Nice Sites Finish First

Rocket trailed by a exhaust of bits

When it comes to increasing your sitetraffic, you've got to give a little to get a little. And that's where content marketing comes in. It's all about providing valuable, relevant content to people – content they want to share, content that keeps them coming back for more. Done right, it can turn prospects into loyal customers, create brand ambassadors, even do wonders for your search engine rankings.

Think it through
To provide high-quality content, you've got to have a strategy. Do you want to position yourself as a thought leader in your industry? Then providing a series of white papers might be the way to go. Do you want to create a community? You can host a forum for like-minded people to get connected, find expert advice and share stories. Want to raise brand awareness? Try a super-unique video series. No matter how you deliver it, your content should always be relevant – to your audience, and your business. Cat videos may be popular, but if your business has nothing to do with cats, posting cat videos will be a pretty transparent ploy for traffic. (That is, unless you've figured out a way to connect the two. And it can be done.)

Freshen up
With content marketing, it's never one and done. You have to keep a steady stream of fresh content on your site to stay relevant. It helps to create an editorial calendar so that you're prepared for a few months out, but don't plan too far ahead. Work some flexibility into the schedule so you can capitalize on trending topics. The goal of fresh content is to keep people coming back for more. The key term here is engagement – you want to create an ongoing relationship with people that goes beyond you shilling your products. Give them valuable content. Then givethem some more. Rinse, repeat – you get the drill.

Share and share alike
The sure sign of quality content? Shares. Whether it's getting posted across Facebook, distributed through email or tweeted and retweeted, content that's good enough to share will inevitably drive traffic. But don't just create the content and sit back and wait. Make it easy for visitors to your site to repost your content by adding sharing buttons. You should also develop a robust social media presence to jumpstart theprocess of socializing your content.

The traffic circle
In terms of driving site traffic, content marketing is closely tied to search engine optimization. That's because the more traffic you get to your website through valuable, relevant content, the higher you rank on search engine results pages. And the higher you rank, the more traffic you'llget. Content marketing: the gift that keeps on giving.

Continue reading: Why You Need a Blog if You Want More Web Traffic

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