A lot of times, when clients come to us and need work in regards to content, they don’t even have content to begin with, it’s duplicated, or they need to add to it. Sometimes they may just have the bare bones there to work with – maybe an About Us section and an FAQs page. To develop a true content strategy, it’s best to be involved from the very beginning…starting with the wire framing of the website. But for the purpose of this post, let’s say that you’re developing a strategy for a site that’s already been built or you have a site and it contains old content, but you’ve been tasked with giving it a facelift.
Giving your online store a refresher is a great idea in light of the recent Panda updates especially if your site took a beating in the past few months. This could really be an in-depth post, but for the sake of time, I’ll give a brief strategy overview.
Research – whether you’re doing this for your own site or someone else’s, research is obviously the first step to getting everything right. If your site has no content at all, you’re starting fresh so you need to analyze your audience and figure out what’s going to make them convert. Figuring out the tone here is key and for SEO purposes, you’ll need to do some keyword research as well. If your site already has content and you just want to give it a refresh, you’ll still want to update your keyword strategy and maybe reanalyze your audience. When creating new content, make sure you don’t un-optimize anything that’s converting well.
Developing a Strategy – Once you’ve done your research, you need to come up with a strategy to tackle all the pages you need to write. If you already have all of your main pages completed (About Us, Contact, Shipping Info, FAQs, etc.), it’s a good idea to start on your category pages first and then follow up with the product pages. Each company is different when determining what category pages they want to do first. You can simply go down the navigation, begin with the pages that have been duplicated, or maybe start with the category pages where your most popular products are listed. Then you can move onto your product pages. After you’ve written these, you may want to think about some other content options down the line – like white papers, case studies, videos, etc. Anything that makes you an authority on your topic is always a plus.
Just Do It – This is the tedious part. You just have to focus and write. If several people are working on the content at the same time, make sure the pages appear that they are written by the same author. There have been many posts on how to create content and optimize it for your site, so I’ll let you look back in our archives for those.
Maintain – Keeping your content fresh and up-to-date is essential to keeping loyal customers once you’ve attracted them. I know if I’m online shopping and see that the category content mentions a brand or links to a product that is no longer carried, I tend to question the store’s authority, so remember to remove outdated content. Keeping a spreadsheet of the copy you’re working on is a great way for keeping track of what you’ve done and what you need to do. Make sure you include dates, products or brands mentioned, etc. It may also be useful to track page views, click-through rates and conversion data. In order to avoid having to redo your entire site again, go through once every six months to a year and do a content analysis. If you do wind up removing content from your site, make sure you save it. You may be able to reuse it for something else at a later date.