“How do you create such superb content that it sucks in traffic?” This is a question we often get from our different clients. Here’s a little hint: simply “having article writers” on staff is not enough. If you want to actually take content marketing seriously, you need to have actual content marketing professionals on your side.
We employ, train and “grow” such content marketing professionals. A “writer” is not the same thing as a content-marketer, just like your average cab driver isn’t the same thing as an airline pilot.
Our content marketers are professionals who have perfected each step of content marketing, including SEO, formatting, social media distribution etc. A typical “freelance writer” will be sorely lacking in most of these areas.
Keyword analysis – the first step to improving rankings
Do your keyword research long before you set out to do any writing. Make sure that you know exactly whom you are targeting. What are the keywords, phrases and terminology that they’d use to find you? Search engines rank articles by how relevant the textual content. And they deem you more relevant if you speak more of the same language as the searchers.
Picking the right keyword involves extensive SEO knowledge. Our professionals find an optimal keyword for any given topic, and then they make an effort to use it in just the right amounts. Further, they go and make sure to use the same “lingo” and terminology as your average potential customer. This is to catch all the “related keywords” that some of your leads will use in their search queries.
How we write to get results
Our article writers research the topic in extensive detail. They make sure to get information about the same topic from at least a dozen sources. They then extrapolate the “commonality” in that niche. They can gather how the niche “thinks” and what it’s “general consensus” is. They then use this knowledge to write an article that will better resonate with that niche.
Simply speaking the language of the targeted leads isn’t enough though. We’ve trained all of our writers to infuse each article with a unique “flavor”, personality and tone. This is both so the article gets more shares, but also so that it can be truly “unique content”.
Let’s put the facts and data aside for a minute. The top 100 articles on a given subject may even give the exact same information. It is how they are written, presented and structured that differentiates them. An article needs to be easy and fun to read. Readers aren’t merely looking to obtain factually correct information. You can have the most “correct” article on the planet, yet nobody will read it if its dull. This is why our writers “spice up” every article they create, sometimes doing dozens of revisions for improving “reading ease”.
We really go out of our way to make sure the articles are style for readability and visual impact. Style matters in the content marketing. Our writers will find ways to interweave bullet lists, tables, images, graphs and quotes in the article. Invest some time to make your article an easy read. It will pay off dividends in the long run.
Any piece meant to serve content marketing, should contain at least a 1,000 words. Google rewards longer articles for sure. And readers reward long articles, provided they are fun and easy to read and scan. Further, more words do more for your credibility. The more words you have, the more facts, arguments and evidence you can provide to support your points.
Formatting the article before publishing it
Our article writers format the content by using WordPress. Formatting doesn’t only refer to making the article look nice and attractive. Formatting is a lot more complicated than that and it involves many steps.
- Pasting the article into WordPress and removing extra spacing
- Inserting images in the right places
- Making sure that the images are compatible with regards to style and size
- Giving the images keyword related names, for the purpose of SEO
- Inserting at least one internal link in the article
- Using WordPress SEO to check if the article has the keywords in the right places
- Categorizing the article in WordPress, according to topic
- Inserting tags – words or expressions similar to the focus keyword
Choosing stunning imagery that attracts eyeballs and feeds SEO spiders – All at the same time!
A visually appealing article has to follow some design conventions and guidelines. This applies to the way the images are chosen and presented inside of an article. We train our writers to apply many different visual criteria. The most important two however are consistency and alignment.
Our content marketers spend as much time as necessary to find the perfect set of images. First, it means that every image logically fits the article section where its applied. Ideally the image should be a visual summary or visual description of the section it appears. Ideally, a reader should be able to get the “gist” of an article by just reading the bullet points, headlines, quotes and seeing the images and their captions.
Consistency is just as important as the image being “on topic”. Lack of consistency is what makes things look “cheap”. Consistency is what makes them look professional. In practical terms, it means that our writers ensure that every image in an article has a similar “look & feel”.
Let’s say that the first article photo shows a group of people dressed in suits, and typing on keyboards. Following that logic, it would be ideal for the other photos in the article to also include a group of similarly-dressed people. If the first section is about writing, these people would be on keyboards. If the second section is about payments, it would show similarly dressed people exchanging cash.
If one image is a screenshot of a software interface, the other images should also be software screenshots. If the first 2 sections have wrapped images that take up 1/3 of the horizontal width, the other images should be aligned the same way.
So Where Does SEO Play Into All This Image Stuff?
Did you know that most WordPress users are missing out on gobs of website traffic without even knowing it? As it turns out most webmasters simply plop an image into a post, and that’s as far as they go.
Little do they know what WordPress has (not so well) hidden “alternate text” and “description” fields for every image. These 2 fields have tremendous and undeniable SEO power.
Here’s what we do to squeeze out that extra SEO juice. We make sure that at least one of the article images has the exact keyword set as alt-text, as an image description and even as the filename!
Then, we go and SEO optimize the rest of the images too. In order to avoid “over-optimization”, we do something a little different with the other images. Here we cleverly use related terms, keywords and LSI keywords mixed in with natural description lines that describe the image itself.
Using WordPress SEO, by Yoast, to make the article SEO friendly
WordPress SEO, by Yoast, is a free plugin that helps make an article more SEO friendly. The plugin is easy to use as it uses simple checks, tips and warnings to guide your optimization efforts.
The above image shows one of our articles, which is, as you can see, very SEO friendly. The focus keyword is present in all the right places: the article heading, page title, page URL, content and meta description.
Notice another thing. Our content marketers came up with an attractive ‘SEO title’ that uses the keyword in a natural way. The ‘meta description’ is also crafted in a way that attracts clicks from searchers. Our writers are trained in copywriting and know which words and phrases trigger interest in the average reader.
The above image basically says that the article is SEO friendly in almost every way. It’s hard to do much better than this. Green lights indicate perfection; yellow lights indicate near-perfection; orange lights indicate mediocrity. Red lights are a no-no, and our professionals will never produce an article that has a single red light.
Our content marketers craft an article that’s natural, fun and readable, yet only triggers green and yellow lights.It’s hard to get rid of all orange lights in all articles. Don’t beat yourself over the head if there are a few here and there.
Previewing the article and making the final changes
Details are what make the difference. Our content marketers are trained to be perfectionists. Sure, they write and format the article using every good design principle described earlier. But this isn’t where the attention to aesthetics ends.
After the article is initially crafted and formatted, our writers then proceed to see how it appears on the actual website. Sometimes the website renders fonts or images differently. Perhaps the website displays content in a different page width than the back-end editor.
Our content marketers pay special attention to how the article renders to the actual front-end visitor. And then they go ahead and make some more aesthetic changes. This includes adding and removing white-space, changing headings and moving elements around for better readability. It also includes swapping out images, changing sentence width for better appearance and other subtle detail.
If an article ends up looking too bland, our marketers add more images, tables or bullet points. If an article looks too “kitsch” – they start toning it down so it looks more professional. Perhaps font-sizes get reduced, images and headings get removed or colors get toned down.
Why hire Hubstaff Article Writers?
Our article writers are not randomly chosen. We get them through referrals, which means that they are pre-screened. This is nothing like the chaos on freelance websites. There are millions of low-skilled freelancers who will compete for low-paying jobs online.
Why would you want to go through the torture of scouring freelance websites? You’d waste a lot of your valuable time trying to find the rare gem. And even when you do find that gem, freelance websites rarely have gems that are affordable. With our content marketing package, your search is now over.
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