It’s perhaps a sort of headache-inducing irony that the word ‘content’ has been popping up frequently within SEO advisory content over the last few years. After much discussion of how Google wants sites to improve quality and crackdowns on dubious old school link building tactics have taken place and earned lots of sites a ranking forfeiture, the message seems to have finally filtered down that content should be an online priority. Almost everyone, we hope, is now firmly on board with the concept of quality content creation. The result? It’s time to take a more considered and planned approach.Start your content spring clean now
Now the dust has settled on the New Year it’s time to start your site’s content Spring clean. To make your content, website and ultimately your brand stand out in a crowded market, it’s essential to put effort into planning, ideation and dissemination. Up until now, even some of the biggest brands have been using a somewhat scattered approach to content creation and while it’s still essential to test out new ideas and strategies, just like the rise of semantic search, you’ll need to consider the purpose of content more in order to guarantee its success. If you’ve not yet gotten to grips with your content strategy for 2015 or started on a content calendar, there’s still time and taking this considered approach will reap benefits for you, particularly if you’re clear and realistic about your goals. So, what’s the best way to plan your attack? With a review, of course!
Audit and curate your on and off-site content
We’ve spoken before about the multiple benefits of conducting a content audit. By comparing what you and your competitors are creating and seeing what performs well on (and off) site you’ll start to get an idea of what types of content work well with your audience as well as what topics interest them. Some of it is likely to form and enhance the customer journey, which will aid conversions. Other elements will work to raise awareness of your brand. To maximise the impact of a content audit and content creation we recommend using a calendar to help you plan your publications and link content across platforms. In 2015 as everyone ups their game it is no longer enough to be a haphazard publisher or to have a social media presence – the scattergun approach is well and truly out. As well as how you’ll publish your content you need to consider how you will amplify it and get it noticed; our outreach specialists are old hands at this kind of thingand are more than happy to admit that knowing when and how to push content is a skill that takes time to learn.
Content should be diverse yet converging
If you’ve already mastered the content basics and have a well-optimised site with an interesting blog and well-received newsletter, it’s time to think about the types of content you’re using to reach your audience. Would your customers benefit from some how-to videos showing how to get the best from your products or just sharing your industry knowledge? By profiling your customers you can find out what types of content they consume, where they hang out online and where you might want to try and reach them with content marketing.
In the world of search, with mentions and implied links being judged as far more valuable, PR and SEO are converging more than ever. This means your content planning needs to have a diverse outlook but converging approach. Different elements of your content strategy need to support one another – if you’re running a competition on or offline, has it been announced on your blog and your social media channels? Has it been mentioned in your email newsletter? Is there any content being created as part of the competition that you can curate? You need to think about how people will come across this marketing activity and the related content and tailor and plan its digital footprint for maximum benefit and that does take a lot of time and effort.
The content message for 2015 is: try harder yet at the same time make sure none of your effort goes to waste. Enthusiasm is important but there are lots of ways you can get ahead in the content race when you factor in listening, planning and research. Churning out lots of poorly-conceived content is not the answer and it’s not a tactic that consumers or Google will look favourably upon.