Here are 5 ways to do it.

Like most business owners, I spend a lot of time thinking about online content. I figure that if I create content that my prospects actually want to read about, I can drive traffic to my website, attract more clients and grow my business.

If you’re thinking around the same issues, here are five things to consider when optimizing your online content strategy. 

  1. Come up with a list of major categories for which you want to rank high in SEO. To do this, first make a list of major categories based on your business. (For instance, I want my company to rank high when someone is searching for a DIGITAL MARKETING consulting agency in Richmond, Virginia.) Next, think about keywords that fall under your major categories. (For me, USING FACEBOOK MORE EFFECTIVELY in digital marketing might be one. INTEGRATING A CRM SYSTEM into your business might be another.) Use this tactic and you’ll implement an effective keyword strategy that helps people find you around the search terms that they actually care about.
  2. Get insight into topics people are searching for online with a keyword search. Don’t just write about what interests you. Instead, make sure that your topics align with the most popular online searches being made by your prospects. Buzzsumo and Google AdWords Keyword Planner are two of my favorite online tools to help with this. Go to either and type in a possible topic for your next blog and you’ll get a long list of recent posts on the topic. (Buzzsumo will even show you how many times each post has been shared on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.) Here’s a real-world example of how this might work for me in my business. If one of the tools I mentioned helps me verify that “direct response TV advertising” is a highly searched online topic, I can write a blog post on best direct response TV practices. When someone searches “direct response TV advertising,” my post will ideally come up as part of their search, which will hopefully drive them to my company’s website.
  3. Don’t forget to take the simple approach. While it’s great to have sophisticated tools and strategies for generating relevant content, don’t forget that the simple approach works well, too. Write a portion of your blog posts on obvious topics such as challenges in your industry, product reviews and comparisons, seasonality, cost versus value and industry best practices.
  4. Write about interesting content that’s already been developed. If you do a lot of reading, you’ve undoubtedly come across some magazine articles or blogs that interested you. Take that content and make it work for you by writing about your perspective on what the writer had to say. Be sure to reference the article, provide necessary backlinks and incorporate engaging imagery.
  5. Never forget that creating your content is just the first step. Don’t drop the ball by writing it, posting it and then assuming that thousands of interested readers will find it. You also need to develop a promotional strategy that will drive readers to your blog. It should include pushing your content out via your organic social media channels. Also consider investing in paid promotion via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, etc. Be sure to mention your blog in nurture email campaigns you may be doing, as well as in the footer of every business email you send, too.

Remember, developing a good content marketing strategy is like most things in life: The more time and effort you put into it (particularly on the front end), the more you’ll get out of it. Good luck! Please post your thoughts on what you’ve read here and share other strategies that have worked for you.


Posted by Andrew Smith, president of initiate-it, a boutique Richmond, Virginia-based advertising and communications agency. Andrew founded initiate-it in 2011 after spending 20 years learning the business from inside large and small agencies and in-house corporate marketing departments.