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Content Strategy: The Ultimate Guide

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Updated August 22, 2019
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Content Strategy
Bryce Boyle Hoban
Bryce Boyle Hoban

Bryce is a SEO Specialist and Content Strategist with Hook Agency – focused on creating content that attracts ideal customers for our clients websites.

A good content strategy will help bring in a few more website visitors to your site each month

But introducing a great content strategy to your marketing strategies will more than double your current monthly traffic.

Sound too good to be true? Well, we have the results to prove it — as we have averaged an 80% increase in monthly traffic for our clients after implementing our content strategy into their marketing initiatives – in just the first year.

But how do we get there? How does merely writing blogs and publishing new content on your site bring more users to your website?

Let’s break it down.

Content Strategy

3 Ways Our Content Strategy Will Drive Leads For You

Google Likes It

When it comes to content marketing, Google is one of your best friends.

Google likes — no, Google LOVES when you consistently roll out new content each week or so.

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New, well-written content is a compelling indicator for Google’s algorithm. This type of content shows that your website is both active and is adding new content.

As a reward for publishing new content, Google will also boost your search result rankings over time for your service pages and homepage.

So, let’s say that you’re a home remodeler that has been posting new blogs every week for the past year. Because of your consistency publishing and the quality of the writing, when people are Googling “Home Remodeling Services,” your service pages will get a boost in terms of where they rank.

The Osmosis Effect

We love the power that extensive, deep guide pieces of content can have on your website.

Not only do these broad, in-depth and detailed blogs position you as an expert on the topic, but it also drives up your website’s average “time on site” (or how long the average visitor stays on your site before leaving).

Time on site is an essential metric for search engines when it comes to determining which websites are valuable and which are not.

Search engines like Google see websites that have low time on site averages as being bare-boned and not containing much substance — causing users to leave the website quickly.

However, sites that have more substantial time on site statistics are seen as much more valuable, authoritative, and helpful for Google search users. Therefore, Google will reward your site by increasing rankings for pages similar to those of the in-depth guides you’ve created.

For example, let’s say a pet grooming business created an in-depth blog on all the different styles of cuts you can give a dog. All-in-all, the blog totaled 5,000 words and had some quality images and even a few videos.

After a few months, the page started ranking well for “dog haircut styles” and more and more people found the post and read through it. Google noticed this and subsequently categorized their website as being a quality one that users can trust.

As a result, when people Googled similar keywords — such as “dog grooming services” — their website was rewarded and placed higher up on the search results page.

These deep guides — or moonshot pieces of content as well like to call them — are a great way to lend some credibility to your site, as well as boost your SEO.

More High Intent Searches

The most successful pieces of content are those that have two things.

First, that content needs to be revolved around a keyword that has significant search volume.

But, on top of that, the keyword should have intent behind it.

To illustrate this, here is an example of a keyword that has high volume AND intent:

A custom business card company is looking to create some content that has extremely high intent. After doing some keyword research, they find that “how to design a business card” has a whopping 1.5k search volume.

In addition to a large number of searches, that keyword has a ton of intent, as people Googling that phrase are in prime position to purchase from the business card company.

So, imagine someone searching “how to design a business card.” They see the post from our fictional business card company, click on it, read the article, love what they see, and then eventually decide that they will be purchasing their new business cards from that company.

That’s the idea behind keyword intent: conversions.

Our Content Strategy Process

To achieve results for your business, we have created a tried and true content strategy process. Here is how we do it.

Initial Kick-Off and Understanding Your Ideal Customers

We’ll start things off with the initial kick-off meeting where we’ll get a chance to learn more about your business, as well as your business goals. At this point, we will also discuss your tone and brand voice that you want for your content.

We’ll then work our way towards discussing three of the top ideal customers that you currently have. The purpose of this part of the meeting is to get a better understanding of the customers you serve. Particularly, what their problems were that led them to seek out your business and why they eventually ended up choosing to go with your services or product.

This is similar to the “customer personas” you may have heard of or used in the past. But here at Hook, we like to use actual customers rather than anecdotal, imaginary ones. This ensures accuracy and legitimacy behind our content strategy.

Creative Title Ideation

After documenting your three ideal current customers, we’ll get to work on the creative portion of the content strategy process — which is content title ideation.

Based off of the problems your ideal customers have and the reasons they ultimately came to you, we will create titles for blogs that go from ‘awareness,’ ‘consideration,’ ‘decision,’ to the ‘final push’ stages of the conversion funnel:

Backed With Keyword Research

Of course, we also have to back up our ideation with cold hard stats. That’s where we bring in the keyword research.

Using keyword research, we will find specific keywords that correspond with our creative titles, as well as look for any other opportunities for content.

We specifically look for keywords with high intent, high search volume, and low keyword difficulty (the lower the difficulty, the easier it will be to get you to rank for that specific keyword).

We believe that having both a creative and data-driven mindset with the content strategy.

Once every funnel is filled out for all three ideal customers, we’ll start placing them within our content calendar:

Presentation of Content Calendar

We’ll then present our content calendar to you.

We treat this meeting as a workshop, where we will go through each month and alter any titles than need to be changed.

Reworking to Make Any Adjustments

Once we receive your feedback, we’ll make the necessary adjustments and send the content calendar back for review.

Once you sign-off, we’ll get started on crafting high-quality, high intent content for your site.

 

Top Content Strategy Books

Epic Content Marketing – Joe Pulizzi

Epic Content Marketing is an excellent read for those who are interested in not only learning best practices for content creation and strategy but are also interested in reading some fascinating case studies on brands from the past who have taken content marketing to the next level.

Buy it here.

The Content Strategy Toolkit: Methods, Guidelines, and Templates for Getting Content Right – Meghan Casey

For those ready to get started on content marketing but aren’t sure if they have the necessary resources to get it done, turn to the Content Strategy Toolkit by Meghan Casey. This book has everything you need to create content that will help drive more engagement for your business. It’s almost as good as having your own personal digital marketing consulting firm — almost.

Buy it here.

Building a Story Brand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen – Donald Miller

Get serious and intentional about your content by reading Donald Miller’s Building a Story Brand. The book will teach you the seven universal story points all humans respond to, the real reason customers make purchases, how to simplify a brand message so people understand it, and how to create the most effective messaging for websites, brochures, and social media.

Buy it here.

Content Inc.: How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses – Joe Pulizzi

The second book by Joe Pulizzi on this list, Content Inc. is a great read for hungry entrepreneurs who are just starting off with a new business venture. Pulizzi is considered by many to be one of the pioneers of content marketing, and his books are a must-read for those wishing to level up their content marketing.

Buy it here.

Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business – Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman

Content Rules does an excellent job at doing a deep dive into the many, many different types of forms and mediums content can take the form of. This book will also help you find your “brand voice” and how to distribute your content using social media to get the most out of it — because creating the content is only half the battle — you also have to get people to engage it.

Buy it here.

Content Strategy for the Web – Kristina Halvorson and Melissa Rach

Halvorson and Rach dive into content strategy and it’s business value, the process and people behind successful content strategy, and how to make smarter, achievable decisions when it comes to your content. It’s an excellent read, especially for those who want to improve the content on their website specifically.

Buy it here.

Contagious: Why Things Catch On – Jonah Berger

Contagious, written by Wharton marketing professor Jonah Berger, incorporates groundbreaking research with powerful stories to help you better understand what it takes to go viral and create “contagious” content. Whether you’re a small business owner or a partner at a large company, Contagious: Why Things Catch, will help you with your content marketing.

Buy it here.

The Content Code – Mark W. Schaefer

A pioneering book that explores the psychology of sharing, it is also highly practical, offering hundreds of ideas that can be used by organizations of any size. Book highlights include in-depth explorations on the connection between brand and content transmission, a focus on audiences that will move content, and the new role of promotion, distribution, and SEO in a very competitive, digital world.

Buy it here.

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Bryce Boyle Hoban
Bryce Boyle Hoban

Bryce is a SEO Specialist and Content Strategist with Hook Agency – focused on creating content that attracts ideal customers for our clients websites.

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