There is a lot of great material out there about writing a content strategy for your business, but let’s make it simple, shall we? As a small business owner, you’re pressed for time, and so here is a rundown of the essential elements of a content strategy.
- Keyword research: If you have a Google AdWords account, you can access their keyword research, and get ideas for which keywords you should be using for your website. Another great keyword tool is Moz Keyword Explorer.You can identify which keywords you want to rank for, and search those keywords, but an even more valuable search would be long-tail keywords, which is a keyword phrase which contains at least three words.
Long-tail keywords in some industries would be easier to rank for. For example, your small business sells life insurance. It might be easier to rank for “life insurance Spokane,” or “independent life insurance agent Spokane,” rather than for “life insurance.” “Life insurance” as a search term gets millions of hits, but a more specific search term might net you better results.
- Competitor Research: You’ve been told, “be true to yourself!” But the internet is one of those places where you want to pay attention to what the other kids are doing. If the other kids have better websites, they will get the traffic that you want for your business.You want to look at the information your competitors have on their websites, as well as their page structure, ease of usability, visuals, and overall layout.
If you haven’t updated your website in a few years, it’s likely that it shows. It’s not always necessary to do a complete website overhaul, but keeping up with best practices is always a good idea.
- Content Audit: What content is on your site? How well is it performing? What are your best-performing and worst-performing pages and blog posts? These are questions you should be asking. Here is a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) tool from HubSpot that will help you rank your pages.
- Creating Personas: Personas drive so much of content marketing, that they really deserve their own blog post (I’ll get on that).A persona is a research-based representation of your ideal client or customer. At its most basic, the persona section of a content strategy should answer these questions:
Who is your ideal client?
What sort of questions do they have?
Are their questions answered on your website?
What is their buyer’s journey?
Is the information they need to distinguish you from your competitors on your website?
- Brainstorm Ideas for Content: No content strategy would be complete without a brainstorm for content. At this point, you need to set aside time to do a real brain dump on all the areas of your expertise, all those questions your customers have for you, all the problems you solve on a daily basis, even the goings-on of your mascot. (Moz’s mascot is Roger, the robot.) At this time, no idea is to be discarded because it’s half-formed or it doesn’t make sense. You can go back and edit your ideas later.
- A time frame for reevaluation: Once you implement the strategy, it will be important to pick a time in the future (six months to a year is good) to look at the results of your efforts. Hopefully, it’s up and to the right on your Google Analytics page!
Once you’ve written all of this down, you have the basic elements of a content strategy for your business. Thanks, and if you have any questions or comments, put them below.