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How to Create Ultimate Guides to Drive Leads, Traffic, and Conversions

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Ultimate guides are everywhere. You’ve probably read your fair share, and maybe you’ve even written a couple.

They can be a great way to get traffic, build links, and increase your authority, but they’re far from easy to create. The issue most people run into is the sheer amount of content out there nowadays. How do you create an ultimate guide if there are already tons of posts on your chosen subject?

In this post, we’ll look at the steps to creating the ultimate guide on just about anything.

What Is an Ultimate Guide?

What turns a lengthy blog post into an ultimate guide? Well, there are a few things that almost every in-depth guide has in common:

  • It goes very deep into a pretty broad topic.
  • It contains several chapters that look at the topic from a variety of angles.
  • An industry expert or researcher writes it.

Apart from that, what you put in your ultimate guide and how you design it is up to you.

ultimate guide advanced SEO

Why You Should Create an Ultimate Guide

If you didn’t know how powerful ultimate guides are already, here’s why you should start creating them right now.

Rank for Many Keywords

The length, depth, and authority that go into ultimate guides make them a fantastic weapon in your SEO arsenal. The fact that they are so detailed means they should rank for a huge number of keywords. Including internal links to your other blog posts boosts their rankings, too.

Get Backlinks

A big, in-depth resource like an ultimate guide can be a fantastic source of links. Not only can you use it to go out there and request a backlink as part of your link-building process, but other sites naturally start linking to an authoritative resource, too. So much so that your ultimate guide can continue to attract links for years to come.

Build Your Authority

There are few pieces of marketing collateral better at positioning your brand as an authority in your industry than an ultimate guide. This is your opportunity to showcase how much you know about your subject to the world and go above and beyond what has previously been written about your topic.

How to Pick Topics for Your Ultimate Guide

Picking a topic can be a huge stumbling block for many aspiring writers. Don’t get bogged down overthinking it, though. Here’s how you can find the perfect topic quickly.

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Choose a Topic You Know About

This first point is obvious, but it needs to be said. You need to know your topic inside and out if you want to write an excellent guide. That doesn’t mean you can’t use a freelance writer to help you out, but you should give them a thorough brief and create the outline of the guide yourself.

Choose a Topic With High Search Traffic

Not every guide needs to be written with the express purpose of ranking in Google, but it can seriously help drive traffic and generate customers. That’s why I recommend you enter your topic ideas into a tool like Ubersuggest to see the keyword volumes of the main topic and the volumes of every other related keyword.

Don’t just pick the topic that has the main keyword with the highest search volume, however. You may find another topic has so many more related keywords that it could actually generate more traffic overall.

Choose a Topic That’s Trending

Ultimate guides are successful when they’re written about trending topics. When people are excited about a topic, they want to consume all the information they can find about it. Your guide should be a part of that, too.

That’s not the only reason you want to focus on what’s trending, though. The newer your post is, the better it might do in search results if someone is searching by posts made within the last week, month, and so on.

How to Create an Ultimate Guide

With your topic picked, it’s time to get to work creating your guide. Here’s how I recommend you go about it.

1. Consume as Much Content as You Can

Even if you’re an expert in your field, you’ll still want to read blog posts on your topic before you start writing. Doing so will help you understand the level of content currently out there, the common threads writers pull, and the things you need to mention.

Pay attention to the results that Google serves up, too. You’ll find that specific formats are more popular than others, and you’ll want to try to mirror these when it comes to writing your content.

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2. Identify What’s Missing

While you’re reading other people’s content, make a note of everything that’s missing from the posts. If you’re writing a how-to post, be sure to go through the steps yourself after reading posts by others.

Then, jot down things you notice during the process that others might have missed or not explained thoroughly. It also might help to sit down with someone who is unfamiliar with your topic and see what questions they come up with.

3. Do Research

You can write an ultimate guide off the back of your expertise alone—but you can make it stand head and shoulders above everyone else’s content if you conduct your research.

For some, this is a case of canvassing their colleagues and contacts for their opinion on a certain topic. Others might want to commit to more detailed research and partner with a market research company that’ll carry out a study on their behalf.

The more effort you put into the research, the more valuable and link-worthy your ultimate guide will become.

4. Put It All Together

To create your ultimate guide, simply combine the basics plus the additional details you found were missing from other posts and your research. This way, people coming across your guide as the first piece of content they have read about a topic will get all of the basic information, and people who have read many other guides will be wowed by all of the missing pieces that you included.

