As an online service provider, I want to constantly be making my content strategy better.
I believe in the power of my content to connect with and help other business owners navigate this online space.
So I’m always on the lookout for ways to improve and I’m going to tell you what I learned in just a second. First I want to tell you about how I began my journey with content strategy.
At the beginning of developing my content strategy, I was just throwing all kinds of ideas out there looking at whatever everyone else was posting and putting my own spin on the same idea.
I think this is how a lot of people get started because unless you go to school for online business (not even sure you can) you mostly learn by observation and practice.
Let me stop you, yes there are some specific principles that apply to all business but the implementation can be different and online seems to be a whole different beast because you can connect rather than shout at your people like in traditional marketing.
Anyway, I was writing on all of these topics that were interesting to me and trying to tie them back to my overall business idea and services. But it just felt like I wasn’t getting any traction.
I was posting a LOT, like 3 times a week. But I wasn’t really getting anything for it. Just frustrated and burnt out.
That’s when I started developing my content strategy and learning how I could take my topics and break them down to support my main focus. Which made writing way easier.
Through this process, I started reviewing my analytics and trying to understand what worked on my website and what didn’t.
Sure there is still the occasional post that I write outside of my strategy because I deeply believe that it needs to be said but I always look at my numbers because it is really the missing link between determining how your topic is in alignment with what your audience is looking for.
You could be putting out killer content but unless your audience cares about it they aren’t going to stick around. You’ll have some die-hard fans that are going to read everything you put out but cognitively people are only interested in reading what is important to them right then.
Now onto what I learned about strengthening my content strategy through my analytics and how you can apply the same principles to your content strategy.
Always start with a review of what is going on. But look for what content is popular.
These articles that get lots of hits or get hits consistently are great posts to look at for creating more content.
What do I mean?
These popular articles are telling you exactly what your audience is interested in and you can incorporate more content surrounding those topics into your strategy.
Maybe they are supporting articles that talk about topics in parallel and you tie them together, or maybe you are writing content that drills down even deeper into the topic and could be thought of as an advanced post to that previous one.
The beauty of building on your popular content is that you know it’s already getting traffic and you can link to the other content you create to help people click around on your site. Thus staying longer and building the relationship with your content.
Compare Content Types
Not all content is created equal and this is true of the way you are presenting your content to your audience.
Do you only do written content? Long form blog posts? Short blog posts? Videos? Graphics? Podcasts?
The list of content types goes on and on. You’ll want to create one set of content in different types and test out what your audience prefers.
Maybe your audience really loves the written transcript that goes along with your podcast content.
Maybe your video content performs really well.
By either reviewing what content you’ve already got out there or testing out some new content and running an experiment you’ll get to find what content you like to create and what your audience loves to consume.
The best way to find out what content types your audience prefers is to review the analytics and see what content is popular and then reviewing what type of content is at that URL on your site.
Another cool think your analytics can tell you to create a better content strategy is to review where your visitors are coming from. By finding your best traffic drivers you can focus on marketing your content in those locations and letting go of underperforming strategies.
Why is this important to your content strategy?
Besides giving you the freedom to say no to posting on social media platforms that aren’t working for you…you could develop better strategies for these underperforming platforms.
Test out different ideas for driving traffic from them or give them up altogether and focus on the places that are performing well for you.
Metrics & Goals
Use your analytics to Identify what metrics and goals you want to achieve. Not every goal is supported by the same strategies with your content plan. So having a clear idea and plan for what you want to work on and then breaking it down into the steps you have to take to make it happen.
This way you aren’t wasting your precious time on strategies that aren’t in alignment with your goals.
It’s easy to get this way. You hear of this next big strategy you need to try and so you throw yourself into it. And that is totally fine but it could be even more powerful for you when you know what you are aiming for. And then you can make the decision if this strategy is right for you to try now or try later when you are reviewing your strategies and trying new things.
This knowledge gives you real power to take control of your content strategy and not get sidetracked by this new shiny strategy or that.
Make your plan and implement it, then review your analytics and see how you are doing.
It’s a constant process that your content strategy will evolve through. Sometimes what is working now may not work later because of timing and what your audience is looking for right now.
The biggest thing to remember in my opinion is it is a moving target. You are going to have to keep circling back around and trying out new things, tweaking your plan and reviewing again.
So don’t give up. You’ll get more efficient at the process as you get familiar with it. And your content strategy will improve as you focus in on what is working and how to amplify that.
Now it’s your turn!
What questions do you have about using your analytics to develop your content strategy? Let me know in the comments!