Content Planning for the New Year

Content Author:
Hannah Schultes
Content Planning


Like many projects, websites start strong with strategy and planning. Many site owners come to us with a clear website purpose and build page content out to support their goals, then sit back and watch as their newly launched site begins to generate traffic and leads. Where we see many goals fall flat, however, is with the content creation after a site launches. As projects begin to pick up speed, other demands take over, and there is less time to focus on content creation.

Why is content creation important?

Regularly publishing content for your target audience helps to establish your website's authority. The more quality content you have for people to refer and link to, the higher search engines will rank your website. Producing regular content also gives visitors a reason to return to your website. For most website goals, that increased traffic means more conversions, or goal completions!

Choosing the proper channel

Begin by determining which content resonates with your audience the best. One place to look for this is in your website analytics. Which type of content do you find your visitors returning to? Is there a commonality among the most popular pages?

If you have external communication channels such as social media or email, see if there are content patterns from your visitors across those platforms. Perhaps posts about upcoming events are garnering a lot of attention. Your audience may be interested in a new set of research you're highlighting. If these are topics that you can expand on your website, your audience may be interested in hearing more! Consider featuring a blog post about the research or a news item about the event. Look for trends within your audience's behaviors.

Next, take a look at your competitors' websites. Is there content on those sites that yours needs to include? If you are missing important topics or trendy items in your industry, you are also missing all of the potential traffic that comes with it!

Content planning is also a great time to encourage collaboration among teammates. Ask your team if they have any topics in mind that could be added to your site to improve your authority. Highlight some of the experts on your team to your visitors.

Calendarize your content

Once you've curated a list of topics to publish on your website and determined which topics fit best in which channels, organize your topics by date. Begin with a calendar model. Fill in any recurring or known events, then plug in your list of topics based on where they make the most sense. If this is your first year of preplanning, aim for one topic a month or a topic every other month based on resources. Prioritize content based on feasibility and goals.

Set up KPIs for success

Ask yourself what successful content planning looks like for your team. Perhaps publishing a new piece every month is an achievement in itself! Keeping your website top of mind with fresh new pieces throughout the year is nothing short of an achievement. Take it a step further and set specific KPIs (key performance indicators) for your content. Determine an appropriate goal number of impressions for each piece or a goal for the number of shares and backlinks the piece gets.

Remember to be flexible with your content. As the year progresses, unexpected occurrences will mean a shift in your time, resources, or appropriate topics. Continue to check in with your calendar and prioritize what will benefit your website the most. And don't forget to have fun with it!