5. Promote, Promote, Promote

An ultimate guide is no good if no one reads it. Considering the amount of time and energy you have spent on your ultimate guide, you owe it to yourself and your readers to promote it well. Do so by:

  • Sharing it on all of your social networks: Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are the best. Promote it on your personal and business accounts, if possible.
  • Sharing it in groups on social networks: LinkedIn, for example, has some great groups on particular topics. Facebook has some as well, although many are full of spammers who are just there for their promotions. This will expand your guide’s exposure from just your network to all of the members of the groups you select.
  • Emailing your list: If you have a mailing list, let them know about your latest and greatest piece of content.
  • Repurposing your content: If you can turn your ultimate guide into an infographic, video, slide presentation, or PDF document, you can spread it on even more networks.

4 Tips to Create an Awesome Ultimate Guide

If you want to take your ultimate guide to the next level, bear in mind these four tips when writing.

Write Clearly and Format Appropriately

You don’t have to be Hemingway to write a great ultimate guide, but take a lesson from Ernest regarding clarity. Short, clear, punchy sentences win out here, especially when writing thousands of words on your topic. Long, convoluted paragraphs may help you get your message across, but they’ll only cause the reader’s mind to wander.

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Formatting will also help in this regard. Clearly labeled titles and subheadings will make your guide much more digestible. Short paragraphs will, too. Don’t forget that most of your audience will be reading your advice on a screen, so consider how they might skim it for the information they’re looking for.

Include Images and Screenshots

One thing I sometimes find missing from other ultimate guides is good screenshots. Take yours using your account of the topic as opposed to generic stock photos. This will make it easier for others to follow along and visualize the process.

Use Real-Life Examples

Once you have the basics and missing pieces down for your ultimate guide, look for some good examples of your tips in action. If you’re talking about creating great timeline cover photos, then include some examples from pages in different industries.

If you’re talking about using Pinterest to drive traffic, then link to top Pinterest users who are doing things right. Think about your target audience and find examples that they can easily relate to so they feel they must follow your advice to be successful.

Don’t Break Up Your Hard Work

There is a lot of advice out there suggesting you should take long posts and break them up into a series, so you can get people to come back to your website over and over again. However, I find that if someone hits a piece of content that says 101 Tips on ___, and the post only includes steps 1–20 with the promise of more to come, they move on to find everything they’re looking for elsewhere.

People want to consume information now, not wait for it. When they read the words ultimate guide, they’re going to expect to get everything in one chunk, so unless you are planning to write 5,000+ words on a topic, keep it in one piece.

Examples of Great Ultimate Guides

There are a lot of great ultimate guides out there, but here are some of my all-time favorites.

The Ultimate Guide to Startup Marketing

Examples of Great Content Guides - Neil Patel

If you’re looking to grow your startup, I’m pretty sure you’ll get a huge amount of value out of my ultimate guide on the topic.

How to Design a Logo: The Ultimate Guide

Examples of Great Content Guides - How to Design a Logo

With 12 chapters and virtually every angle covered, there’s no reason to read another guide before creating your logo.

The Ultimate Guide to Cart Abandonment

Examples of Great Content Guides - Cart Abandonment

If you’ve ever wondered why shoppers are leaving your website at checkout, this mammoth guide by VWO will answer all your questions.

The Ultimate Guide to Writing & Illustrating Your First Children’s Book

Examples of Great Content Guides - Guide to Writing Your First Children's Book

Ultimate guides don’t have to be about marketing, as this guide by Eevi Jones proves.

How to Pick a Career

Examples of Great Content Guides - How to Pick a Career

While Tim Urban hasn’t called this an ultimate guide, you’re unlikely to find a more thoughtful or detailed blog post on picking a career anywhere online.

Further Resources on Ultimate Guides

This blog post isn’t exhaustive by any means. If you want to dive deep into creating high-quality long-form content, then check out these five resources:

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  1. How to Create an Ebook From Start to Finish by HubSpot
  2. The Ultimate Guide Template by Copyhackers
  3. Your Ultimate Guide on How to Write an Ultimate Guide (Infographic) by Express Writers
  4. The Ultimate Guide to Creating a True ‘Ultimate Guide’ by Search Engine Journal
  5. The Ultimate Guide To Content Promotion by Marketing Insider Group

How to Create Specs for an Ultimate Guide

You don’t have to write your ultimate guide yourself. If you’re hiring a freelance writer to write your guide for you, here’s how you can create a spec they can follow with ease.

  1. Give an overview.

    A top-level overview can help a writer quickly get to grips with the topic and goals of the ultimate guide.

  2. Create a clear structure.

    Take the initiative and write an outline that includes all of the major points you want the writer to talk about. This makes sure all of the gaps you identified in other pieces of content get covered.

  3. Include keyword research.

    If improved rankings are one of your main goals, then highlight the keywords you’re aiming to rank for.

