fbpx

Unleash Exciting Content for Tame Industries

author image Written by: Lia           Categories - Digital Marketing, SEO Tips>Content Marketing

How Content that Focuses on Users Helps You Stand Out From Crowded, Generic Industry Competition

There’s an unspoken assumption that content writers can come up with amazing content that will wow readers and win big, no matter the industry. But not everyone wants to acknowledge that some industries, despite their importance, usefulness, or commonality, are sort of dreary. They lack the big, obvious, attention-grabbing content marketing opportunities afforded to other industries. Some industries just lack mass-market appeal, which means you’re going to have to get creative.

A woman types on her laptop at a table by a window.
Are you ready to get creative?
Good content is always a challenge, but some industries pose a greater challenge than others. In many of these cases, you must target a niche audience to get results. That said, there’s one fact that cannot be ignored: There are no boring industries—just boring storytellers. Find the stories that matter to your industry and give them the spotlight! If we step beyond the realm of content for a moment, it’s true of practically every aspect of marketing: the challenge is always in finding the excitement and delivering it, not in the industry itself. From advertising to design, content to local SEO strategies, you’ve got to find the hook that doesn’t just attract attention but demands it.

Dispelling the Myth that Certain Industries are “Boring”

As we just mentioned, there’s nothing inherently boring or exciting about any given industry. Marketers are simply good (or, well, bad) at spinning them a certain way. Consider, for example, the fact that there are a healthy 394 million search results for something as generic as “patio construction.” If we narrow that down to “diy patio,” and target those handy folks looking to take on a challenge themselves, that’s still 190 million results. See for yourself:

A sample of search results for "diy patio."
We’ve highlighted the approximate number of results for this search – nearly 200,000,000!
Obviously, this won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but it goes to show that there’s a wealth of possibility in something that might seem pretty mundane. In fact, the more you search, the more you realize that a lot of these topics have a pretty narrow niche. For instance, a search for “tying flies” reveals a treasure trove of articles and topics, tailored around specific species of fish, locations, and inspiration to get you started. There’s a ton of information and data out there that proves that there’s an audience searching for content that informs and engages, no matter the field or industry. You just need to find ways to make it stand out.

Make the Mundane Interesting

Writers make the mundane interesting. They take the details of a project, find the threads that will capture attention, and weave them into something that people will want to read. Of course, this can seem daunting if you’re trying to write content about HVAC systems. So how do you make the mundane interesting? Let’s take a closer look:

  • Delivery is Everything: It’s not just what you say, but how you say it. Forget about keywords and focus on the topic. Write for human beings, not search engines! When in doubt, be as helpful as possible. If your content matters to people who have questions or need information, don’t hide it. Put it front and centre. It’ll pay off.
  • Cut the Jargon: There’s a time and place for industry terminology or jargon, but it often gets in the way of your central argument or the point you’re trying to make. If you can say it in fewer words, and with language, more people will immediately understand, why not drop the jargon? It makes reading easier for your users, which, again, ties into being as helpful as possible.
  • Get Specific: We’ve discussed buyer personas before, but when you hit a wall with content creation, it’s time to break out the personas. For instance, if you’re reading this now, you’re either a content marketer or you have a business struggling to make its content strategy pay off. A quick search for “making content for boring industries” reveals how big a concern it is. What concerns or issues does your audience have, and how can you address them?

This all sounds suspiciously like Google’s favourite advice: create great content and great websites. There’s a reason for that: search intent, user experience, and thinking in terms of topics and narratives that engage with your audience.

Focus on Search Intent and Get Outside the Box

If you’re still struggling to find your angle, there are a few things you can do to shake up your usual approach and get fresh ideas and approaches. Focus on search and user intent. All the keyword research in the world doesn’t matter without examining the context you find it in. Those high-volume search terms you’ve found might not provide much in the way of direction. You need to zero in on what provides value to your users and how you can offer comprehensive, engaging content. For instance, if you search “car repairs” in SEMRush, a useful keyword research tool, it’ll return a ton of information about what other terms you might want to focus on:

Search volume for "car repairs" in SEMRush.
We can see the volume of closely related search terms here.
So, say we want to rank for “car repairs.” Running a quick search reveals a bunch of ads before a location snippet, and the top organic result is for the 10 best car repair businesses in the region. As we delve deeper into the organic results, there are several Kijiji results intermixed with websites for automotive garages. Because our search term is so broad, Google tries to return results that match our intent. As such, we get a lot of ads and general information. It’s not immediately clear if we need repairs now, or if we’re thinking ahead for the future, so we get a broad mix. Google’s trying to figure out where we are in the buyer’s journey, and what we actually want from a search—they’re considering the user’s experience and what they’re trying to do.

