So, in just a few months it will be the holiday season. This means that all businesses are looking for more sales, so they can end the year with a bang! In today’s topic, we have how to cook up a great content marketing guide.

Let’s face it. One of the hardest recipes for marketers to make is delicious content that keeps people coming back for more. Too often, content marketers approach it the way some people test if spaghetti is done cooking – throwing it on the wall and see if something sticks. That’s not how we do it, and you shouldn’t as well!

Content marketing is most effective when you follow a very simple recipe with only five ingredients that you probably already have!

#1: Goals & Metrics

First, start off with a full cup of goals and metrics. Like any great recipe, we’ll need to understand what we want to accomplish, our final result, Our perfect ready-made dish. Well, how do we go about that?

Content audit

First, start with a content audit, because that will help you align your content strategies with your business objectives. A SEO tool like Semrush can help you set goals and metrics to improve your SEO results. 

semrush content analyser

The Content Audit tool helps with the first goal of identifying existing content that has great potential to rank high. You’ll also get insight to know what contents should be updated, or even that old stale stuff that should just be tossed out. 

semrush internal link

And don’t forget about internal links! The Site Audit tool will help you really dig into internal linking to help you bake your SEO from within.

Boosting engagement

And next off, We want to boost our engagement. As displayed above in the Content Analyzer tool, you’ll be able to see a much clearer picture of the types of content that actually matter to your audience. Use this information to refine the topics of actual interest and how those topics can simmer in social media.

Metrics and file structure

As for metrics, if you’re a little lost and don’t know what to look for, you can create an Excel file with all the URLs that you have collected from our content audit. It should also include a small description, the H1, the word count (which is not exactly important, but still nice to have.) The publication date is really important, because it helps us to understand what content might need an update in the future. A tag will help us understand what’s the topic of the content, the author, and then a column that checks the target of our content and the type of content. The groups you can create will help you to line out more or less, a more organised distinction between all the content that you have.

Check user behaviour and sales

And here are the most important metrics, the keyword volume, which is our main target keyword, what type of volume it has, And then data from Google Search Console and Google Analytics. And of course the registrations, because we always hope that those clients will then become converting leads. You also want to check the user behaviour on the page, the engagement, and don’t forget the key metric of all which is actual sales!

#2. Content Inventory

Next off, we add a few generous tablespoons of content inventory into the mix. All great chefs know what’s in their cupboards and the same holds for marketers. Know what you’re offering! Be it blog posts, videos, PDFs, interactive tools, landing pages, all of them.

content audit

Create the list of all the URLs for content that you want to track and analyse. Launching the audit of your inventory is really easy. Check a few boxes and you’re totally ready! It can line up easily with your existing site.

And if you don’t have a site map, no problem. We can substitute our site map generator. And remember how important the metadata is for great SEO? Our content audit tool can help you highlight gaps that you might’ve missed so that you can quickly fix them.

#3. Data

Our next ingredient is data, lots and lots of data. However, collecting SEO data can be a real pain. Unless you use something like the content audit tool that we just talked about.

content marketing guide

With a few clicks, you can automatically gather all kinds of great data. This includes social shares by channel, backlinks and other details. Rather than gathering for hours manually this information, a great SEO tool will serve it up to you easily so you don’t have to figuratively run back to the store.

content marketing gsc

You can even link up your Google Analytics and Search Console accounts for even more details about sessions and pageviews. Semrush also has a post tracking tool to help you zoom in on hidden details about guest posts you’ve contributed to third-party sites and more. All of these details let you make smart decisions about what content you need to keep updated or delete.

#4. Action Plan

Now we’re going to add our fourth ingredient: mix in a dash of action plan. Here’s where our earlier ingredient – goals – comes into play. We want to prioritise them and determine how achievable a goal may be along with the effort required to drive real results. Let’s take this to the individual URL level, make a simple spreadsheet of the content pages you want to address. You’ll likely find ways to repurpose existing content or craft it in a different format. You may find underperforming blog posts that need to be rewritten or expanded. Maybe even just with a little refresh to make it more current.

And remember our blog post about common SEO mistakes? It’s very important to structure your H2 and H3 tags because that can make a huge difference. And it doesn’t take a lot of time.

#5. Flexibility

And last but not least: flexibility. We’ll always need to adjust our content marketing strategy. That’s why doing audits periodically can really help us identify successes and assess all those projects that didn’t come out of the oven in the way we hoped for. Our suggestion is for you to do that at least once a year. Watch your competitors, and keep an eye on your industry trends and topics. In fact, if your industry changes really fast, you may need to do the audit more than once a year. Some brands may even need to do this on a monthly basis. Just look at what is best for you and for the industry you work in.

And that’s all from us today! If you like our content, make sure to check out more SEO and content writing tips and tricks! What are your secret ingredients that you put into your content marketing recipes? Feel free to share them with us!