One of the most common mistakes in e-commerce and content marketing is trying to do too much at once. Whether it’s a PPC campaign that includes every possible keyword or a content strategy that’s less strategy and more throwing everything against a wall – it all leads to a resource drain and leaves marketing at a standstill.
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Those “of a certain age” (like myself) remember when newspapers and print media were the prime form of communication. I remember popular columns that were a mishmash of everything. The columnist could essentially dump a wide variety of ideas into a single article. The “potpourri” of topics not only didn’t hurt, but it was part of the column’s appeal.
But what might be charming for a Sunday newspaper reader doesn’t work in the online world. People look for focused information. If you write a “mishmash” or “potpourri” column and post it online, what keywords do you optimize for? If, by some miracle, your piece ranked high in search, how quickly would it drop as readers realized it wasn’t the information they were looking for?
Most online content publishers aren’t going to post something that’s a wide range of off-the-cuff ideas, and e-commerce firms have no need to do that. But there’s still a simple lesson that we should re-learn—the tighter the focus, the better off you are.
Let’s say your client is a financial services firm. Individual tax planning is part of the practice, so you decide to produce a blog post on how people can lower their tax bill. It’s pertinent at tax time and has evergreen value after that. Also, you determine people are entering the phrase “lower my tax bill” into search engines at an acceptable rate.
It would be easy to think that a wide-ranging article about ways to keep your taxes down is the way to go—everything from investment strategies to deductions to tax shelters. You’re tempted to lump it all in since you’re also tasked to sell your client’s investment counsel.
The result might be a piece of content that doesn’t get read by anyone. For the keyword you’re writing for, it would be better to focus on short-term tactics people can use in the next six weeks to “lower my tax bill.” A topic like “Five Quick Ways To Lower Your Tax Bill” with some simple bullet points sends a clear signal to search engines on what your topic is about.
Focus Each Channel
You can still take the longer view and write a separate piece of content, perhaps called “Investment Strategies To Lower Your Tax Bill And Enhance Your Retirement”. Then each article can link back to the other. Ensuring that each individual content piece has a narrow focus, you increase the chances for success.
The same “tighter the better” logic applies throughout the marketing process. What services are you attempting to sell with each single piece? What keywords are your PPC campaigns targeting? Draw your focus as tight as possible and keep all marketing avenues working in harmony.
Two Way Benefits
The benefits are twofold. First, the tighter focus is more likely to produce the results you’re looking for. Second, if it doesn’t work, you’ll know what people aren’t looking for, so you can discard it. If you spread your focus out among eight different concepts, you won’t know exactly why they succeeded or failed.
Writers and advertising strategists are creative people, and they generate lots of ideas. Harnessing that creativity and giving it a laser focus is the responsibility of the smart SEO analyst.
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