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14 Content Marketing Best Practices to Drive Traffic to Your Website

Are you throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping it sticks… and by spaghetti we mean content and by wall we mean your website?

Well, you’re not alone. Despite the saying “content is king”, only 29% of marketers actively use content marketing, according to the HubSpot State of Marketing Report 2024.Yet the benefits of a well-thought-out content strategy are clear to see. Companies with blogs produce an average of 67% more leads per month than companies that don’t have active blogs, according to DemandMetric.

There’s no doubt about it, the internet is saturated with content today. That’s why you need a content marketing strategy that attracts the right audience, engages them with valuable content, and ultimately converts them into loyal customers.

Here are 14 battle-tested tactics to transform your content marketing and drive organic traffic to your website.

1. Understand Your Audience

When learning about your audience, it's critical to go beyond just demographics. Conduct surveys, host focus groups, speak to your sales team and analyze website traffic data to understand your audience's pain points, goals, and challenges. Create detailed buyer personas that include not just demographics, but also their challenges, online behaviour, and preferred communication styles. Think of them as real people, not just data points!

Learn more in our blog, How to Build Impactful B2B Buyer Personas.

2. Map Your Persona's Buyer's Journey

Visualize the stages your ideal customer takes from initial brand awareness to becoming a customer. Develop content that caters to each stage. At the top of the funnel, offer informative blog posts and social media content that educates them about their challenges. Nurture them with helpful ebooks and case studies in the middle of the funnel. Finally, provide compelling product demos and testimonials at the bottom of the funnel to push them towards conversion.

Read more on our blog, What is the Inbound Marketing Funnel?

3. Audit Your Existing Content

Be honest and ruthless! Analyze your existing content for accuracy, relevance, and engagement. Use website analytics to identify low-performing content that might need a refresh or removal. Consolidate or update outdated content to ensure it aligns with your current brand messaging and buyer personas.

4. Keyword Research: Unlocking Search Secrets

Keywords are critical in ranking highly for the terms that your buyer personas are actively searching for. Don't just focus on high-volume keywords. Use long-tail keywords with lower competition that are more specific to your target audience's search queries. Tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, and SEMrush can help you identify relevant keywords with strong search intent. Incorporate these keywords naturally throughout your content, but prioritize readability over keyword stuffing (search engines will ding your content for stuffing in keywords where they aren't relevant or valuable).

5. Build a Content Strategy (Don't Just Wing it)

Develop a content calendar that outlines the type of content you'll create, the topics you'll cover, the keywords each piece of content is targeting, and the publishing schedule. Align your content strategy with your overall marketing goals. Are you aiming to increase brand awareness, generate leads, or drive sales? Create content that supports those objectives.

6. SMART Goals: Get Specific with Your Content

Don't settle for generic goals. Set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) for your content. For example, instead of saying "get more traffic," aim to "increase website traffic by 20% in the next quarter." Track key metrics like website traffic, bounce rate, and lead generation to measure your progress and adjust your strategy as needed.

7. Content That Converts

We've said it before, but this really can't be said enough. Focus on creating high-quality content that provides genuine value to your audience! Address their specific needs, answer their questions, and offer solutions to their problems. Use storytelling, data, and visuals to make your content engaging and informative. Remember, your content should educate and inspire, not just sell.

8. Evergreen vs. Topical: A Content Powerhouse Duo

Develop a content mix that includes both evergreen content (like industry best practices) that remains relevant over time, and topical content that addresses current trends and news. Evergreen content forms the foundation of your content library, while topical content keeps your audience engaged and demonstrates your brand's thought leadership on new trends and industry developments. 

9. Content Variety is Key to Both Traffic and Conversions

Don't limit yourself to just blog posts. Experiment with different content formats like ebooks, infographics, videos, podcasts, and pillar pages. Cater to different learning styles and keep your audience engaged by offering a variety of content formats. Different content formats will not only help you drive organic traffic to your website, but also help you move visitors through their buyer's journey toward a conversion. 

10. Consistency is Key: Show Up and Deliver Value

Develop a regular content publishing schedule and stick to it. Whether it's weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, consistency is crucial for building audience trust and keeping them coming back for more. Consistent valuable content creation also helps to prove to search engines that you are an authority on an umbrella topic, as long as the content you are creating around that topic is high-value to your persona. 

11. Repurpose, Repurpose, Repurpose!

Squeeze every drop of value from your content. Turn blog posts into social media snippets, videos into blog post summaries, and ebooks into infographics. Repurposed content can be used for email marketing campaigns, presentations, and guest blog posts.

12. On-Page SEO: Speak the Search Engine Language

Optimize your content for search engines by incorporating relevant keywords naturally throughout your writing. Utilize title tags, meta descriptions, and header tags to further enhance your content's discoverability. Optimize images with alt tags and ensure your website has a clean and mobile-friendly structure.

13. Focus on the Needs of Your Audience, Not Your Business

Today's customers don't want to be sold to. They want to research how to address the challenges and pain points they are experiencing. Instead of creating content that solely promotes your products or services, prioritize content that addresses your audience's specific needs and challenges. Research their pain points and tailor your content to provide solutions and valuable insights. By focusing on audience needs, you'll build trust and establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry. Content that educates and empowers your audience ultimately positions your brand as the trusted advisor they can rely on.

14. Data Doesn't Lie: Use Analytics to Optimize and Improve Continuously

Track key metrics like website traffic, bounce rate, and engagement for your content. Use this data to identify what's working and what's not. Data is your friend, use it to continuously improve your content strategy! Make sure to refer back to your SMART goals for how you expected each piece of content to perform - if it's not performing as expected, it's time to look into how you can improve things. 

Interested in learning more about the importance of data in your Inbound Marketing strategy? Read our blog, 8 Reasons Why Data is Key to a Successful Inbound Marketing Strategy.

Not sure where you start with your content marketing strategy? SummitBound Marketing is a HubSpot Partner Agency with years of experience in creating impactful content that drives your Inbound Marketing Program and delivers results for your business. We’d love to hear how we can help you.

Tom Davis
Post by Tom Davis
June 6, 2024
With a background in journalism, Tom combines his love of writing and experience in Inbound Marketing to deliver effective content strategies to SummitBound clients.