Whether your business operates solely online or it has many brick and mortar locations, your website is truly the lifeblood that keeps you connected to customers. Increasing an online presence through a robust and, on-site SEO strategy is a top priority for every business. But arguably, the most crucial time to focus on building keyword presence is during the beginning stages of launching your website.
Starting your company off with a strong content strategy can help to catapult it quickly towards success. Your on-site content sets the tone for your brand and enables you to connect with prospective customers, mainly through organic searches. But, as a new business, it can be quite challenging to start from scratch.
Marketers these days are under a lot of pressure to put out great content in a short period – a combination that can lead to disaster.
According to a report from Zazzle Media, 65% of marketers agreed that their most challenging task is creating engaging content. 60% also found it incredibly difficult to create good content consistently, with many marketers finding it quite hard to balance great content with SEO keywords, as well as connecting with a target audience.
So, how can you be sure that you get your online content off to a great start without overwhelming the marketing team?
Here are four easy ways to help create top-notch on-site content that sets the foundation for a successful brand.
Determine the Personality
For starters, every brand needs a distinct personality and voice to use throughout their content strategy. Since your website’s content may be the first interaction that people have with your business, it needs to be quite clear to them what your brand is and what it does.
Furthermore, the personality or brand voice that is used can be extremely influential on whether or not visitors feel a connection. If you use formal language and include lots of statistics, for example, your readers might perceive your business as professional and intelligent. If it uses slang and humor, then your brand will have a more casual vibe.
Think of the major brand archetypes out there, which one(s) do you identify with?
Are you inspirational and idealistic, like Apple? Or are you sillier and more light-hearted like Ben & Jerry’s?
Do you want your brand to be easily relatable and down to earth, or adventurous and risk-taking like Red Bull? As you pick out the words that best describe your brand, think of the adjectives that you can give its personality and form your content voice around those descriptions.
Plan Out Broad Pillar Topics
Coming up with a list of topics is the most basic part of content marketing, and yet it can also be one of the most difficult. Various topics can help your business to engage with different segments of your target audience, so having a hearty library that touches on multiple subjects related to your industry can help to build rapport with a wide customer base.
Additionally, your content subjects are not just important for helping people determine what your website is all about, but search engine bots, too. Your content also needs to be formed around keywords and metatags that will signal to these bots how to categorize your website.
A good way to ensure that all of your bases are covered here is to use the topic clustering approach. Start by taking the broadest topics related to your business ideas, and then determine the SEO value behind it.
For example, say that your online store sells fitness products. Some of the major pillars related to this subject might be workouts, losing weight, and healthy living. These topics (of which have large, general search volumes) can then be broken down into subcategories. For workouts, you can touch on specific types, such as abs focused exercises, how to lose fat or gain muscle, how to work out at home, and so on. These are called clusters.
As you start to list off subtopics, be sure to base these choices on keyword research to help identify which subjects are beneficial for SEO. Often, these topic clusters are the perfect opportunity to include long-tail keywords.
Start Writing Posts Around Low-Volume Keywords
When you first start producing content, you aren’t likely going to rank well on the search engines results pages if you are only trying to perform for high volume, general keywords related to your pillar topics.
There is plenty of competition for these top spots. Unfortunately, websites with larger budgets that have been around for a longer period will perform better – at least initially. Instead, it is best to start on a granular level with cluster topics related to keywords with lower search volumes.
These “low hanging fruit” keywords may not attract tons of traffic. But there is much less competition, which increases the chances of drawing in relevant visitors from organic searches.
For example, let’s say one of your pillar topics is related to the keyword “travel to Europe” (14,800 searches/month). Good long tail keywords to target would be “traveling to Europe for the first time” (590 searches/month).
Of course, make sure these keywords/phrases are still relevant to your content/industry so you are attracting the right audience to build your brand’s reputation as a resource for good information. As the search engines see you are an expert in these areas, you can gradually start to create more general content with popular keywords.
Think Beyond the Traditional Blog Post
Content marketing is not just limited to blog posts and on-page website copy. There are plenty of other methods that can help your website’s SEO. Many of which are arguably more engaging than a typed-out post.
Podcasts, video series, and infographics, for example, are good to bring into your content mix because they are typically more engaging and interesting than a text-heavy article. In fact, according to Hubspot’s research, only 14% of consumers wanted to see more blog posts and only 12% wanted more long-form content from brands. 53% preferred to interact with videos and 31% wanted to see more articles that included multimedia content – like video and audio.
It is also interesting to note that incorporating multiple content methods, like videos, will not only help you connect with your audience – it can also help with your SEO and boost your rankings, too. Keep in mind, YouTube is the second largest search engine on the web. Learning how to optimize your videos properly can do wonders to drive targeted traffic to your website.
Getting your content strategy off to a solid start can help set the tone for a brand new business. Be sure that you understand who your brand is, who your audience is, and how to use your content to build an important connection between the two.