If your website content strategy were easy, we’d all be doing it. You’ve probably heard the oft-cited phrase “content is king”, but what does this mean?
Strong written content needs to be high-quality, trustworthy and consistent. Not only will this tick the boxes on those fickle Google algorithm updates; it will also strengthen your brand and increase your reach.
So, where should we start? Every website content strategy needs a purpose. Depending on your industry, target audience and website type, this could include:
- Increasing brand awareness
- Informing, educating or inspiring
- Increasing conversions (sales, PDF downloads – any trackable goal).
Once you’ve identified your goals, then you can start to determine your channels and any strategies for specific audiences.
Tailoring content based on user intention
Many websites will have a variety of objectives, and as such, a different user segment for each. Take Runner’s World, for instance. They offer helpful training tips, as well as blogs comparing sportswear, which generate revenue through affiliate links.
We therefore tailor our content to meet these individuals’ needs. For example, a user might be searching for “best running shoes”, in which case we’d create a blog outlining the benefits.
The above query suggests a user wants choice, so we should present them with product reviews or long-form blogs highlighting the benefits.
These users will search using interrogatives, such as “how to X”. Rather than throwing a product page at them, we should answer their queries. Consider:
- Long-form blogs
- Glossaries or FAQ pages.
This user knows what he/she wants, such as “cheap sunglasses”. We should optimise product and category pages to include key search terms, and make sure users can find all relevant information. For more conversions, we can add “people also viewed” sections.
If your website content has served its purpose, then people should know your name. These users are searching for a specific brand, e.g. “Thompson’s Solicitors”. Our homepages should be optimised to outline our core services, and we should also use tools like Google My Business.
Leveraging supporting channels
User intention focuses primarily on optimising web content for search engines. But as we all know, there’s more than one way to skin a cat – and more than one way for users to enter your website.
Speaking in strict Google terms, users can enter your website via:
Sharing a blog or website URL via socials, like a LinkedIn company page.
Typing your URL into the address bar or clicking on a bookmark link.
Clicking through to your site via a link on somebody else’s.
Entering through a link from an email campaign, such as an e-commerce sale.
So, how can we make the most of these to reach specific audiences? Your content exists to do more than sit idly on your website. For every piece of website content in your strategy, consider the funnel that users will go through to meet your final objective. For example:
B2C goal – increase eCommerce retail sales
B2B goal – generate leads via contact form
Website content ideas – creating an editorial strategy
Now you know what media to use and how to distribute content, there’s one thing left: ideas. Depending on your industry, you could have a million ideas per week, or you might suffer writer’s block.
Try the following tips for generating new content ideas.
Differentiate evergreen and topical content
‘Evergreen’ refers to content that won’t expire overnight. Think how-to pages, FAQs, glossaries – it’s not going out of style. This content is essential to serve search engine queries, signpost users on your site, and establish you as a thought leader.
Proactive and reactive
Topical content, meanwhile, can be proactive or reactive. Proactively, we could plan for certain awareness days, trade shows or industry events in a content calendar.
Don’t forget that you need to be reactive too. If there’s anything that 2020 taught us, it’s that we can’t predict anything!
You might consider drawing out a rough three-month editorial timetable, incorporating both evergreen and time-sensitive content:
Not sure what your audience wants to hear? Try some of these sources:
- Answer the Public: type in your product/service and see what people are asking
- BuzzSumo: discover content ideas and trending topics
- Twitter/LinkedIn trending hashtags (best for reactive content)
- Keyword Planner: part of Google Ads, this offers ideas from search query data
Don’t forget to measure! You have to know that all this time spent creating content is worth it, so always measure new leads, Google Analytics metrics like page views, or anything else you consider valuable.
Making content is all about trial and error. Plan, execute, measure, review. Rinse and repeat.