The Buyer’s Journey

There are three stages to this journey:

  1. Awareness: A user is conducting early, educational research to understand or give a name to their problem or opportunity.
  2. Consideration: The user knows what their problem or opportunity is and wants to understand their options better.
  3. Decision: The user is ready to make a decision based on their research, and simply wants the best possible service or solution.

If you’re trying to create content for a garage or shop, then, you’ve got to do some heavy legwork to get your content noticed and help move the needle on search results. Instead of focusing on broad, catchall topics, try and create content that addresses the buyer’s journey. Target the intent behind a search, not the specific terms themselves—don’t just create content around “car repairs,” focus on providing guides and advice for specific problems.

Two team members brainstorm together, a man pointing at a woman's laptop as he discusses his perspective.
Get outside the box and brainstorm.

Tips for Keeping Content Marketing Fresh and Engaging

If you’re still struggling, understand that there are times where the ideas aren’t going to flow as readily. You won’t always be able to knock it out of the park on the first swing, after all. When in doubt, though, remember:

  • Don’t be boring—remember, there are no boring industries, just boring storytellers.
  • Skip cliched formats—listicles, clickbait, and generic content that doesn’t contribute to the industry aren’t doing you any favours, and users would much prefer something informative and interesting.
  • Remember the power of storytelling—people love good stories! Find the good ones in your industry. They provide huge opportunities to showcase your knowledge and speak directly to the issues your users are facing. For example, jumping back to our car repair example: “A client came in the other day, looking pretty stressed out. Their tire went flat and the rim of their wheel was starting to crumple, but they hadn’t driven their car all weekend…”
  • Don’t be afraid of disagreeing or presenting a contrary perspective. Don’t focus exclusively on controversial topics or adopt a contrarian perspective just because, but if you disagree with popular opinion, speak up. Just make sure you support your stance with well-thought-out arguments and information.
  • Brainstorming (especially with team members) can get the ideas flowing. Sit down with paper or a whiteboard and break things down by topic. Build idea maps and webs of content ideas focusing on who you’re trying to reach. You’ll be amazed at how this can get you out of your comfort zone and shake the cobwebs loose. We particularly enjoy finding top-level ideas and breaking them down until each idea could be a full-sized article in and of itself.

The Last Word

Creating good, engaging content and content marketing strategies is a time-consuming, challenging task at the best of times. With a so-called “boring” industry, it can feel even more daunting—but that’s no reason to back down or give up. Find the threads of the stories and highlight them. Provide answers, information, and stories that users are searching for. There’s nothing boring about that!

Lia

Mueller: Web Pages Should Have “Some Content” Above the Fold

05/11/2021

Content creators may wonder whether Google views content ‘above the fold’ on websites as more important for its search results. Fortunately, Google’s Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller provided clarification during a recent livestream.

During an episode ‘SEO Office Hours,’ Mueller’s Google Hangout series, a viewer asked Mueller if Google paid more attention to content above the fold. The viewer shared that they were aware of a website that moved their content from below the fold to above, and found that they SERP rankings improved instantly.

‘Above the fold’ refers to what is visible instantly upon clicking on a webpage – in other words, the top of the page. Anything on the page that requires the user to scroll to view is ‘below the fold.’

Search Engine Journal explains that, previously, Google would prioritize content above the fold on webpages when analyzing them for SERPs. Google has since switched to AI and natural language processing to analyze the entire page – not just what is above the fold.

So, does Google really prioritize content that is above the fold?

Not entirely, Mueller explains:

“The main thing is that we want to see some content above the fold,” Mueller said on the livestream. “A part of your page should be visible when a user goes there.”

Mueller provided an example of a page that wouldn’t be received well by Google.

