Setting up a website can be a lot of work. It takes an even greater amount of effort to be successful at it. Whatever the metric by which you define success, one factor remains unchanging: you need traffic…lots of it.
You’ve probably also heard that “Content is King”-because, at the end of the day after everything else about your website is set up, it is the actual words that you put up and distribute that will drive traffic to your site.
You need the sort of content that not only keeps search engines happy but also keeps readers coming back for more.
Before you write anything though, there are a few things that you need to do first to ensure that your content is organized, easily accessible, and effective in engaging both search engines and site visitors.
1. Put All Your Ideas Down on Paper
Before you start thinking of what your content is going to look like, or how you are going to organize it on your website, you ought to know what that content is in the first place. Write your ideas down on paper, blackboard, word document, or anything you feel comfortable with. There will inevitably be content ideas that will not make it to the website for one reason or the other, but at this point try not to restrain your ideas. If you are stumped on what to write, start with yourself: contact info, about us info, product/service descriptions, and directions. Other ideas include how-to videos, menus, press releases, and so on.
2. Decide on a Winning Structure
Now that you have an idea about the words that you would want on your website, the next step is to organize your content. You want to decide on a structure that makes it easy for visitors to find their way towards content that is important to them.
An interesting way to go about this step is card sorting. Write down each content idea on a separate note card and shuffle them around until you arrive at an order that makes the most sense.
Inevitably, some of your original ideas may end up by the wayside either because they are not necessary or don’t fit. But that’s okay for website content, less is often more. The last thing you want is to have site visitors wading through tons of content before they arrive at what they really want.
3. Invest Effort in Evergreen Content
Not all content is created equal. Evergreen content is the backbone of your website, capable of attracting a steady flow of traffic to your website for years to come. And like all good things, it takes effort to produce.
Evergreen content can:
- Generate leads
- Improve SEO
- Build authority
- Generate social shares
A key quality of evergreen content is that they are timeless, staying relevant even as time goes on. Other qualities include:
- High quality: Showcasing valuable content that engages readers
- Compelling: Attractive headlines, images, compelling calls-to-action, etc.
- Relevant: Attends to a real problem the audience faces
- Optimized: SEO optimized, thorough keyword research is essential.
- Aligned with your brand, voice, and showcases your identity.
Evergreen content must be simple to understand and easily accessible to beginners. Examples include How-to Guides, FAQs, Beginner’s guides, Checklists, Case Studies, Curated Content, Opinion pieces on long-term trends.
4. Plan for More Content
A great website doesn’t just end with your evergreen content. Constantly uploading engaging website content is a great way to guarantee explosive traffic. One of the reasons for this is that search engines like Google love fresh, high-quality content. Making this content easily accessible to those who visit your website earns you extra points.
A great way to go about this is by maintaining a blog. By blogging you can keep uploading keyword-loaded content to your website that will attract visitors and keep search engines happy.
5. Track Progress
After you are finished with your website and have uploaded content, analytics can help you to monitor how well your content is doing. Tools like Google Analytics are crucial in separating content that is bearing fruit from those that are not performing so well. You can dump content that does little more than sit on your website, and actively promote content that is performing exceptionally well.
You could even repurpose top-performing content by producing them in different content formats like eBooks, podcasts, videos, and so on.