How to boost your content strategy in 4 easy steps

4 Steps to Improve Your Content Strategy Using Your Analytics

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.

Review

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.

Traffic Drivers

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.

In conclusion…

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!


Want to dive deeper into your Analytics?

Get my Google Analytics Crash Course and learn what all those numbers mean for your website and content!

4 Steps to Improve Your Content Strategy Using Your Analytics
4 Steps to Improve Your Content Strategy Using Your Analytics
4 Steps to Improve Your Content Strategy Using Your Analytics
Case Study – Branding & Web Design for DeLozier Strategy & Execution

My client…

Dane DeLozier came to me to have an online presence created for his growing consulting business. He had been growing his business by word of mouth referrals only but felt it was time to have an online presence for people who didn’t personally know him get to know him and his business. He wanted a place to send people and start to have a solid online face to his growing consulting practice.

During the process, I started working with Emily, an employee of the practice to finalize the design details and bring everything to life.

Why he reached out…

Before reaching out to me Dane had been operating strictly offline with people that he knew or people who were one person removed from him. However, over the last several months of growth, he was extending beyond those circles and starting to get clients who he didn’t have a personal connection to.

This is when he decided he needed an online presence as an informational hub for people to get to know his business and for him to start building brand recognition.

Dane reached out to me to help him strategically take his ideas about his brand and create a cohesive visual identity that we could translate to his online presence.

How I helped…

We started out talking about the goals for the business’ visual identity, both short-term goals and the ultimate long-term direction the business would take so that we could take into account how the brand needed to grow rather than constantly being adjusted and changed.

He had lots of great ideas and connections he wanted to bring in and explore during the process. One of the fun ideas we got to explore was the connection nature has to business growth.

The process…

You took my ideas into careful consideration, you were patient with my hand-drawn design renderings, and you responded quickly and accurately to all of our edits and suggestions. You also gave excellent advice on matters pertaining to website functionality, which we needed. – Emily, DeLozier Strategy & Execution

We worked together over the course of the project to explore how the goals for the project could be designed in such a way that to connect what DeLozier Strategy & Execution does for their clients.

We started with the branding because without that we wouldn’t have a solid look and feel direction for the website and our biggest concern was making everything fit and be cohesive.

Once we had a visual brand direction through the use of a mood board I was able to start drafting up different logo design ideas using the mood board as my starting guide.

Once the logo, vision, mission and color palette was nailed down it was time to tackle the website.

We sat down for our strategy session and hashed out all the different ideas we wished for the website and then prioritized the list based on what we felt like we could accomplish during the initial launch of the project.

I’ve found that while it would be great to have 100% of the content ready to go sometimes there are ideas that are just too big to wait on and when I know the direction the website is going to go I can plan for its growth. This way any additional features feel like an extension rather than a lean-to added on later.

Results…

Michaela is skilled at taking what you have in your head and making it come alive via branded design. We were clear on our own mission, but we didn’t know how to communicate it effectively, incorporating all of the visual elements that have become the norm for today’s communication. We had the words, but we didn’t have the design. That’s where Michaela was the perfect fit for us! Her thoughtful incorporation of our content (and attempts at design layout) with her vision for how to best represent our consulting services yielded a website and other marketing collateral that not only say what we need them to say, but reflects who we are. – Emily, DeLozier Strategy & Execution

Dane is ready to start using his website as the foundation for his online presence. With a few blog posts ready to publish as soon as we launched he is already building a strong SEO base for driving traffic his way.

 

 

Are you my next dream client? Let’s get started!

Make the Most of Your 404 Page

How can your 404 page help you grow your business' email list? Check out this blog post for 3 quick 404 page tips!

Today I want to share with you three quick tips for getting the most bang for your buck out of your 404 page.

First of all, let’s cover the role of your 404 page and what it means to user flow for your visitors.

Your 404 page is the page people get to if they mistype a url or a link is dead.

It’s not necessarily a bad page, you really want to have one and use it strategically so that it isn’t a dead end to the user flow of your visitors.

No matter how hard you try to keep from having dead links it is just something that happens.

Let’s cover 3 quick things you can add to your 404 page to optimize your website strategy.

Add CTAs

This is a great opportunity to redirect your visitor back to main site. Whenever you want to send them or whichever action you choose to do make sure you have strong CTAs to help create clarity around what you want your visitor to do.

Give people a chance to opt-in

You might consider adding a chance to opt-in for one of your freebies here.

This spot may not provide you with a huge conversion rate because people don’t come to your 404 page to opt-in.

But it is a good place to give people a chance to get on your list right before they leave your site so that you can stay in touch with them.

