Do you feel like you’ve been producing a ton of content on your blog and external publications, but not sure how that’s translating into sales?
The problem, most often, is there’s very little strategic planning done to write a piece of content that organically brings traffic and leads to your site.
If there’s no strategic planning to back your content marketing efforts with SEO, here’s what usually happens: you invest in writing content to promote your brand/business/product. But, now you have to invest more in promoting the content, to eventually promote your business!
You see where the problem lies?
Content has a strong potential to generate a consistent stream of predictable revenue, if done right – what we, at CurveBreak, call it the hockey stick growth strategy.
More than 4.5 million blogs get published every day.
While that is a huge number to wrap your head around, it just goes on to reiterate the importance of having a solid content and SEO strategy. One that ensures that the content you publish doesn’t end being yet another number in the huge statistic and delivers actual business value.
So, how can you write just 3 pieces of content that drive traffic and generate leads/sales for your business?
The Hockey Stick Growth Strategy
We call this the hockey stick growth strategy, because it’s so powerful, it’s going to turn your business around to a hockey stick growth you’ve always desired.
While we go into the details below in our Step-by-Step guide, here’s a brief overview of what this turnaround strategy is all about:
We want to start by identifying those specific bottom of the funnel keywords that directly generate revenue. These keywords have a strong buy intent (hire app developer, buy 75 inch HDTV, etc). Then, create a landing/product page for those keywords.
Next, we create content using middle of the funnel keywords from the buy intent keyword that we created the landing page for. These keywords are research-based, just before the audience is ready to buy (how much does it cost to build an app, would a 75 inch TV fit my living room, etc). Write this content to motivate and inspire the audience to click on the landing page link strategically and contextually placed in this article.
Third, write another piece of content that targets another middle of the funnel keyword for the same buy intent keyword and publish it on the leading publication in your niche. Again, strategically and contextually link back to the middle of the funnel content on your site from that article.
To complete the loop, you now have 3 pages that would rank on Page 1 of Google that all tie into the same buy intent keywords to facility a sale or a lead. Not only are you generating leads/sales directly from the landing page ranking on Page 1 of Google, but also from relevant traffic that flows to the landing page via the middle of the funnel content on your blog. And, more importantly, referral traffic from the middle of the funnel content on an authority publication in your niche.
Simply repeat this process for all buy intent keywords and never will you have to keep writing content without seeing any returns.
And now, here’s the detailed, step-by-step explanation of the hockey stick growth strategy:
STEP 1. Identify the bottom of the funnel keywords for your business
The search terms vary vastly when the consumers are at the cusp of making a purchase in the decision stage vs when they are just looking for additional info in the awareness or the consideration stages.
As the customer moves down the sales funnel, the search volume for the keyword goes down but the buy intent skyrockets. These are the bottom of the funnel keywords that you should be targeting.
Let’s take an example- if you are an app development company, a generic keyword such as app development has greater search volume but it doesn’t have the buy intent.
The bottom of the funnel keywords would address the questions that a person that is looking to hire an app development company would typically search for, like app development costs, app development timelines or hiring app developers.
Understanding the user intent and targeting the long-tail, bottom of the funnel keywords may have lower traffic coming onto your website, but it is an efficient method for lead generation.
STEP 2. Create a landing page for the bottom of the funnel keywords
Once you identify the bottom of the funnel keywords, choose the one that makes the most sense for your business and create a landing page around it.
User intent mapping and NLP content writing are two important considerations that need to be focused on when writing content for the landing pages.
User intent mapping can be easily verified by searching for the chosen keyword on Google or any other search engines and going through the top 10 search results displayed there.
As a rule of thumb, if the search results display 5 or more service pages, the keyword is a good candidate to target for building a landing page.
If the results predominantly favor blog pages instead, you can still keep it in mind when deciding the middle of the funnel keywords in the next step while continuing the quest for the ideal bottom of the funnel keyword.
Once you have the optimal keyword for building a new landing page or optimizing the existing one, make sure that you have enough content on it. Search engines are increasingly relying on artificial intelligence algorithms for analyzing content so NLP content writing can give you the added edge.
NLP stands for natural language processing. Search engine bots break down the content on your pages into distinct content segments through tokenization. It thus becomes essential for your landing page to have keywords and terms that the pages that are currently ranking contain.
Optimizing the page for keywords and engaging in NLP content writing can be done manually by evaluating the content on the competing pages. Conversely, you can use tools such as Clearscope that let you know the phrases that the ranking pages contain and you can incorporate the same within your content.
STEP 3. Layer the landing pages with middle of the funnel content
What’s the best way to ensure that your pages rank higher?
The experts will all give you the same answer- link building
Building links from external sources to the pages on your website is undoubtedly the best way to increase the domain authority of your website and get your pages to rank higher.
The trouble with the technique is that it is significantly more difficult to get backlinks to a landing page. Layering the pages with middle of the funnel content makes it easier to get links to and helps in passing on the link equity received.
You need to thus target the middle of the funnel keywords, create content around them, and link back to the product or service page of your business.
Going back to the example of an app development company, if android app development is one of the services you offer and decide to create a landing page for, based on the keyword research, the next step forward is finding the appropriate MOFu (middle of the funnel) keywords to create content on your blog.
As a rule of thumb, the MOFu keywords that you pick should have a low difficulty score with a decent search volume. Picking the low-hanging fruit or keywords that are easier to rank for makes it easier for the page to rank and also sends the relevant signals to the search engines about the niche that your business ranks in, fueling your topical authority as well.
The content page thus passes on the link equity to the product or service page while passing along organic traffic to the buy intent page as well.
STEP 4. Pitch to high authority industry sites for building backlinks
You may create top-notch content but link building is essential for it to gain traction. Without an existing domain authority, ranking on the search engine result pages and organically driving traffic to your content as well as landing pages is a challenge.
The quality of your content will always end up playing second fiddle to the efforts you put in ensuring that it reaches the target audience. So how do you go about doing that?
Find high authority industry publications and pitch them to write content for them. Skip the generic publications and focus on finding ones that write for the same target audience as your business.
Provide the specifics to the publication about the content you will write for them, the topic you would cover and the keyword it would target. Send over an outline or a brief if they ask for it and request them to build internal links.
The objective here is to link back to the content on your own blog and eventually pass along the link equity to the buy-intent page aimed at bringing in conversions.
Keyword research needs to form the basis of the content that you write for these authority sites as well. A content gap analysis can help determine the MOFu keywords that you can target to write content for them.
You can target keywords that are a bit more competitive in nature. Since you are writing for a high authority site, the chances of the content ranking get better. Here’s an example of the kind of keyword you can target.
Medium difficulty keywords with significant search volume are what you should ideally target. Organically include the link to your blog while ensuring that the content delivers value to the readers.
Once the content on the authority site ranks, it has a two-fold business benefit for you.
1. It drives direct traffic from the external publication onto your blog and eventually to the buy-intent page, thus bringing in leads and forming a traffic loop.
2. It passes on the link equity which is equally distributed between the MOFu content page and the BOFu landing page leading them to rank higher in the search results as well. This builds the authority of your website and helps generate organic traffic as well.
STEP 5. Lather, Rinse, Repeat
“Repetition makes reputation, and reputation makes customers.”- Elizabeth Arden
An ideal process is one that lays down the groundwork of a sustainable strategy.
Once you get the product page ranking high and leads flowing in, you can move to the next product page and follow the same process with it as well.
Following a strategic approach lets you streamline your efforts and build content that actually matters. You need to build links to each page independently, get it to rank and move on to the next stage of the process.
The end result is that you create impactful content that brings your webpages to rank in the SERPs, nurtures the readers through the different stages of the sales funnel, brings in relevant traffic in form of leads that are most likely to convert, and gives measurable returns by generating ROI and adding to the business’ bottom line.
The best thing about this content marketing strategy is that it creates a repeatable and scalable process for your team to follow. It saves you from engaging in too much work that yields low results.
Instead, it allows your content and marketing team to take up a planned and focused approach, optimize their actions, and follow the course that leads to direct results.
How do we know for sure?
Results speak for themselves. After implementing the strategy for a client, within a period of 4 months, the site traffic grew over by 150%, with more than 40% increase in ranking keywords leading to a 100% increase in qualified leads on a month-on-month basis via organic search traffic.
Want to know how effective your current content strategy is for bringing in more leads and growing the ROI?
Contact us for a free content audit and our team of SEO consulting experts will get in touch with you soon.