“If a user goes to your website and they just see a big holiday photo and they have to scroll down a little bit to actually get content about a hotel, then that would be problematic for us,” he said. “But if they go to your home page and they see a hall of fame photo on top and also a little bit of information about the hotel – for example, for a hotel site – that would be fine.”

Mueller’s ultimate answer?

“It’s not purely that the content has to be above the fold. But… some of the content has to be.”

read more

Master the Art of Email Marketing to Boost Your SEO

04/09/2021

There are plenty of misconceptions around emails. One of which is that emails are dead, having been replaced by social media. Another myth is that email has nothing to do with SEO.

Here’s a reality check: emails are crucial for your brand! They can increase engagement, draw in new customers, and raise brand awareness – oh, and they can improve your SEO score too. 

You may have never thought that SEO and email marketing were related in any way, but these two components of your marketing strategy can actually complement each other.

In this article, we’ll show you:

  • How email marketing can boost your SEO score

  • What elements every email should have

  • How you emails can make a lasting impression – and not end up in the spam folder

What is Email Marketing?

Every brand should have an email marketing strategy. This means building a digital list of customers sending them emails on a semi-frequent basis. These emails usually have an underlying goal and an accompanying format. Here are some common examples:

  • Welcome emails, inviting new customers to explore your brand’s world

  • Newsletters, released on a schedule to bring info to your audience’s inbox

  • Sale and promotion emails, intended to excite your customers

  • Important updates, like if your store is moving locations

Yes, Email Marketing Still Matters

You might be thinking, “Wait, aren’t emails a thing of the past?”

It’s true that emails are no longer as prominent as a digital communication method, and social networking sites have fragmented the audience that used to do everything through their email service.

Email is still a popular service, though. In fact, OptinMonster reports that 99% of web users check their email at least once a day – some up to 20 times a day!

For that reason, email marketing is super important. It’s easy, cheap, target-specific, and mobile-friendly. Plus, it can boost your SEO results! Learn how below.

How Email Marketing Strengthens Your SEO Score

Boosts Engagement

We know that having more visitors on your site will increase its SEO score. How do you draw in more visitors? Pull them right out of their email inbox. Any email format can do the trick as long as you link back to your site within the email.

You should keep these tips in mind as you aim to rack up engaged visitors:

  • Don’t just cast out a line and expect everyone to visit your site; target a specific audience

  • Make sure the content in your emails is compelling – give readers something to look forward to in your emails

  • Don’t use language that evokes spam – both readers and spam filters will turn away from emails like these

Types of stats I can look for here: what THING brings in clicks or opens from email users; OR how often do emails go to spam boxes

Gives You Better Insights

There’s a lot you can learn from how your emails perform. It’s easy to track their success, too. There are plenty of easy-to-use email marketing tools that can pick up on useful metrics – for example, learn what language makes an effective headline versus a bad one. You can even test specific keywords, and then use your results to improve your SEO results.

Helps You Create High Performing Content Content for Search Engines

Here’s another great thing about tracking data from your emails: if an email performs particularly well, you can use it for content on your website too.

We recommend creating a bridge between your site’s content and your emails’ content. If a piece performs well on one platform, re-purpose or reuse it on the other.

Helps You Supercharge Your Content Strategy

Your emails and your site’s content are like brother and sister.

You can strengthen your site’s content by testing out different things over email. For example:

  • Try out different topics and see what draws people in

  • Increase engagement by asking for direct responses from readers

  • Create personas and craft emails specifically for them

Gives Your Wallet a Break with High ROI

Email marketing is practically free, and think of how often people check their emails. There are very few ‘barriers’ standing in the way between your emails and the intended reader, so you don’t have to worry about throwing piles of money at a strategy that might not land.

Increases Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is key, and emails do a great job sticking your brand to people’s thoughts. Even seeing your brand’s name among other emails reminds readers that you exist, but why stop there? Strong email content can give your audience a true sense of what your brand is capable of.

Offers a Chance for Link Building 

You know that relevant backlinks can improve a site’s SEO score. Why not apply the same approach to your emails? In your messages, link back to your site or other channels of media whenever possible.

