Over the years, you’ve probably heard the following phrase more times than you can count: to give your company’s website high visibility, content is king.

That’s been a pretty useful phrase, really, because it quickly allows small business owners to know what to prioritize: content. The problem, though, is that “content is king” may sound as clichéd in 2019 as “we need a paradigm shift,” or “go after low-hanging fruit,” or “let’s do more with less” — and it’s very easy to ignore clichés.

Don’t ignore this one, though.

Content will be king in 2019 — although a different kind of king — and creating the type of quality content that Google rewards today may be the most important thing your small business does in the upcoming year.

Then and Now Comparison: Blog Posts

Today, you’ll need to focus on length, depth and breadth.

In years past, you might have gained traction with a 500-word blog post, and then you might have needed to bump it up to 1,000 words. Then, an April 2016 study on ideal content length (based on research of 1 million Google search results) showed how the “average Google first page result contains 1,890 words).

Then, as savvy companies began creating longer content, the bar was raised once again.

Our recommendation for 2019: create blog posts of 2,000 words or more, making sure they’re at least 500 words longer than content written on the subject by top competitors.

Just making blog posts longer, though, isn’t enough. You also must go deeper on the topic at hand, providing information that isn’t readily found elsewhere.

And, you’ll also want more breadth, providing content to people who are new to the subject as well as to those who want to compare options before making a purchase. Using a widget company as our example, you might write a post about the future of widgets that includes:

  • Predictions about where you see the industry going
  • Quotes from experts (not your competitors) bolstering what you have to say
  • A timeline that shares highlights of the product’s history to date
  • A checklist that helps people match the right widget to their unique needs
  • Answers to frequently asked questions
  • Eye-catching photos
  • Video clips that range from entertaining to useful in choosing widgets
  • Testimonials from satisfied customers
  • Mini-case studies
  • Internal links to help user experience
  • Compelling calls to action

One call to action might be for site visitors to download a how-to guide on how to streamline widget efficiency or a way for them to sign up to receive relevant weekly tips by email.

Once your long-form content is completed, share it on social media, plus with carefully chosen influencers and more. Monitor results and update content, as needed. In the past, we’ve heard marketers say that time spent on content creation and on content marketing should be divided, 50/50. We’d like to suggest that you spend 70% of your content time creating powerful, quality content and 30% strategically sharing it to targeted audiences.

Then and Now Comparison: Product, Service and Location Pages

In 2019, it’s time to treat your product, service and location pages with the same kind of love and attention that we’re describing above for blog posts. Gone are the days that 300 words of content about a product line (or 500 words or whatever number you’d like to put here) will magically allow a company to check this task off their list before moving on to something else.

Instead, borrow techniques from quality blog posts and apply them to your product, service and location pages. You’ll want to stay focused on converting customers on these pages, of course, but this can include the use of FAQs, checklists that help site visitors to solve a problem, expert quotes from your team, testimonials and more. What maps, videos and more can guide them along the conversion path?

Additional Tips

Do a content audit of your site, including intelligence gleaned from Google Analytics. What content is performing especially well? Reverse engineer why this is happening and then bolster other worthwhile content on your site that isn’t receiving as much attention, using what you’ve learned through your content audit. What content is performing especially poorly? Upon analysis, is this surprising? Why or why not?

What content gaps exist? Perhaps you’re offering plenty of content to attract people to your site, but not enough that draws them closer to making purchases. For example, do you mostly have content about the history of widgets, the biggest widget collectors in the world and widget humor — and then send people directly to service pages without seeing success?

If so, focus on creating content from the middle of the conversion funnel. Perhaps you can move site visitors along the path to purchasing by offering content about measuring your office appropriately before choosing widgets. Or, perhaps it includes charts about how powerful a widget must be for a specified purpose.

Also, keep keywords in their place. Yes, they’re important. Choosing the right ones, including ones with commercial intent, is still a crucial part of content strategy, but content in 2019 is about so much more than just keywords. Tip: take advantage of keywords with reasonable traffic but lower competition.

Finally, experiment with how often you need to publish content to achieve results you want, and then consistently publish at that pace. Monitor how well that schedule is working for you and, when you have a window of time, try publishing an extra high-quality post and see how this helps with traffic, conversions and sales.

Here, you can find more of our SEO predictions for 2019. We wish you a productive, happy new year!