Content marketing has become such a powerful channel in recent years, with millions of businesses seeing incredible returns from small investments.
Just look at the growth in the number of blogs on the internet. Over 500 million sites now employ content to achieve their goals.
I’ve been working in the content marketing area for a while now, and we’re always trying to find new ways to grow via content marketing.
But there are some things that I’ve discovered over time that are fundamental prerequisites for content marketing success.
So when starting a site or project from scratch, here are the essential tips I would recommend to ensure your new project is best placed to achieve your goals, generate more traffic and convert more customers.
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Table of Contents
Whether it’s a site migration or a new site for a new project, make sure you have clearly defined goals before you start.
It’s astonishing how many marketers don’t have any high-level goals when starting a project or site.
It’s also crucial that you make these goals attainable. You can set unrealistic goals, but if you don’t hit them, it can have a detrimental effect on your content efforts.
Create high-level goals and then set sub-goals that contribute to the higher-level goal.
Some examples might be the number of monthly conversions for your new site. Or it could be traffic-based or even based on SEO metrics.
Set up analytics
If you’re setting goals for your new site or project, then you’ll need some way of measuring them. Implementing analytics tools to your new site is a must to measure the results of your content.
Google Analytics is the most used option for this, but there are several tools that can do similar things.
Remember, if you start measuring from the very beginning, then you’ll be able to chart your growth from the start. You’ll have data on the initial part of your journey, which will help you grow in the future.
Use simple language
Something that I see so many content marketers get carried away with is the complexity of their content.
Before you start a new site or project, you need to make it your mantra to use conversational and straightforward language.
Not many of your potential customers want to read a textbook. It would be best to assume the people landing on your site have an incredibly short attention span.
That might be a little harsh on some of your visitors, but it’s a great way to think that forces you to write excellent, understandable, and engaging content.
Remember to add value to your content, even better if it’s free
When I start a new site or project, I do a competitor analysis. This process can be highly illuminating because it makes you realize that there are already many sites out there with great content.
And I’ll bet you they are already ranking, getting traffic, and converting them into customers. So how are you going to stand out from this content that is already successful?
The answer is to think from the beginning about value. What extra value are you giving to someone who lands on your page vs. the other pages in the search results?
Every piece of content you put together should provide value, and it’s even better if it’s free.
This can be anything from value in terms of information, education, or tips that can’t be found anywhere else.
But you can go further. Create free tools that help your customer solve their problems. Instilling this mindset at the start of your content journey will help you to get more traffic and convert visitors at a much higher rate.
Think about the funnel – what is the goal of your content
Think of your new site as a part of a funnel. Visitors start by landing on your site, and then they go through various stages before eventually reaching a point of conversion – for most people, this is a sale.
You must have an idea of what this funnel looks like at the beginning of your content marketing journey. This is especially important for B2B content marketers.
Your funnel can generally be split into four content stages, with each one containing different formats depending on the site or business.
Longer content is the way to go
It’s not exactly a secret, but when it comes to content, longer is better. Generally, the longer the content, the more clicks, engagement, and conversions you will get.
It’s also true that if you look at the search results for many keywords, the best-performing pages will be long-form content.
When planning your new site or project, ensure that you are preparing those long pieces of quality pillar content and also facilitate easy navigation for your visitors.
That means helpful tools such as tables of contents and quick back-to-top navigation widgets.
When it comes to your content, one element is vital to get right – the headline.
It’s crucial for a few reasons. Firstly, that the copy in your page title will impact your click-through rate, encouraging potential customers to click through to your page is mainly done through the title as it’s the first thing they will usually read.
It’s also a ranking factor, so Google will want to rank posts with a higher CTR higher in the search results.
When building a new site, you need to think carefully about how you craft headers that grab attention and turn impressions into clicks.
Start collecting emails and build your email content channel
As I’ve already mentioned, it’s important to have a funnel so that you can measure each step of the journey from page visitor to customer.
However, a great way to build trust and keep engaging with visitors is to collect emails and send out content regularly.
With such a high ROI, email can be one of your most engaging and fruitful marketing channels, so it’s important to set it up correctly when building a new site or starting a new project.
Try offering exclusive content in return for an email sign-up. Another great way to capture email sign-ups is to leverage those free tools we talked about earlier, and when they are used, give site visitors an option to join your email list!
Another important point at this stage is ensuring sign-up data is being managed correctly and compliantly with data protection regulations.
Build a content calendar from day one
At the beginning of your new site or project, there will likely be less content being produced than larger, already established businesses.
However, you’ll want to establish a way of managing your content production. Doing this at the start of the journey will help you create a systematic approach to content and be invaluable if you grow to a stage where you produce lots of content.
A content calendar is a great way to do this. It will help you manage your content within a team and support external contributions to your site.
There are even content tools that have these built-in. I like to use Notion for my content calendar as you can build fully customized and collaborative views.
Add social sharing
This is a straightforward way to increase the reach of your content. Therefore, you should implement it at the start of the content marketing journey.
Depending on what tech stack your new site is using, there is likely a built-in option for this. In WordPress, several themes support it, or some plugins implement it in a single click.
You can take this one step further with a CTA once an engaged user has finished reading your content.
Remember, you don’t want these widgets to be too intrusive. Keep them subtle and small. You don’t want them to have an adverse effect!
Add rich snippets
Another way to level up your new site is to think about how you can integrate rich snippets. If you are using WordPress, there are a lot of plugins that can do this for you.
Think about how you can use these once you are set up. If you have a long-form blog post, it can be great to add some FAQ schema for common questions related to the content.
Google will recognize these, and it can help your content feature in snippets and other areas of the search results.
So there we have it. If you are looking to start a new site or project, you’ll do well to follow these top tips.
Implementing these tips and principles at the start of your content journey will keep you organized and allow you to grow quicker and rank higher.
These tips have helped me to grow sites from zero to thousands of monthly visitors. They have also helped me convert these into paid customers. Enjoy, and good luck with your content journey!