Blair Wadman 4 minute read
April 24, 2016

Focus on content over SEO or advertising

A lot of people focus on SEO (including keyword research, link building, competitor research), Adwords, Facebook advertising and a social media strategy to drive traffic to their website.

These things do have a place, some of the time. But I have found them to not be the most predicable and sustainable route to driving traffic and building awareness for your brand. If you invest time and money into SEO techniques, Adwords campaigns and Facebook, you are putting your business in the hands of gatekeeprs that are liable to change their terms (which they do, all the time).

I don’t focus on any of that for my business. Instead, I focus on three pillars of sustainable traffic growth:

Let’s look at each of these in turn.

1. Create high quality content for a single audience

Creating high quality content takes practice over a period of time. You will find your own voice and develop your own style and learn what resonates with the community you are serving.

The following are the guidelines that I have developed for my content, which you can use for inspiration:

2. Publish regularly

It is important to not let your website go stale as this will lead to your community forgetting you exist! So try and publish content on a regular schedule as much as possible.

Keeping an editorial calendar can really help with this. You can mark up a schedule of blog posts in your calendar application of choice (or physical calendar if you prefer). I use Trello for this as it allows me to move articles through various stages (writing, being editing, reviewing, published) and set a date for each.

3. Create awareness for your content

You can’t assume that if you build it they will come. It is vital to build awareness for your content. You should aim to get to the point where community members share your content for you (see point 1 about it being high quality!), but in order for them to share it, they need to know about it.

Here are some ideas on how you can build awareness for your content:

SEO second

By focusing on creating quality content, you will over time start to get traffic from search engines. You may even start to tweak your pages to optimise it for the search engines. But you are likely to get better results focusing on the the content for your audience, and the problems it solves, first.