Search engine optimization in its purest form is really nothing more or less than user experience-if your site is relevant, updated, and visited, then it gets Google’s attention.
But now that so many websites and companies are wise to the importance of producing content, you’ve got to be able to do one better. At the beginning of every industry (cars, shoes, books, etc.), he who has the biggest quantity wins. And just as with every industry, the competition grows, and it’s no longer about having the most but rather the best-however your vertical may define it.
That’s where content strategy comes in. You have a blog, and that’s good. So does (just about) everyone else. You have to make your blog and everything else you write very distinct. That goes beyond branding and right into content strategy.
Here’s the skinny on content strategy: first of all, everyone from an interactive agency to a baking supply company either has one or needs one. The content strategy streamlines your content production and gives it a purpose and a place. A content strategy is an integral part of a marketing strategy, and just like a marketing strategy, it is highly specific to each company. There are, however, some general principals to get you started.
First: Know what your market is looking for
If you sell anything related to technology, are you writing and distributing press releases on a regular basis? SEO companies need to be on top of the latest search engine algorithm updates, and they need to let their market know that they are ahead of the game. Send out a press release giving your take on the latest update, gadget, whatever and talk about what you’re doing to evolve. Some companies maybe don’t need a press release as much as they need a white paper or Webinar or blog post. Find out what you’re missing.
But almost every company could find a way to expand. That’s the second rule.
Second: Repurpose your content
You know how Seth Godin keeps preaching to work smart instead of hard? I would listen if I were you. Like I said earlier, it’s not about producing more content; you just need to produce something relevant. And whether you’re a one-man band or a 200-employee outfit, no one has the capacity to create everything from scratch. Host a Webinar, and then post the audio as a Podcast. Take the transcript and make it a blog post. You can reverse it and use a blog post as the base for a Webinar transcript. Don’t do the same work twice.
Third: Whatever you do, do it regularly
Going back to SEO, you can pick a keyword for which you want to rank and then spend a week, a month, or a quarter producing content around that very specific keyword. Offer to do guest blog posts for interested people in the market, and link back to yourself. You can thereby create more content on that keyword than anyone else in the market has. Visitors will come back to you week after week to find out the latest on a certain topic. Are you a mechanic? Write about spark plugs. Get in deep. Go so far into the topic that readers could practically rebuild a spark plug from a gum wrapper and a rubber band. You are now the authority, and visitors-and Google-will love you.
Have you been implementing a content strategy lately? Tell me about it or ask questions in the comments!