The web is a competitive place. All it takes is a simple Google search to come to that realization. The important thing in today’s world is to know how to stand out in a crowd. One great way to do that is to get personal with your readers.

Another way is to simply improve your content.

Here’s a list of 50 actionable ways to increase your visibility online with improved content:

  1. Add the appropriate links. If you can create a web of content throughout your blog, and link out to valuable resources when it’s appropriate, it helps turn your blog into a resource.
  2. Organize your navigation. Readers need to know where to go and how to get there. Most won’t use a search feature on your site, even if it is available.
  3. Keep an idea log. Write headlines for potential posts, and go back to them. It’s important to have a place to turn when you are staring at a blank screen.
  4. Comment on everything. This gives you some great visibility, but remember that you want to be remembered as the thoughtful one who actually added something to the conversation.
  5. Blog regularly. As a reader or consumer, there’s nothing more frustrating than going to an otherwise awesome site, and noticing that no blogs have been added in two years. Blog as often as you can come up with something awesome to say. Don’t let your audience forget about you, either.
  6. Update regularly. You don’t need to spend hours a day on your social media. You don’t necessarily need to be on the next new network. You do need to understand what networks make sense for you, the business owner. You do need to provide consistent updates there.
  7. Perfect your calls to action. Don’t assume that your reader knows exactly what you want them to do. You have to tell them.
  8. Eliminate geek speak. We all know you’re smart, and your mother would be proud. Chances are your customers may not know all the specs to your products, or the fancy terms and industry lingo. That’s OK. Learn how to meet them where they’re at, and be a teacher.
  9. Speak to your audience. It should go without saying, but that’s not always the case. Figure out who buys what you sell. Figure out who reads what you write. Learn how to appeal to them, and engage with them.
  10. Guest post. What’s that saying about a leader without a following just taking a walk? In order to succeed in a content marketing world, you’ll need to be giving your best content away. Find the blogs in your industry that draw an audience. Offer them your best material.
  11. Photos with every post. Some people are visual people. The decision to continue reading may be based on the visual layout of the page. When there’s an appropriate and appealing photo, the words aren’t quite so intimidating.
  12. Inject your opinion. Your readers are depending on you as the expert. So don’t just give them the same, standard industry tips. Let them know which ones they need to be following, in your opinion.
  13. Utilize subheads, headers and lists. Like I said, there’s a lot of visual people out there still looking to glean information on the web. Breaking the content into easy, manageable chunks makes your writing more appealing.
  14. Use stronger words. Was, get, and has are boring. In most cases they’re avoidable by rewriting the sentence. Improve your vocabulary, but at the same time don’t drive your audience to the dictionary. They may not come back.
  15. Spend time on your headlines. A headline may be a reader’s first impression of your business (even before the rest of the website). It has to catch their attention and convince them to keep reading. Otherwise the rest of your efforts are lost.
  16. Stay on message. If your blog post is about 50 ways to create visibility with your content, don’t talk about snakes or clowns or cockroaches, unless they can be tied back into your original point. Every word that you write needs to help state your case.
  17. Learn your grammar. Yes, I know it’s a lot like taking the garbage out, but the wrong use of the word it’s, their, or your can really make you look dumb. It can undercut an otherwise flawless effort. I once had a teacher that would fail anyone who incorrectly used any of the aforementioned words. It sucked, but I learned.
  18. Watch your tone. The name of the game is likability. No one wants to be lectured. Also, there is no universal sarcasm font, so that can be really tough to detect. Sometimes readers are left to detect tone by the other nearby words. Be kind.
  19. Don’t game the system. Headlines and copy written to game Google are pretty easy for people to detect. Here’s the thing: The collective public has caught on, and the copy becomes a real snoozer at this point. You can write copy that generates thousands of visits. If they all collectively yawn instead of completing your call to action, you gain nothing.
  20. Write for people. Unless you’re lucky enough to count Google among your clients, it’s people not search engines who buy your stuff.
  21. Be authentic. Your readers should feel like they know you. Your personality should come across both in the tone, and the subjects that you choose to write about.
  22. Ask the question. Don’t be afraid to ask a question in a blog post to try and get a response. It’s a good way to continue the discussion.
  23. Write in active voice. Subject, verb, object. Example: Readers love action. You can’t use it every time but most writers need to use it more often.
  24. Keep your sentences short. Long sentences bore readers. Enough said.
  25. Keep your paragraphs short. Long paragraphs intimidate readers. Enough said.
