Content is the magnet of your website and a key tool in helping to reach your company’s marketing objectives. Whether you’re looking to do a complete redesign or just want to make improvements to your website, it’s important to have a solid content strategy in place.
A content strategy will guide your plans for the what, where and when of content creation. With Google’s latest algorithm updates, having the right kind of content is more important than ever. And if you haven’t touched the content on your website in a while, it is probably due for a refresh. We’ve outlined some key steps into developing a solid, customer-focused strategy for your website content.
1. Identify your unique value proposition
Use this as a basis for the content that you’ll create for your new website. Making sure that your content is targeted and relevant to the people you want to reach is critical to the success of your site. You want your unique value proposition to be prominent on your website and throughout your content.
2. Conduct a website content audit
Before creating new content, determine what content you have and where you see holes that need to be filled. What content needs to be re-written? What pieces of content are performing well? Document all of the content you have and what can stay, what needs to be refreshed and what needs to go. This will give you a clear picture of how much content you need and where to start.
3. Target each of your personas
It’s essential to create content for your website with your audience in mind. Buyer personas help you visually picture the type of people you are trying to reach. By determining your key buyer personas, you can create content that is targeted and relevant to their interests and needs. Your content is meant to answer their questions, educate and address their pain points.
4. Map content to the customer lifecycle
In addition, your content should lead your prospects down the sales funnel. Your website should have a variety of content that addresses different questions or concerns depending on where the consumer is in the funnel, from awareness to purchase to advocacy. For example, a blog is great for building awareness and answering general questions about your products, services or industry. But for a customer evaluating your company for purchase, a case study or testimonial is more appropriate.
5. Include the essential content
With a solid strategy, the goal is have a specific purpose and audience for each piece of content. Remember, people use the Internet to conduct research and discover information, so be sure to use your website content as an opportunity to educate prospects about your company, your process and your products and services. Some of the content essentials to include in your website are:
– Company blog
– Premium content (i.e. whitepapers, eBooks)
– Service/product information
– Case studies and testimonials
– Portfolio/product gallery
– Compelling “about” page
– Videos (i.e. company culture, customer testimonials)
6. Write compelling web copy
Take the time to create copy that informs, educates and guides your audience. The length of your copy should be determined by the purpose of the page and your overall message, but a minimum of 300 words is a good rule of thumb. Statistics, research and quotes are effective ways to add substance to your copy. Be sure to proofread thoroughly. Nothing can derail compelling copy and make a bad first impression like misspellings or punctuation errors.
7. Use the right language
As you begin to write content, it’s important to speak the same language as your audience. For example, if you sell accounting software, you will probably have clients that are just beginning in accounting and some that are more advanced and just looking for a better product. For content targeted toward beginners, you’ll want to be sure you don’t use technical jargon that they don’t understand. On the flip side, you want to be more technical when targeting your more advanced clients so they know you are an expert in your industry.
8. Develop a content schedule
Once you have established the type of content you need, it’s important to organize it and develop a strategic schedule to make sure it all gets accomplished. Decide if you want to first focus on a specific persona, specific industry or the awareness stage of the buying cycle. Determine the type of content you want to create first, and then begin to map out a schedule. This includes the topics you are going to cover, how often you’ll be publishing and the dates it will be published. We recommend planning out one quarter of the year at a time.
9. Assign the right people
Part of a content schedule includes developing a process for writing the content. You need to assign people in your firm to be responsible for contributing to the content. If you don’t have the capacity within your company, then hire an agency or freelance copywriter that is dependable and diligent with deadlines. By clearly defining who is responsible for your firm’s content, there will be accountability and will ensure consistency with your publishing.
10. Measure and track performance
The key to having a strong web content strategy is to keep it relevant for your audience. This means constantly evaluating and tracking the performance of all of your content. Look at which pieces are being shared, which pages are getting viewed and what isn’t getting much traction. This will help determine what you are doing well and what you need to do differently. Keep your website fresh and relevant with a defined strategy for creating new content moving forward.
A website content strategy is essential
Having a solid website content strategy is critical in today’s digital landscape where search engine rankings and getting found online by prospects is driven by quality content. By following these steps, you’re on a path to creating successful website content that will increase traffic and generate leads for your business.