Content is the cornerstone of every effective SEO campaign. There’s an abundance of different content you can create: blog posts, long-form content, infographics, videos and more. All of this content can be used to effectively connect with readers.
As part of your on-going SEO efforts, new content will need to be created and published on a regular basis. Keeping track of all of this content can become very confusing very quickly.
This is where a Content Strategy can help you excel. Check out our complete explanation below. We’ll show you how to consistently deliver dynamite content which leads to conversions:
What is a Content Strategy?
It’s a communication plan. A Content Strategy doesn’t deal with specific topics. Instead, the Content Strategy is a series of guidelines for each piece of content published. There are several benefits:
- Your brand will develop a uniform style which readers will come to recognize.
- Your content will always be as engaging as possible.
- Your brand and content will be seen as an authority in your field.
(Note: For more info on creating a great brand, check out How to Build the Best Brand Online.)
A Content Strategy has eight parts:
Let’s be clear. People read content online because they want information. This means you want your content to always be direct, clear and unambiguous.
Each piece of content should stick to one topic. Within the content, limit mentions of your brand to one product or one service.
Use a clear, organized structure. Keep sentences direct and paragraphs short. Break up long paragraphs with bullet points and subheadings.
Engage with Your Audience
Open your articles with an engaging question about a problem related to your industry. Explain that this article will present a solution to that problem. Then withhold that solution until the end of the article.
The longer someone spends reading a piece of content, the greater their chances are of continuing into the conversion funnel. While you never want to mislead readers by promising information you don’t deliver, it is okay to draw the solutions out to the end of the article.
Have an Opinion
First, you need to know about your industry. But that’s just the starting point. In order to stand out from the crowd, you’ll need to be an expert with an opinion.
There’s no need to be purposefully controversial. At the same time, you don’t need to always say what’s popular. Take a stance on an issue in your industry and explain your opinion in a blog post.
You might be surprised how effective this strategy is. If your argument is well reasoned, people will tend to think of you as an expert in your field, even if they disagree with you on a particular subject. In fact, the people who disagree with you will often engage with you on social media. This can be a great way to build a relationship.
Proofread (but Don’t Go Crazy about It)
Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. You want fresh content published on a regular basis. So give yourself time to edit and revise, but a few mistakes here and there are okay.
In fact, readers often find a few minor errors to be a sign of authenticity. This applies more for small to medium sizes businesses rather than large ones.
Leave Room for Additional Info
Along those same lines, you want to make accuracy your highest priority. Readers who feel like you don’t know what you’re talking about likely won’t purchase your products or services. So, make sure and do your research before you write.
But there’s no need to pretend you have all the answers. Always invite readers to comment with their own thoughts and suggestions. Incorporate any valid suggestions into a revision of the article. Just be sure to credit the reader for the idea!
Showing your willingness to learn can be a great way to establish trust with your audience. Plus, readers like engagement. If you incorporate a reader’s idea into an article, don’t be surprised if that person then shows the article to their friends.
This level of interaction can also be used when dealing with customer reviews. Check out our guide The Do’s and Don’ts of Local Reviews for how these same principles can help promote a positive image of your brand online.
Create a “Content Bridge”
This is when you find a topic in your industry which is important but which doesn’t get a lot of attention. The Content Bridge is when you attempt to connect your brand to this topic. To do this, you slowly create content related to this topic.
First, you’ll make a research plan and determine which keywords are needed. Then you’ll bid on these keywords as necessary and otherwise create content related to the underserved topic. Don’t worry if you can’t immediate create a ton of content on underserved topics. After all, often these topics are complex (otherwise they’d be covered better in your industry).
Focus on creating the Content Bridge. This means you build what content you can, and link it with keywords to your previously published content. You might not be an expert on the initial topic, but hopefully you can use this new content to introduce readers to your brand.
Your content should be organized, clear and simple. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be short. Long-form content is effective and growing in popularity.
Long-form content is generally over 1,000. The structure is similar to a magazine article with a longer introduction and lots of information.
- Promotes your brand’s authority
- Increases the chances of the content being shared
- Increases reader engagement
For more information, check out our guide The Necessity of Long-Form Content.
Blocks of text on a screen can be off-putting to readers. You can add some visual flair by including graphics, photos or other images. Even a simple graphic can help break up the content and make the article more enticing.
Infographics are another great way to present content. This combination of images and text is easy for readers to grasp quickly. Infographics are also commonly shared.
A Content Strategy Keeps You Focused
Run through the above guidelines before you publish any content. This will help you publish the most reader-friendly, on-brand messages possible. Fresh content is vital to any SEO campaign. A Content Strategy is a great way to keep your readers engaged over a long period of time.