The five steps to develop a method for gathering, organizing, and deploying content for your site.
Content development is the lifeblood of your website. In today's world, if you don't have good quality content on your website or blog you will get passed up for someone else who does. Not only does it need to be good, it has to be relevant and up to date. Especially if you have a blog.
Web Content Development and Relevancy
One of the most important principles to understand is the relevancy of your content to your website or blog. Posting content to your site that isn't relevant will only confuse your audience and then push them away.
They probably found you through a search engine or a link from another site. These visitors have an expectation on what they are going to see based on keywords they see. Once they get to your site, will your content deliver on their expectation? If your content is relevant, then it should.
The Purpose of Content Development
Remember, your website has a purpose to advance the goals of your business. So as you are developing content, keep that in mind that if you are trying to increase sales, then make sure your content supports that sentiment to not only visit your site but help them in the conversion process.
Content Development Process
If you don't have a content development process, then get one. It will make life a lot easier if you develop a method for gathering, organizing, and deploying content for your site. I recommend the following steps:
Brainstorming is mainly a right brain function and can be difficult if you are more of an analytical thinker (left brain). Develop some loose objectives that you can live by so you have some parameters as you search for good content. Have a place to put all of your ideas, whether they be good or bad. Don't discount any ideas or concepts yet; let the creativity flow.
If you are running any SEO, PPC, or other marketing campaigns, you should have started with keyword research. Look at your targeted keywords and work on developing concepts and ideas around those keywords. This will help to insure you center your attention on content that will help you draw the right kind of traffic to your site.
Organize and filter the ideas and concepts you came up with and switch brain hemispheres (to the left) and move these concepts into logical buckets or themes. Filter any ideas or concepts that don't match up to your targeted keywords or goals for your website and discard them. Think in terms of your target audience. What will they want to read, see, or hear to compel them to stay a while?
Design and develop your concepts into working prototypes. Pretty straightforward here; just put your plans into action, whether it be simply writing copy or developing supporting graphics to help illustrate your ideas.
Deploy all of your hard work. Again, pretty simple. Remember to test and doublecheck your work for accuracy. One aspect of pushing out new content is to let the world know about it. So make sure you have mechanisms to tell the world you have something new for them. You might use social media tools like Facebook or Twitter. Maybe you will trigger your RSS feeds so they can be aggregated to the masses.
Measure and maintain your new content. After a few days, check your analytics to see what effect your content had on your site traffic. What is your bounce rate to the page? Consider this step a crucial one because this is where you will learn what resonates with your audience and what doesn't. This will help you in the future as you develop new content.
Again, make sure you stay focused on your site's goals as you develop your content. If you are developing content that doesn't meet your goals, as cool as it may seem, it will not further your business goals, and in some cases may steer you off course.
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Ron was president/CEO of Symetri Internet Marketing, which provides strategic SEM consulting and training. Ron was actively involved in the SEM community and spoke and trained at conferences and seminars. Ron also served on the Board of Directors for SEMPO and was one of the authors for the SEMPO Institute Fundamentals and Advanced courses.
Ron also published a book called Keyword Intelligence: Keyword Research for Search Social and Beyond. This book outlines various methods and tips for conducting keyword research but more importantly outlines many ways to use keyword research for social media, site design, content development and marketing, and even traditional marketing and branding.
Ron passed away on June 30, 2012.
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