Shark Week is here! As one of Discovery Channel’s most popular shows celebrates its 30th year, it got us thinking about the reputation of these powerful creatures and how blog writing services can put your content into super shark mode.

 

Sharks are stealth, sleek, and strategic.

 

They’re not afraid to make their presence known and never miss an opportunity to strike.

 

So, can sharks inspire us to create killer blog content that crushes the competition?

 

Yes, and here’s how.

 

Stalking and Analyzing the Prey: Blog Content Creation Habits and Patterns

Great White Sharks don’t stalk their prey at random. In fact, they single out their prey and stalk them from roughly 100 yards away, analyzing their movements and even learning from previous attempts.

 

Your competition creates good content. Maybe even great content. While us mere humans might be intimidated by the competition’s approach to content, a shark would use it as leverage to create something even greater.

 

The first place to begin with outsmarting your competition’s content is by analyzing it. This takes a keen eye with sharp attention to detail. The idea isn’t to copy what they’re currently doing with their content, but learn from it so you can do it better.

 

Look for the following content creation habits and patterns from the competition:

 

Consistent and predictable blog publishing. Some companies may blog once per week, while others blog once a month. Large gaps between blog posts indicate that an editorial plan is likely not in place. The best approach for blogging is to use a consistent and predictable publishing schedule for yourself, your audience, and even Google.

Length of blog content. It’s difficult to offer real value with a 500-word blog post. As you craft helpful content, longer is typically better. Long blog posts allow you to go into more detail on a topic and it can even help rank on Google or get more social shares.

A mix of content formats. While blogging is great for content marketing, it’s not the end-all-be-all of a solid strategy. A good content strategy involves a mix of content types for different aspects of the sales funnel. Different content formats will also help enhance your blog. Check if your competition has content including landing pages, white papers, and even downloadable content or video.

A distribution plan. Even though you can’t peek behind the curtain and see the competition’s distribution plan for content, you can follow the scent by following them on social media and setting up a Google alert for their brand name. This way, you can have content delivered directly to your inbox that involves the competition.

Quality content investment. While you might not know the budget for your competition’s content, its quality can provide clues that they’re spending money to get the good stuff. If you’re reading error-free blog posts and swoon at their social media blips, they likely hired a professional writer to get the job done. This is a different level of quality content than what you’ll receive with a typical college intern.

 

There is a lot more that goes on behind the scenes with content creation and content strategy. However, this information gives you a starting point of where to begin with your own content strategy so you can move forward to the next phase: planning the attack.

 

The Scent of Blood: Planning Your Content Attack

Did you know that sharks have an extremely acute sense of smell?

 

A lemon shark can detect tuna oil at one part per 25 million—which is the equivalent of 10 drops in an average-sized home swimming pool.

 

Once you’ve sniffed out the competition and analyzed their content, it’s time to begin contemplating your attack.

 

Content attack, that is.

 

Understand How Your Content Serves Your Customers

Before you produce a single piece of content, you need to determine how it’s serving your customer base.

 

The best plan of attack is to produce content that solves a problem. When you can make the lives of your audience easier, it’s a fast and effective way to establish trust and build authority.

 

You can always go a lot deeper and create an in-depth strategy, which analyzes many characteristics of your audience, such as job title and income. This is indeed an important element of understanding the core needs of your customers, but choosing to solve problems with your content is normally a win-win for everyone.

 

Marrying Customer Needs and High-ROI Blog Topic Ideas  

There are nearly limitless opportunities for blog topic ideas, even for the most mundane industry.

 

However, you’ll need to remember the advice from section 1 and keep your audience in mind.

 

Your topic should reflect their needs while solving a potential problem or answering a question.

 

In many cases, a single topic for a single piece of content is a (very) short-term solution. The best approach is to choose a list of 10-12 topics that you can use for the upcoming months. This gives you a steady stream of content that you can consistently offer to your customers.

 

If you need some help with coming up with topics, here are a few good places to find them:

 

Trending data on Google Trends on Buzzsumo

AnswerThePublic

SEMRush keyword research

Customer feedback on competitor social media profiles

Customer feedback from your own social media profiles

Providing a new angle on an old topic

Going more in-depth on a topic that isn’t covered well yet

 

As you address the pain points of your customer within the blog, be sure to weave in a call-to-action or two and mention your product or service. The idea is not to be in-your-face about your offerings—it needs to be genuinely helpful and showcase how you can make lives easier.

