Defining a Content Strategy for Success
- Danielle Leitch, EVP
Creating content is a requirement to maintain visibility within the search results. There are several reasons why this is the case. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) results are based primarily on the relevancy of the content on the web pages matched to the searchers' query. Without crawlable content, relating to important key phrases and terms, it would be very difficult to rank for those same terms and phrases. On the other hand, without relevant content (engaging and easy-to read also), users won't find any value in your site.
Crafting a Content Strategy goes beyond the text on your website though. Given the evolution of Social Media and the recent transferring of the information found in those channels into the natural search results, social media must be a consideration too. So the question becomes: Do you create a Content Strategy that drives both efforts or do you have individual content plans for SEO and Social Media (SM)?
The answer may be different for every company, but ultimately having one Content Strategy that allows for different uses is the ideal approach. It's important to understand what the big picture for the website is and how it will be achieved; your messaging should be very similar regardless of where the content is being promoted. Therefore, consistency and tone become important during production - which may limit how many people are producing content on behalf of the company.
Here are some factors to consider when building and executing a Content Strategy:
Identify the types of content your organization can/will produce
What frequency can the content be developed?
Outline the various channels available through which to promote your content
Define the focus for optimizing the content, related to keywords or phrases
Delegate who will be responsible to produce the content
Determine how can you measure success with each type of content or vehicle through which its being promoted
Create synergy, if possible, between your Content Strategy and your master Marketing Plan
Ensure the strategy is positioned to deliver success by incorporating "on-site" & "off-site" efforts
Once you have addressed these factors and drafted a plan for how you will achieve your SEO goals through the production of optimized content of various types, you have just one more task to complete. Execution! To have the plan is great, but the strategy must be implemented. Even more important is consistency and frequency with content creation, especially to make an impact on your results. Documenting (via analytics) more inbound traffic and resulting conversions from organic and SM sources is important; but, ultimately, providing valuable content for your users should remain the ultimate goal of your Content Strategy and creation efforts.