HTML and DOM Fundamentals

SEO is a critical skill for content marketing, but you need to understand HTML and the DOM (Document Object Model) in order to understand SEO. Learning HTML and the DOM will provide you with basic understanding of how websites work and how to write HTML markup.

Here are some resources for learning HTML:

I've always found that the best way to teach someone website basics is to have them build a website. Concepts for this website could be your hobby, your portfolio, or maybe try and start an affiliate site and make some money.

For this part of the training I would avoid "no-code" solutions like SquareSpace or Wix. I recommend using something that forces you to set up hosting, at least write some CSS and edit an htaccess file. Here are some suggested platforms to start building a website:

The more challenging the platform you choose, the more you'll learn. You know your technical aptitude. Don't be afraid to throw yourself in the deep-end.

SEO Fundamentals

Before you can understand content marketing, you have to understand SEO fundamentals. It doesn't make sense for me to go over all this. Many other sites have comprehensive resources for this:

Establish Measurable Metrics and Goals

The most important thing managers need to understand is what content marketing is supposed to deliver. Each piece of content should have an objective. For content to be effective, it must accomplish one of the goals below. Never start a content marketing effort without this in place. You need to establish measurable goals with buy-in from stakeholders.

SEO traffic

The metric: total organic traffic from search

These articles are written with a common keyword in mind. They keyword might be "how do lines of credit work" or "how to collect from customers." The article should offer a great answer to these questions and hopefully rank for these keywords. This traffic can then be turned into new business.

Fact-Based Resources for Backlinks and Citations

The metric: new backlinks (use SEMRush or SpyFu to measure this)

Another content resource strategy is to create content that provides facts that a journalist or other media outlet to cite for their content. For example, you might create a resource that shows which states have the most software start ups. If media outlets cite your content and link to it, that can provide traffic and boost the overall SEO authority of your website.

Content for Lead Generation

The metric: number of leads generated

The most common approach for this type of content marketing is to develop a content research and then require users to fill out a form to download the content. These leads are then sent to sales, or they are scored based on the activity.

Authority and Scope

The most common thing I see from companies is writing information articles about topics they have no chance of ranking for. Companies with lots of brand awareness and equity have a much easier time ranking for high traffic, valuable keywords like "business line of credit." If you're in 3 year old company with 20 people, and you write an article titled, "5 tips to get a business line of credit," you've wasted your time. This is a topic that's been covered thousands of time by sites with much more authority.

If you want to rank for keywords related to "business line of credit," you're going to narrow the scope of your article. You'll need to target a related keyword with less traffic and less competition. If you're servicing the restaurant industry, you might try an article titled, "How to Get a Business Line of Credit For Your Restaurant." This is a less competitive keyword. It's also something you'll have more directly knowledge about and is valuable to your target market.