Many people do not realize that you need a content strategy for a website, and they are the ones that find it so difficult to attract and maintain a following. It is true that getting higher up the Google search engine results page is a big issue, but keeping your readers and having them return is far more important. Your website should be more like a spider’s web and not a trampoline.
Why have you created your website? What purpose does it serve? What are its returns on investment for you? What benefit does it give your user? Can they get that benefit elsewhere? How are your goals and your website linked?
Your main question is “what is the ROI of your own website?” You really need to figure out why you have created your website and what you intend to achieve. If it is just for affiliate money then you can make more money per month with a paper route. If it is for social recognition then you need to play a different game than if it is for eCommerce money.
This means creating a step by step plan to get you from where you are now, to your next goal. Think about it in the terms of the marketing notion “ABC” (Always Be Closing). At every step in your plan, ask yourself, “How is doing this going to get me closer to my goal?” If you cannot answer that question then you need to seriously question why you have added that element into your content strategy plan. Here are a few examples:
One element of your plan may be to get lots of “like”s on your Facebook Fan Page. But, is that actually going to get you any closer to your goal? Are those “like”s there because it looks good? Or is every “like” representative of a warm lead or sale?
Another element may be that you are going to get a higher Alexa Rank, and you are going to do it by writing articles about Alexa. But, ask yourself if Alexa Ranking is really all that important for your website. If you want a lot of guest contributors then it is very important, but if you are looking for eCommerce sales then Alexa rank will not help you at all.
This tip assumes that you have already come up with your website and its main cause or purpose. Identify the use of your website, and if it has no use then what is the point of your website existing? Why should somebody visit a website that has no use? It would be like getting on a bus with no wheels.
Use your content strategy to amplify, leverage, and promote your website use. Part of your content strategy should be to perpetuate that use, for example, if your website “use” is to give programming code for tricky widgets, then part of your content strategy should be to add more articles of that nature. The rest of your content strategy should be based on making your website uses obvious; leveraging the information you already have on your website, and promoting your website.
Your content strategy should concentrate on usability and your user, but it needs to be built around some sort of SEO structure. Do not over optimize or work to please the search engine before working to please your potential customers. Still, you need to plan your content strategy around your SEO efforts.
You are looking to optimize for the keywords that your potential customers are the most likely to search for. You also need to take note of what your competition is doing. If there is an awful lot of competition for your chosen keywords then ask yourself if it is really worth going after them. You could try going after some less popular ones to see if you can pull a bit of traffic from them.
Once your website is a dominant online player then you may be able to start competing for the most popular and competitive words.
Your content strategy should not be set in stone. It should change as time goes on so that it may adapt to new influences and shifts in the market. By all means you should use your metric/analytic data to do this, but you should only take that data under advisement.
Metrics may convince you to invest more time and money into certain keywords, but you should not. You should repeatedly text those keywords to check their relevancy and traffic-pulling power before integrating them into your content strategy.