The Answer to Our Most Frequently Asked Content Question

So, your company is creating great content, but what’s the best way to get it in front of your audience? We’re often asked about content placement, which can be as important – if not more important – than the content itself, especially if you invest a lot of time in resources in creating that content in the first place. Here’s our most frequently asked question about content:

The Answer to Our Most Frequently Asked Content Question image Content Placement 300x265Content Placement“I’m publishing a new page of content. How do I drive traffic to new pages of content on my site if they aren’t linked to from top navigation pages? And, how would a customer stumble onto specific landing pages?”

First, it’s always good to congratulate and encourage clients who see the value of content and are actively engaging in a content strategy. There is a lot of strength in valuable content (in many forms; video, whitepapers, images, etc.). Ultimately, this content is what people consume to get them one step closer to conversion.

There are two parts to this question:

1. Internal Linking:

One of the ways that search engines and users find a page is through a robust internal linking structure within the domain. To help establish this internal navigation, there should be links to and from a page within a site. Two good rules of thumb to develop this link structure is to think about the following:

A) The natural progression of a sales/conversion funnel within your site. If a user comes to a page, what is their natural next step (or steps)? Make it easy for them to navigate within your site.
Note: All pages don’t always have to have a link from the primary navigation, but important pages should be close to the root domain or easily accessible to a user (not excessive clicks to get to it). And again, all pages should ultimately follow the sales funnel/natural user path.

B) The page’s natural authority on a specific subject. Each page should have one thing it accomplishes really well (explaining a product or a core competency for example). There should not be multiple pages that serve this page’s exact purpose, supporting pages are great, but there should only ever be one authority on a page. That way, a concise flow/user navigation/crawl path is born. Identify what the page is the authority on, and then always use this keyword (or subject) as the anchor text on other pages within the sales funnel. A page should provide detailed content on the subject that is sharable and engaging to users and able to be seen by search engines.

2. How a user might come across a specific landing page:

Users are able to easily access pages on a domain not only from navigating within the site (as we discussed above), but also from clicking through to it from search engine results pages (SERPs).

In order for them to see a page in a SERP and ultimately click through to it, the page must be A) indexed by a search engine, and B) an authority on the subject. Remember, how much of an authority it is determines it’s ranking on the page, so quality is important.

The way that a page may be indexed is by a search engine accessing the page through a site crawl or an xml site map, or via a link to the page. Here are some ways to improve indexation:

A) Site crawl: Websites are routinely crawled via search engines looking for updated/deleted/new pages. When an internal linking structure is present, the search engines are able to uncover new pages on a domain and add them to the index.

B) XML site map: Be sure to update the XML site map (not to be confused with HTML site map) with the new pages. Make sure to update it on the site (ideally, it’s located at http://www.domain.com/xml-sitemap) as well as updating it in Google Webmaster Tools.

C) Link to the page: When a search engine is crawling another domain (x) and comes across a link to another domain (y), it will follow that link and note that domain “y” gets some credit for “x” thinking it’s valuable.

Pro tip: If a page is particularly authoritative or robust, share it across social networks whether they be the brand’s or the community around the brand!

Easy, right? What other questions about content do you have? Feel free to ask us anything in the comments below.

Need a little help getting your content marketing efforts off the ground? Download The Enterprise Blog Post Optimization Guide today!

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