When it comes to content marketing, there’s no substitute for hard work and expertise, but at the same time, there’s also no point in doing work that’s unnecessary! That’s why we’ve put together these 5 shortcuts to help supercharge your content marketing.
There are a number of tools and processes that we as content marketers can use to improve our efficiency and ultimately, our results. Some will simply improve efficiency, while others will open up opportunities to explore that you may never have considered.
We want these to be easily digestible, so please contact SiteVisibility if you’d like to know more about any aspect of this post.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into how you can improve your content marketing…
HARO: Help a Reporter Out
We’re big fans of HARO here at SiteVisibility as it’s a simple and free way to find journalists and writers who need your expertise with an upcoming story that they are writing. By using the service, we’ve managed to secure press and blog coverage by responding to journalists requests in both our own marketing efforts and in our client campaigns.
Once you sign up, you can select which industries you’re interested in and then you’ll receive daily alerts of journalists that are looking for help with a story that fits your criteria.
If you find a request that fits perfectly for you or your clients, all you need to do is respond through the service and if your contribution gets used, you/your client will receive full credit within the story and usually a link too.
With world-renowned and well-respected media outlets like Time & The New York Times using the platform, it provides a great opportunity to gain links from high-authority sites that are relevant to you, whilst also helping you to become an authority in your field.
For us, using HARO is a no brainer.
To help you get started, I’ll let you in on a few of our little secrets for how to help you get your response seen over others:
- I often include a little bit about me, my experience which qualifies me to answer their query, the company, and links to my Twitter/LinkedIn/website etc. This can help the journalist to filter out any responses that may not be relevant.
- For the subject line to the email, I tend to put “HARO Response: [query] – [name] from [company]”.
- Ensure that what you’re contributing is as useful for the author and their audience as possible and don’t just try to promote your company or product. Do whatever you can to make it easy for the journalist and you’ll be much more likely to be featured. Write your contribution so they can just copy and paste it straight from your email if necessary and link to (don’t attach) any images you feel may be helpful.
- Finally, the deadlines are often short on these so they tend to require a response within at least 24 hours, the quicker you can respond the more likely it is that they’ll use your response.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for inspiration or expert input for content of your own, you can use HARO to have your query included on the email alerts that go out.
It’s a fantastic way to improve the authority of your content… and it also incentivises anybody you’ve featured to share it once it’s published.
What we like about HARO in a nutshell
- Access to a wide range of content and PR opportunities, fast
- Minimal ongoing work required
- Multiple industries, markets and languages
- Daily email alerts for opportunities
- Provides sources to quote in your own content
- It’s mostly free
So, what are you waiting for? Subscribe to HARO here.
SEMrush Content Audit Tool
SEMrush is one of the best SEO and Marketing platforms out there and frankly, we could write a whole blog series about the sheer amount of functionality it has, but we have clients that need work delivering too!
For this post, I’m looking specifically at the SEMrush Content Audit Tool.
Content auditing is one of the most important aspects of content marketing and if you’re like us, in the past you’ve had to use various crawling and reporting tools to get the data you need and then use a combination of VLOOKUPs, formulas, tables and charts to collate the data into a usable excel file.
With the need for SEO data like page tags, response codes, canonicals etc., combined with metrics from Google Analytics and Google Search Console, further combined with social sharing data, it can take hours just to get this all in one place, and that’s before you even start doing the actual work.
Running the content audit tool allows you to crawl your site (up to 20,000 pages), or just individual folders, to identify poorly performing pages and areas for improvement across your site.
Once your pages have been analysed, the tool gives you a handy dashboard to work from and categorises your content into four areas:
- Content that you should Rewrite or Remove
- Content that Needs to be Updated
- Any Poor Content on your site
- Any content that can be Reviewed Quickly
This makes it really easy to start analysing the content on your site and to create tasks for your team to start rewriting & updating, plus you can start giving the content a good old prune.
When used as part of the wider Content and SEO Toolkits with tools such as Topic Research, Competitive Analysis, Rank Tracking and the Content Analyzer, you can gain a vast amount of insight and assistance with your content marketing, and your overall digital marketing, all in one place.
