​Selective Content Creation: How to Identify What to Write

28 January 2016

Selective Content Creation: How to Identify What to Write

There is a danger, when planning a content marketing strategy, of creating any old content for the sake of it. It is important to understand that just posting a new blog article or video is far less important than what the video or post actually contains.

In fact, creating content without first analysing what would be beneficial to your site is a waste of time and resources, and risks having irrelevant or unhelpful content cluttering up a website.

There are several useful steps that can be taken to identify what content your website actually needs. These include looking to what your customers want, analysing search results and assessing the content you already have.

What do your customers want?

The best way to find out what your customers want is to ask them directly. It is relatively easy to set up surveys using Survey Monkey or Google Drive and you can ask specific questions to find out what your customers are looking for.

You could promote the surveys via pop-ups on your website or via email after a purchase, and use the insights you gain to plan for future website content.

Another opportunity to find out what customers want is to talk to your customer service staff, or to monitor ‘live chat’ or customer service channels on your website. There will no doubt be questions or issues that come up repeatedly, which will demonstrate that either content needs to be created to answer those questions, or that content that already exists on the topic is too difficult to find.

What can search results tell you?

We can get so enmeshed in using complex keyword research tools that it is easy to forget that we can also learn a lot from a basic search results page.

If you have an idea for a piece of content, carry out a Google search and look at the results that already exist for those keywords. Is this content decent? Is it comprehensive? Is it factual or salesy or entertaining? Could you do a better job?

Understanding the results that Google is returning for keywords relating to your content idea is important if you are to have a decent chance of competing for the top spots in those search results.

When you have chosen your content topics, look at your website and decide whether you already have anything you can work on and promote, or whether you need to start from scratch in order to create content that will rank highly.

Auto-suggest and the ‘Searches related to…’ box at the bottom of a search page can also provide valuable content ideas that are related to your original search terms.

What can your existing content tell you?

Setting up conversion funnels in Google Analytics lets you follow your prospects along their conversion journey on your website. By tracking conversion paths, you can see where, in your funnel, your prospects are losing interest and leaving your website. This information can tell you a lot about what is – and isn’t – working on individual pages of your site.

Do a disproportionate number of browsers leave your website on one particular page? Use Google Analytics to find out, then carefully assess this page to analyse what is going wrong. Consider split testing alternatives to find the most successful approach.

Or do you have a page that is responsible for a high number of conversions and sales? Study this page, too, to see if you can identify what is the cause of its success. Then repeat this throughout the site, as appropriate.