What is content development?
Developing content is all you do before, during and after content creation to ensure that what you produce is valuable to readers and search engines. This includes analysis to identify a need for content, investigations to decide what content to create, and measurements to see how that content works.
Great content never arises for its own sake and never accidentally. It serves a commercial purpose, and how well it serves this purpose depends on the integrity of your content development process.
Like the stars, there are a lot of them, and it can be used as a navigation system for content marketers. It guides you in deciding what content to create.
How exactly do you develop data-driven content? We've created a map that lets you set a course for the ROI.
- Identify your target audience: Who are you trying to achieve?
- Compare your current performance with key figures: Where are you now?
- Develop a content strategy to improve these metrics: Where are you going?
- Conduct keyword research: Which keywords will help you?
- Developing content briefs: How do you rate these keywords?
- Create and promote the content: The part where you do that thing.
- Check the metrics: Adjust the course, stay calm, etc. based on your findings.
Never make assumptions about who reads your content.
For example, your most avid readers might not be buyers. Some may not even have commercial value. Brafton learned by analyzing his Google Analytics and CRM data that:
- Our most avid blog readers are influencers, not buyers. That is, they affect our buyer personality, but they do not sign the checks.
- Not all our readers are of commercial value. CRM findings revealed that the 18-24 age group is mainly interested in internships and information for school projects.
These insights have helped us to develop highly-specific reader personalities that we should focus on when creating our content.
Key data sources that can be used to restrict your audience include:
- CRM: Contains information about each incoming lead and customer, including the reason for contacting them, the content that prompted them to do business, the information they provide, the products and services they have registered, and the survey data available.
- Google Analytics: Shows you the demographic data of your audience, including various types of site metrics (contact requests, clicks, number of pages visited for each session) for this demographic data.
- Your sales teams: They can provide anecdotal guidance on which audiences respond well during demos and outbound calls, and help identify the most important vulnerabilities they encounter.
Once you have a clear idea of who your readers are, which of them has commercial value, and how much, your true audience will come into focus.
This is the part of your data-driven search in which you judge what you are doing well and where you are not.
Just as sailors have a compass and a sextant, Google Analytics and Search Console let you find out where you are.
Google Analytics not only provides details about your target audience, but also gives you an idea of the performance of your website based on important metrics:
- sessions: Each session begins when a user arrives at your site and ends when he leaves the site. How many do you have?
- Unique sessions: The number of unique users who have performed a session on your website.
- Session length: The average duration of each session.
- Pages per session: The number of pages a user visits in each session.
- Time on page: How much time was spent on a particular page.
- Bounce Rate: Percentage of sessions ended after a visitor has seen only one page.
- Page views: Total number of pageviews on your site that are visible to the entire domain or just to individual pages.
- acquisitions: The sources of traffic to your site (organic search, direct, email, others).
- conversions: Number of target completions performed by a user (for example, completing the form).
Google Search Console rates your website search Performance with key metrics like:
- Impressions: How often does one of your page URLs appear on organic search engine results pages (SERPs)? You can also rate the impressions by domain to get the total number of pages on your site.
- Interrogate: Searches that generated an impression.
- clicks: The number of times a user clicks one of your URLs in the search results.
- CTR (CTR): A ratio of clicks to impressions.
- Average position: An average for the rank of your website in search queries.
Surveying the data from Google Analytics and Search Console will give you a better picture of your audience, the main sources of traffic, the effectiveness with which you engage users, and other important insights that influence your content strategy.
All of this will be crucial for the next phase of web content development.
One of the hardest parts of data driven content development is finding out exactly what the data means. There is no X marking the point. Each Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is a kind of clue to what you did wrong and what action might be taken.
For example: At face value, high pages per session are a positive KPI. It seems to indicate engagement. They liked the first page so much that they switched to another one on your website.
However, if the average time on each of these pages and the duration of the session are short, this can be a sign that users are browsing your website page by page for information they simply can not find.
This may be because your UX leaves something to be desired, or that your landing page copy and frequently asked questions do not cover the right topics.
The only way to be sure of what you are doing is to turn over a few stones.
In the above scenario, perform a UX scan and run your landing page copy with a tool such as MarketMuse to determine which topics you should handle to better fulfill the intent of the viewfinder.
Take some time to study the data in detail. They will not come across gold every once in a while and trigger some wrong trees, but that's all part of the content development process.
Do not assume that you can solve your problem by creating more web content. It must be the right content for your problem.
If you're creating web content, such as landing pages and blog posts, you'll need to tweak them to get a rank in the search. You want your content to appear on the first results page, as it accounts for 95% of web traffic.
