Growing your business with content marketing

Creating content takes a lot of work, but thanks to content marketing it's work you only have to do once. Think of it this way - if you're running a paid advertising campaign, you'll need to keep watch on it to make sure it's still profitable. You'll also need to keep sending in payment. Once you pull the plug on your credit card, the ads stop running.

But with a piece of content, once you create it, it will never stop working for you. That same piece of content will keep bringing you traffic and will continue to be read by your visitors month after month, year after year - it's a long-term investment. Thinking of your content in this way will help you when it comes to writing it. It will work for you as long as you pay to host it on your site. Let's take a look at the top four ways content marketing will help you grow your business.

Traffic from search engines

As long as you optimise your piece of content for search engines, you've got a shot at it ranking high. The best way to do this is to research key phrases with a keyword tool (like Word Tracker or even the free Google Adwords Keyword Tool). Find out what key phrases potential visitors are typing into the search engines and make sure you use those exact phrases in your content. Incorporating the phrase into the title tag and your headline will go a long way toward optimising it.

Direct traffic from other websites

Creating content catered to highly trafficked sites within your target demographic can influence links that will bring you a steady flow of traffic. These links will continue to bring you valuable traffic as long as they are there, which is often indefinitely. Ask yourself: where would you like your link placed, if it could be anywhere? What type of content will your target sites link to? Although this process takes some work, a single piece of content published on your site can attract links from multiple sites.

For example, if you sell watches, links on highly trafficked fashion sites could result in the right visitors to grow your watch business. In order to gain links from fashion sites, you could create a piece of content that appeals to the fashion industry, e.g. content in which you match a particular type of male professional with the right watch. Your article could list out types of men; rugged outdoorsmen, politicians, computer geeks, etc. As a result, visitors from highly trafficked fashion sites may follow links to your site. The search engines may start ranking your site higher for key phrases due to the increase in the number of back links to your pages.

Visitor referrals

Long gone are the days where writing generic content was enough. Now that more businesses are using content marketing to attract prospects, even your free content needs to be highly valuable. With the explosion of social media, all it takes is a click of a button for your visitors to promote your content to their followers on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. So it pays to create something worthwhile.

These shares can create a viral effect or at the very least, bring you consistent, highly responsive and targeted traffic. After all, if someone you know shares a piece of content, you're more likely to read it as opposed to content that was automatically served up to you by a search engine. So don't underestimate the power of visitor referrals. They can be a big source of the best type of traffic.

Increased conversion rates

It's no secret that great content warms your visitors to your offers. If you've got a sign-up box on your site, you're going to convert a lot more of your visitors to subscribers just because you're giving away valuable content right on your site. Think of it as a free trial you're offering visitors before they commit to opting in to hear more from you. If your content helps them solve problems and they find value in it, it's only natural they'll want to hear more from you. This results in higher conversions for your offers, which means more money for your business.

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