Content is vital to your website’s success. If there’s no content there, there’s nothing that can show up in the search results when prospects are searching for your business. Your content strategy is, in a way, the most important part of your digital marketing strategy. Above all, the quality of your content is what matters and brings value to you and dollars to your business.
You can’t expect to approach content without a solid plan and end up with cohesive, effective results. In fact, without a strong content strategy, you might end up confusing Google and getting your page down ranked, or worse, you may end up with duplicate content and be penalized for it.
A well thought-out content strategy can be the key to your website’s success. It will bring in new customers through organic search traffic. While a good strategy will build your website’s SEO cumulatively, a poorly planned one can sabotage your SEO with content built to take up space rather than create a cohesive, informative website that outranks your competitors. Google wants to provide its users with high-quality, reliable content that gives them the information they’re looking for and find the products and services they want to purchase. You as a customer want the ease of finding the information quickly when you search for it.
Your content strategy must be targeted specifically at your audience so they find exactly what they’re looking for on your website and strategize to outrank the content your competitors publish. With the tips I’m about to teach you, you’ll be able to create a content strategy that brings more traffic to your site and helps you reach your target audience in a meaningful way.
There are all sorts of content you might want to use on your website, including video. However, the majority of your content is likely to be text, such as frequently asked questions, an “About Us” page, your contact information, reviews or client testimonials, career opportunities, and engaging social media posts. Many businesses also publish a blog, but I recommend only including a blog in your content strategy if you truly plan to post regularly. An outdated blog looks worse to prospects than not having one.
Start by defining your audience.
Who are they?
Where do they live?
What need do they have that you can fulfill?
What questions do they have about their need or about your type of business?
Answering these questions is important because it gives you a picture of the kind of person who might search for the content on your website. You must define your audience before you begin creating content so you can target your specific audience. You want your website to reach potential clients or customers, not random individuals who may not be interested in what you have to offer.
I recommend starting by narrowing down your audience and then doing keyword research to determine what your potential customers are searching for.
One of the best ways to target your audience specifically is to narrow down the location in which they’re searching and create location-specific pages for every area where you do business. If you optimize your page for a certain location, such as a city, and someone who lives in that city searches for one of your keywords, you’ll have an advantage over a website that doesn’t have a location-optimized page for that city. When someone searches a general service they’re looking for, Google assumes they’re looking for a business in their area and prioritizes websites that have location-specific content.
It’s important that each of these location-specific pages are unique so you don’t create duplicate content throughout your website. Also keep all the relevant information for a location on one page—if you have multiple pages focused on one area, they may cannibalize each other and harm the SEO of both pages.
The great thing about creating these location-specific pages is that they will build on each other, improving your SEO through their cumulative effect. The more often you publish, the more often Google will crawl your website to index the new content. Regularly publishing content pushes your ranking higher on search results pages because Google sees that your website is active.
On top of that, the more content you publish in your area of expertise, the more credible Google will see you. Google’s algorithm works kind of like a word cloud—it notices the words that tend to pop up frequently, and clusters those words together to get an idea of what your website is about. Google will give you more trust and authority associated with the words that show up the most frequently. Over time, Google will view you as a more trusted source and recommend your website by placing you at the top of search results pages.
Google determines popularity largely by the number and quality of links directed at a page. You can strengthen your SEO by creating internal links—placing links on your own website that link to other pages within your website. Only do this with pages that relate to each other, however, as Google takes the relevancy of the link into account. To help Google understand how the link relates, use keywords in the anchor text—the hyperlinked text you click on to take you to the linked page.
Another great strategy to improve your rankings based on content is to analyze your competitor’s content, and then create content that beats it. For example, if your competitor has a page with 3,000 words that ranks in the top position for a keyword you want to rank for, then write a page with 5,000 words optimized for that keyword. Whatever it is that’s making their page effective, do it 10 times better. This is an effective way to improve your rankings and reach the top of the search results pages for your keywords.
Building a content strategy takes work. Start by identifying your target audience and the market you want to serve, then do the research needed to choose the pillar topics and keywords you’ll build your content around.
If there’s anything you take away from this, remember that these are your three goals in creating a content strategy for your website:
- Become an expert in the eyes of Google in your subject matter.
- Become easily visible in your target market.
- Create better content than your competitors.
If you focus your content strategy around these three goals, you’re likely to succeed.. Without content, your website might as well not exist. Building strong content is the key to creating a successful website that draws in traffic and converts prospects to customers.