Enhancing Your 2022 Blog Content Strategy

Enhancing Your 2022 Blog Content Strategy Vizion Interactive

Intro

For many companies, content planning has changed as the workforce, budgets, website capabilities, and business dynamics have shifted during the COVID-19 pandemic. With these fluctuations, marketing and content strategies must similarly adapt and evolve. We see this with our clients and what they plan to publish on their sites this year—whether it’s an increase in content volume, a foray into new areas, or an increased focus around specific topics and products.

SEO consultants and agencies are accustomed to constant alterations—but these new dynamics increase competitive pressure as many companies make significant adjustments to their sites. I chatted with Mark Jackson, the president and CEO of Vizion Interactive, to get his thoughts on this topic. He had this to say:

One truth about search engine optimization is that the field is constantly evolving. Perhaps years ago, quantity of content—and things like “the number of times a keyword is mentioned”—mattered the most. Nowadays, Google is in search of the highestquality content to surface in its search results which best matches with a searcher’s intent. For this reason, we must craft high-quality content—authored by sources who know the topic well—which is truly resourceful and helpful for the reader.

This insight aligns with research from a recent survey by the Content Marketing Institute, which concluded that the top five goals for content performance are as follows:

  1. Create brand awareness
  2. Build credibility/trust
  3. Educate audiences
  4. Build loyalty with existing clients/customers
  5. Generate demand/leads

So, how do we address these items while also appealing to Google algorithms to gain solid rankings? The first step is to choose high-demand topics on which you are able to demonstrate your authority as a thought leader. Then, focus on the substance and format of the content and how your message will be conveyed.

The content strategy of many companies has been the following:

  1. Choose a keyword with a high search volume
  2. Write a 500-word blog post
  3. Find a hero image from a stock photography site
  4. Hit the publish button
  5. Share on organic social channels

There’s often little thought given to the format and style of a post, its supporting content, or other items that could be included to make it valuable or of high quality.

In December, Google made changes to its algorithms specifically targeted towards review sites whose writers often have obviously never used the products under review. Yet these writers create blog posts like “Top 10 {product} for 2022” including in them multiple Amazon affiliate links. The prices aren’t shown, of course, ensuring that users click the links provided to view the products’ costs and reward the “review” site with an affiliate link cookie on Amazon.

In Google’s blog post discussing this update, it provides a link to a post outlining its best practices for reviews, as listed below:

  • Evaluate the product from a user’s perspective.
  • Demonstrate that you are an expert regarding the products reviewed.
  • Provide evidence such as visuals, audio, or other links of your own experience with the product to support your expertise and reinforce the authenticity of your review.
  • Share quantitative measurements about how a product measures up in various categories of performance.
  • Explain what sets a product apart from its competitors.
  • Cover comparable products to consider or explain which products might be best for certain uses or circumstances.
  • Discuss the benefits and drawbacks of a particular product based on your own original research.
  • Describe how a product has evolved from previous models or releases to provide improvements, address issues, or otherwise help users in making a purchase decision.
  • Identify key decision-making factors for the product’s category and how the product performs in those areas. (For example, a car review might determine that fuel economy, safety, and handling are key decision-making factors and rate performance in those areas.)
  • Describe key choices in how a product has been designed and the effect on users beyond what the manufacturer says.
  • Include links to other useful resources (your own or from other sites) to help a reader make a decision.
  • Consider including links to multiple sellers to give the reader the option to purchase from their merchant of choice.

I found this quite fascinating. It’s not a stretch to think that Google could apply some of these language processing techniques to the plethora of 500-word blog posts out there. We already know sites that fall into what’s known as the “Your Money Your Life” category are held to a higher standard. However, if your site does not naturally fall into one of the subsets of this category—like health care, finance, or insurance—you should still understand that the foundation of how Google analyzes content will likely be applied to other content sets.

Tips to Improve Content Quality

Below are our top tips in six areas—blog author, industry references, internal data mining, leadership/subject matter expert (SME) quotes, additional media, and social amplification options—that will go a long way to improving the quality of your content.

Blog Author

Recently, Google has made several algorithm updates that evaluate the quality, authenticity, and trustworthiness of content. However, Google isn’t just evaluating the words on a page—it’s also looking at content from a higher level, trying to understand who the authors are and what other content they have written, linking it all together in its knowledge graph.

Vizion recommends following these guidelines:

  • Use a real person as the author of your content. Choose someone with a public persona and an existing social media or digital footprint. Most important, pick someone who is qualified or recognized in their field as a leader or SME. The ideal author will already have a bio or profile page on the website along with multiple public social profiles on sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.
  • WordPress has an author feature pre-built into its platform, so use it to the fullest by filling out as many fields as possible.
  • In the author’s bio, include a summary of their qualifications, experience, and any awards or recognition they have received. If they have profile pages on other sites that will help support their expertise or experience, such as industry association or membership pages, cite those, too, and provide links. Include links to any recent news articles where the author is quoted or mentioned, even if it doesn’t link directly to your site.
  • On the article pages, ensure that the author’s name appears either at the top or the bottom of the article and that it links to their author page.

