Building a Website Content Map

You’ve surely heard the adage, “a jack of all trades is a master of none.” In other words, by trying to do everything all at once, you end up doing nothing satisfactory. Web content can fall into this same trap – which is why it’s important to have a website content map.

Some of your site’s visitors have just realized they have a need for your product or service. It doesn’t make sense to speak to them in the same way you would to someone who has their credit card in hand and is ready to make a purchase. 

Instead of trying to sell everyone right out of the gate, you would be better served by having different content that corresponds with different parts of the buyer’s journey. This will allow you to establish a relationship, build trust, and then, when the time is right, close the deal. 

And the best and easiest way to do this is by creating a content map. 

What is a Content Map?

A content map is the roadmap you will follow to deliver the right information to your targets at the right time. It’s a document in which you have laid out the stages of the purchasing journey for each of your buyer personas and mapped content to help move them along the funnel.   

To put it succinctly, it’s the who, what, when, where and why for each piece of content you’ll be creating. It’s also an excellent aid to creating a digital content strategy. 

Building a Content Map for Your Website

Step 1: Define the Who

To ensure your content is as effective as possible, you first need to have a clear idea who its intended target is. Take the time to research your audience so you can understand their needs, behaviors and preferences. 

Use this information to create your unique buyer personas. Depending on your business, you may only have one or two, or you may have as many as 20. If this is your first time creating them, start small. You can always revise later. 

Step 2: Map Out the What

Now that you have your buyer personas defined, you’ll want to identify the typical purchasing stages they’ll go through. Depending on who you ask, there are somewhere between three and six stages. 

For our purposes, we’ll stick to three: 

Awareness – This occurs when your target has a problem that they want to solve. They won’t necessarily be looking for solutions yet, but instead will be seeking generalized information about it.

Consideration – Now that your buyer is aware of his or her problem, they’re ready to start looking at potential solutions. They’re looking to learn more and aren’t ready to be sold just yet. 

Decision – Your target has explored their options and are interested in choosing one. They’ll read reviews, watch testimonials and seek out other information to help them make a choice. 

(If you’re curious, the others are “evaluation,” which is between “awareness” and “consideration,” and “retention” and “advocacy” which come after “decision.”)

Step 3: Deciding When and Where

You’ve connected your buying personas to sales stages, now it’s time to figure out what type of content will serve them best at each stage. To help with this stage, keep their needs and goals in mind while trying to consider which keywords they will be using as part of their research. 

Awareness Content – Content for this stage should inform the audience, giving them some background on their pain points, help them understand why it matters and suggest the next steps they should take. 

Good content types for this stage include infographics, e-books, white papers, how-to guides and blog posts. 

Consideration Content – The content you create for this stage will help your targets decide among their options. You want to show them various solutions and education them about them.

Content types that suite this stage include webinars, e-books, white papers, reviews, blog posts, tutorials and case studies. 

Decision Content – Content at this stage is used to convince your targets that your offering is best. This isn’t necessarily a sales pitch but is more tailored to demonstrating the benefits of your offering and establishing your authority. 

Some content you could use in this stage include product pages, reviews, case studies and demos. 

As you probably noticed, there’s some overlap between the types of content in each stage. While different formats may fit into different parts of the buyer’s journey, each piece of content should have a specific goal and be targeted differently.  

For example, in the “awareness” stage, you may have a blog or whitepaper titled “How to Save for Retirement,” whereas the blog or whitepaper you use for “consideration” will be something more along the lines of “IRA or Roth IRA: Which is Right for You?” For the “decision” stage, you could have a blog titled “Why Jane’s Money Managers Outperform the Retirement Market.”

Step 4: Map Your Content Keywords

In search engine optimization, content still remains king. With this in mind, your content map is an essential part of a good search engine optimization strategy – particularly when it comes to keywords. 

You’ll want to use content mapping with keywords for a few important reasons:

  1. It will help you avoid keyword cannibalization.
  2. It will help you determine holes in your current content strategy.
  3. It will help you identify pages that are underperforming in organic search.
  4. It presents opportunities for more long-tail keyword variations.
  5. It keeps your content in lockstep with your SEO. 

By now you should have a good idea of which keywords you want to target for SEO. If you haven’t already, make a list of these. Then associate each piece of content with a specific keyword. These should be unique to each piece. 

In other words, don’t have an awareness blog and a decision blog use “pizza cutters” as a keyword. You can group keywords together, but don’t have multiple pages competing for the same traffic. 

To take your SEO content mapping further, you can add a publish date for each piece to your content calendar and track the performance on a regular basis. 

Never Miss an SEO Opportunity

There are so many moving parts to every SEO campaign, digital marketing strategy and content plan that it can be easy for even veterans to overlook something. And that’s why you need evisio.

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