Welcome to Marketing Monday, where I give you tips and tricks for being your own content marketer. This week’s post is all about anchor content: what is it and why do you need it in your content strategy?
Last month I wrote about the importance of evergreen content and how it can continue to drive traffic to your site month after month, year after year. But there’s more to SEO than just content that remains relevant long after it’s been published. You should also make sure that content is incredibly valuable, has a ton of relevant keywords (but not stuffed with keywords), and links to other relevant pieces of content, both on and off your own site.
What Is Anchor Content?
We’re not talking about a 500-word blog post here, or even a blog series. We’re talking about a long, comprehensive piece of content that has everything your target audience could possibly want to know about that particular topic. If you want to make yourself the go-to company for any particular product/service, you have to create the definitive piece of content about it.
Why Anchor Content?
Not only should your anchor content be incredibly SEO friendly, but it also needs to be super valuable. You need to position yourself as the authority on that particular topic. That alone will help drive traffic to your site, but it will also convert the traffic that ends up on your site, as well as improve your general reputation in your industry and among your desired clientele.
How to Create Anchor Content
1) IDENTIFY YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
I feel like I say this again and again, but that’s only because it’s always true. You don’t want to write about the same topics everyone else is writing about, or use the same keywords everyone is searching for. Use the keywords your specific audience is searching for. Ideally that means long-tail keywords that are specific, have a moderate-to-high search volume, and are easy to rank for, and if you’re not sure what I’m talking about, check out this post.
2) RESEARCH YOUR KEYWORDS
As just mentioned in the above paragraph, you’ll want to do a lot of keyword research before you get started in order to make sure your anchor content is full of relevant keywords that will draw in the audience you’re trying to target.
3) BECOME AN EXPERT ON THE TOPIC
No matter what topic you choose, it’s highly unlikely that there won’t be any content at all on the topic before you get started. You need to read everything on the topic you can possibly find, analyze all the information you come across, and put it all together in your anchor content. You’ll inevitably find different sources of information that conflict with each other, so you need to be able resolve those conflicts, present your audience with solutions, and tell them why your solution is the right one.
I know this step seems obvious, but sometimes it’s the most obvious parts of solving a problem that cause the biggest roadblocks. Once you’ve done your research, you should have plenty of fodder for writing your anchor content, so don’t tell me you have writer’s block. Start in the middle if you have to (or even at the end) and figure it out from there, but as the saying goes, there is no substitute for doing the hard work of writing.
Don’t forget to write a powerful call to action at the end. Ideally, this is where everyone who’s interested in this topic (and interested in your business and what it provides) ends up, so don’t lose out on that opportunity by failing to get them to take action. If they’ve made it all the way to the end, it means they’re very interested in this topic and they’re more likely to want to take the next steps in the buyer journey, so your job is to make it very easy for them to do that.
5) LET IT SIT
After spending hours (yes, this will take hours) creating this great anchor content, you’ll want to share it with the world. Hold off on that temptation and let it sit for at least 24 hours (the longer the better) before going back and looking it over. Get another pair of eyes on it if you can – anyone who can provide a fresh perspective and ask questions, tell you if something doesn’t make sense, or if a segue is missing or just doesn’t work. You should also use this phase to make sure the content is rich in relevant keywords and backlinks.
6) SHARE IT WITH THE WORLD
Only after completing all the above steps, (especially #5) can you publish your content, distribute it on social media, and share it in your newsletter. Because it’s such a valuable piece of content with a lot to offer, you’ll want to re-purpose it as well, not only by sharing it on social media, but by making videos and infographics on the same topic. Don’t forget to link back to your anchor content in other relevant pieces of content on your site.
7) CREATE TOPIC CLUSTERS
Topic clusters are a great way to drive traffic back to your anchor content. Each cluster consists of a bunch of pieces of content, all on one topic related to your anchor content. This gives you a chance to expand on elements of your anchor content, guide readers/viewers back to the anchor content, and let it do the rest of the work of converting those leads into sales.
Have you tried using anchor content in your content strategy? If you have and there’s a step in here I missed, feel free to let me know in the comments.
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