Now in part 3 of ‘Content strategy and the art of syndication’, we wrap up some of the more daunting topics such as whether or not to use templates, A/B split testing and finally optimising your content. If these articles haven’t helped you on your journey to content mastery, go back and read it all again (insert inspirational quote here).

3D rendered Molecule (Abstract) with Clipping Path

Using templates

If you really don’t have the time to spend on an article, there is always the option of using a template. Assuming you can find good templates, they are a great way to streamline the process of organising your thoughts and content.

Personally however, I struggle to enjoy content that is continually written in the same vain, and I find templates can be predictable. Contrary to popular belief, everyone does have the capacity to be creative, and writing a great article requires merely time, research and spell check (although spell check is unlikely to correct embarrassing grammar faux pas).

If you can muster up the patience to create content without a template, you will be surprised by the results. A few things to be mindful of, before you start staring out the window, would be:

Start with research – know what you are talking about, it’s also simply unethical to relay fictitious information, someone will believe it.

The fail-safe – what, where, when, who and how. You don’t always have to address each ‘w’, but if you’re lost it’s a great place to start.

Structure your argument – apparently not everything is an argument, but if you are trying to convince the user of anything, you need to structure your content in a way that best relays your idea or just your sales pitch. If it’s jumbled and incoherent, your content will be duly unappreciated.

Testing your content

What’s great about the internet is how much we can learn by analysing data and statistics. There’s a number and a statistic for every page on your site, so regardless of how you personally feel about your website, Google Analytics will tell you whether your shame or pride are warranted. If no one is reading past the first paragraph, perhaps it’s time to change your strategy. Better still, try spilt testing

Also known as A/B testing is a great way to learn about your audience and find ways to increase your conversion rates by giving them the content, design, functionality and user experience that they prefer by measuring your conversion rates.

There are a bunch of different split testing tools and calculators online to choose from. Additionally you can track events with Google Analytics in order to decipher any additional customisable data beyond that of the initial agreed goals and conversion rates.

Another thing to be mindful of is that you need to run tests on your pages with the highest traffic. The total number of participants and the number of conversions in each version will help you calculate the statistical difference you need in order to decide what is best for your website.

Optimising your content

The last stop on your content journey, is getting your content noticed by search engines. Your content MUST be unique, not stolen or spun. When search engines pick up duplicate content, only the first to be indexed gets credit for the content and is displayed on the results page.

Keywords help, but they aren’t everything. Keywords do help to attract search engines, but only if you have done your keyword research. There’s no sense in using keywords that no one searches for or if the competition is too high. The copy also cannot be stuffed with keywords, it still needs to make sense AND engage the reader. Don’t forget to try your hand at using long-tail keywords, thanks to hummingbird they really can give you the edge.

Lastly, metadata is what your tasty content sandwich needs to be wrapped up in. Metadata is just one more measure for your web developer needs to take in order to help your content reach the results page. Using metadata really helps search engines understand and gauge the content of your website.

And that’s all we have to say about content for the time-being. If you take our killer tips into account, your site will be well on its way to web domination.