Identifying and playing to how people consume your business’s online content is essential to your content marketing strategy. Keeping an eye on your website’s traffic reports and analytics gives you an idea of how people come to your site and areas where you can improve.
Developing new online content and putting it online isn’t enough. This isn’t an “if you build it they will come” kind of situation: you need to establish paths for people to get to your content. The bulk of modern web traffic travels through social media platforms, search engines, people directly typing in your homepage URL, links on other websites, and email marketing.
Your content marketing strategy can see substantial returns by including how your business is going to share new content over social media platforms as part of your content planning process as opposed to being an afterthought. Schedule your content in advance to show up at prime use times instead of as soon as it’s done to get the most attention.
If you’ve established a strong social media presence on sites like Facebook and Twitter, crafting one or more clever posts can entice more clicks to consume the content and encourage people to share the post which expands your audience reach. Simply posting the content’s title and a link to the content is not the most effective way to market your content.
For example, if you’ve created an article about how your business is now offering free shipping for online orders over $50, posting a link to an article on your site with “Big changes to our shipping policies, find out how to ship your order for free” will get more people to click the link and visit your site than simply posting “free shipping for orders over $50.” This concept works for most news content as long as you give enough information for the audience to understand what’s going on without giving away the entire story.
Alternatively, if your traffic reports tell you people directly come to your site, your content should be planned with eye-catching headlines and accompanying graphics. Substantial direct traffic implies that you’ve established strong brand recognition and people are visiting your website because they are interested in your business.
However, just listing content by its name on your site and hoping people read it isn’t the most effective way to get attention. The web is a visual medium so accompanying an article with an attention-grabbing image can make your new content stand out over older content and encourage more visitors to read it.
If you get most of your visitors through search engines, having titles and summaries that grab a potential viewer’s attention are important in the content creation process. For example, a business that frequently publishes things like “how-to guides” relevant to their products can use strong content-related SEO to expand their audience and turn potential customers into regular customers.
After designing your site to be easily indexed by search engines, the important part of the content planning process is to develop optimized content titles and summaries that fit within the confines of search results. For example, Google will truncate content titles and summaries that go beyond 60 and 155 characters respectively. SEO-effective titles are short, direct, and enticing.
Dan S is a freelance writer available for projects at WriterAccess.