How to Make the Most Out of Your Brand’s Emails

Use HTML

Ultimately, there are two kinds of emails: plain text and HTML-based. Only HTML-based emails can display compelling photos, graphics and other kinds of media, and these are things you’d want to use to engage readers.

If the word ‘HTML’ makes you want to runaway, relax. These coded emails are easier to send than you might think. In fact, there are free email templates all over the web that make the process easy from start to finish.

Here are a few things to consider with your HTML emails:

  • Don’t overdo it – too many components will make your emails take longer to load, and readers will stop clicking them

  • Make sure your emails work on the web AND mobile, and that they can fit screens of any size

Timing is Everything

The day and time on which you launch an email makes a huge difference. You may have read ‘rules’ online, but ultimately, it all depends on your brand and your audience. Here are some tips:

  • Tuesday through Thursday is considered the ‘hot spot’ for emails, drawing in the most engagement

  • Friday is a hard day to gain your audience’s focus, unless your brand involves something they can partake in on the weekend

  • Email marketers and Garfield have one thing in common: they hate Mondays. That’s because audiences are usually too work-focused or dreadful to engage over email

  • Time based on your audience; target mobile-based or younger audiences in the evening, and desktop-based audiences in the morning

There is no universal ‘correct time,’ so think carefully about your brand and when your audience will likely open your emails.

Keep a Newsletter Archive

You may keep a campaign archive for various aspects of your marketing strategy.

Your emails should be no exception. This will help you:

  • Collect data over time to see what’s working and what should change

  • Refer back to older archive to reuse content

Avoid Spammy Language

Here’s something that search engines and email systems have in common: neither of them like manipulative ‘junk’ language. While it’s important to SEO that you don’t overuse a keyword or use repetitive text, email systems have strong filters that ruthlessly hunt down spam.

Avoid aggressive terms, oversimplified claims, and desperate pleas – otherwise your mail won’t make it to the inbox.

Track Your Results

We can’t stress this enough: track your email campaigns! There are so many useful metrics to check, including:

  • Conversion rate

  • Clicks per link

  • Unsubscribe rate

  • Bounce rate – we’ve elaborated on this below

Check Your Bounce Rates

This tip isn’t as much about SEO as it is about your audience, though it’s equally important. One of the most important metrics you should check from your marketing emails is the bounce rate.

The term ‘bounce rate’ might be confusing because it is used in other contexts. Your site’s bounce rate is NOT the same thing as your emails’ bounce rate:

  • On a website, the ‘bounce rate’ refers to how often users click on your page and exit right away

  • On emails, the ‘bounce rate’ refers to how often your email does not reach the intended target’s inbox

In other words, if you’ve ever gotten an error message explaining that an email you’ve sent was ‘returned’ to you, the email has bounced; this is what the bounce rate measures.

If your bounce rate is high – let’s say, 2% or higher – you need to give your email subscriber list a refresh.

Create Beautiful Emails That Are Still Functional

Should you focus more on making your emails look great or making them work well? You don’t have to choose, and you actually shouldn’t.

Your email’s design doesn’t compromise its purpose – strong design enhances it!

Make sure you include each of these important features in every email:

  • A subject line that sparks curiosity

  • Carefully chosen pre-header text, which will be visible in the subject line

  • Strong, bold images

  • A refreshing colour scheme

  • Calls to action, including links to your site

  • An info-dense footer

Bring on the Links

Your emails should be more than just a block of text. Give your reader plenty of links to click on! There should be clear paths from your emails to other channels of your brand: social media, website pages, subscriptions, and any others you can think of. Make sure to tell people WHY they should click on your links, rather than simply choosing to display them.

Another tip: Place social media links on your ‘unsubscribe’ page! While a reader may no longer want to see your emails, they still might want to check out your social media pages.

Put Your Best Content Forward

Emails are a great place to showcase your content, but make sure it’s actually good. You don’t want to end up in the spam folder or get swiftly deleted. Besides, what appeals to readers doesn’t always come down to an exact science. Quality content is the best organic way to reach new people.

The Takeaway

In this article, you learned:

  • Why email marketing is more important than ever

  • How good SEO and email marketing strategies can be combined

How to make high-quality emails that readers and marketing strategists both love

read more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *