If you work in a communications or marketing team – or if you’re a journalist or blogger – your first thought is often a great content idea. How that content is going to be found tends to come further down the list in terms of priorities. Here’s why content creators need to move away from this engrained mindset.
Of course, good content ideas are the building blocks of a digital marketing, communications or content strategy. But good – even brilliant – content itself is no longer enough to get your messages out there.
There are various estimates about how many new web pages are published across the whole of the internet every single day. To give a rough idea, figures show that the number of new websites published each day ranges between 250,000 and 550,000. And those figures don’t even consider new pages published on already established websites every day. On top of this is social media, with literally millions of social media posts published every day as well. We live in an age where anyone can publish content. So how do you go about ensuring the content you produce doesn’t get lost amid all the other content out there?
This is why findability is absolutely everything when it comes to content creation. So how do you make your content findable?
Take Advantage of Social Media
One way to ensure that your content is being seen is to create something that viewers want to click on, watch and, most importantly, share. This means creating original content that instantly stops a viewer mid-scroll, and promotes engagement. Try to think of new and innovative ideas to share, or hire an agency to help you with these goals.
The best ways to come up with unique ideas is to think outside of the box to grab a viewer’s attention. For example, if you’re an event coordinator marketing your latest event, try getting a 360 photo booth to add some visual interest to your next social media campaign. Be sure to add a call to action in your post, like a question posed to the viewer specifically This gives them more reason to comment and share, which will in turn make your content easier to find. This strategy relies on natural social media engagement, and will manipulate the backend formulas of these platforms to push your content higher — similar to how SEO works, which we’ll cover later in the article.
Use Natural Language Processing
One of the best ways to keep on top of findability in content creation is to use technology specifically designed with findability in mind. Natural Language Processing (NLP) is fast becoming a leading way to do this. NLP uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to crawl content and understand it like a human might. So when you do a content audit, you can use NLP technology to go through your content and fix issues that are currently preventing it from being findable. This includes titles, metadata and the kind of language you use.
Using NLP is a great way to keep the creative spirit of coming up with excellent content ideas, then bring it back to something that works in terms of findability too. Not only can this technology save you time and help your content travel further, it can also help companies organize their content as a whole. Businesses are starting to use NLP content to crawl the variety of documents and internal resources saved on shared systems, in order to categorize and identify what content assets are available in an organization.
Search Engine Optimization
While tools such as NLP software help with search engine optimization (SEO), it is important for content creators to understand the basics of SEO in its own right. Unless you have very powerful direct marketing channels in place, or a huge and engaged social media following, you need to rank well on search engines if you want your content to achieve a decent reach.
There is a huge amount of advice out there on how to optimize content for search engines. However, good performance on search engines typically comes down to three things.
Firstly, as a content creator, you must ensure that each page of content you produce has a clear and original keyword or key phrase associated with it. Each page of your website should have a different keyword or key phrase, which should be used in the title and naturally within the content.
Secondly, credibility is very important for search engine optimization. Content that is written or endorsed by experts will always do a lot better than content that doesn’t have something or someone credible behind it.
Lastly, ensure your website is working well from a technical perspective. Aspects such as long page loading times can lower the ranking of your content, even though this has nothing to do with the content itself.
Readability and Links
Pages of content that website users arrive on and engage with will create a positive cycle of findability. Search engines take this as a sign that the website content is of a high quality and relevant to the keyword or key phrase, so it will become more findable on search engines and social media as a result. Content that engages users tends to be easily scannable, so using sub headings, bullet points, pull out text boxes and images all help with this. Good quality design, clever formatting and visuals are great for keeping users engaged too.
Including related links is also incredibly important to improving content findability. This can be achieved by linking to relevant pages elsewhere on your website. Alternatively, include a section such as ‘customers also liked…’ with a list of the top website pages other website visitors went to next. If a website user continues browsing your website after reading the initial piece of content, it will bring the website credibility as a whole. This will improve search engine rankings and the general findability of your individual pieces of content.