Recently Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam team and renowned authority on Google Search, was asked about the importance of content “freshness” in regards to a website’s search rankings. How much does new, fresh content affect your website’s search engine rankings? Cutts responded that freshness is just one of 200 signals that Google uses to determine search rankings. Having relevant and updated information is very important, however Cutts cautioned that changing a few words on pages and updating the by-line to make it appear new will not help to raise your ranking. If anything, it could damage it.
But for today’s businesses, the dilemma still exists. How can you consistently add fresh and quality information to your website without it becoming a full-time job in itself? More than likely, you have a business to run or a department to manage. You need a solution for quality and timely content. The answer lies in planning and a well-defined content management strategy. In four steps, you can create a plan of action that will cut down the time required to keep your website interesting and fresh.
4 Steps to Creating a Content Management Strategy for Your Website
Step 1: Know your Audience
Who are you selling your product or services to? How would you describe these clients? Why do they buy your products? What methods of communication work best with them? Just as no two people are exactly the same, no two customers are exactly the same. You’ll need to develop a few descriptions, personas, to accurately understand your target audience and the best methods to use in reaching them.
Step 2: Review your competitors
Develop a basic competitive analysis by asking:
- Who are your competitors?
- What type of content and what keywords are they using on their websites?
- When do they update their sites with fresh content?
- Where is their website positioned on the search engine result pages?
Step 3: Develop a bank of content topics
Step three is two-fold. First, you’ll need to complete a thorough keyword study to determine the words that customers are searching for in relation to your products and services. What words are bringing customers to your site? What words related to your business are being searched for the most? These keywords will give you specific topics to cover in your content.
Second, lead a brainstorming session with your team, once a month. In the session, you can:
- Review industry trends and events
- Monitor social channels for hot topics
- Challenge your colleagues to connect a popular topic or event to one of your services or products.
By focusing on current trends and topics, you’ll add relevant and timely information to your site. Also, don’t overlook or disregard previously published content. Though you’re not going to simply change a few words and the by-line, your clients may be interested in new information about an existing topic on your site. Perhaps you can use the same topic but with a different format to capture new clients. Things you may want to consider include:
- Can you expand on and combine a few previous blogs in order to develop an all-encompassing guide or ebook?
- Can you refresh a blog and turn it into a quick video?
Step 4: Create an Editorial Calendar.
With your research and topics established, create a calendar to plan out 3-6 months of fresh content for your site. In the calendar, you’ll include the date, target audience, communication method and topic of the new content. As with all aspects of an internet marketing campaign, you’ll want to measure the effectiveness of your plan and determine the most successful elements.
By completing these four steps and tracking the most popular and effective pieces, you’ll be able continually refine your strategy. You will consistently be adding fresh and quality content to your website.
The NJ-based internet marketing team at Ridge Marketing helps smart businesses take action to achieve their content management goals. If you are interested in more information or have questions about developing a content management strategy for your company, contact us. Our Internet marketing team is available to help.