“Content is King”, said Bill Gates famously in his essay in 1996.
This phrase is tossed around in the content marketing and SEO community a lot.
But what’s really meant by that? What type of content rules the Internet Kingdom? And what benefit does it really hold for your website and your business to produce more content?
In this article you’ll learn what type of content is beneficial for SEO and is it enough to just pump out as much content as possible. You’ll also learn why content engagement is equally important and which metrics should we use to measure it.
Content engagement is how the user interacts with a blog post, an article or a web page. Engaging with the content sends a signal (to Google or a social media platform) that the content is relevant to the audience in some way.
There can be many different ways to measure content engagement, for example:
In a nutshell, content engagement is how well your readers are perceiving and consuming your blog posts, articles and videos. It’s an important aspect of any content marketing strategy and cannot be overlooked.
There are definitely overlaps between content engagement and user engagement. In both cases, we’re talking about engaging with the platform.
However, the important distinction is whether we’re talking about a website visitor or a product user.
User engagement is about figuring out how users are engaging with your website as a whole. It can be regarded as the whole experience of your website, considering branding and usability.
Content engagement is part of user engagement. Content engagement is in regards to a visitor interacting with a blog post or article. This is usually all your blog posts and product pages. And If you’re looking for guest bloggers, it’s useful to search dedicated websites. You can hire a professional writer who can write different content types, including blog posts, college essays, and news articles. If you get content engagement going on - user engagement will fall in place
Content engagement is most commonly measured with Google Analytics.
When we’re talking about user acquisition and attracting people on your website, we can categorize the strategies into 2 groups:
The “Pull” strategy is much more effective for multiple reasons. First, when people are searching for a keyword in Google or YouTube, they’re looking to solve a problem or learn something at that moment. They’re more likely to take action when they’ve proactively searched for a solution to a problem.
That’s incredibly important.
The second reason is the perceived authority and respectfulness of a company is higher when it creates blog posts and videos that teach something.
If it only were that simple.
Just creating a ton of low-quality blog posts that nobody ever reads will hardly improve your website traffic quality or quantity.
2.75 million blog posts are published every day. And that’s just on WordPress. What makes your post stand out?
In 2020, the standard of content quality has become significantly higher in the past decade. Ten years ago, you could just create any type of content and you’d see a spike in your website traffic.
Low quality content feels auto-generated or written by a machine, it’s missing a tonality and any kind of style. Especially if it’s not even proof-read by a human. The writing lacks a certain “flow” and a logical train of thought. And finally, the writing doesn’t really reach a conclusion. It just seems to drift off and feels incomplete.
This kind of content repels readers. It doesn’t feel authentic and it rarely holds any insight in it. Readers can smell this from a mile away. After reading the first couple of paragraphs, the smell of low quality starts to creep up.
The reader just stops trusting the credibility of the blog post. They’ll just hit the back button and choose another source to read. And worse, they’ll associate the website with low quality in the future as well.
This kind of low content engagement is harmful for your SEO and it will hurt your rankings. It becomes harder and harder to get traffic, because the low-quality content hurts your content engagement metrics.
On-page SEO includes everything you can do on your website to improve the search engine rankings. That includes, for example:
Your overall page design is incredibly important. Attractive website design creates trust and keeps the user (reader) on the page for a lot longer.
In terms of SEO metrics, it’s called “Dwell time”. It measures how long does the user stay on your website, consuming the content. Longer dwell time gives signals to Google that the content is valuable to that user. As a result, Google rewards your blog post with higher rankings.
Another important SEO metric is “Click-Through-Rate”, which measures the impression to click ratio. For example, when your blog post is shown 1000 times in Google results and it’s clicked 10 times, your CTR is 1%. The CTR is determined by your blog post title, URL and description – basically everything that’s visible in the search engine results pages.
Both of these SEO metrics measure content engagements. Improve these and Google will reward you with higher rankings which translate to more traffic to your website. Ignore these and find your blog posts in the content graveyard, getting outdated and read by nobody.
Consider creating an engagement strategy to increase the visitor dwell time and proactively get your website visitors hooked. One effective way to do that is by offering content upgrades.
One common example of a content upgrade is offering a free download of a PDF handbook. That usually means you’ll get the visitors email address in exchange, as the handbook will be sent to their email.
The first benefit of this you’ll establish yourself as an authority in the field. Your visitor will be studying your handbook and if they want to learn more, they’ll naturally come back to your site.
The second benefit is growing your email list, which can be used to promote your products or services. In fact, 52% of senior publishers believe that content subscriptions (e.g. newsletters) would be their primary revenue stream.
If you want to take the content upgrades to the next level, you can get your visitors to sign up for a webinar to teach them something or speak about current industry trends. It’s important to choose a professional webinar platform to make sure you can deliver your webinar presentation and engage with the audience in a meaningful way.
Content upgrades are a passive way of engaging your website visitors. And it’s a great start.
However, if you’re really serious about capturing leads on your website, a smart way is proactively starting a conversation with them. Experienced marketers have set up live chat software solutions on their websites. You can even schedule specific messages that will trigger, depending on the type of content your visitor is reading.
Proactive and targeted engagement is the next step in connecting your content marketing efforts with your sales process. It’s time you consider your content as actual steps in the sales funnel.
For example, let’s say you’re running a Social Media marketing agency. When a visitor is reading your blog post about Social Media strategies, then you should qualify them as being interested in running social media campaigns.
Start considering your visitors who are reading your specific blog posts as qualifications. Lead nurturing solutions help you give scores to each action. When a lead reaches a certain score threshold, they’d be receiving some targeted communication from you.
Setting up a proper follow-up sequence for each lead segment can be time-consuming, but it’s well worth it. The communication is sharp and targeted, which makes the lead more likely to convert to a paying customer. After all, that’s why we want to engage visitors – to advance them to the next step in our sales funnel.
To summarize, the content is still king. Keep creating blog posts and articles, but make sure they’re optimized for Google and target specific high-volume keywords.
Remember that content engagement is queen. It’s worth putting more emphasis on creating interesting and engaging content that your readers want to share. Create compelling copy that keeps the dwell time high.
To engage your audience even more, set up content upgrades in the form of PDF handbooks and webinars. This helps with capturing your audience, giving them more value and collecting an email list.
To take the engagement game even further, set up lead nurturing and lead scoring systems. This way your targeting becomes even more sharp. It won’t be too long before you’ll start seeing that your produced content starts bringing in actual sales.
Without visitor engagement, there’s no Google rankings, no email capturing and ultimately no sales. That’s why engagement is queen. And that’s why the lady rules the house.
About the Author:
Erkki is the creator of WebinarSoftware.org, a blog dedicated to help marketers, coaches and start-ups leverage webinars to grow their businesses. Having over 5 years of experience in building software either as a founder or a product manager enables him to give deep and thoughtful insight in his blog. After having travelled the world, Erkki currently lives in Estonia, the land of start-ups.
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