For quite a long time, I was only trying to consult with funded startups and large enterprise clients because I knew I'd be able to move the conversion needle dramatically with companies that had resources and time to capture market share. Last year, for the first time, I decided to apply the same techniques that I used for those companies with regional, small companies… and it's had a dramatic impact on improving their organic search rankings and conversions.
At the core of the strategy is dropping the content production line and, instead, developing a content library. Our focus isn't on the periodicity or frequency of our articles that we produce for a client, it's to research the topics that are of interest to them and that are relevant to the business… and to build both their personal and corporate authority and trust with prospective clients. The center of focus removes the company and, instead, puts the consumer or business prospect at the center of the content.
For example, I have good friends that own an incredibly robust and affordable real estate marketing platform. With features like mobile tours, text messaging, a CRM, email newsletters, and marketing automation… they could be writing about those features and benefits every single day. That would put their system at the core of their content strategy.
But it wouldn't drive ranking nor conversions.
Why? Because visitors can see their site, read about their features, and sign up for a free trial account. Hundreds of tips and tricks articles may acquire some shares, but they're not going to convert.
User Focus versus Algorithm Focus
Instead, Agent Sauce operates a newsletter, blog, and podcast that focus on the challenges and benefits of being a successful real estate agent. They've had discussions about legal issues, VA loans, business relocation, state and federal taxes, regional economics, home staging, house flipping, etc. The focus of their content isn't providing frequent tips that can be found anywhere else; it's to provide expertise from industry resources that will help their prospects and clients sell more effectively and grow their business.
But it's not easy. First, they have to research what a day in the life of an agent is and all of the issues that they are challenged by. Then, they have to build their expertise or introduce other experts to help their prospects and clients. And they have to do all of that while continuing to remain competitive with their platform.
However, the impact is that they're becoming a great resource within the industry and are building long-term relationships with an audience. For prospects, they're becoming a go-to resource that they keep top of mind with for their quality content. For clients, they're helping them become more successful and happy with their careers.
Content-Length Versus Content Quality
Ask many writers for a quote to research and write an article, and the response is typical:
What's the word count and deadline?
That response kills me. Here's what the question should be:
Who is the audience and what's the goal?
At which point, the writer can do some preliminary research on competition, resources, and the persona of the target audience and come back with an estimate on article completion and cost. I don't care about content length; I care about content thoroughness. If I'm publishing an article about a topic, I want to answer every question associated with that content. I want to provide some facts and figures. I want to include diagrams, charts, images, and video. I want the article to be the best damn article on the Internet.
And when we publish a complete, well-researched, article that is better than any other source, that article's content length tends to be longer, of course. In other words:
While content length correlates with search engine ranking and conversion, it does not cause better rankings and conversion. Improving content quality causes better rankings and conversions. And quality content correlates with content length.
Douglas Karr, DK New Media
With this in mind, let's look at the correlation (not causation) of content length, search engine optimization, and conversions in this detailed infographic from Capsicum Mediaworks, How Content Length Affects SEO and Conversions. High-quality content that happens to have a higher word count ranks better, is shared more, ranks longer, engages deeper, increases conversions, drives leads, and lowers bounce rates.
The conclusion is critical; quality long-form content is a better investment.