There’s a (relatively) old adage in SEO and digital marketing that “Content Is King.” No matter what changes Google makes to its algorithms, and no matter how marketing strategies change, having quality content on your website is always vital. It’s how search engines know you are an authority in your industry, and it also keeps visitors engaged on your website — which leads to more conversions. However, simply putting words on your website doesn’t cut it anymore. Google’s crawlers —pieces of software that analyze your website — are becoming increasingly smart, and can virtually read your website on the same level that a human can. Creating a content marketing strategy is crucial to making sure you get the rankings you need on search engine results.

What Kind of Content?

In general, there are two types of content: evergreen and topical. Evergreen content is essentially what it sounds like. It never becomes outdated, or at least it will be quite a while until it does. For instance, if you run a coffee shop, a blog about how coffee beans get from the tree to the cup would likely stay current for many years. After all, beans have been harvested, roasted and ground for centuries, even if the way each step is done has changed a bit.  Evergreen content makes for great landing pages, FAQs and blogs, and shows Google that you have an authoritative, knowledgeable voice in the industry. Topical, on the other hand, deals with much more current events and news. Typically, these pieces of content may deal with company or industry news, or other topics that may be outdated or otherwise have fallen out of interest relatively quickly.  For instance, if your coffee shop hosts an open mic night, you would want a blog about it to announce it. Done in the right way, topical content can spike your business’s popularity, which gives you an increased audience in the long run.

The Power of a Calendar

One of the most common stories for small businesses is: “We started writing more content, but then we kinda forgot about it.” That’s where a content calendar comes into play. Sit down at the beginning of each month (or each quarter, if you’re especially bold) and figure out what kind of content you want to create and share that month. Be sure to factor in holidays and other special occasions, such as the anniversary of your business. This is the perfect time to do keyword research for your industry. Figure out what keywords are best for you to target, and be sure to implement them in every piece of content you write. Decide your budget for your content marketing strategy, and what the best balance of topical vs. evergreen content is.

Some industries may have daily news to choose from for topical content, for example, while others will need to rely on evergreen content. Once that’s decided, figure out your topics, leaving spaces in your calendar for breaking news. Be sure to follow that calendar, posting on time, every time.

I’m Not a Writer! If you aren’t a great writer or simply don’t have time to worry about that side of marketing, you aren’t alone.  Thousands of small business owners across the country rely on experts to handle their marketing for them. Whether you do your content marketing yourself or hire an expert to work on your behalf, make sure your content is of high quality.