It’s no secret now that content on your website, and using it in your digital strategy, is a major contributing factor to the success or failure of both. But, it’s not just about the content itself, it’s about how you utilise it. In a past life, I worked in print magazines as a features writer. Each story equalled about 800-1000 words of content every month, approximately 95 pages (on a weak month) - images, words, influencers, call-to-actions… that’s a lot of good content. And yet, many of these magazines now no longer exist. It’s not the content itself that caused (and is causing) the decline, it’s the lifespan of that content, wasted as it gets replaced by a new issue release. Although digital is often seen as separate, even superior to, print, it still can (and should) learn from it. Yes, you’ve done the work – the words, video and imagery are all there… but, now what? Every time you leave your website content stagnant, it’s no more useful than a forgotten printed periodical. Utilising and distributing content properly strengthens your SERP position, your traffic and your bottom line. Here are a few ways you can get the most out of the content you supply or pay for, today.
When it comes to content distribution, social media is your best friend. You are reaching a hub of people waiting to be delivered content, and it doesn’t get much better than that. What you want to be sure of, however, is that your social media audience aligns with your customer demographic, or ideal customer persona. You want your content to be in front of eyes that matter – that is, people who will engage with your business, share your content and help you expand your network. They are your supporters. You can also utilise different social platforms for different purposes. For example, use Facebook to push special promotions pages and blogs, Instagram for behind-the-scenes imagery and promotions, and LinkedIn for recruitment and industry news via blog posts. Each of these platforms have analytics that can monitor, test and track your content’s respective success, and you can alter or continue depending on what you find. You can also use the more sophisticated tracking of Google Analytics, that will be able to tell you which content is driving direct conversions, and where those content-to-conversion clicks are coming from.
When Google crawls your website, it’s seeking out verification that you have legitimate content to best serve their searchers. To do this, crawlers seek out page points that trigger this information, like headers, subheads, images and keywords/phrases. Google’s algorithm is also continuously developing and the guidelines to improve search engine results page (SERP) ranking is ever evolving. To keep your content ahead of the Google game, you need to optimise accordingly. This can be achieved by:
Adjusting headings to match higher search terms
Adjusting subheadings and lists to better suit Google's featured snippet content (a big plus for voice-search – this content is what a voice search device will respond with, for the most part)
Ensuring your formatting is accurate - utilising H1, H2 and numbered or bulleted lists.
But, more importantly, optimisation should be used to better the user experience on your page. It’s great to improve your search ranking, but you’re going to face a high bounce rate if your content doesn’t deliver. Always look for ways to improve how your users are navigating on and through your pages. You can do this by:
Creating call-to-action (CTA) buttons that are easy to access and see
Ensuring your content makes sense, flows and is free of spelling mistakes and typos
Hyperlink content to other applicable content. This will not only help with navigation, but it also lends itself to a Google-favoured verification check of backlinks (hyperlinks on keywords and phrases that connect back to applicable, valuable content relating to these words and phrase).
The old adage ‘work smarter, not harder’ is kind of what I’m talking about here. There is an amount of work required, but leaving your content stagnant after first efforts to create, distribute and optimise, is a waste. Much like the print reference I began with, allowing your content pages to be pushed into web oblivion is as good as those magazine pages that eventually lined the kitty litter. Find ways to continuously push out content you already have. This is especially worthwhile for evergreen or seasonal content that can be used over the year, and allowing new or fresh eyes to see your business. While a user may have already seen this content 12 months ago, they could be in a better position to action contact, or require your product or service again. Before you repurpose your content, ensure you’ve updated any references or information, and that all of your CTA buttons and links are still working.
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