Are you getting the return on your content marketing efforts?
Driving visitors to your website provides prospects the ability to understand more about your unique brand offerings. Many times, the interaction with your website content will be the first impression that they have of your institution. All the more reason to put your best foot forward. But, how do you get the prospects to your content?
If you build it….
I have always loved Kevin Costner movies (yes, I grew up in the 80’s). Dances with Wolves is one of my favorites, and I have enjoyed his more recent movies as well: McFarland USA, Draft Day, and 3 Days to Kill. But one of his classics is Field of Dreams In the movie, Costner plays an Iowa farmer who hears voices whispering “if you build it, he will come” and proceeds to build a full-size baseball field in his corn fields in hopes of seeing them come.
Ever since seeing that movie, I often chuckle with how many organizations must hear the same voices as it relates to their website: “if you build it, they will come.” The fact is, visitors only come to your website if they know about it. Your content marketing is only effective if they learn about it. Here are 52 ways to get them to your site:
Search Engine Optimization
Understand that your site can be found organically, meaning you don’t have to pay for users to find you. Use these techniques to get higher in the search engine result.
1. Understand Google. Best practices as of 2015:
2. Write 500 – 750 words on the page.
3. Use your selected keywords in about 2.5 percent of your blog post.
4. Use your selected keywords in the title and the first headline.
5. Use a photo with your keyword in the title.
6. Link to other websites.
7. Use your keywords in the META description of the page.
8. Use Google Webmaster Tools to understand what is working and what is broken.
9. Use Yoast SEO for WordPress to write your content.
10. Post to Google+ (Google ranks your organization higher).
11. Set up a free Google Local Business account and get it verified.
12. Make sure your site is listed and submit new micro sites as you complete them.
Pay Per Click
You can also put your content in front of users as they are searching or browsing among other content. PPC (pay per click) is a way to pay a small amount when a user clicks on your ad.
14. Buy Twitter Ads
15. Buy LinkedIn Ads
16. Buy Facebook Ads
17. Buy Instagram Ads
18. Buy Pinterest Ads
19. Be sure to have a landing page as part of your strategy. Otherwise, you just drop them off at the front door with no direction.
Use social media to drive users to your website.
20. Use CoSchedule to promote your blogs in social media.
22. Post multiple times to your social networks: users may miss your first posts.
25. Post regularly to build a platform.
Promote Across Your Marketing
Look for ways to cross-reference your marketing efforts and drive users to your site.
28. Be consistent in your branding. Make your content marketing consistent.
29. Keep it practical and simple to get return visits.
30. Organize your efforts and your promotions.
32. Use marketing automation to drive users while you are busy doing other things.
35. Use unique URLs on your print materials (admissions.yourschool.edu) to measure with Google Analytics.
36. Create micro sites or RSS-fed updates to drive email marketing.
37. Create press releases.
38. Print T-shirts with a URL.
39. Vehicle wraps.
40. Mobile Apps.
Look for ways to provide your “evergreen content” in areas outside of your direct control to drive users back to more of your content at your site:
43. Industry websites: I blog at edsocialmedia.com.
44. Recycle content through LinkedIn publishing.
45. Contribute to local papers.
46. Contribute to industry magazines & newsletters.
47. Publish a regular monthly newsletter by automating your RSS feed.
48. Print partial content in a magazine with “the rest of the story” via a link to your website.
49. Recycle content into gated content, such as ebooks.
51. Cross reference your blog posts to other content within your own site (see below).
52. Be a guest on other blogs and podcasts to have them promote your content.