Let’s start with a common question – What is content strategy? Like most questions, there is more than one answer. It primarily depends on what challenges you have – where you are now, where you want to be and your objectives for the future.
Website content strategy starts with working out what type of content you have, how it’s performing, whether that’s on track and where the gaps are.
There are two common goals for a website – either generate more sales or presenting yourself as a thought leader/leader in your field.
Effective calls to action, user friendly content, optimised pages, quality content and other trust indicators all play there part in your content strategy.
There are generally believed to be 5 stages to laying out your website content strategy.
Starting off with talking to all relevant stakeholders – sales team, board members etc. Everyone needs to have the same set of goals before you start.
Audit your current site and think about your competitors, channel effectiveness and whether your current content reflects your brand.
Here comes the leg work. Auditing your current site using a variety of development and SEO tools will help provide facts and figures on how your website is performing. Those pages that show as performing well won’t need to be changed, but could be built on.
Competitor research and review is an excellent way to bench mark your site and the industry at large. There may be one site that you particularly like (possibly makes you a bit envious!) and helps you spot a gap in the market.
If you have a large site it’s best handled in sections and the larger the site, the more opportunity there is for duplicate content.
Last but not least, keyword research is vital. How does your target market search for your services/products? What terms do they use? Do you ask current clients what they call or look for when searching for your service/product? Sometimes we find that our clients call themselves a particular term, but no-one is actually looking for that and it can be a dawning moment.
On the back of your website audit and research, comes the question of who is going to be responsible for your new content? If you have no-one in house, do you have a budget that matches your requirements? Your earlier research and audit will help you decide where your time or money is spent – social media, web content or video production for example.
The final stage of planning is to set some goals or aims for your content – more visitors, more click-throughs, more leads etc..
Nearly there! At this point, you’ve audited, reviewed and made decisions on who and what for your content. So now comes the production. Keeping SEO in mind when you write is important – all your leg work up front will go to waste otherwise.
Whilst drafting your content, make decisions on whether you’ll include calls to action, images or video. It’s important to break up your page content and provide visual interest.
Look back at your aims that were set over the Planning Stage and review whether they are being met. Organic search results can take time to tick through, but are worth it. There is some evidence to show that web searchers tend not to click on Ads, so organic search is an important tool in your SEO box.
Content strategy does need work up front, but it’s really worth the bother and we’ve had some great results for clients – very rewarding for us and them! It’s also just one aspect of SEO and there are other areas to add in that provide a fully optimised site.
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