Five essential elements of a content strategy

Your content strategy is your roadmap to a successful web business. It covers all aspects of your web business – from branding, sales and SEO to customer profiling – and is a critical part of its success.

Here are the five elements of an effective content strategy:

Your business objectives

Your content strategy is the foundation of your web business. Without clearly defined business objectives, your web business will lack focus and is less likely to succeed.

You can get started on your content strategy with these key questions:

  1. What does the company want to achieve this year, next year, in five years? (How can the website help us meet these targets?)
  2. How will the website meet our customers’ needs? (How does the website solve our customers’ problems?)
  3. How will the website help us achieve points 1 and 2? (How can we meet points 1 and 2 and make money?)
  4. Who are our competitors? (How can the website help us get a market share?)

Once you have the answers to these questions, the next step is a content audit.

A content audit

A content audit can help you measure your website’s performance against set business goals. It does this by finding out:

  • What’s popular: your website stats should be able to tell you the most popular pages on your site, typically those with high traffic
  • What’s effective: setting goals for your website is the best way to measure its effectiveness. A goal could be something as simple as getting sign-ups for an email newsletter, to successful completion of a sale
  • What’s redundant: a content audit will reveal the low-performing areas of your website

Discovery and analysis 

Your content audit should reveal how well (or not) your website is meeting your business goals. With the results, you should be able to think more strategically about your customers:

  • Who are they? If you don’t have customer personas, perhaps now is the time to develop a few. They’re a great way of identifying your customer groups and finding out what makes them tick
  • What are their top tasks? If you know the top three actions that your customers take on your website, you can structure your content better for higher conversions
  • Their customer journeys: what is a typical customer journey on your website like? What percentage of customers complete a sale (or sign-up or whatever your conversion goal is) and on which page? Finding out this information can help resolve your biggest sales challenges
  • Navigation: is your website an assault course? If so, how can you improve it?
  • SEO: how are users finding your website? If you know which parts of your SEO strategy areis working, then you’ll know which to cull

Your action plan 

After discovery comes the action plan. This will include:

  • Definitive business goals: what you want your web business to achieve
  • Content planning, creation and maintenance: creating and maintaining the content to meet those business goals
  • Performance: measuring your content’s performance against set goals eg, clickthroughs and sales
  • Standards: brand consistency, developing usability and content guidelines for your copywriters
  • SEO: developing an effective SEO strategy to maximise your company’s online presence

Daily activities 

These are the day-to-day activities from the action plan that will keep your web business running smoothly, efficiently and successfully.

Your content strategy should cover all elements of your business, but with these five essential elements, you should be well on your way.

Abidemi Sanusi is the founder of Ready Writer