More importantly, it also allows you to keep track of the changes you’re making and to see if they’re having the desired effect on your content performance.
The amount of time we’ve saved by streamlining the process is significant, and it allows us to do stuff like this…
We’re not on the SEMrush payroll I promise, we just like to share tools that we really think will help fellow marketers.
If you’d like more information about content audits then this content audit guide from SEMrush is very useful and if you think your site would benefit from a content audit, or you need help with your content marketing strategy, don’t hesitate to contact us.
What we like about the SEMrush Content Audit tool in a nutshell
- Huge levels of functionality and customisation
- Very efficient – can streamline your content marketing workflow
- Seamless with other tools
- Handy dashboard so you can get started right away
- Everything you need is in one place
- Good product support
Hubspot Blog Ideas Generator
Hubspot are one of the big players when it comes to marketing and SEO platforms, but what we like most about their Blog Ideas Generator is that apart from putting in your contact details, it’s free.
You simply put in a couple of nouns related to the subject you want to write about and it generates 250 potential blog titles that you can use to get the cogs in your head turning.
It’s important to note that it’s not perfect and you will get some gibberish, but we’ve found that we can take these titles and then do some further topic and/or keyword research to come up with content we think will be useful for our audience.
It’s not an end in itself, but it can be a very useful jumping off point, and it may even open avenues that you hadn’t considered.
Hubspot also has the additional benefit of saving you a considerable amount of time and resource that would otherwise be used getting your marketing or content marketing team into a room to brainstorm content ideas.
Top Tip: Use this tool alongside something like SEMrush’s Content Analyzer to see what competitors have been doing. See what ranks well for search queries related to your topic, and analyse them to see if there are any aspects of content/layout/design that Google seems to be deeming as important. CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer tool can help you fine tune the headline too for maximum effect.
What we like about the Hubspot Blog Ideas Generator in a nutshell
- It’s quick and free
- It can save your marketing team time
- It serves as a great starting point for a brainstorming session
- It can open your eyes to content or topic areas you hadn’t considered before
Moz Keyword Explorer SERP Analysis & Features
The SERP Features functionality within the Moz Keyword Explorer is a fantastic way of determining at a glance what sort of SERP features Google is showing for a given query. At a dashboard level, it also combines your tracked keywords into groups and gives you a top-level breakdown of the features that are most common in that group.
For example, if you have a keyword group for queries related to SEO Agency you would see the following:
In this example, we can see that the most common SERP features for these queries are Reviews, Related Questions, Local Packs and Featured Snippets. Therefore, we already know that Google sees these as important, and that these should be featured on the page, and in the case of related questions or snippets, we format our content as best as we can to appear here.
If you’d like to dig deeper, Moz also allows you to review the SERPS on a keyword by keyword basis. Of course, you could do this manually too, but when combined with the additional metrics that you can see below, you can quickly and easily understand what sort of content Google values for a given query, and act accordingly.
From the screenshot above, we can see that for this term there are plenty of different opportunities for a business to rank, away from the organic results.
If we were to use SiteVisibility in this example, the obvious areas are in the 3x Local Packs, the Featured Snippet or Related Questions, or potentially the knowledge panel. Knowing this allows us to tailor our content for this term accordingly… and we were able to see this in less than a minute.
This post is an excellent summary of all the different Google SERP Features in 2019 if you’d like to know more.
As part of an overall keyword strategy, the Moz Keyword Explorer is an excellent tool to streamline your processes and save a lot of time on analysis.
What we like in a nutshell
- Quick and simple to use
- Useful for both top level and granular research
- Makes content research and planning much more efficient
We hope you’ve found these tools and shortcuts helpful, we’d love to hear if you have any of your own you’d be willing to share. Comment below or speak to us on our social channels.
If you’d like to find out more about out Content Marketing services, then don’t hesitate to get in contact with us we can discuss how we can improve your site. You can do so by calling us on 01273 733433 or via the contact form below: