Creating and managing content for the web

Checklist:

  • Choose the right Hosting package;
  • CMS¹ set-up, back-ups, speed and security;
  • Plugins and widgets;
  • User experience design and accessibility;
  • Keywords, search terms; SEO and ranking;
  • Analytics and performance;
  • Writing for the web;
  • Copyright;
  • Typography and the structure of text for web;
  • Designing or commissioning content for the web;
  • Managing deleted posts, pages and redirects;
  • Blogs and Social channels;
  • Categories and tags;
  • Online shops and booking systems;
  • Contact forms;
  • Web forwarding;
  • Regular site checks and security updates;
  • Basic CSS and HTML.

(¹WordPress Content Management System). 

 

 

content-design-workshops-for-beginners

What is content design?

A few facts:

  • Preferred tools are listed as WordPress blogs (highest), followed by LinkedIn (highest for B2B), Website Analytics and Keyword Search.
  • 87% of UK Marketers use Content Marketing and that figure is forecast to rise.
  • 93% of UK Marketers use blogs as a tactic.
  • 80% of UK Marketers use social channels of which the most successful are listed as Email, followed by (in order) LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.

Ashley Friedlein in Marketing Week forecast the User Experience (XP) and the Conversational User Interface (UI) as areas to watch in 2017 together with video channels YouTube and Facebook.

“Over 2017 it will be interesting to see how the video wars play out between Google’s YouTube and Facebook, and also the degree to which brands work more directly with Google and Facebook, which threatens to relegate the importance of the agency relationship.”

He explained the Conversational User Interface (UI) as “find me three of the best tents that sleep up to five people for under £300, get a good answer, and then purchase, all by voice”.

Start with a list of keywords

Start with listing your search engine optimisation priorities, your keywords and phrases. Then think about the customer journey.

Be clear about the creative objectives for your content plan

A customer journey starts with awareness, moves to being a prospective customer and then becoming a customer. Create the right content for the right part of the journey.

  1. Awareness: educational, thought leadership
  2. Prospective customer: information, promotion
  3. Customer: reinforce value, right choice

Curate your content in a professionally designed, creative way

Here are some general guides for some of the most popular choices :

  • Blog posts: 300-700 words;
  • Downloadable guides or fact sheets: Usually 1 sheet, double sided (quick, easy to digest);
  • Publications and documents: Usually 60-160 pages. These can be recycled into smaller promotional content;
  • eBooks: Usually 4-5 pages to 50 pages (good for thought leadership and knowledge transfer);
  • Infographics: easy to understand, highly visual, good for getting attention
  • Videos:  Usually 20-30 seconds, 1-2 mins maximum;
  • Slideshows: Highly visual with very little text (promote on websites and social channels);
  • Simple interactive games and quizzes: lighthearted, good for social channels, events and customer experience (CX);
  • Print: a revival is forecast, good for brand recognition, value.

Monitor and track your content against your creative objectives

Decide at the planning stages how to measure the impact of your creative content. It could be the number of social shares, keyword search performance, downloads, enquiries and/or actual sales. How you measure will depend on the creative objectives of the content.

Sources

Content Marketing in the UK 2017: Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends

The Year Ahead in Digital, Marketing Week Part 1 and Part 2

 

 

 

 

creative content management

Content planning

This post explains the steps for creating the right message for the right audience.

Audience research

  • How much do you know about your audience?
  • How much do you know about their interest in your subject?
  • How much do you know about their preferred media content channels?

You can find out a lot of information from media content channels and by conducting your own survey or poll.

Tone of voice

Understanding your audience will help you understand how to communicate with them. Think about the tone and style of your communication? Who are you talking to? Make sure you fit the communication style to the audience.

It’s helpful to collect examples of creative content from organisations with similar objectives.

Customer journey

A customer journey starts with awareness, moves to being a prospective customer and then becoming a customer. Create the right communication for the right message for the right part of the journey:

  1. Awareness (educational, thought leadership, branding);
  2. Prospective customer (information, promotion);
  3. Customer (reinforce value, right choice).

Message

What do you want to tell people? How are you going to get the audience’s attention? Knowing the message is one thing but how you present that message is quite another. Designers take the message and come up with a creative concept to match the audience values.

Creative formats

Some of the most popular forms of digital communication:

  • Blog posts: 300-700 words;
  • Downloadable PDF guides or fact sheets: Usually 1 sheet, double-sided (quick, easy to digest);
  • Publications and documents: Usually 60-160 pages. These can be recycled into smaller sections or different creative formats;
  • Ebooks: Usually 4-5 pages to 50 pages (good for thought leadership and knowledge transfer);
  • Infographics: easy to understand, highly visual, good for getting attention;
  • Videos:  Usually 20-30 seconds, 1-2 mins maximum;
  • Slideshows: Highly visual with very little text;
  • Simple interactive games and quizzes: lighthearted, good for social channels, events and customer experience (CX);
  • Print: a revival is forecast in 2017, good for brand recognition, value.

Measurement

Did the creative solution deliver on your objective? Again, keep this focussed. Develop different messages and creative solutions for different aims.

Digital tools such as google analytics will track the number of downloads, search performance and online interaction.

Structuring text for search engines

Copywriting for the web means structuring your text for search engines like google and bing. A human being enters a keyword or phrase. A google bot and other web crawlers crawl the web by following links from one page to another to find content that matches the keyword or phrase. These are then ranked for the human to view. The human then makes a choice or choices based on what the search engine lists as a snippet.

A snippet looks something like this in a search engine

copywriting-for-seo

Guidelines for choosing a focus keyword

  • Choose one focus keyword or phrase for each page or post you write.
  • Make sure it is specific to the subject of your post/page and different from other posts/pages.
  • Check how it performs in search engines before you start writing.
  • When you are happy with your focus keyword weave it into the structure of your text.

Guidelines for structuring text

The focus keyword or phrase for this post is ‘Copywriting for SEO’.

The focus keyword appears:

  • At the beginning of the title (Heading 1)
  • In the url
  • In subheadings (Heading 2-4)
  • In the first paragraph
  • In the main body of text (keyword density)
  • Images: the filename, title and alt tag for images should contain the focus keyword. (Set these in the WordPress media library).
  • Include inbound and outbound links

The structure of your post or page should end up looking something like this (I’ve used latin text as placeholder text):

Guidelines for text structure (Download the PDF)

Measure for organic success

Keep an eye on how your post or page performs in search engines.

Yoast & Squirrly provide WordPress plugins which provide a host of free features to help you deliver on your search priorities. Plugins can upset some of your WordPress theme features so check the plugin is compatible by first testing it with your theme.

This post was written for a workshop on Copywriting for SEO.