How to REALLY Use Content Marketing to Get More Customers

Affordable SEO talks about how to use content marketing to get more customers

how to use content marketing to get more customersOne of the biggest questions we get is “yeah, I know I should be blogging and doing all that content marketing stuff, but how do I actually use it?”


How to use content marketing to get more customers from your website is one of the more challenging things business these days feel the need to tackle. The real issue is that most people have no idea how to blog, what to blog about or what the real goal of blogging is.


I see it all the time. Customers who know they “should be blogging” because they heard somewhere that they should. They have no idea why…they just know “they should”.


Or perhaps it comes from the company CEO goes to an Internet Marketing conference, comes back all charged up because he sat through a “content marketing” presentation with a bunch of other CEOs and makes a major corporate announcement:


“OK troops, we need to start a blog –  so everyone get out there and start blogging!”


Although the CEO means well, it’s a corporate edict without much legs…because nobody knows WHY.


The reason is that blogging and content creation without a FOCUS is really just a TOTAL WASTE OF TIME.


Blogging without a purpose does absolutely nothing for your website…and this kind of unfocused content marketing does nothing to do what the REAL purpose of your website is namely:


Create Traffic…Then Leads…Then Customers

How To Really Use Content Marketing to Get More Customers


If you’ve been in SEO for any time whatsoever, you’ve probably seen a graphic similar to this one:


content marketing longtail


Those one word phrases (known as the “Head Tail” for you techy SEO types) have high competition and high volume of search. The problem is they are so broad that in most cases, they don’t convert on your website very well.


The second group in the middle is the two to three word phrases called ‘the middle tail” (for lack of a better word). these keyword phrases have slightly less search volume, slightly less competition and are a bit more descriptive than their head tail counterparts.


On the far right end is the four to eight word keyword phrases which are what we refer to as “The Longtail”. These guys have far less competition and far less volume but the cool thing is that yellow line extends to the right into infinity.


Yes, into infinity…it never, ever ends. Like the universe…..


That’s because 15% of ALL search phrases typed into Google have never been searched for before. Never!


In fact in a recent study, it shows that you, the searcher (the person who types the words into this little box here…



…it’s been found that we are now getting to be better and better searchers. We are entering more and more words into that little box. So much so that the longer tail keywords are the ones that are experiencing the most growth and the short “head tail” keywords are actually declining.


Here are the stats:


As compared to 2004 Hitwise did a study that showed how search has indeed changed. People are using longer and longer search queries when you search.


  • 1-word searches = 20.29% (previously was 19.02%)
  • 2-word searches = 23.65% (previously was 32.58%)
  • 3-word searches = 21.92% (previously was 25.61%)
  • 4-word searches = 14.89% (previously was 12.83%)
  • 5-word searches = 8.68% (previously was 5.64%)
  • 6-word searches = 4.65% (previously was 2.32%)
  • 7-word searches = 2.49% (previously was 0.98%)
  • 8-word searches = 3.43% (no one did 8-word searches in 2004!)


The general trend is that the percentage of people who are searching for 2 or 3 word phrases is decreasing and percentage of people who are searching for 4, 5, or even 8 word phrases is increasing.


What is most fascinating is that 8 word search queries are up 34,000%!

That’s All Great…So Why Should You Care?


It’ important for one reason: Content Marketing is all about capturing “The Longtail”…and The Longtail is EXPLODING on the Internet.


Catch the wave to catch more customers.


When you capture the longtail that is RELEVANT to your customers, you capture more traffic, more leads and more sales.


Let me show you what I mean.


Here is a chart from a client of ours in a relatively small niche. We have done all the blogging and content creation for them since May of 2012.


Although this in not an enormous website, the amount of site visits has increased nicely over the course of the past 7 months:




If you need your glasses to see this (this included me), lemme summarize…the little tiny blue column on the way left is in May of 2012 and its at about 3 visits. But the big blue column on the way right is in December 2012 and is touching 10,000 site visits.


Summary: 3 site visits in May up to 10,000 site visits in December (January looks even better BTW). I’m not sure what that exact percent growth is…but it’s a lot.


But even better is that this little website has also experienced an incredible growth in opt-ins, otherwise known as SALES LEADS – people simply entering their name and email address to get a free piece of content. In this case, it’s a free 56-page eBook:




And perhaps best of all, these email opt ins led to numerous sales of products he sold to just a handful of his leads.

What Does Content Marketing Have to Do With All This?


It has everything to do with it.


Here’s why. We built ALL of that traffic based on three to eight word keyword phrases through SEO blogging and content marketing.


Sure, there was some affordable SEO involved as well…but it was largely due to long tail keyword focused blogging.


And here’s how we did it…


1. Keyword Focus: We had a keyword focus on every blog post: We also targeted their two to three word mid-tail counterparts as tangential targets – we did not target specifically, but we knew there was search volume to be had based on “phrase” match volume, so we figured if we targeted the longer tail, we would get the mid-tail.

We got both.


2. How To: We targeted hundreds of “How to” keyword phrases in good old Google Keyword Tool.

We “thought like our customer” on every post we did. We asked this question: “What does the customer REALLY want to know?” If you start with this you’ll never go wrong in learning how to use content marketing to get more customers.


3. Questions: We addressed, but not necessarily answered the most popular questions our target market wanted to know. Some of them are:

  • Cost: How much does it cost? You don’t need to put your price list on there. Just address it. We all know the cost will vary, so just address it.
  • Versus: Which is better: your product or your competitor’s product? Just go right at it and if someone is thinking about buying your product or service and there are other choices, simply compare them. Better to have them do this on your site than your competition’s right?
  • Problems: What are the biggest problems with your product or service? Don’t shy away from this one. People want to know about this so don’t be afraid of it! Attack it head on. Don’t be a wuss. If you address it on your site, then they won’t go to your competition’s site to find the answer. Keep them on your website by answering the questions they want to know now.
  • Best: Who is the best (blank) in (blank)? A post could be as simple as “The Best HVAC Installers in Illinois”. People want to know. You can get real local on this one if needed.


If you focus on ‘how to” posts and the four from above, you will have content marketing ideas from here to kingdom come…you’ll never run out. It’s infinite…just like “The Longtail” itself…..


And Google will love you for it by ranking you for not necessarily the exact phrase in each post, but dozens of variants of those basic questions.


Tools of the Trade for Content Marketing


Aside from all the on-page SEO factors that you should use to optimize your page (here’s a nice graphic to show it):


on page seo tips


There are a few plugins we do use to make sure we keep on track. The two I recommend are:


Yoast WordPress SEO plugin: Totally awesome and best of all Google-friendly and FREE. I prefer Yoast WordPress SEO over All In One SEO Pack because Joost (he’s a genius) took care of the canonical issue that are so common with so many blogs with tons of tags, categories and author attributes.


This plugin eliminates that issue. Be careful of the “keyword density”rank on this. In my opinion, Joost gets a little “keyword stuffy” in this plugin. But overall, it keeps you on the straight and narrow.


Scribe by Copyblogger: Another very good plugin and although paid, Scribe SEO (affiliate link) is worth the money. It is a bit basic, sometimes a bit buggy but over it keeps you on the right path with keyword research, internal, external linking and how your post is rated on a scale of 1-100. It also tells you how your post fits in with the overall message of your website too, which I find very helpful.




You can use content marketing to get more customers. It is possible. Follow these steps and take the first steps. Whatever you do, don’t just blog ot blog…its a total, utter waste of your time and resources. Instead use content marketing and blogging to GET MORE CUSTOMERS. That’s the goal of your website, right?


And of course if all this is just totally intimidating, you can always contact us to talk through it all.


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