 

Crush the Competition with a Laser-Focused Content Calendar

Now that you have a list of topics, you can start stockpiling for the months ahead. Some of the common categories you’ll find on a blog content calendar include:

 

Blogging Frequency: Take a look at how often your competition blogs. If you can keep the same pace, great! If you can blog more frequently, this is OK too—but don’t allow your quality to slip. Choose a blogging frequency schedule that you can realistically handle and set dates for publishing.

 

Blog Writer: Who is going to write your blog content? You’ll need someone who has excellent blog writing skills and can master the tone of your company. You also need someone who can learn your industry from the inside out with enough creativity to make the content engaging. Busy Blogs Plus assists brands across countless niches with high-quality blog writing services.

 

Keywords: Keywords are an important part of an SEO strategy. Include keywords to use in each blog post, including variations. We’ll discuss more on the usage of keywords in the next section.

 

Blog Headline: Include a skeleton topic of your blog headline with the keyword inside of it. You may end up adjusting the blog headline as you write.

 

Word Count: Refer back to how many words the competition is using in their blog. Try to at least match this amount, but write more if you can provide better depth and attention to detail. Longform blog content is still dominating in terms of SEO and conversions. HubSpot suggests that you aim for 2,000 words or more.

 

Blog Goals: What is the goal of the blog post? More traffic? Email subscriptions? Phone calls? Make a note in this category and keep track of your metrics.

 

While you can add as many categories that make sense for your calendar, the above suggestions will give you a good baseline to getting started.

 

Going for the Kill: Optimizing and Executing

The title of this blog post addresses outsmarting the competition, which is tackled in the previous two sections.

 

Now, we’re going to move forward with outranking by optimizing and executing your content plan attack.

 

Getting Optimized with Killer Keywords

Outranking your competition takes a lot of strategy, patience, and consistency. There are also circumstances where you may not outrank your competition at all, especially if you’re trying to battle a 500-pound gorilla like Amazon.

 

The good news is that you can still outrank the competition with keywords—you just have to be smart about it.

 

By using keyword research tools such as SEMRush, you can unveil low competition keywords that you can realistically win on Google. Typically, these keywords are long tail with lower search volume, but lower search volume does not equal fewer customers. It can lead to higher conversion rates, even if the traffic numbers aren’t jumping off the charts.

 

 

 

 

Keyword Optimization Tips

 

Include your keyword in the headline, title tag, and at least once in H1 or H2 tags.

According to Search Engine Journal, H1 tags are secondary in importance to the heading itself. SEJ recommends having at least one H1 tag per page.

Place the keyword in the first paragraph. If you can make it work at the beginning of the blog’s very first sentence, even better.

Don’t be afraid to use variations of your keywords throughout your content. If a keyword sounds awkward, use stop words for better flow. Stop words include: in, at, on, has, the, is, etc. This is a full list of stop words that are ignored by search engines.

Write how you would naturally speak, but don’t overdo it on the keywords. Yoast SEO indicates that natural keyword density is between 0.5% and 2.5%.

 

Including Voice Search in Your Optimization Plan

Voice search is the way of the future. By 2019, 67 million devices will be used in the US for voice assistance.

 

Whether you’re using Alexa or Siri, you’ll need to think about voice search as you move forward with your optimization plans.

 

 

This video from Neil Patel demonstrates how you can incorporate voice search techniques into your content.

 

The concept of voice search optimization is still relatively new. Many companies aren’t even considering it at all when it comes to optimization. Tackling voice optimization now will surely put you ahead of the game with your competition’s content.

 

Get Serious About User Experience

When you are committed to outsmarting and outranking your competition’s content, now isn’t the time to cut corners.

 

This is especially the case with user experience.

 

Here are a few tips on enhancing user experience with your company blog content:

 

Use images in your content. The brain processes visual information 60,000x faster than text. Visual aids also help improve learning by 400%.

Use adequate white space in your content. According to the Journalism Education Association, white space helps introduce topics, organize ideas, and emphasize clear and coherent writing.

Use bulleted lists and subheaders to make your content easy to skim.

Don’t make your customers play guessing games. Make your content easy to understand and educational.

Provide actionable advice. Fluff content is a no-go for any industry. To offer real value, send your customers away with key takeaways that they can apply today.

Use a good layout and formatting with your content. The following graphic demonstrates both weak and strong visual hierarchy for websites:

 

Image source: SEMRush

 

Blog Writing Services with the Power of a Shark Attack

When you need blog writing services to enhance your brand, we can help create masterpiece content that speaks to your customers. Learn about our monthly blog packages or use our blog planning services for topic ideas, keyword strategy, and more.

 

 

Shark fin image credit: Getdrawings