In today’s marketing world, creating content is a necessity. Yet, content creation always seems to be the one thing companies struggle with the most.
In today’s small businesses, we work lean and mean. All of our marketing efforts must be efficient and strategically developed, ensuring every action produces a positive and effective result on your bottom line.
Since having or improving content on your site can be difficult to tie back to ROI, it always seems to be the piece of the puzzle that takes the longest, gets pushed aside or is going to happen “one day, when we get the bandwidth.”
In this post we will cover a strategy that I have always used to help divide and conquer this beast and ensure that each bit of content you produce is directly connected to your bottom line.
- Make a Product or Service List: Start by making a list of the products and/or services your company offers, then prioritize them by their profit margin.
- Understand Your Website’s Search Engine Activity: Using your website analytic tracking software (i.e. Google Analytics) pull the following metrics and organize them into specific categories:
- Top Pages Viewed by Organic Search user – This dataset will give you insight into “How Organic Search Users are Utilizing Your Website.”
- Top Keywords driving organic search users – This dataset will give you insight into “How Organic Search Users are Finding Your Website.” Although this metric has changed some since Google started cloaking keywords from logged in Google users, it should still give you an accurate reading of about 60-70% of the organic (non-paid) keywords driving traffic to your site.
- Categorize your top pages and top keywords into categories that best represent your business and find the percentage of each category in relation to the whole dataset to give you an accurate reading of your site’s organic search activity.
- See Data Sets Labeled 1.1 & 1.2 for examples
- Compare Your Website Traffic with Your Product List: Run a comparison analysis on the organic search activity you just collected and your product/service prioritization list by answering the following questions:
- Do the products or services that have the best ROI represent the largest percentage of keywords that are driving visitors to your site?
- What about the organic search users top pages?
- If you are seeing a large or even small disconnect between these datasets, this would be the first place to start.
- Let’s continue to use the affiliate marketing example. Say that fax services provide the best ROI for ChooseWhat.com, but if you notice, only 16% of the keywords driving traffic are fax-related, and only 13% of the page views are fax-related. This would be the first place to start. I would create content around fax services, then see if there are places that I could link to this content on my home page and/or social profiles. Strategically move down your product and/or service prioritization list and compare those to the percentages of organic search activity. You could literally write your editorial calendar for the next quarter based off of these metrics.
There are obvious caveats to every marketing strategy, and this one is no different. Don’t forget to keep any other business metrics in mind when building your editorial calendar, like any seasonal products/services. If your business offers any products or services that are time sensitive, you should start posting content about those products about 90 days prior to its busy season. It is also important to understand that some content will need additional help getting found online, especially with any new domains, products or services. If this is the case, start a link building campaign for that particular content or site.
In the beginning of any new strategy, I like to reevaluate what I’m doing every quarter to gauge its effectiveness. Although this strategy may take a bit of time on the front end, it will be well worth it to know that you are working towards a specific goal. The benefit of building an editorial calendar based off of tangible metrics far outweighs the hang-ups that are associated with “writer’s block”.