What is a content strategy…

| November 21, 2011

…and how do I get one?

Google’s latest algorithm updates have focused hard on quality content, which in their eyes seems to mean unique and fresh.

Which is great news. You don’t necessarily have to do anything complicated to keep Google on your website’s on-site SEO side. Just do a good job of keeping it up to date and add interesting, useful, timely and relevant information that punters will genuinely appreciate.

So far, so good. But keeping up the momentum is often easier said than done. You start off with good intentions but the minute you get busy things fall by the wayside. The solution?  Write a simple content strategy document… and stick to it.

The process of creating a document forces you to think through your content creation options, cost them sensibly, plan your time effectively and resolve issues up front. Once it’s out of your head and safely in a document, you can forget about the organisation and admin bit and JFDI.

5 common sense sections to break your content strategy document into

  • Your aim – Presumably you want to please people and search engines with your site’s relevance, freshness and quality
  • Your strategy? To achieve your aim by creating regular, fresh content for your website
  • Your tactics – How you’ll use a mix of online marketing media to create fresh, relevant content for your site
  • Your Plans – This is the nuts and bolts bit, where you dream up and plan individual campaigns
  • Your timescale – ideally a simple list of dates

Some tips for creating a sensible, simple, effective DIY content strategy document:

  • set realistic targets and timescales or you’ll soon fall off the marketing wagon. Diary a blog post per day, an article per week, a customer advice sheet every fortnight or whatever
  • be methodical and logical
  • choose a small number of media rather than spreading yourself too thin from the offset, making a note to bring extra or alternative media on board at later stages
  • keep your document linear and simple
  • think creative. Do you host .pfd newsletters on your site as well as sending them by email, adding fresh content every time you create a newsletter? Do you have a Q&A section, regular new testimonials, case studies and info sheets, video…
  • treat your blog like your most precious freshness resource
  • revisit your content strategy every three months to make sure you’re on the right track
  • stay flexible
  • do your housework, replacing old information when it’s no longer relevant
  • consider big picture stuff like regular main page rewrites, say once a quarter, and wholesale site redesign every couple of years for super-freshness

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Category: copywriting and marketing

By Kate Goldstone - ()

Originally from Middlesbrough, I lived in Brighton for many years before moving to North Devon. I’ve had a passion for words all my life and this is my twelfth year as a freelance writer. In my spare time I draw, paint, sculpt, carve wood and rock, garden, read, write poetry and enjoy long distance hiking. I sing and play the recorder. I collect modernist paintings, vintage rugs and mid-century German art pottery. I’m a member of The Poetry Society. And I am an experienced volunteer shepherd, a ‘Lookerer’.

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