Expertly executed content has far-reaching benefits. When created in conjunction with a well-thought-out strategy, your organization’s content library can help you achieve your goals. However, the content landscape evolves quickly, meaning you’ll need to have a solid content optimization initiative running at all times. Apply these six tactics to your current strategy to identify gaps, make improvements, and drive your business goals forward.
1. Analyze Your Existing Content
An easily overlooked step in optimizing your content is to analyze what you already have. While stopping to take stock of what is instead of ideating on what’s next can feel painful, trust the process. Just like any strategic process, you should always start with research, and analyzing your existing content falls within that category.
Review your current content library and log what you have mastery over. Identify strengths in your content library, what’s worked well in the past, and any thematic elements between them. Along with reviewing your strong suits, take note of weak spots that can be improved upon or avoided moving forward. Use a gap analysis tool to guide your research and log your findings. Doing so can make this process more efficient and help identify underlying themes you haven’t yet discovered.
2. Identify Top-Performing Keywords
Now that you’ve analyzed your current content, it’s time to dig into your best-performing pieces. Scour content for keywords you’ve embedded throughout, taking stock of frequency, repetition, and keyword type. Log how many keywords you’re using per piece and compare them against your top performers.
Practices like keyword stuffing are counter-productive and not advised, often being flagged as spam. Focus on value-adds that align with your content goals over keyword count. Review the links you’ve paired with keywords and determine if they still have a place in your strategy. Create a database of primary keywords, links, and performance metrics to guide your analysis and planning.
3. Focus on the Right Topics
The demand for constant content generation can quickly derail an otherwise thoughtful, strategic content program. Identify your true north and use that as your guide for content growth. Since you’ve reviewed past performance, keywords, and links, you now can identify themes for your content sweet spot.
If your company serves the automotive dealer industry, specifically supporting inventory planning and financing, you have a solid niche. Your content can get technical, provided you’re speaking the language of your customer. Generally, the intricacies of dealer floor planning are foreign to the average car buyer. But with the right platform and means of communicating with your audience, your content can attract the right readers.
4. Dive Deep
Just like in the automotive dealer floor planning example, it pays to get specific. There’s an unlimited library of information that touches the surface of in-demand topics. But when it comes down to the specifics of how exactly to execute, your audience’s search can come up empty.
Fill the void by diving deep into your area of expertise.
If your competitors focus on the general, then consider this your sign to get granular. Getting down to the nitty-gritty can provide your readers with valuable insight and set you apart from the competition. However, make sure to work with your internal stakeholders to determine the boundaries of sharing helpful, interesting information versus giving away trade secrets.
Review popular message boards and chat groups where your potential audience already spends time. Chat threads featuring user-generated tutorials for your software would indicate a deserving addition to your editorial calendar. Explore the universe of relevant content and where your audience may spend time for inspiration.
5. Support Your Copy With Images
Sure, words are great, but imagery really brings a message home. Review your already completed content analysis and identify which high performing articles included imagery. Graphs, illustrations, and photos can bolster your content and improve its ability to resonate with readers.
Beyond conveying greater mastery of your message, images also offer SEO benefits. When images are added with tags and alternate text, they can boost engagement and accessibility. Create alternate text that describes what the image depicts and replicate this change throughout your content library. Not only is this the right thing to do for accessibility’s sake, it helps more readers find the information they need.
6. Keep Content Updated and Relevant
Whether you realize it or not, a date stamp can be really important when reading a piece of content. Date stamping your articles is an easy way for readers to gauge the newness and relevancy of your content. If the post is new, they’re more likely to take the information to heart. But if it’s months or even years old, they’ll probably keep looking for a more recent source.
It’s essential to update your content. Go back to your content library and review your oldest posts, and archive them if they’re out of date. Non-value-add copy can drag down your relevance and ranking.
A well-performing whitepaper can be updated with current numbers and links to new supporting studies. Retain the page views, visits, and appearances across the web while updating content that’s working. Repeat this practice to refresh publish dates and ensure accuracy.
Monitor Performance and Adjust Your Strategy Accordingly
Now that you’ve completed these tasks, you’re good to go, right? Not so fast. Any great content strategist knows that measuring and analyzing metrics is essential for long-term success. And since your content aims to help you reach your business goals, this final step is one you can’t skip.
Build in a culture of assessment and adjustment as you optimize your content strategy. Advocate for data’s influence in your short and long-term content plans, sharing candid conversations along the way. Over time, you’ll develop content optimization standards that suit your organization and an enterprise content system that drives results.