The Ultimate Content Marketing Checklist
Ah, checklists. There’s nothing more satisfying than the sense of accomplishment you get after crossing off every item.
To not deny you this simple pleasure, we’ve decided to put together a series of digital marketing checklists to help you feel unstoppable and, of course, make sure your websites are getting the attention they deserve.
Next up: content!
The Ultimate Content Marketing Checklist
1. Have a 1:1 with Your Strategy
When’s the last time you checked in with your strategy? If it’s been a minute, consider this your first big step.
Start by getting down to the hard facts: what’s working and what’s not? Have your goals changed? If so, what new KPIs are you looking to track? Will you need different tools or platforms to achieve your (new) agenda?
Answering these questions and others will help you develop a content strategy that both your brand and its users will be much more content with.
2. Tune in to Trends
Listen up: trends are your friends.
Evergreen content is always fun and valuable, but sometimes it just can’t beat the engagement you get from capitalizing on a popular topical topic. Whether you hone your search and social listening skills or set up an insane amount of Google alerts, make sure you don’t miss out on any timely content opportunities.
3. Refresh Valuable Content
Did last year’s content calendar have a few good hits? What about a calendar from 3, 5, or 10 years ago? No matter the amount of time that’s passed, give your previous content pieces a much-needed glow-up for a chance at earning more clicks and conversions in the present.
That said, always be picky about what you choose to perk up. Why? Because refreshing all your content will only prove a waste of your time. Stick to fixing up pieces that have given you results before or those that truly deserve a second chance.
4. Ditch Old or Duplicate Content
It’s sad, but it’s true: old or duplicate content needs to go.
Holding on to these old or duplicate pieces for too long can have major consequences for your site. Too much content may decrease your site speed, and too much of the same content may lower your SERP ranking.
Our advice? Offer a few fond words of farewell and then hit delete – your site will be better for it.
5. Make New Content in a Human Way
Now, we’re not saying that you’re an alien trying to pass as human online. But seriously: with semantic search becoming more and more people-savvy, it’s clear that content made for actual humans is the way to go.
When you get a new topic or query to work with, really think about how someone would want to receive information about it. Don’t just write or design for the sake of doing either – provide real insights through your unique brand voice and UX that are as authentic as they are approachable.
6. Check Your Sources
With misinformation on Google’s watch list and E-A-T principles becoming more and more important to users, content marketers need to triple-check the sources they pull key information from.
Our rule of thumb? If you can’t identify a fact or statistic from a primary or peer-reviewed source, it’s not worth including in your content – period.
7. Edit, Edit, Edit. Then Edit Some More
When we say edit, we’re not talking about being grammatically snobby.
We’re talking about making macro and micro revisions that lead you to the best possible content. Find a balance between keeping best practices top of mind and remembering to make frequent optimizations as time goes on.
8. Get Technical with Your SEO
Once you’ve got new content to work with, make sure it works at its very best by getting your technical SEO squared away.
Broken links? Fix them. URLS? Clean them. Core metrics? Update them yesterday. Consistently boosting your site’s backend efforts will only lead to better, faster, and more valuable content.
9. Monitor Your Content’s Performance
Once your content is up and optimized, all that’s really left to do is monitor its performance.
Monitoring your content will look slightly different depending on which software your brand prefers. Regardless, paying attention to an array of valuable metrics will help you figure out what, if anything, is causing users to bounce, opt-out, or unsubscribe.
10. Repeat on Loop
We know, we know – this isn’t how a checklist is supposed to work. But still, it’s not enough to do the above steps just once a year!
Feel free to bookmark this list or favorite it to help you prioritize your content marketing all year long.
Need Help Checking Off Your Content Marketing To-Dos?
Sarah Kincius is a Naperville resident and student at Loyola University Chicago. She loves going to the Green Mill to read whatever’s etched on the bathroom stalls (and to listen to the music, of course). Sarah is currently teaching herself Italian from a book she found in Wisconsin.