Adding content to your website (and getting it in front of the right eyes) is the number one best thing you can do for your search presence. But where do you start? The focus should be on quality, to be interesting to users and give them reason to return to your website. That will take time, research, and resources– just like anything else. You can help yourself cut down on that effort by developing a content strategy that complements other efforts.
Why Develop a Complementary Strategy?
Content marketing for SEO is designed toward the same end SEO has– drive traffic. Bring in new users, bring returning users back, and entice them to convert into leads. Some take this to mean that writing about keywords is the best way to go. Put out 13 articles on “lawn care”, they say, and you’ll see your ranking rise. And maybe that’s true. But that’s only getting you part of the way there.
Write quality content that instills trust in users by exhibiting your expertise, and you’ll see your ranking rise, too. And you’ll see users come back. And you’ll see new users coming in from links that those previous users share. And you’ll find other businesses linking back to your content. And you’ll see users converting into leads. All because they know you know what you’re talking about.
The issue here is one of resource allocation. You only have so many hours, and the share you can dedicate to writing good content dwindles as other priorities come up. Developing a content strategy that enhances your other efforts– marketing or otherwise– can save you time and effort. The research required to create great content is already on your schedule, since it’s baked into the other processes for your other projects.
Secondarily, writing content about your other projects brings more exposure to those project. Getting more eyes on your trade show schedule, your new product launch, your new partnerships, and so forth enhances the return on those efforts.
So Where Do I Start?
My favorite straightforward instructional model is that of a recipe. Recipes have two large pieces: ingredients and instructions. Abstracted a little, we’ll be looking at what you needto have and what you need to do.
First, what you need to have.
Let’s assume you have a business, some products or services, and a website (if you don’t, we know some folks who can build you one) on which your products and services are listed.
After those, the biggest thing you can have going forward is a roadmap. You need a plan for where you want to go for, say, the next quarter. This may be in smaller or broader strokes, depending upon your industry and your business, but the more clear the plan is, the better. This plan should include things like events, product and service launches, new location openings, industry news, and so on. Basically, anything that you’d want to know about your favorite brands or companies. Make a list of everything coming up, ordered by date.
With a roadmap ready, you can move on to what you need to do.
Once you have the roadmap, you’ll want to to prioritize what you’d like to write about. Remember, the name of the game is cutting down on work so you can get the most from the time you have. So make a list of priorities using the items on your roadmap. What are the most important items you need to publicize in order to reach your business goals?
Something to keep in mind during this step is how the items on your list and your business goals align with your search presence. It may be difficult to get low-ranking content seen by new users by writing about it exactly. So consider leveraging more well-known content
The next step is to turn your list into a content schedule. Events and product launches lend themselves well to this. How much heads-up do people in your audience need to make arrangements for your event? What about a lead-up to a new product launch? There’s a reason Apple teases and reveals new products well in advance of their official launch. Depending upon how much time you have to create content and what your priorities are, some ideas may fall by the wayside, or be postponed to a later date. This isn’t necessarily a problem if your roadmap has a good balance of time-sensitive and not-time-sensitive items– the latter category are nice flex-options.
From here, you can create content based on your schedule. You’ll still want to do some research in order to know how to frame your ideas, based upon your traffic, but the bulk of the legwork will overlap with your already-scheduled projects. This will allow you more time to read, edit, and enhance your content’s quality so it instills trust in your users.