Everyone knows that content is important for a website, but few website owners have a strategy for creating it. On one hand, they say clichés like “content is king” and “content is the most important asset for us”, while, on the other hand, they say “you can’t measure the effect of content – there are simply no sufficient KPIs for written information.”
This results in writers having to go with their gut feeling when deciding what to write about. When the content is published online, nobody knows what value it provides to the business.
But of course there are ways to be more business savvy when it comes to planning and creating content. If you know what to produce – and why you do it – you’ll create content that has a greater chance of generating new traffic and inspire current customers to be more active on the website.
5 step guide to creating quality content
1. Identify Areas of Improvement
Before you even think about opening a Word document to start writing, you need to identify why you’re producing content and what you want to achieve with it.
If your goal is to attract more visitors from organic search, you have to identify keyword clusters where your website has potential to gain positions in Google. You might also want to optimize for long-tail keywords in clusters where you already have authority. If your goal is to get more paid traffic, you need to optimize landing pages to ensure they get a high quality score and also look at peoples’ paths to conversion from the page.
Another option is to create content more aimed towards people who are on your site already (these efforts obviously affect your visibility in search as well). You may want to optimize product information for increased conversion, create in-depth guides to help people make more complex decisions, write blogs to inspire your visitors, create contests for more engagement on social platforms, or any other area of improvement you identify.
Essentially, look for content activities that are aligned with your overall business goals, whether it’s attracting new visitors or activating those who are on your website.
2. Set KPIs
When you’ve identified an area to improve, try to find a couple of ways to measure the content efforts. Base these KPIs on the type of content you’re producing and what you want to achieve with it. If you want to improve your SEO, ranking might be the best KPI; if you want to improve traffic through paid channels, conversion or cost per click might be a better option.
Just make sure you choose something that you can measure with tools you have available.
3. Define Target Groups
In larger corporations, it’s not unusual that you have different personas created already – your typical customers summed up in three, four stereotypical characters. Try to approach one or two of these in your content.
If you don’t have personas in place, think about who you are producing content for anyway: Is it mainly new or current customers? On which level of knowledge regarding your products are they? Are they on the site to quickly make a purchase or to seek information?
Basically figure out the target group. It’s always hard to create superb content for everybody. It’s easier if you choose a slice of your customer base and make something specifically for them.
4. Make a Content Calander
Now you know what you want to achieve, what you are going to measure and who you want to target. Before you and your team start producing content, it’s recommended to set up a content calendar of some sort. There are plenty of tools for this purpose, but a document in Google Docs is usually enough.
Gather the team and brainstorm around topics and titles for content pieces based on the goal with the project. Fill then in the following information in your calendar:
- Types of content you produce in the project (landing pages, blogs, guides, videos etc.)
- Titles and ideas around each piece
- Responsible producer for each task
- Deadline for each task
When you leave this meeting, everybody should have a clear picture of what to do and why they are doing it.
5. Measure and Learn
When all content is out there it’s time to go back to the initial KPIs to see whether or not the project was successful. Did you increase rankings, see more engagement from customers, get a higher conversion rate or whatever your main goals were?
And apart from the KPIs, what did you learn from the project? What went well and what can be improved? Try to be as honest as possible – not seeking wins where there were none – and learn from your mistakes.
When following this structure in the content projects, you will improve every time. And in the end, you don’t have to say “content is king”. You can say “content is king, because we achieved this, this and this!”