Your Everyday SEO Checklist For Content Performance Marketing
By Collette Easton ~
What is Content Performance Marketing?
The marketing lexicon was not short of a new field, but sometimes because of the way digital marketing evolves it’s necessary. So why did we need the term Content Performance Marketing and what is it and why is it different Content Marketing?
Let’s start with Content Marketing where the most used definition is:
“Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
This is a great definition on many levels. Our favourite bit is the word ‘valuable’. Why? Well imagine creating content that wasn’t valuable? Or focusing on creating content that where there was uncertain value? The irony is a majority of the web is populated with zero value content.
So if it’s good what’s wrong and why Content Performance Marketing? Firstly we are not proposing Content Performance Marketing as a replacement. If anything it’s a more focused niche of the far broader Content Marketing catch-all. And in its areas of focus you’ll find the detail that matters and a framework from which value can be targeted, delivered and measured.
The content marketing cycle is typically broken into 4 areas. Plan, create, publish and measure.
Content Performance Marketing is about detail and specificity. So let us be specific.
- Plan: Planning means using data to understand demand and value, then having the ability to spot gaps and opportunities. It’s purely about ROI and as the highest content ROI is often search related, much of the planning is built around search data.
- Create: Creation is more than having a page on a topic. It’s about having a great page on a topic. A page that understands consumers and how search engines like Google might be evaluating it against in order to determine its visibility.
- Publish: Publishing content is a click of a CMS button. But with Content Performance Marketing is about ensuring that click happens when key stakeholders like the SEO and CRO teams have been involved. Is the information architecture optimal? Is internal link equity optimised? Is the next click considered and planned for?
- Measure: If content is planned to capture value, then measurement should be focused on whether it achieved those objectives. The contents performance. So Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) that are traffic and value centric are more appropriate than shares.
Which means Content Performance Marketing is very similar. It’s just a more commercial beast.
When you talk a lot about being data and value driven, measurement and ROI, it’s assumed that creativity suffers. This is absolutely not the case. Value can not be achieved unless the words and graphical elements are the best they can be. Poor or even OK content does not get the engagement or have the performance Content Performance Marketeers require.
Content Performance Marketing & Molecule
Molecule are the Content Performance Marketing Agency. If your website’s content needs to increase its value and ROI we’d love to talk to you more.
An SEO Checklist
Here’s an SEO checklist you’ll find useful if you’re thinking about Content Performance Marketing.
It’s not a full and extensive list as it’s not trying to be a complete technical audit checklist. It’s designed to help everyday content publishers think about optimising new and existing content to perform.
So here we go, an everyday SEO checklist for content publishers:
Where in you information architecture is the page you’re publishing going to live? What folder would in naturally live in or do you need a new one? Is it short, clean and descriptive?
Page Title Tag
This is a copywriting exercise all by itself but limited to about 58 characters. You want to appeal amongst a screen of other similar search results.
Your page title needs to match the intent you think the consumer has, the page delivers and keywords being targeted. Your brand name also can help with click-through rates.
Which brings me on to click-through rates. If Google is also looking at organic click-through rates, as we suspect then having a more appealing Page Title may also help you rank higher. Got to be worth the extra effort.
This is the same story as the Page Title Tag except you have 150 – 160 characters to make your result sizzle whilst being relevant and accurate.
First Headline & Copy
Like with any form of content, the first headline and copy really can make a user stay and engage or bounce. To make them stay they need to think they’re in the right place based on what they were looking for. Once you’ve got them hooked, we want them to dwell and engage.
Is your content complete? Have you covered the topic in sufficient depth? Would someone who knows the area consider it authoritative and trustworthy?
Image File Names & Alt Tags
Images can really add value and we’re investing more than ever in lifting our content with great images. Not naming your image and not adding an alt tag is not going to help increase your page’s relevance or get your images to rank for image searches.
Internal links can be a great way of boosting the visibility of your best content, and if you want people to navigate to your best content, linking to it is also good for users.
The things you need to be thinking about are: Where is your content getting its links from and how many is it getting? Is your content part of the main navigation, is it linked to from category pages, product pages, all of the above. Can relevant links be created from within content as well? Are the internal link anchors descriptive of what the page is targeting and about?
Redirect / Canonise Other Content To This New Content
Has your content replaced topic on a similar theme, should your new content be considered the new ‘best’ content on the topic on your website and therefore you would rather it found than your other similar pages?
Mobile Friendly & Fast
Test your content to see if it is mobile friendly and test whether it’s fast. If there are issues you’ll need to try and resolve them but this might not be quick as they can be developer tasks as opposed to writer tasks.
Your speed test might show that your images are too big and slowing your website down. If you can compress your images and make it load faster do.
Full Technical SEO Audits
These checks for most are going to give your content every chance of performing. It doesn’t mean that full technical audits are not a good and necessary activity. They really are, they are not an everyday activities though. Their frequency will depend on your website, your market, your technology stack and factors like trading territories.