You’ve heard the old web adage, “Content is King”, right? It’s just as true as it was back in the day as it is now, with one big difference: people are finally giving content its due credit. As Google changes its algorithm to eradicate webspam, the sites with the best, most relevant content stay on top. In short: subpar content isn’t going to cut it anymore.
Developing web content strategy doesn’t have to be complicated.
Now more than ever, high quality content can make or break a website. It spells the difference between a site headed toward success and one headed toward failure. Yes, you need good content to rank well in the engines, but SEO is weighed less heavily. Stuffing content full of keywords won’t cut it. You need to create content that speaks to your audience and offers something of value. Without these key factors, you’ll be going nowhere fast.
Tip #1: Identify Your Voice
Instead automatically jumping into writing content for your site, take some time to think about your company or brand and what it represents. What do you offer to your customers? What kind of content would best represent your brand? Write down some key elements that you feel are important to your brand like the style or voice of the writing, the tone, and content type.
It may be helpful to write up a quick brand statement that you can look at often to ensure your content is adhering to these rough guidelines. Consistency is key here. If you suddenly slip into another voice or style from blog post to blog post, it can be disorienting to your readers and can make them less likely to understand where you’re coming from.
Tip #2: Understand Your Audience
Knowing who your primary customers are is essential for developing a content strategy. After all, you want to create content that appeals directly to them and keeps them on your website for as long as possible right? Do some research about the people that visit your site most often. Then, create identities that the largest consumer types fit into. So, if you’re a company that sells work boots, you might find thinking of one segment of your visitor base as men in their forties with construction jobs. Be as specific as you can. The more specific these identities are, the more targeted your content will be.
You also need to know what types of content appeal to your audience the best. Do they appreciate top ten lists? How-to instructional posts? Videos? News? All of this effort will increase engagement and keep visitors on your site longer. This directly increases the likelihood of making a sale, too.
Tip #3: Create a Plan
Using the information you’ve gathered in tips 1 and 2, you can develop a plan of action that gets your content from the outline stage to live on your site. A few things you need to figure out include:
- Who will write the content?
- How will you use content in multiple ways across social media, ads, blogs, etc?
- What schedule will you adhere to?
- What will the workflow look like?
- Who has final approval on the content before it goes live?
Answering these questions will prevent some headaches later on, mostly due to miscommunication. As your site contains more content, the more you will find having a plan to be helpful. It can be difficult to manage large amounts of content otherwise.
By implementing a web content strategy and following it consistently, you should see a marked difference in traffic, the length of time people spend on your site, and user engagement. All of these factors spell increased brand awareness and increased conversions. Truly, in 2013, you can’t afford not to develop a content strategy of your own.