  4. Note or record your expertise.

    Where appropriate, make notes for the writer to help guide them. Alternatively, you can record yourself talking about the topic.

  5. Provide additional resources.

    Highlight a handful of top-quality resources your writer can turn to for inspiration.

  6. Set a deadline

    Expect an ultimate guide to take a fair bit longer to write than a standard blog post.

Ultimate Guide Frequently Asked Questions

How long should my ultimate guide be?

There isn’t a defined length for an ultimate guide, but most are at least 3,000 words in length.

How do I distribute my ultimate guide to my target audience?

You can use social media and email to get your ultimate guide in front of your target audience.

Should I create more than one ultimate guide for my website?

Absolutely. Ultimate guides offer a lot of value in terms of SEO and building your authority, so you should write as many as you can.

At what part of the funnel are ultimate guides most useful?

Ultimate guides can be used at any part of your funnel, but they’ll be most useful towards the top. They are great at attracting users into your funnel and converting them to email subscribers.

How to Create Ultimate Guides Conclusion

Ultimate guides are an incredibly valuable marketing resource. I’ve used them to generate huge levels of traffic, build my reputation as an authority in the industry, and improve my site’s SEO.

Follow the advice I’ve given above, and you’ll be on your way to achieving your content goals while sharing valuable insights about your chosen topic.

Have you created an ultimate guide on your website or blog? What other tips would you add to making your ultimate guide a success?

See How My Agency Can Drive Massive Amounts of Traffic to Your Website

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MARKETING

8 Best Tactics to Lead a Team with Zero Experience

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8 Best Tactics to Lead a Team with Zero Experience

‘How to lead a team?’

This is a burning question for team leads, especially first-time managers.

The ultimate purpose of team leads is to encourage and help their team deliver peak performance while nurturing their skills. They need to establish clear expectations and supervise their team to achieve business goals efficiently.

However, developing effective leadership skills requires considerable experience. To lead a team with zero experience can be thus daunting and overwhelming.

If you are a first-time manager, you should embark on your journey by understanding your role and responsibilities. Taking small yet thoughtful steps will help you develop essential leadership skills.

In this post, we will share the eight best tactics that will help you lead a team with zero experience.

Key Tips to Lead a Team with No Experience

Here’s the comprehensive list of best tips and practices to help you lead a team successfully.

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#1: Admit Experience Limitations to Your Team

Helen Hayes once quoted –

“The expert at anything was once a beginner.”

These words accurately describe the fact that one cannot earn expertise overnight. It takes determination, time, and hard work to sail through the process.

So, if you want your team to thrive, you need to be honest with your team. Don’t conceal the fact that you lack leadership experience. Admitting experience limitations to your team will make them considerate of your situation. This will create a bond of understanding between you and your teammates.

Here are a few tips that’ll help you overcome your experience limitations.

  • Stay Focused: Unless you understand the client’s requirements, you won’t be able to guide your team. So, keep a sharp focus on everyday tasks.
  • Be Proactive: Participate actively in all the tasks to keep your team engaged and motivated.
  • Embrace Humility: Be open to listening to your team’s perspective. Embracing different viewpoints will help you deal with tricky situations with ease.

#2: Have the Confidence to Lead a Team

According to Gallup, managers that lead a team successfully have the following traits.

  • Ability to motivate and engage their team
  • Assertiveness to drive outcomes
  • Confidence to overcome adversity
  • Ability to build transparent relationships

Out of these traits, confidence is the most pivotal.

The reason? A leader’s confidence impacts their team’s confidence.

While it’s true that you lack experience, it doesn’t mean you can’t lead a team and make it big.

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Don’t let your experience impact your confidence.

Develop a constructive mindset to empower your team. Focus on improving your problem-solving skills and get involved with your team in the projects. Understand your teammates’ strengths and weaknesses to gauge their potential, thereby delegating tasks to the right people.

Show your human side and stay honest about everything to be approachable. If you commit a mistake, accept it openly in front of everyone. This will make your teammates comfortable working with you.

The key is to lead by example. This will help you stay confident and increase your chances of achieving desired business outcomes.

#3: Create Open Door Communication Policy

An open-door policy signifies a set of protocols encouraging employees to discuss their queries, challenges, or suggestions with their senior-level managers.

Since communication is a key to building efficient teams, an open-door policy can be a game-changer for you. It can help create and maintain a transparent and unbiased work environment by improving the communication between you and your team.

No wonder, leading companies like IBM follow an open-door policy to promote effective communication at the workplace.

Here are a few tips to consider.

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  • Communicate Expectations: Create a brief outline stating the communication rules. Further, educate your team about how it works and its benefits.
  • Set Boundaries: Providing a solid communication ground to your team is good, but without boundaries, it can lead to the loss of valuable time.

