As a business owner or marketer, one of your top priorities is attracting targeted traffic and qualified leads to your company website to drive sales and grow your business. Content marketing is your most powerful method available — in terms of ROI — to increase your inbound leads and hit your numbers.
The Importance of Research in Content Marketing
If you’ve been running your company blog for a while, then you probably already know and implement the basics of effective content marketing such as creating blog posts around targeted keywords, building backlinks on authoritive blogs in your industry through guest posting and properly formatting articles on your blog for easy reading and comprehension.
But one key element that might be missing from your B2B content marketing strategy is the use of research within your content.
Many marketers and bloggers are afraid to link out to other websites for fear of diluting their link juice and losing readers. But this is actually a big mistake. Below are three reasons why including links to outside sources can boost your blogging results.
- Data-Driven Content Provides High Value
Internet marketers often focus on search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to improve their website’s search rankings and drive more traffic to their landing pages. This is a good practice — when done properly — and it will give you good results. But many of these content creators lose sight of the most important purpose of all website content — value. Your blog content needs to provide value to your readers, and content that provides an abundance of value tends to attract a lot of traffic.
Content that includes direct quotes from industry experts, statistics and links to in-depth research and raw data is one of the most valuable types of content in existence. Readers like to see proof to back up your claims, and well-presented data with links to expert research is the best evidence you can provide.
- Well-Researched Content Builds Trust
There are a lot of businesses and marketers out there making bold claims about their products and services. Some of them are legitimate, but many are not. Nobody wants to get ripped off, so how can savvy blog readers know who is legit and who is just blowing smoke?
When you show data and link to authoritative research to back up your claims, you build trust with your blog readers. They can even click through your links to verify that what you are saying is true. In any business today — especially those that engage with customers online — trust is essential. Your willingness to thoroughly research your blog topics and link out to sources builds your credibility and will keep readers coming back for more.
- Linking Out to Authoritative Sites Improves SEO
Google and other search engines also trust websites that link out to industry experts and authoritative research from within their blog posts. These search engines want to lead their customers to high-quality, trustworthy content. So when they see that your blog posts are well-researched and are linking out to expert sources, that is a good sign to them that you are legitimate. That is why external links can actually be a positive ranking factor that can boost your website rankings. So linking out to good sources doesn’t water down your authority and SEO — it increases it.
Content marketing is the most effective online strategy to drive traffic to your blog. But your content should include research to boost your trust with readers, your authority in your niche and your rankings with search engines. Whether you are conducting your own research or are linking out to other experts, including this type of proof in your content will set you apart from your competitors who fail to take advantage of this strategy.