As you begin to deploy your 2022 content strategy, we thought it appropriate to highlight common mistakes content editors, strategists, writers and perhaps even directors, were still making in 2021. Here’s the top-five offences of the past year.
1. Not creating a content brief
A common misconception about content briefs is that they’re a tool solely for agencies, strategists and editors that assign articles to a team of writers. That’s Cork Used Bicycles Shop untrue. Content briefs are essential for anyone crafting a piece of content for online publication.
Think of content briefs as roadmaps for content creation. They’re often utilized for blogposts and articles however can also be used for infographics as well as longer form pieces of content such as white papers, studies and guides. They should include the goal, synopsis, working title, estimated length, internal and external links, audience, funnel stage — and most importantly — the keyword list. A content brief is a living document that continuously evolves. Taking a rigid viewpoint on what information it may contain could limit your content and its subsequent ranking potential.
2. Ignoring the SERP
The search engine results page (SERP) has a wealth information to use when building a content brief. When an article lands on your editorial calendar, or better yet while you’re still considering the topic’s merit, it’s the idea time to visit the SERP. The key terms included in the title and description will help you determine whether the idea has weight.
Type these terms into the search bar and study the page. This initial research will reveal a variety of insights. The predictive text will provide common variations on your title. You’ll see who’s currently ranking for the topic and what angles have been pursued. If competitors are ranking well, you’ll want to input that URL into an SEO tool to gauge what keywords were used. Taking this step helps you develop an understanding of the environment your content will soon enter.
3. Dismissing competing content
Is it worth your time to attempt to rank for a topic that’s already been exhausted on the web, like “best luggage for winter vacations”? If you didn’t consider what’s already been written for a topic then you’ve put a leash on your content piece. It will enter the vast sea of similar content pieces with a diminished chance of ranking.
Google favors unique content. So those existing pieces are worth a read. Determine what are the gaps in those articles. What angles haven’t been covered? If everything else you find is a listicle, you might to consider a step-by-step tutorial or narrative format as an alternative.
Don’t forget your own competition in this regard. Consider creative ways to separate yourself from the pack. Perhaps they’ve cornered the market on a certain topic, but the information is organized haphazardly. Build on what they started by having easier to read sentences, on-page links to related articles and detailed information on categories they haven’t covered.