Whether you’re a digital marketer or a small business owner you understand the business case for content marketing. However, if you’re like me, you get bogged down trying to sift through all the fluff articles on inbound marketing techniques and quick-win digital marketing hacks.
So, if you’re looking to cut through the B.S. with actionable content ideas that work quickly, you’ve come to the right place.
Here are a few tried-and-true inbound marketing techniques we at Nectafy use for ourselves and our clients that have actually produced rapid results.
They’re specific enough that you can apply these techniques to your existing posts right away—and see results within a few days.
1. Write about KPIs.
What are the key performance indicators (KPIs) your main persona is looking for? Find out what they are (if you don’t already know) and then write about them. If you’re on target with your persona, you’ll likely rank for this topic.
Proof: At Nectafy, we’ve done this for several clients and it’s worked without fail. Why? KPIs are something almost everyone—in any industry—searches for, yet they aren’t written about frequently. This is a proven, non-competitive strategy that can quickly boost your results. Learn how it works in this article.
2. Write combination posts.
To create a combination post, simply combine several existing blog posts on a common subject into one large post. If your current blog has several smaller posts with a common subject (e.g. top keywords in an industry), you may find in your analysis that two (or more) blog posts on the same keywords are both ranking on page two of Google.
In other words, your blog posts are cannibalizing one another: They are both doing OK—but not well enough to get to page one, where the majority of your audience will find the post—and you.
Instead of allowing this cannibalization to continue, combine these posts into one. Find out which, if any, of your articles, are currently ranking on pages two through five of Google; then, see if multiple articles on a single topic are ranking in that range. If you combine them, you will increase your ranking.
Then, post the combination article on the URL of the article with a higher ranking, and redirect the lower ranking URL to the higher ranking one. You will likely end up with the new combination article on page one.
For example, in the image above, our company had two pages ranking for the same keyword, (ranking at 11 and 15 respectively). When one dropped out (where you see the dotted line), the other jumped to 8. One article on page one is better than two on the middle of page two.
3. Write comparison posts.
Comparison posts are a favorite strategy of ours. Anytime you can do a “this vs. that” comparison for a topic, you have excellent fodder for a high-ranking blog post. Why? Lots of people—including your audience probably—use Google to compare things in their decision-making process.
From a marketing standpoint, it can be difficult to rank for these comparison topics separately, but by putting them together in a comparison post, you provide an answer to a question your persona is looking for and give yourself an excellent chance to rank for a keyword.
Comparison posts work because they’re useful to personas, there’s searchable volume for keywords, and there’s usually not a lot of competition for them. We’ve done comparison posts for our clients and they’ve ranked on page one almost every time. Want to know more about how to do this inbound marketing technique? We explain it in detail in our article, A Non-Competitive SEO Strategy: Comparison Keywords.
4. Run CTA tests for blog posts.
First, identify which of your blog posts are your top performers and review the CTA conversion rates on their pages. We recommend doing this by counting up visits (for example, 100 in March) and the number of leads that have a “first page seen” in HubSpot of that blog post (for example, four). Then, calculate the conversion rate: 4/100, or 4%.
With that information, you can fine-tune the calls-to-action displayed on those pages in two ways:
- Add H3 CTAs in the top third of the post. An “H3 CTA” is a plain-text call-to-action added between two paragraphs of an article. These CTAs should be relevant to the topic and content discussed in the article—a “next step” your persona would be interested in downloading. Instead of using normal paragraph copy and linking to a CTA, we set apart these CTAs by sizing them as H3 headers.
- Test different CTAs. In addition to adding an H3 CTA to all your posts, you should test and adjust your CTAs. We compare timeframes and conversion rates to see what’s working best per post—find out more about our process here.
So, does this simple inbound marketing tactic work? For example, by adding H3s and switching out CTAs, we’ve seen one of our clients’ numbers go from 200 leads per month to 600 leads per month, without an increase in visits.
5. Rewrite resource-based blogs with bottom-of-funnel landing pages at the top of the article.
Whew, that was a mouthful. Let me break it down for you: If you have articles that are ranking already, you probably wrote them as resources. If you’re already ranking for a bottom-of-funnel keyword, then consider adding a bottom-of-funnel landing page at the top of the article. This addition keeps the existing content that’s ranking but provides a call-to-action that better matches what the persona is searching.
One caveat: You can expect a slight decrease in visits to pages where you’ve employed this inbound marketing technique, but you should find that you’ve increased your bottom-of-funnel leads.
6. Rewrite old, previously high-performing posts.
Part of the marketer’s challenge of reporting is that we often look at holistic results that can’t/don’t show us the individual stories of blog posts. While we can see general trends that may paint a pretty good picture, what we can’t see without doing some digging is that old, previously high-performing posts are now tanking while new posts are doing well (making up for the tanking posts). There’s so much going that you need to look at your results on a page-by-page basis to see the important details.
Compare time periods for the old posts. How many views was the post getting in 2015 vs. 2017? Google likes new content, so after about 1.5-2 years, the post will start slipping on its rankings—even though nothing has changed. Keep tabs on your archives to make sure you’re not losing ground because your old posts are slipping.
The good news? You can easily start getting results again for the same post. Refresh the posts, add new content where necessary, and republish them, and almost without fail, your post will regain its former rankings, visits, and leads.
To see this in action, take a look at the arc of a high-performing post for one of our clients over a three-year period. You can see that in phase three, the post lost 38% of views. Rewriting it helped the article to grow to its peak.
Try These Tactics For Yourself & See
These six inbound marketing techniques can help you quickly and effectively boost content you already have. Give them a try, see what results you get, and leave a comment below!
Editor’s Note: The article is part of the startup tools blog series Grow Your Business brought to you by the marketing team at UniTel Voice, the virtual phone system priced and designed for startups and small business owners.