Research is key to writing authoritatively on a variety of topics – and when we’re ready to start typing we use several free tools to help refine our work. So without further ado, here’s our quick guide to producing high-quality content marketing.
(1) Answer The Public
This helps for the basis of content ideation. Essentially, ATP shows you what people are typing into Google in relation to your business niche, allowing you to create content that directly answers their questions. Enter a few keywords relating to your line of work, and you’ll be presented with a thought cloud of real-time search queries, meaning you can tailor your output accordingly.
Here’s what appears when entering in “keyword research”:
Upon clicking the dots on the live webpage, you’re taken to the Google results page for each individual query, inviting you to weigh-up how competitive each one is. You can then create a high-quality content marketing plan that will see you answer popular questions, framing you as the go-to business for that particular query.
The more directly you answer the questions, the better chance you have of ranking highly in the SERPs.
When reading, it can be incredibly tiresome if words and phrases become repetitive. The writer comes across as lazy – the opposite will help produce high-quality content marketing. Fortunately, Wordcounter invites you to paste your prose into a calculator, so that it can list frequent expression, highlighting where you should add more variety.
Entering “tiresome” returns a multitude of synonyms, such as “irritating”, “annoying”, “exasperating” and “dull”. Don’t bore your readers with boring blog posts. Improve the reading experience by spicing up your vocabulary through Thesaurus.com.
Although a premium subscription of Grammarly with advanced features is available, the free browser extension follows you around the Internet, checking your spelling and grammar as you go.
It’s incredibly quick, and can save you the embarrassment of silly errors that undermine your whole operation (especially if you’re an agency cited for its high-quality content marketing!). The extension isn’t currently compatible with Google Docs, but there’s a free add-in for Outlook and Word, empowering you with a more robust (and slightly nerdier) companion than Microsoft’s in-built spell checker.
(5) Copyscape Comparison Tool
It’s crucial to minimise the amount of copied content on your website, as it confuses search bots, resulting in your pages being filtered out of organic search results. Some companies unknowingly face duplication issues by having multiple versions of the website live, often using similar content across regional sub-sites, only editing the contact details and location-specific information.
This is likely to result in only one of the sub-sites performing well in Google; the first to be indexed will be seen as the original, and the others ignored. To defend against such issues, you can use Copyscape’s comparison tool to view webpages alongside one another, highlighting blocks of duplication. This easy visualisation means you can write fresh content where necessary.
(6) SiteLiner – owned by Copyscape
SiteLiner is great for undertaking quick website audits, supplying you with a broad overview of duplicate content within a specific site, as well as broken links and sitemap issues. Simply enter your homepage URL and a speedy report will be generated, giving you information like this:
(7) SERP Preview
Being mindful of SEO best practice should be central to your content strategy, and this tool allows you to rework page titles, meta descriptions and URLs – the onsite elements that show up in the SERPs – until they’re firing on all cylinders.
Instead of stating a character count for page titles, Google will only display up to 600 pixels. Some letters are obviously wider than others (W is fatter than I, for example), taking up more pixel space, so it’s tricky to write the best title without knowing if you run the risk of truncation. However, the preview allows you to make the most of every element, enhancing your search visibility tenfold.
The”‘Bolded Keywords” feature allows you to add in the search terms you expect people to find your page for; Google displays these words/phrases in bold – taking up more pixels – so anticipating this ensures you can again edit your copy to negate against truncation.
If you’re already armed with a strong content marketing strategy, these free tools can take you to the next level, enhancing your SEO and helping you write captivating copy that converts.
Magnus Linklater is the founder of Bespoke Digital Marketing