Feature some of your popular or foundational content

And finally, you can redirect them to some other content on your site that you would like to feature.

This could be some of your most popular blog posts.

Or it could be a blog post or two of your cornerstone content.

Just make sure to highlight it and clearly create a path for people back to valuable information on your site.

Now it’s your turn!

What questions do you have about your 404 page and the strategy behind it? Let me know in the comments!

How can your 404 page help you grow your business' email list? Check out this blog post for 3 quick 404 page tips!
How can your 404 page help you grow your business' email list? Check out this blog post for 3 quick 404 page tips!
How can your 404 page help you grow your business' email list? Check out this blog post for 3 quick 404 page tips!
How can your 404 page help you grow your business' email list? Check out this blog post for 3 quick 404 page tips!
Content Creation Hacks to Create More without Going Crazy

Need to create content but already feeling the pinch? Use these content creation hacks to get more done in less time!

Can we get real here for a second….

One you don’t want to spend all day every day making content even IF you had the time to do it.

Two if you are spending a huge amount of time trying to keep up with constantly creating content you aren’t necessarily growing your business even if you do get crazy visible. This is because you are filling your time trying to get more visible when you could be filling your time working with clients or making sales!

But what are you supposed to do?

You need to create content to get visible and connect with ideal clients…you need to create content that converts…you need to create content to stay valuable to your community….

That is a LOT of content.

So today I’m going to share with you some things that I do to create content consistently without going crazy.

These work no matter how many channels you are trying to fill so don’t think these tips couldn’t work for you if you are only trying to fill up your blog feed.

Just keep in mind that as your content strategy grows and evolves these content creation hacks can stick with you and help you reduce the content creation load!

Repurpose content

If you aren’t repurposing your content you are missing a huge opportunity to cut down on the amount of time it takes to fill your content calendar.

I’ve got a full post on repurposing here.

But for the purpose of this post, you’ll want to know a few quick things.

Just because you posted a piece of content doesn’t mean it has lost any value so keep sharing it with your audience. If you feel like you need to switch it up a bit before reposting consider just adding an update section of things that you’ve learned since writing this first post.

And for another thing, your audience is always changing. Don’t believe me? Just look at one of your social media profiles. You get some followers you lose some followers.

It’s important to remember that your audience may not even know what you’ve posted in the past so re-imagine it, repost it, and repurpose it for your audience to get more out of what you’ve already done.

Talk it out (dictate)

This one was an interesting hack for me find. I realized one day that it was really easier for me to talk about a topic as the first draft than it was for me to try and write it out.

I suspect it has to do with the way I would try to edit and format and worry about the next step of writing the content rather than just getting it all out there and editing it later.

So when I need to get a lot of content out I dictate it to my phone first. Then I edit, chop it up, put it together and fill my calendar with it.

Give it a try you might be surprised at how much content you can get out of your head when you talk it out rather than trying to write it as a social media update or blog post.

Batch it

One thing you can do to up your content creation productivity is to do a bunch of it at once. That way you aren’t switching between tasks losing out on precious moments of productivity if you do.

Your batch process may look different than mine but here is roughly what I do.

I plan out a month of posts at once, 4 in total.

Then I write outlines for all of them.

Then I come back and write up the drafts.

Edit, create photos and schedule.

I see the biggest boost in productivity when I get to the graphics creation phase.

By getting into my software once and creating all the graphics I’ll need that month I don’t have to keep switching back and forth between the different activities.

I spend about 8 hours a month creating ALL the blog content I’ll need for the following month. Including scheduling, optimizing, and pushing it out to my social media channels.

This is because I sit down to get it all done at one time.

Stop consuming

This one may surprise you. But it is so important when creating your own content.

You’ll want to stop consuming other people’s content. You are wasting time and not fully stepping into what content you should be sharing with your audience.

If you don’t know what to write about consuming other people’s content for ideas isn’t going to help you connect with your audience or stand out from the crowd. You need to get out there and talk to your ideal audience and write content around what you learn from them not what others in your niche are doing.

It can be so hard to switch from consuming to creating, I know because I struggled with it. I didn’t have the confidence in my own ideas and I didn’t think I knew enough to get started.

But I did.

And you do too. Get out there and write your own content rather than using your content creation time to consume!

You’ve got this!

Write now edit later

This goes back to talking it out but don’t try and edit while you write. It will slow you down and stifle great ideas from coming to the surface.

Just get in there and start writing. Or dictate it out.

Just do it and worry about all the details later.

Now it’s your turn!

What content creation hacks do you use to create more in less time? Let me know in the comments!

