How to Increase Your Online ROI through Building a Solid Content House

Originally published on Content Strategy & Marketing Course by Julia McCoy

What if I told you quality content isn’t enough to gain you content marketing success? Because the truth is, it’s not.

You can post tons of content online, but unless it’s backed by content strategy, it’ll be like going on a journey without a set destination and map; or like building a house without the blueprints.

So, how do you implement content strategy so you can start seeing real results in your content marketing? The truth is, it’s an extensive topic. That’s why I go in-depth into it right here in this course and in my book, Practical Content Strategy and Marketing.

In this article, I’ll narrow down and share with you one concept in content strategy I teach in both my course and book: A concept I call the “content house.”

What is a Content House?

Content strategy involves determining the core content your brand will create, then building a house around it. Here’s what the house should look like:

We’ll look deeper into each level of your content house in a minute. For now, think of your content house as your authoritative online presence. It’s the voice that calls to search engines, “Hey! We’ve got excellent, stand-out content here!”

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Where to Build a Solid, Lasting Content House

It’s essential to build your content house on your own turf: your own website. Why?

Years ago, I had a contributor account on HuffPost. Since HuffPost has a huge following, guest posting on the platform was a great opportunity for me to expose my brand to new people and link back to my website.

However, in January of 2018, HuffPost announced it would kill its contributor program. That meant shutting down the accounts of over 100,000 contributors! Almost overnight, I lost my contributor login and access to all my posts.

But did it ruin my online presence? Did I lose a ton of leads when I lost those guest posts? No. Far from it! Because I’d focused my primary efforts on building my content house on my own website, I lost no traffic with the loss of my HuffPost account and guest posts.

My content house was still standing strong because I’d built it on my own platform: my own website. In fact, I lost no traffic with the loss of my HuffPost account and guest posts.

Of course, guest posting, social media, and marketing on other platforms are important. But they’re only the roads that lead to your strong, solid, lasting content house.

Steps to Building a Content House that Increases Your Brand’s ROI

1. Get to Know Your Audience

The base of your content house is a deep knowledge of your audience, realistic content personas, and a list of long-tail keywords.

When building a house, the most important thing to consider is who will live in it. Are these people affluent? Do they love luxury, or would they rather keep things simple? What is the main goal they want to achieve by having the house built? Comfort? Security? Bragging rights?

When you know the answers to these questions, it’ll be much simpler to craft the house’s blueprint. The same is true when you build your content house. Before anything else, you need to know who you’re creating the house for.

This means knowing your audience. You need to dive deep into your audience’s: once you know your audience personally, it’ll be simpler to build your house with content that speaks directly and intimately to them and results in higher conversion.

2. Create Realistic Personas

After you’ve dug up facts about your audience, it’s time to create personas for the content you’ll write.

To do this, go across the data you’ve gathered about your audience. As you sift through the information, you’ll notice a number of trends standing out. For instance, the majority of your audience is male. These men are over 40, and they’re worried they haven’t saved up enough for a comfortable retirement.

Once you discover a trend, lump the information into a persona. For instance, you can call this guy Worried Walter. How can your brand help Walter? Can you offer him expert advice on investing? Help him determine how to choose an insurance plan that fits his lifestyle and spending capability?

Every time you sit down to write, pull up Walter’s persona from your file. Add a photo to go with his details. When you share this persona with other members of your team, it’ll be easier to craft consistent content your audience will devour.

3. Do Keyword Research to Find Long-Tail Keywords to Optimize Your Content Around

To find high-ROI, long-tail keywords to use in your content, you can use tools like SEMrush and KWFinder. Remember, long-tail keywords work better than short keywords most of the time.

When making a list of long-tail keywords for your content house, it’s an excellent idea to build an editorial calendar. This will help you schedule content to write around keywords and when to publish each piece on your site.

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4. Quality Content Creation, Done Consistently

When building your content house’s structure, focus on best practices for crafting high-quality content.

With content creation, quality is always better than quantity. However, don’t forget to be consistent.

5. Optimize Your Website’s Pages with Your Long-Tail Keywords

Optimizing for SEO is essential. How can readers see your content if Google doesn’t find it for them first? To optimize for SEO, use your chosen long-tail keywords in all your content.

Put them in your blog, your landing pages, your ‘home’ and ‘about’ pages. Always remember, however, to use keywords naturally. You shouldn’t have to count them. Simply craft content addressing a long-tail keyword topic, and the keywords will flow effortlessly into your piece.

6. Protect Your Content House with a Roof

Make a mistake with your content, and your whole house can come crashing down on you.

For instance, your site’s landing page is trite, boring, and lumped together into one never-ending paragraph. Will people be interested to click through to other pages?Of course not. They’ll click the back button like it’ll save their lives.

The best way to watch out for content that isn’t performing is to attach metrics to every single piece you publish. Metrics and maintenance are the roof of your content house. By helping you weed out bad content, they protect your house from damage.

The Benefits of Having a Solid Content House

Your content house is your brand’s online presence. Which means you shouldn’t build it on someone else’s real estate. And you need to take care to construct the foundation, structure, and roof precisely and skillfully.

When you put all elements together, you have a solid content house. Because it’s packed with high-quality content and valuable keywords, it won’t take long for both Google and readers to discover it.

The result? Greater authority online, a ton of new leads, and higher ROI.

Originally published on Content Strategy & Marketing Course by Julia McCoy

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