  26. Simplify your sales funnel. Businesses tend to obsess on traffic. Once that reader lands on your site, it’s up to you to understand the logical steps you want that reader to take. If it can be shortened, do so. Unnecessary hoops will cost you business.
  27. Study your competition. Figure out the strategies that seem to be working, and those that don’t. This should give you a good idea of what you want to implement with your own marketing materials.
  28. Tell good stories. People love a good story. If you can entertain them while teaching them a little something about your business, you’ve kept a reader. Don’t hog the credit, though.
  29. Edit your work with a critical eye. There’s no one standing between you and the publish button. Make sure your work meets high standards.
  30. Fix your bounce rate. What pages are driving traffic away? What can you do to make the message on these pages more appealing? Fix it.
  31. Post Quality Content. The bottom line is that your customers want value. They need some kind of takeaway from your post. Every piece of content that you produce needs to teach them something and provide value, while keeping them entertained. If it doesn’t meet these standards, don’t post it.
  32. Take advantage of the platform. If you’re blogging on WordPress, make sure that you’re using a solid SEO plugin like All In One SEO Pack, or Yoast. Fill in your meta data. They’re giving you a great opportunity to improve your SEO friendliness. Take it. This goes for categories and tags as well.
  33. Don’t Be Afraid To Steal. That’s right. There are some incredibly successful headlines out there that can be adopted to what you’ve written. Same goes for blogs. Don’t be afraid to tackle an angle on a blog that’s been done, but make it your own. I’m not talking about plagiarism, or copyright violation. I’m talking about turning to what others have written, and making it your own.
  34. Read everything you can. This goes for books, blogs and articles both in and outside of your industry. This will give you a broader picture of what you do, and how to take ideas outside or your industry and adopt them.
  35. Why should we buy from you? That’s what every reader / customer / or anyone who meets you is immediately thinking when you say, “Hello, my name is _________ and I’m a _________.” It’s OK to brag a little bit. Tell us about your 20 years of experience, or awards, or high profile clients. Your website isn’t the place to be modest.
  36. Get a little creative. Your readers are looking for material that they won’t find on your competition’s websites. So go ahead, and tell me what you’ve learned about your industry by being a football fan, or while walking your dog. It’s unique, and it’s a good vehicle for you as an industry thought leader.
  37. Make sharing easy. There are plugins you can add to your blog that will make it easier for people to tweet, share or post what you’ve written. Make sure that sharing is intuitive, and encourage it.
  38. Build trust. Every post that you write must work to establish that you know what you’re talking about. Your web content must work to establish you as the right choice. Your testimonials allow other people to speak on your behalf. It all works together.
  39. Win the argument. Every piece of content that you produce needs to make an argument. Every word that you write needs to state your case. Get in, make your point, get out. Don’t waste words.
  40. Make sure your videos are informative, but short. Videos are wildly popular, but we want our information now. Anything over 2-3 minutes may not be viewed as often.
  41. Use keywords, but don’t overdo it. Google needs to know what you’re talking about, and doesn’t understand when you speak metaphorically. The best approach is to write a post for people, and go back and sparingly add your keywords in. Usually 1-2 uses within 500 words is plenty.
  42. Utilize pronouns. When you keyword stuff to the point that you don’t use pronouns, your readers pick up on it, and it sounds spammy. Your readers don’t want a commercial. They want value.
  43. Say what you need to say. Don’t worry about length of content. If your argument is complete after a 150 word blog post, that’s fine. If it takes 2,000 words, well that’s fine too.
  44. Ask someone else to read before you publish. That’s always better than catching errors after the fact. Authors and journalist had to pass their work past the eyeballs of an editor for centuries. That’s only changing now. Don’t become too anxious to click the publish button.
  45. Eliminate the hard sell. We’re here for information and value, not to be beat over the head with a baseball bat. If we want to hear what we can buy for the low price of $9.99 we’ll watch the Home Shopping Network.
  46. Write an “epic” post. These are the most informative, valuable posts. Make sure they’re done in a friendly way though. You want your readers to make it with you until the end.
  47. Consider paying for clicks. In some circumstances, it just works. You’ll want to make sure that your sales funnel is in place though. When you’re paying for visitors, they need to know how to buy.
  48. Master a social network. There’s a new one coming out every day it seems like. If you establish a presence on all of them, you’ll spread yourself too thin. Concentrate on one, build relationships, and establish your value.
  49. Consider interviewing experts and doing book reviews for blog posts. This draws other voices into your world, and can help to highlight the content you’ve written, which is always a good thing.
  50. Hire a freelancer. A professional can always help you navigate the Internet marketing waters. Consider bringing one on board!

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