Google Algorithms are continuously being changed. The strategies, that were very much effective couple of years ago, are regarded as bad practices at present times. For example- a website which had duplicate or low quality contents could rank at the 1st place of Search Engine Result Page (SERP) through making huge amount of low quality backlinks daily. But such practices are not effective in modern days. In fact, Google may de-rank and even de-index a website for such bad practices.
As per latest Google algorithms, on-page Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is much more important than Off-Page SEO. Even, some studies have shown that On Page SEO covers almost 80% importance of the total SEO strategy. So, to ensure an effective On Page SEO, “unique and quality” content is a must. In fact, content is the main focal point of modern on page SEO strategies.
By the word “unique and quality” content, I mean those contents that are not duplicate and are capable to meet visitors’ demands of what they desire to read. The contents should be able to provide the answers to all the WH questions (what, where, who, how etc.) that may arise in visitors’ mind. For this reason, having in depth knowledge about the visitors, their expectations, company’s expected profits and goals from the content is a must. Always keep in mind that you are writing for the visitors, not for the search engines.
For attaining an in depth knowledge about all these matters, you need to formulate an overall content marketing strategy for obtaining visitors’ perceptions and creating contents as per visitors’ demand. Here I am sharing step-by-step guidelines for designing an effective content marketing strategy:
Step-1: Researching Your Own Site: The first step of designing a content marketing strategy is to make an entire analysis of your website. You need to evaluate how much revenue you are earning and expecting to earn in near future. Besides, you should gather information about who are your existing visitors and how you have attracted and retained those visitors within your site.
Step-2: Collecting Data: The more you obtain information about your site and visitors in the previous step, the more you will able to design effective content marketing strategy. In order to develop an effective content marketing strategy, you need to gather information about your competitors regarding what type of contents your competitors are dealing with and visitors’ feedback from those contents. Besides, you should find out what keywords are bringing most visitors to your site, demographic information (occupation, job, gender, preferences, etc.) of those visitors. You can get all these information very easily by using Google Analytics. In addition to using Google Analytics, sometimes you may conduct a market research on your existing visitors to obtain the most accurate and diverse information directly from them.
Step-3: Preparation and Assessment: Now you will evaluate all your collected data and make a comparison of all these data with the site’s internal information that have been collected in step 1. An effective way of making successful comparison is to establish some benchmarks (standards) regarding traffic volume, traffic source, page views, pages per visit, page authority, bounce rate, rankings, conversion rate and average time on site. You will gather information of all these benchmarks before and after the creation of the content to accurately assess the impacts of a newly created content. Finally, considering all these information you will decide what types of content you should create, whether the content should be created for an already existed category or for a new category and what should be your targeted keywords.
Step-4: Prospecting: In this phase, you will identify the potential individuals or websites who would have interests in the contents that you have decided to create. You have to take actions to draw the attention of those potential individuals/visitors to your site. You can do this by delivering quality contents as compared with your competitors’.
Step-5: Creating and Promoting the Content: As you have decided what types and for whom you will create contents, now it’s time to do some real work. You will require creating pieces of contents while ensuring that those contents are keyword targeted and SEO friendly. Also, keep ensuring that the contents are informational, reliable, easy to understand and useful to your targeted visitors. Then you will require taking some promotional actions like different off-page SEO techniques to inform your visitors about your newly created contents.
Step-6: Assessing Content Performance: After releasing the contents and making some promotional actions, it’s time to evaluate the actual performance of the contents. If the contents fail to provide your expected performance then some corrective actions will be needed. All these corrections should be adjusted with your existing content marketing strategy. Based on this edited content marketing strategy, new contents will be created and released.
Although the overall content marketing strategy may appear as very time consuming and resource-intensive in the beginning, but when you will release several pieces of contents as per the above step-by-step guidelines, the overall content marketing strategy will become easier and easier to you.