Sure, you can just sit down and develop a website, and there’s a chance the website will be OK, but did you know you can strategize your content before you publish it?
This is called content strategy, and you can apply content strategy for any type of content you are providing. The content does not have to be written; it can be audible and visual, too.
Know Your Audience
To develop a content strategy, it is a good idea to know your audience first. If you have not yet created your website, think about the type of audience you want to target. To do this, you will need to think of your website niche and who the niche will appeal to.
If you have already created a website and have just learned about content strategies, that’s OK. Use this to your advantage by using an analytic website, such as Google Analytics, to track your website performance.
An analytic website will tell you the type of audience your website attracts. This information about your target audience is vital when developing a content strategy for your posts. It is important to use this information for content creation and content promotion.
Define Your Content Criteria
You should make a list of the criteria you want your content to meet. This is the first important step in content marketing.
Do you want your content to fit a certain writing tone? You should define the tone you want the content to follow and make sure you implement this tone in your content.
Do you want to focus on marketing one type of content? You should define the type of content you want to offer. Do you want to be a blog? A podcast? An e-book? All of the above? You can choose as many or as few of these areas you want; just remember to look at each area individually to determine a strategy for each. All of these areas will produce brand awareness for your business, therefore choose wisely and make sure to keep the tone consistent.
- Blog – Make a list of topics and keywords related to your website that you will want to write about.
- Podcast – Think of how you can create interesting content that will make users want to come back for more. (Pro Tip: Did you know that you can create a podcast for free using the Anchor application on your phone? You do not need to purchase any expensive podcast equipment to add a podcast to your website!)
Do you know the topics you want to include on your website? You should only include content that is relevant to your website niche. Anything additional can reduce your search engine optimization. (Think of the concept less is more. By writing topic-specific content, you are allowing crawlers of search engines to index this information and rank your website on search engine results pages.)
Do you want to create an easy read for your visitors? You should implement the use of headings and subheadings to organize your content and make it easy for readers to follow. Paragraphs should also be limited to just two or three sentences. Bullets and numbered lists are always an effective way to write and organize your content, especially if writing an informational piece.
Do you want to show up on search engines? You should make sure your content includes keywords related to your niche. These keywords should be frequently, yet naturally, included in your post’s content. You should also include reputable and applicable external links in your content. This will help search engine bots rank your website on search engines, as well as increase the chance you receive a backlink from that website.
Do you want readers to come back for more? You should consider implementing a call-to-action (CTA) on your website. A CTA can be as simple as an email subscription prompt or as detailed as offering a discount code on your eCommerce site. If a reader signs up for an email newsletter, the chance of them returning to your website greatly increases, and more traffic can mean more money that your website makes. This marketing strategy is important for repeat customers.
Do you want social media to be a part of your customer interaction? Social media is a great tool to use to interact daily with customers. It is important to remember your tone when you are creating social media content. Regular posts on Facebook and Instagram Stories will sure help with staying current, however you need to attract your audience to your website or blog. The social aspect of your business will certainly help with brand recognition and hopefully gain loyal customers.
Other Ways to Create Quality Content
Spelling and Grammar
This should go without saying, but as sure as we don’t mention it, someone will wish we had: use correct spelling and punctuation. Listen, no one loves the Grammar Police, but misspelled words and improper punctuation will immediately lower your website’s credibility.
“If they can’t even spell correctly, then why should I believe they know what they’re talking about?” It’s true. Don’t make this mistake. Spell and punctuate your content correctly.
Need help? Check out Grammarly, it has both a free and a paid version.
Keep it Simple
Listen, in high school you were required to use an extensive vocabulary, but no one wants to read web content riddled with words they don’t understand. This goes back to your audience and tone. Unless your website is related to extensive vocabulary, keep your audience in mind when choosing which words to use in your content.
Let’s take this post as an example. In a couple years, there may be additional relevant content we can add. (At the same time, there may be content that was once useful that is now useless.) Audit your content to determine if there is anything you should add or take away from it, especially if you notice if traffic has increased to that post. This strategy will enable you to create content that is more relevant.
Hire a Proofreader
We have an entire article dedicated to outsourcing, and this can be one of those areas you outsource. An extra set of eyes on any form of content is always a good idea.
Get Your Strategy On!
To create quality content on your website, you need to develop a content strategy. The content strategy will help you organize the content you want include on your website. With a content strategy, you will be able to appeal to your audience by providing interesting and enjoyable content related to your website.