If your website doesn’t have content, it won’t get noticed by search engines or your targeted audience. Simply put, your site doesn’t stand a chance. But putting any old content out there doesn’t help either. There has to be a website content strategy and it has to be a good one. The following 3 steps will have you writing better website content in no time.
Building a Strategy for Your Website Content:
Creating a strategy sounds simple in nature: you’re going to outline your future content. But there is more to it than that and it’s probably the reason why so many content marketers neglect website content strategies.
When you develop a strategy, you’ll begin to notice a couple of things:
- You’re more effective at content marketing because you put in all of the legwork.
- You’ll run into fewer speed bumps and resistance.
- Managing a search engine optimization campaign is also easier.
- Your CTR will improve.
- A greater chance at seeing an increased ROI on your content marketing.
Unless you outsource the work or have an in-house team, a lot of your “budget” is going to be filled with content creation and promotion. This is perfectly fine and a lot of smaller companies do this, so that’s why you want to make sure you’re not wasting time. Developing a strategy will help on this front.
Defining Your Website Content Goals:
Before anything else, you have to establish what your goals are for the strategy. Are they exact goals or are they fairly open ended? If you are only looking to increase your traffic, you have to keep in mind that there’s a difference between quality traffic and everyone else. Obtaining new customers is great, but are you retaining previous customers or clients? These types of goals need to be ingrained in your strategy.
An effective content marketing strategy is one built around all of your realistic goals. It will hit on social sharing, SEO, branding, engagement, etc. and it all revolves around developing a sound strategy. Keep in mind though that setting realistic goals are more important than targeting ones you know are completely unobtainable. I make this argument all of the time for SEO and your content marketing strategy is no different.If your sole aim is to increase brand awareness, you're going to spend a lot of time spinning your wheels. Click To Tweet
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the three steps to writing better website content.
Building on What Your English Teacher Taught You:
Remember in high school, maybe middle school for some of you smarter than me, your teacher taught you to write with the following in mind:
Your content marketing strategy is going to come down to answering a couple of these, the who, the what, and the how. So now when you awkwardly run into your English teacher at Trader Joe’s you can finally thank them for something.
The Who of Your Website Content Strategy:
You can’t target an audience if you don’t know who your preferred audience is. Creating buyer personas is the bane of existence for some and the best part about a strategy for others. I tend to fall into the former camp, but I also understand the importance of creating them.
Before you can create your fictionalized buyer, you have to do some research first. HubSpot has a pretty good buyer persona template that you can use throughout this process (note, you have to sign up before you can download the template).
Your ideal customer is the one you’re currently serving (most of the time), so to build buyer personas you have to conduct interviews, surveys, etc. to find out more about them. You want to learn about their background, their demographics, their interests, and their specific needs (pain points).
It’s also a good idea to develop “negative personas” – or people you don’t want to target. Now you may be thinking to yourself that you’re open to everyone as a customer, but the truth is that you probably aren’t. If you own a high end restaurant, then you want to exclude people looking for cheap meals. This scenario is also true for the pizzeria owner. Their ideal customer might be someone who is looking for quick and easy takeout food and so they’re going to exclude the customer aiming to dine in at a candle lit restaurant.
The Purpose of Buyer Personas:
I was asked to explain buyer personas a little more because there was some confusion, so hopefully this can help flesh out some things.
Yes, as I explained, the purpose of buyer personas is to find your ideal customers but it shouldn’t just be one particular customer (or segment of customers). If your customers are mostly women ages 25-40 and they all have similar income, that is a really great place to start. However, you should still create buyer personas for people that fall outside of this frame.
What about the husband who wants to buy their wife something? Do you have a persona for that customer? Or the daughter who wants to make a purchase for her mom. Again, you should have a persona for that customer as well.
Additionally, you want to explore psychographics. This can help flesh out how these personas live and what they spend their time worrying about (pain points) or thinking about.
One representative (your main buyer persona) is great to develop a strategy around, but you mustn’t forget some peripheral personas as well.
Think about it this way, when you speak to everybody it sounds formulaic and almost as if you’re not speaking to anybody. However, when you speak to one person in particular, it sounds as if you are speaking to everyone. It’s kind of counter intuitive, but it’s the difference between me calling it “your business” or referencing it as “a business.” One is more personal to you, the reader, so it’s more personal for all readers.
The What of Your Website Content Strategy:
Once your buyer personas are out of the way, what do you want your audience to learn or buy? The what of your website relieves your customer’s pain points and supplies them with the right information at the right time.
In order for your funnel sequence, product page, or launch to generate leads for you, you first need to establish authority on the subject you’re writing about. This is a mixture of brand and product / service authority. What touch-points of your service makes the customer’s life easier? For example, someone reading this exact blog post might need help with improving their content marketing strategy. So, with any luck, I am offering them content that makes this process easier. I am also writing it from a point of authority. You are coming to me because you trust the information I am providing to you.
The How of Your Website Content Strategy:
The how might be the hardest part for some and it may be the easiest for others. It also happens to be where you get to flex your creative muscles most. You know the who and the what, now is the time where you craft your copy around what you learned. In other words, the how of your website content strategy is the actual writing of content.
Take your buyer persona data – who you are targeting, add to that the information you gained about what your audience is looking for – their pain points, and then craft a narrative that connects the who and the what. By combining all three sections, you are going to increase revenue and profit (the main purpose of your content marketing strategy).Who + What = How Click To Tweet
The how is also where your on-page SEO comes into play, so don’t forget to optimize for the correct keywords.
Final Thoughts on Your Website Content Strategy:
If your “strategy” up until this point has revolved around you blindly taking a stab at things, you should now be able to target your ideal audience with confidence. This strategy is adaptable, so you can use it for a number of different marketing needs. You may find that you use more concepts than I have provided, but for the most part you won’t really be using less than these three main principles.
Remember that if you’re going to convert your audience using a website content strategy, you’re going to need strong call-to-actions and well written landing pages. Without those, you may struggle with your overall goals.
There are some audibles that may occur once your content is out there for the world to consume, but sticking with a documented strategy until that point is key. It ensures that all of your future content follows the same strategy and therefore is cohesive and authentic. If you’re curious where to turn next, we wrote a guide to identifying problems while asking questions.