For instance, you can allow your employees to walk in the cabin at any instant. If this doesn’t seem feasible, you can standardize the process. Ask your team to book an appointment for the discussion.

#4: Reach Out to Experts for Assistance

Dealing with conflicts, doubts, and distractions may seem draining as you progress in your managerial journey.

Take the help of a mentor to cope with tricky situations.

An experienced mentor can help you develop decision-making skills while gaining a new perspective on leading a team. With their guidance, you can move on an upward trajectory and establish yourself as a strong leader.

Here are a few ways to connect to an experienced mentor for guidance.

  • Professional Network: Reach out to people in your professional network with expertise, experience, and industry knowledge.
  • Social Media: Leverage the power of social media channels like LinkedIn, Reddit, and Quora. These platforms have a plentitude of subject matter experts and industry leaders.
  • Comprehensive Platforms: Count on platforms like GrowthMentor and TheMuse to discover the best leaders from your industry.

Pro Tip: Become a part of the About Leaders community, where industry leaders share valuable advice and tips on positive leadership. Reading researched and well-written blog posts shared by experts on About Leaders will help you develop a leader-like mindset, thereby preparing you for success.

Besides, you can enroll in leadership-building courses by About Leaders, trusted by 30,000 international leaders.

#5: Set Clear and Realistic Expectations

Setting clear and realistic expectations for your team reduces the chances of project failure. It helps the team members understand their responsibilities and create a solid strategy to meet the expectations.

Here are a few tips for setting clear expectations.

  • Emphasize Goals: Define actionable objectives for each member. The goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (S.M.A.R.T).
  • Make Employees Accountable: Set milestones according to your team members’ skills and experiences. Set realistic deadlines to ensure successful project completion.
  • Track Your Team’s Progress: Keep a tab on your team’s progress by implementing productivity tracking tools like Trello and Toggl. These project management platforms can help you monitor your team’s performance, thereby boosting the chances of your success.
  • Share Timely and Honest Feedback: According to ClearCompany, daily feedback improves employees’ engagement by 3x. So, try offering feedback at the end of the day or at least in a week to boost team collaboration.  

#6: Provide Resources to Help Your Team

To be a good leader, you should support your team with a well-constructed tech stack. This will not just simplify and streamline their tasks but also increase their trust in you as a leader.  

For instance, if you are leading a team of sales reps, implementing customer relationship management (CRM) software can help your team collect customers’ data. This can boost their work efficiency and help them achieve their goals.

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The key here is to talk to the team and understand their challenges. Based on pain points, offer resources like task automation tools, communication platforms, and CRMs. This will help your team communicate, collaborate, and stay organized and efficient.

Pro Tip: Create a culture of learning and knowledge-sharing by organizing brainstorming sessions. Allow your team to collaborate once a week and discuss innovative ideas. You can even arrange monthly webinars or seminars by inviting guest speakers. This will foster a happy and productive environment, thereby keeping your team motivated.

#7: Ask For Feedback at the End of the Project

As a first-time manager, you should keep learning and improving your leadership skills.

Your team’s feedback on your leadership can help you lead with high effectiveness.

So, ask your team what went right and wrong during the task.

Here are a few crucial questions to consider:

  • In what ways can I improve team communication and time management?
  • Did I do justice to my role?
  • What skills can help me lead a team efficiently?
  • Do you consider me a fair and unbiased leader?
  • Do you trust me for our upcoming projects?

Encourage them to offer honest feedback on your role as a leader. This can help you understand your team’s perspective on your leadership style.

#8: Reward Your Team for a Good Job

Acknowledge and reward your team for a job well done.

This will let your team know their contribution and effort are highly valued and appreciated.

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What’s more? Appreciation can boost their morale and motivate them to perform even better in the future.

Notice the following screenshot of a survey conducted by O. C. Tanner. As you can see, it reveals that employee recognition is the most vital driver of great work.

Here are a few tips to reward your team.

  • Offer Time-Off: Allow your team to take some time off and unwind. This will promote a healthy work culture.
  • Share Thoughtful Gifts: Give small gifts such as chair massages, movie tickets, and more.
  • Offer Non-Monetary Gifts: Rewards don’t need to be monetary always. You can give them a quick shoutout in an email with kind words. This will make them feel valued.

Summing Up

Team management is a challenging task.

Lack of experience can make it further difficult for first-time team leads to justify their role. They need skills, a learning attitude, and patience to develop a good rapport with their teammates.

The shared tips can boost your confidence and help you establish yourself as a trustworthy leader. So, follow these tactics to find your footing as a manager.

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