business, your goals, and your challenges. What could be the downside?

Search Engines and Gated Content

Unfortunately, gated content doesn’t help to drive search engine traffic as Google can’t crawl content that you’ve placed behind a form. Think Lord of the Rings, “You Shall Not Pass.” You’ve spent hours creating a great piece of content that your audience will love just to find out that it won’t help with SEO. So clearly we’ll have to make a tradeoff, right?

you shall not pass

While gated content is the lifeblood of inbound marketing, it does have its downside—Google can’t crawl content that is hidden behind your web form–I know, gasp! This is why they call it gated content. From Google’s perspective, this makes sense, if searchers aren’t able to find the content they’re looking for on Google, then it makes for a bad-user experience for searchers.

It reminds of my days doing research in college, I’d search for industry reports while doing market research, but would quickly find that the search results led me to pages that provided only a brief preview of the information I was looking for. To gain access to the full report, I’d need to pay for it.

Like most college students, I didn’t have $900 to shell out for secondary research data, so I found myself frustrated with the results and went back to the drawing board. Thankfully, there were tons of search results so after a few pages of clicking, I found the information I was looking for.

Related Post: How to Create Content That Sticks ➢

When Does It Make Sense to Use Gated Content?

While organic traffic to your website is great for your page views, it doesn’t help you understand who your visitors are or if they come back to engage in any of your other content.

Because of the vast amounts of information available on the internet, clients and candidates are more informed than ever before—typically viewing more than 5 pieces of content before making a buying decision. For better or worse, creating content that visitors want to engage in is the only way to generate and nurture leads from your website.

By creating gated content that your audience is interested in like salary guides, or how-tos, they’ll gain valuable information and insights from the content and you’ll be able to reach out to them in the future with updated information and new content—a win-win for both sides. But therein lies the problem, Google can’t crawl gated content, so we still need to provide content that is crawlable by Google to drive new traffic and help searchers find your website.

When to Use Ungated Content

Since search engines aren’t able to crawl your gated content, it can be a bit of a balancing act between when and when not to use gated content—the answer lies in your goals. If you need to drive more organic traffic to your website, then it doesn’t make sense to gate the content. This is why you don’t typically see company blogs, websites, or social media posts hidden behind a form—you want Google to bring you traffic, if Google can’t find you, you won’t benefit from search traffic.

Related Post: 5 Content Marketing Mistakes – That Give Competitors the Edge ➢

Can Gated Content Drive Organic Results?

If you notice your website is driving a lot of organic traffic, but you’re not getting enough leads from the content that you are creating, it is time to implement some longer-form pieces of content that will help your audience move further along in the buyer’s journey.

There is an exception to this rule, but it’s a bit trickier to pull off. In a recent study conducted by HubSpot, they found that gating html pages that are crawlable by Google actually increased organic traffic and conversion rates. Remember that gated content is important for generating leads, but typically does not benefit your organic traffic.

To learn more about how content marketing and when to use gated content to grow your business, check out our recent webinar recording.

Content Marketing Webinar

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