Join David Booth for an in-depth discussion in this video Planning a successful content strategy and avoiding common mistakes, part of SEO Foundations.
- Every organization is different. We all operate in different environments and we all have different goals. So everyone's ideal content strategy will be unique. But in order for us to understand what content strategies work and which don't, we can look at some of the core components of content strategies that successful organizations share. The first is clearly defining your goals and objectives. Knowing what keywords you've researched and chosen to target what your audiences are looking for, and ultimately, what you want them to do when they get to your site is the foundation of everything you'll do.
These goals will help you with reporting and measurement and put a realistic perspective on the results you achieve. You can define lots of goals from things like more e-Commerce sales to more leads and phone calls to more followers on social networks. Goals can be tied to anything, but they should be tied back to your bottom line through business objectives. Second, spend the time to really understand your key audiences and their needs. Perhaps the cornerstone of a good content strategy is to research your audience and then understand them well enough to be able to market to them effectively.
Knowing your customer's role in an organization, their location, their demographics, their interest, and their behaviors will help you step into their shoes and bring insights into the planning process. Third is ensuring that everyone in your organization is involved. This isn't something you're going to be able to tackle alone and you'll need to get buy-in from everyone from your CEO all the way down to your interns. If you're a smaller organization, you might even consider outsourcing some of these work. Once you found the people, an involved group is one that's passionate and excited to spread knowledge.
Getting the people in your organization on board is not an easy thing, but having a plan with good thorough reasoning and clear expectations around your goals can help persuade them to jump on board. Fourth, you need to ensure that everyone in your organization maintains a healthy respect for online reputation management. Whenever you put anything out there on the web, it's there forever and it's there standing by your brand. You can't un-tweet something. And if you publish something in error, odds are good that some server somewhere has already captured and stored whatever it was that you didn't want up there.
Many businesses today have well-crafted and well-thought out policies for writing and publishing content on behalf of the company. But many still don't. If you fall in to the latter bucket, you'll want to invest some time to define just what people can and can't post and what editorial procedures need to be followed. Always remember that anyone on the web can read and find your content when it goes live. Ultimately, your reputation will dictate whether a customer will wanna do business with you or not. The last thing successful organizations do with their content strategies is spend time monitoring trends.
The only thing that's certain about the internet is that the online marketing landscape is constantly changing. New competitors are popping up by the minute. Old competitors are doing new things. Your business environment is changing faster than ever before and your target audience is changing along with it. What this means is that what worked for you today won't necessarily work for you tomorrow. And you have to embrace the fact that this is a moving target that requires your full attention if you wanna stay ahead. Monitoring trends involves not only keeping a pulse on your industry, but also things like renewing keyword research and reviewing content structure and strategy on a regular basis, finding out what's new and what's not, maintaining industry relationships, having continuous contact with influencers and industry leaders to get the inside scoop, and finding new and creative ways to relay those messages to your followers.
While successful organizations tend to exemplify these traits, this isn't by any means a complete list. Take a look at your own organization and your own objectives and then define your own success.
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- What is SEO?
- Understanding how search engines index content
- Researching keywords
- Using SEO tools
- Optimizing pages for keywords
- Optimizing code and site structure
- Building links to your content
- Optimizing nontext components of a webpage
- Analyzing content quality
- Defining your audience, topics, angle, and style
- Promoting your content via social media
- Measuring SEO effectiveness
- Setting up Google+ Local
- Optimizing ecommerce sites for search
- Configuring sites for mobile