A content strategy is a long-term plan that guides practitioners in planning, creating, positioning and measuring content to achieve defined business goals.
A first step to re-invigorate a neglected website is to conduct a content audit. Is your content still relevant and useful? Fill the gaps and eliminate old, ineffective content. Is it meeting your goal? Prioritize. To prevent future neglect, create a process for updating and assign appropriate people to execute your content strategy.
A “get-by” content strategy can be harmful. It can hurt the company’s reputation by wasting visitors’ time and can actually lower their ranking on Google. Even one dud page amongst stellar pages can drag them down.
Establishing a visual rhythm recognizable across Internet channels requires a content strategy. To be successful you need to identify who will be viewing the content, when and why, what story it conveys, where it will be located and for how long. You also need to know where the content will come from and how it will be updated and measured.
Many B2B marketers utilize search engine optimization (SEO) to improve their rankings in the search engines. There are many SEO techniques to help search engines find your information, but selecting the right keywords and optimizing your site for them, is essential to success.
If you aren’t on page 1 now, simply incorporating the most popular keywords into your website isn’t likely to get you there. Just think of your own Google searches. How often do you go beyond page 1. Hardly ever, and that’s the point. Increasing traffic requires page 1 placement. Be honest about how your site compares to the competition. Does your competitor host a robust site with lots of content? Do they have three times the number of inbound links? If so, consider something other than a head-to-head content strategy.
Where your B2B company fits in the competitive landscape should play a factor in determining the keywords you want to optimize your site for. Think about the keywords in terms of how well your business can rank for them. That’s where you need start if you want to see results.
You can view your competitor’s keywords easily by right clicking on a site and selecting “view source.” Don’t go after the same keywords unless you are prepared with the resources to do battle with loads of original content, social media and publicity. Instead, choose your keywords strategically.
Target Keywords with Lower Competition
This isn’t to say you should pick a keyword based on a lack of popularity. You need a certain amount of volume to make your efforts worthwhile. But use a tool such as the Google Keyword Search Tool to identify less competitive terms first. For example, there are approximately 22,000 monthly searches for content marketing and a fair degree of competition, while content strategy also had 22,000 month searches, but far less competition. Content Strategy has been the focus of several posts that are designed to improve our rankings on this key search term.
Target Localized Keywords
If your business is localized, adding keywords that are relevant for that market can improve your rankings when visitors search locally. Describe your business using your location. For example, we might refer to ourselves as Chicago-based content writers. A natural way to add geographic keywords are through testimonials, project showcases and press releases covering events. Photos can also be optimized for location through your alt tags.
We produce a lot of content that is relevant to business-to-business marketers in construction and foodservice. When you create your content around market-specific keywords, competition decreases and your chances of ranking on Page 1 improve.
Choosing your keywords as part of your overall content marketing strategy, based on solid research, makes far greater sense than following the crowd to page 2 and 3 of the search engine rankings. Use your creativity to create geographic, market-specific and less competitive keywords and then follow through with the content focused on customer needs.
Writers: What do you want to know about SEO? I am speaking at the Construction Writers Association Conference in San Antonio in October and would love to hear from you. Leave your question in the comment box.