How to Build a Content Strategy for Your Website
When a local business launches a website, they often have a million things to do on their plate. This can cause them to want to rush the project and quickly get something launched and live. While a rushed website is certainly better than no website at all, there is a better way to approach your website – and that’s by building a content strategy.
Why You Need a Content Strategy for Your Website
A content strategy for your website is an outline that directs the goals, approach, and future plans for your website. In other words, it’s the guide for how your website will work for your business.
When you have a content strategy for your website, it will be easier to:
- Reach your goals. If you don’t know what you want your website to do, it will be difficult to set it up to reach any objective. A content strategy for your website can give you the direction you need to turn your website into something more than an online brochure.
- Get your team on the same page. The process of building a website strategy often documents the information you think you know about your business, but haven’t put on paper yet. It can help your team review your marketing together and ensure that you are all on the same page.
- Easily share with marketing partners. If you bring on outside marketing assistance – such as someone to write blog post content for your website or to create social media posts that point back to your website – you’ll have a guide to share the information they need to do the best job possible.
How to Create a Content Strategy for Your Website
Follow these steps to create a content strategy for your website.
#1) Create a Website Guide
Whether you have an existing website that can be improved upon or you are getting ready to launch a new website for your local business, start by building a website guide that includes the following sections.
Outline your goals for the website. Specific goals for your website may include:
- Drive calls
- Online sales
- Store visits
- Generate leads
- Educate audiences
- Boost SEO
- Build trust
Define your audience. Outline the defining characteristics of your ideal customers so you and your team can return back to your description and remember exactly who you are talking to.
Outline your unique selling propositions (USPs). Outlining your USPs keeps them front and center and reminds you (and your team) to consistently highlight your brand's best-selling features.
Start your style guide. You want your website to be consistent. Begin to create a guide that explains how you use certain styles of words, uses of branded terms, and directions for voice and tone.
Share key messaging. In your style guide, also create a section that shares some of your key messaging. Write out taglines or sales language that should be repeated throughout the content on your website.
Define call-to-actions. Every page on a website should end with a call-to-action that tells the audience what to do next. Call-to-actions should take users on a path that leads to your final goal. List the primary call-to-actions for your website. For example, they may be to drive a website visitor to call your business or to drive them to make a reservation.
#2) List the Pages You Need
Even if you haven’t built all of the pages you need for your website, your strategy should list all of the pages that you will need. Every website will need the following pages:
- Product / Service Pages
Then, consider what other pages would offer information to engage, entertain, or educate your customers and audiences. Those pages may include:
- Location pages if you have more than one physical location.
- Media page if you have news clips about your business to share.
- Testimonial and review page if you want to curate quotes from customers.
- Community outreach page if your business is involved with charity or community initiatives.
- Team page if customers would be interested in meeting the people behind your brand.
- FAQ page if customers frequently request the same bits of information about your business.
#3) Build an Editorial Calendar for Future Content
Once you have the essential pages for your website, consider what future content you will need. In this part of the process, your website content goals will be important. Refer back to your website goals to direct the type of content you will need for the future.
Create cornerstone content. Cornerstone content refers to the most important pages on your website. These are the pages you plan to receive the most traffic. Create a list of the cornerstone pages you have and the ones you need in the future. When you have a library of cornerstone content that is easy to reference, you can easily find the links you need to build internal links that boost on-page SEO.
Create supporting content. Supporting content refers to the pages on your website that promote your cornerstone pieces. Look at your list of cornerstone pages and consider how you can go deeper into topics related to those pieces. Create blog posts or pages that refer back to and link to your cornerstone pages.
Create content around keywords related to your products and services. Conduct keyword research to identify the terms people search for when looking for information about your products and services. Create content that targets those terms.
Create content around keywords related to your region. Local businesses should also do keyword research as it relates to your area. Consider if you need content that targets search terms that relate to product/service keywords as well as terms related to your neighborhood, city, and state.
Build a Better Content Strategy for Your Website
If you are getting ready to launch a new website, start with a strategy. Use it to outline your plans for building the site and developing it in the future. And if you already have a website but no strategy, use the tips in this guide to create a plan for your site.
If you need help putting together a content strategy for your new or existing website, let’s talk.
MyArea Network can help you put your website strategy on paper and in progress so you can get the most out of your local business’s website.