Need to create content but already feeling the pinch? Use these content creation hacks to get more done in less time!
Need to create content but already feeling the pinch? Use these content creation hacks to get more done in less time!
Need to create content but already feeling the pinch? Use these content creation hacks to get more done in less time!
Need to create content but already feeling the pinch? Use these content creation hacks to get more done in less time!
Do More With Your Branding – 6 Places to Use Your Brand Elements

Now that you have your brand for your business you are ready to go...but what do you do with it? How does it help you grow? Maybe that sounds familiar. If so you should check out this blog post and learn some more things you can do with your branding to attract more ideal clients to your business!

You’ve got your shiny new branding completed…

but how do you effectively use it?

How do you get your monies worth out of it?

And how do you use it to build recognition?

Those may or may not be some questions running through your head right now.

But they are some really good questions.

So what can you do with your brand?

Social Media Graphics

You can and definitely want to use your colors and logo on your social media graphics.

Hopefully, during your branding process, you outlined what stock photography fit your brand so you can leverage that for social media too. If not it’s never too late to start.

Make a list of the elements that you want all your photos to use. Like the kind of lighting, colors, subjects etc.

If you want even more help I’ve got a great resource in my Library called the Image Style Guide that will help you create consistent social media graphics for your feeds. >>>LINK<<<

Favicon

Another great place and way to differentiate yourself online are to use a logo mark of your branding as your favicon.

You especially want to do this if you are using the generic favicon that browser put in if you don’t have anything.

If you don’t know what a favicon is here is an example from Trello & Amazon.

This is sometimes an overlooked spot on your online presence and can quickly point you out as a DIYer or new business owner.

Your Website

Your website should most definitely be leveraging your branding to help build recognition create a content strategy and grow your loyalty.

You can use almost all elements of your branding on your website…in fact I can’t think of anything you wouldn’t use.

You’ll use your:

  • logo
  • colors
  • messaging
  • photography
  • feel
  • vision
  • mission

Contracts

You can use your branding on your contracts.

This is a great place to up the professional level of your business documents and increases credibility with your clients.

Put your logo on your contracts, agreements, estimates, quotes, and invoices to help tie all them together and strengthen the recognition of your branding with new and returning clients.

Intentionally connect

Now that you have your brand for your business you are ready to go...but what do you do with it? How does it help you grow? Maybe that sounds familiar. If so you should check out this blog post and learn some more things you can do with your branding to attract more ideal clients to your business!
Now that you have your brand for your business you are ready to go...but what do you do with it? How does it help you grow? Maybe that sounds familiar. If so you should check out this blog post and learn some more things you can do with your branding to attract more ideal clients to your business!
Now that you have your brand for your business you are ready to go...but what do you do with it? How does it help you grow? Maybe that sounds familiar. If so you should check out this blog post and learn some more things you can do with your branding to attract more ideal clients to your business!
Now that you have your brand for your business you are ready to go...but what do you do with it? How does it help you grow? Maybe that sounds familiar. If so you should check out this blog post and learn some more things you can do with your branding to attract more ideal clients to your business!
Part of your branding is the message, vision, and personality you develop with your brand strategist.
Use that to your advantage and intentionally connect with people in the online space. How do you want people to think about your brand?
If you remotely want to build genuine relationships you’ve got to use your brand to talk to people not just talk at them on blast on social media.
Reach out to people you see consistently on social media and start a conversation with them. It’s not hard to stand out this way and start building a relationship, even before you get to Direct Messages, because so many people in the online space are just lurkers.
By taking an active role you will get noticed I promise.
Pick 2 – 3 accounts that you’d like to reach out to this week and leave some engaging comments on their social media posts. If the opportunity presents itself move the conversation into a private channel and keep building that relationship!

Brand the Behind The Scenes Elements

I know we get all excited and pumped to brand our outward presence but don’t forget about the internal stuff too.

The stuff that not everyone gets to see right out of the gate.

Make sure you are not only following your brand guidelines and messaging when you respond to emails but consider adding in a branded pdf or sending them to a particular blog post on your website that is related to what you are talking about.

Brand your desktop, tablet, and phone wallpapers. This you’ll see more often than anyone else but it makes you look polished and professional and is a great icebreaker if someone sees it and wants to know more about your business.

Hello, friends who you don’t know how to tell about the services you offer!

The other added benefit of this is a psychological mindset trick that helps you get in the right headspace to show up as your business and your brand.

Sometimes businesses use their branding to keep things consistent but it is also there to help their employees remember the mission and values and this can work for you too.

Now it’s your turn!

Do you have an unexpected place you use your branding? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!