The Author’s Page

WordPress usually populates this page with the bio information and other fields that you entered for that user in the dashboard. However, if you’re not using WordPress, you’ll need to manually add the information within your Content Management System (CMS).

Ensure that the author’s social profiles are listed and linked. This will help the author generate a following, which can also be leveraged as an audience notification mechanism as new content is published.

Including other information such as hobbies, interests, or charity work is a great way to add a flare of personality. However, from an SEO perspective, this content is secondary to building trust by highlighting the author’s qualifications and expertise.

Industry References

Include third-party data or references that support the subject of the article. Short paragraphs can be quoted from various sources with the inclusion of a link to the original source without fear of duplicate content issues. Suitable third-party sources include popular news, industry associations, university research, government sites, or other industry-recognized organizations.

Internal Data Mining

Another way to demonstrate experience in a topic is by including internal data. You may want to include data points on customer purchasing behaviors, purchase trends, history of price changes, and other statistics. Consider including charts, graphs, maps, screenshots, or other illustrations to help support the content. If you are wary of releasing exact numbers, aggregate data can be shown in percentages.

Leadership/SME Quotes

Demonstrate that your content has buy-in from the leaders and experts within your field, suppliers, vendors, or other related associations. Include a quote modeled after a press release; these will provide additional context or supporting viewpoints. When mentioning the contributor, provide a link to their public profile. Ideally, they will have a profile page on their organization’s website, but if not, consider linking their LinkedIn or other relevant/professional social media page. The benefits of taking these steps are as follows:

  • Ensuring additional unique content
  • Demonstrating trust by showing connections with other people
  • Allowing those mentioned or quoted to share or retweet the article, helping promote it by leveraging their own network

Sometimes the leadership within your organization isn’t very active on social media—so when looking for outside contributors, be sure to look at their social media presence. If they are active on socials, review their activity to see how often they’re quoted and whether they reshare or retweet the interviews or articles in which they’ve been quoted.

Additional Media

If you have additional media available, don’t stop at the inclusion of a hero image at the top of your post. If possible, include a series of photos, charts, graphs, videos, or illustrations throughout the content. If you’re promoting tangible products, include a series of photos to help illustrate the products’ different aspects. A product photo shoot may include the following shots:

  • Standard-angle, full-product shot on seamless white background
  • Close-up angles highlighting specific product features/details
  • Product displayed with accompanying accessories
  • Product powered up
  • Environmental photos demonstrating product use and function in its usual location

All these images can be used in a blog post. In fact, having these photos ahead of the content creation will fuel additional ideas and remind the writers to include specific product features, such as how it’s used and what problems it solves for the customer.

If you’re promoting an intangible service, consider including screenshots or trend charts to exhibit how your work has helped customers. Because Vizion offers SEO consulting services, we like to show off increases in visibility or organic traffic—some of the more widely used and recognized metrics. Below is an example chart rendered by Google Search Console that shows numbers of impressions:

Gsc Impressions Enhancing Your 2022 Blog Content Strategy Vizion Interactive

Social Amplification Options

If your content has multiple angles and includes a variety of mini-content pieces, it lends itself to repeated amplification on social media. Rather than getting lost in a scrolling feed, posting an article several times will maximize its reach.

To avoid annoying your loyal subscribers with a bombardment of the same content over and over, highlight different angles or content features each time you create a post. For example, if your content consists of a thought leadership piece about the upcoming 2022 housing market, your social media posts could be outlined as follows:

Post numberImageBrandHeadline Purpose
1CEO headshotBranding2022 insights from our CEO
2Chart forecasting 2022 housing pricesStory on housing pricesTeaser heading about what to expect and how housing prices might change
3Chart showing 2022 mortgage rate predictionsStory for existing customersWhat might happen if rates increase or decrease and how that might affect existing customers
4Chart of 2022 mortgage rate forecastsStory for new customersHow new homeowners might be affected by changes in rates

As you can see, if all that content is available in the article, it can be pulled and promoted in different ways that may better appeal to different audiences. This can also be a good tactic for link building, as media and bloggers are always looking for additional insights. Sometimes they want quotes from an expert, and other times they’re looking for data—these posts can cover both angles.

Kristien Matelski, Vizion’s content/PR manager, had this to say:

Making your content as easily digestible as possible is key to its shareability. Readers today like to see key information at a glance. That’s why images with pull quotes, stats, graphs, etc. do well on social media. If they’re enticing enough, users will click through to read more of the piece.

Finally, make sure that when the article is published, the author can share and post about it on their own personal social media profile(s).

Hopefully you’ve picked up some tips from this post and will be able to enhance your content to build additional trust with your audience. If you’re looking for an SEO agency to help enhance your content strategy, or if you need help with copywriting services, feel free to contact us. We’d be happy to chat and discover what new opportunities might be out there for you.

At Vizion Interactive, we have the expertise, experience, and enthusiasm to get results and keep clients happy! Learn more about how our Content Marketing services can increase sales and boost your ROI. But don’t just take our word for it, check out what our clients have to say, along with our case studies.