Content Gets you Customers  - Case Study

You have a website and now you are ready for work. The thing is that your online business is really dependent upon your website’s visibility which means that you need SEO.


Most company owners get at least that far before they get bogged down into details. SEO? What kind of SEO? From whom? There are practically as many firms out there as there are websites to SEO and understanding what you need and how to get it is crucial to getting the customers you need to help build up your online business.


Hot on the heels of the Google Panda Update the most important aspect of SEO on a website which you can control as a website operator is Content Creation. Now here comes the paradox which will become a deal-breaker for many websites as far as their Google ranking is concerned. Content creation is what many webmasters were haphazardly engaged in before. Some created content willy-nilly, others stole it, others still bought it and much of what they had bought was either spinned content or stolen content and some operators scraped websites and piled the content into their own.

Google’s Panda Update is targeting many aspects of a website and one of them is exactly this kind of content. This puts pressure on website owners to generate constant, quality content. The rewards can be high as the case study we look at below reveals. The trick to succeeding lies in being able to put in place a Content Creation Strategy and then maintain it month in month out.

In our case study this was tough for a small team in a small venture capitalist firm. For a sole operator the difficulty is even greater. Following the case study there are some tips on how you can do it on the tightest budget possible.

 

How a Small Firm Created a Winning Content Creation Strategy

Openview are a small venture capitalist (VC) firm looking to invest in promising partners. Being small they face all the pressures a sole operator or a two-person outfit do:

1. They rely on their website for their marketing.
2. They have a limited budget.
3. They have limited manpower.
4. They have a limited skillset when it comes to content creation.
5. They cannot successfully market outside the web.
6. They need targeted visitors who will not waste their time.
7. They know little about SEO.
8. They understand the need to be visible online.
9. They understand that what they can’t do themselves still has to be done.
10. Their content needs to reflect their very specialized niche.


In their many variations these are the pressures many website owners face and it is these which, unless they are solved, tend to break an online business, condemning it to the particular hell of never been able to get off with a start good enough to help it meet its potential.

The OpenView marketing team had a small advantage over most website owners. They were relatively inexperienced with the web and therefore did not know what they ‘could not’ do. They took the view that anything was possible. They read some books on how content could help them and they brainstormed a little and they even got an outside consultant involved to help them create a content strategy which would work for them.

By the time they were finished their content creation strategy looked like this:

Three channels of content:

1. Company Blog
2. OpenView Labs which provides resources for managers
3. OpenView Site 

These three channels need in total Monthly publishing goals:


-    One case study or research report
-    25 articles
-    About 200 summaries of articles from elsewhere on the Web
-    Four podcasts
-    Around 25 videos

While this may sound like a lot in the course of a month it isn’t. To put it into perspective HelpMySEO.com is run entirely by me and it has 60 new articles and tips added to it every month and I am not working on it all day, every day.

Because the OpenView team could not write they outsourced the creation of much of the content they needed (more on how to do that without breaking the bank at the end of this piece).

The end result of their strategy which is still going on is that their website traffic went from less than 4,000 visitors a month to over 8,000 visitors a month and their blog, where most of the content is posted, gets 12,000 visitors a month.

Their subscribe newsletter currently has 5,000 subscribers. The success of their content creation strategy in getting them traffic is setting them up for the next phase of their online marketing which will involve ways to capitalize on these numbers through Newsletter Marketing and specific online promotions.

None of it would have happened had they not decided to get down to controlling the one element of SEO which they could control: content.


How to Get Quality Content Cheaply

Unless you have some journalistic or creative arts background it is unlikely that you will be able to create all the content your website needs yourself. The days when you could just get by with product descriptions or spinned content are now long gone.

It is inevitable that you will need to create some content yourself. Openview in the case study above do create their own case study and videos each month. The rest of the content they need is based on the topics worked out in their content management strategy and these are outsourced.

OpenView work on a total budget of $5000 USD per month which, for a company of their size, is not a lot to work with. I know that there are many startups which have even less and some sole website operators can just about afford $200 USD.

The trick is to make each dollar count and work really hard for you. For quality outsourced content try:

1. Craigslist
2. Junta42
3. Guru

For the real budget conscious  try Fiverr where you can get content written up for just $5.00 USD but here you will need to do due diligence, stipulate that it has to be original at the very start of the project, check it with Copyscape afterwards and know that from month to month you may not be lucky enough to find content providers. On the plus side it is just $5.00.

Now that you know how a company which really needed targeted traffic if it was to survive, did it, there is no real excuse for not applying it to your own online business.

Working online is always tough. Especially when you are running your website on your own and find the day to day stuff of running your business sapping your time and energy.  You really need to get your content strategy in place and then work to make it happen.

 

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