A ranking on page 1 is no coincidence. To find out which keywords the web users are actually entering into a search bar, investigations are required. Each content you create should attempt to rank one or more of these keywords.
You can identify keywords that match your industry by using legitimate keyword search tools, such as:
- Moz Keyword Explorer.
All of these criteria include key metrics for each keyword, including:
- Search Volume: A measure of how many people search for this keyword on a monthly basis.
- Difficulty: A score that predicts how difficult it is to rate a particular keyword.
Try to select keywords with a monthly search volume of 50 or more and a medium to low Keyword Difficulty (KD). It might be worth comparing the difficulty level with your domain authorization. As a rule of thumb, we target keywords that are 10 points or less than our domain authority. For example, for a DA of 60, a keyword difficulty level of 50 should be the limit.
Often, it makes more sense to develop a content marketing strategy that targets many keywords with less monthly search volume and less difficulty, rather than putting resources into a highly competitive keyword that you'll never get ranked for.
If you rank successfully on low-search keywords, you'll likely rank for variations of the term. This increases the overall search volume you get by targeting this topic.
In addition, having a good ranking for each keyword, including a low-volume keyword, will impact your search experience. If your content is searchable, it's more likely to be seen by anyone searching for those keywords.
This in turn increases the likelihood that content will be shared on social media and ultimately linked to other blogs. These backlinks increase the authority of the page and thus improve domain authority – and that has a big impact on your search performance.
The point is that long tail keywords – and low commercial keywords – are still of high value to your audience. An example would be "how to develop a content strategy". Do you remember how we said that we found out that our most avid reader is an influencer?
Well, "how to develop a content strategy" is exactly the kind of question these influencers could ask themselves.
By answering these questions, we get the chance to place them on the Internet and strengthen brand awareness. Long before we got this chance, we figured out who they were by identifying our target audience and what they're looking for by doing keyword research.
Long-tail keywords and low-commercial keywords are still of high value to your audience.
In addition, we considered carefully how to rate the keywords in our content to get to the next street of our journey.
What does a content description include?
An analysis of the high-level website content for each keyword.
The results of this analysis are then presented as instructions for inclusion in the content to rank for that keyword. A brief overview summarizes, for example:
- Average word count.
- To answer main questions.
- Secondary keywords to include.
- To discuss important topics.
- Meta description.
This is a critical aspect for proper search engine optimization (SEO). By carefully analyzing the content that Google considers most relevant to your target keywords, you do not have to guess at the content. Think of this as reverse engineering the best content on the web.
Tools like MarketMuse and the SEO content template from SEMrush help to automate this process. You're analyzing SERPs so you do not have to switch from search result to search result to determine how many times certain secondary keywords have been used. Include this information on your behalf and use it to develop ideas for content.
Finally, start creating your engaging content.
Keep in mind that gated assets such as white papers, case studies, and eBooks are not visible to Google crawlers. That's fine, as it's all about channeling your top-of-funnel traffic deeper into the sales funnel. If your audience is excited about your blog posts, you're more likely to receive an email address to subscribe to a newsletter or to download an asset that provides deeper insights into a topic.
The content development process for assets with deeper funnels is slightly different, but the goal is the same: they should deliver relevance and quality. Consult subject matter experts in your organization when needed – just make sure the content you provide does not spoil subscribing.
When it comes to SEO, it can take 100 days for some of the site's content to be fully "mature" in its ranking, meaning that its position in SERPs can fluctuate during that time.
Otherwise, it is never too early to pursue success.
Some KPIs are pretty simple. If your last eBook gets a lot of downloads, you've probably done a good job promoting it on your website, in your blog, and on social media.
Take another example: A recent blog post gets tons of page views. Just because it kills in that sense does not necessarily mean that it is killed in search. This success could be an indicator of a highly successful email marketing strategy. In that case, the only way to know for sure is to analyze traffic sources in Google Analytics. And yes, traffic is almost always a good thing, whether it comes from an email campaign or a search.
However, when reviewing metrics, it's important to be specific. This will help you understand why certain numbers are strong and others weak, so you can repeat your achievements and avoid making the same mistakes twice.
No movement is wasted on data-driven content marketing
Digital marketing is a journey without end. However, there are goals and milestones that you can only achieve through targeted, data-driven decisions.
And on the way to these goals, you may even be off course and haunted by odyssey-like events – changes to the Google algorithm, new SERP features that affect traffic, and so on.
But with data you are never really lost, even if you are not where you want to be. It is always a next step to do, and there is always a new goal within reach.
Note: We are not the author of this content. For the Authentic and complete version,
Check its Original Source