Too often with New Year’s resolutions, we set ourselves up to fail. And every year, we’re all stunned by how few say “yes.” (The 2018 study showed that just 36% of B2B marketers reported having a documented strategy. Google is continually getting smarter and more complex in its page rankings. @annieleuman Click To Tweet If you are delivering on those fronts, you needn’t worry so much about SEO writing in a way that reads like this SEO writing sentence and makes you never want to type or hear the words SEO writing again. #B2B marketers have to stop thinking about how audiences 'consume' content, and start thinking about how audiences want to experience content. Audiences want more than words. Google offers free courses and assessments through Google Analytics Academy that enable anyone to become certified with a GA Individual Qualification upon successful completion. But the certification may not be high-priority item for writers, or content marketing generalists who have a team of analytics professionals behind them. These five eminently achievable goals offer a good place to start. Almost every content marketer could stand to be more organized with documentation, sophisticated with SEO strategy, authentically human with their writing, versatile with their creation, and expert with their measurement.
If you break down the word “resolution” phonically, you get “resolute” and “shun.” Kind of ironic, since we all seem more likely to shun (persistently avoid, ignore, or reject through antipathy or caution) these self-assigned goals than be resolute (admirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering) in achieving them.
Too often with New Year’s resolutions, we set ourselves up to fail. We lay out ambitious mandates and drastic behavioral changes that sound great in theory, but almost invariably fall by the wayside amidst our busy lives.
B2B content marketers are plenty familiar with ambitious goal-setting. We’re optimistic. We’re driven. But perhaps we’re not always realistic.
The whole point of setting goals is to achieve them. If you’re always setting stretch goals, you’ll never know what success looks like.
In this spirit, I thought I would outline five professional resolutions for B2B content marketers in 2019 that are not only achievable, but (I’ll argue) imperative.
Enough shunning. Let’s get resolute and conquer these five objectives.
#1 – Document Your Content Strategy (For Real Though)
Every year, when they conduct their annual benchmarking research, Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs ask respondents whether they have a documented content marketing strategy. And every year, we’re all stunned by how few say “yes.” (The 2018 study showed that just 36% of B2B marketers reported having a documented strategy. In the 2019 study, which was just released this past October, that number was 39%.)
Then, we do it all over again. It seems absolutely insane that almost two out of three marketers lack documentation for their content strategy. And most of us recognize this, but still we just continue to let it slip.
Enough. Make 2019 the year where you actually get your strategies written down, in the form of a tangible doc that is visible and accessible to everyone in the organization.
#2 – Stop Focusing Your SEO Strategy on Keywords
Many of us were trained around this core principle of SEO writing: make that target keyword front-and-center in your copy. Place it in your title, in the first paragraph, and in multiple headers. Sprinkle it throughout your writing as liberally as salt on a bad steak.
While “old-school” SEO has been on the outs, with content that provides the perfect balance for bots and humans on an increasing rise, some marketers still regard keywords as the end-all-be-all.
Forcefully stuffing keywords into your content often diminishes readability, and in some cases it can totally derail the core points you’re trying to make. To what end? Google is continually getting smarter and more complex in its page rankings. As our Associate Director of Search & Analytics Tiffani Allen wrote here recently, elements like mobile-friendliness and voice search alignment will increasingly hold sway in 2019.
Just take a look how far down anything keyword-related falls on this updated hierarchy of ranking factors from SEMrush: