In a world where content remains king, when it comes to SEO there are two primary types of content at the core of most successful strategies: onsite and offsite. According to the Content Marketing Institute, in 2017’s study, 72% of B2C marketers stated that higher quality content creation contributed to increased success, while 53% attributed success to improved content distribution. With content clearly acting as a driver for better business performance, it can be difficult to determine which type of content is right for you and your business.
While both onsite and offsite content have their merits, and both are incredibly important for a healthy SEO strategy, they have different benefits. So how can you determine the best content approach for you and your business?
Before an offsite content strategy is even considered, your onsite content needs to be addressed. Onsite content refers to all content on your website – be that guides, help pages, how-to pages or FAQs. Without content on your website, there is no website and no reason for users to stick around. But what are the benefits of a solid onsite content strategy?
Often the aspect of content marketing that first comes to mind, offsite content is content created for the purpose of link building in order to improve your website’s DA and, as a result, your page ranking. While creating linkworthy content is no mean feat, with 65% of marketers in agreement that link building is the most difficult marketing tactic to perform (Advanced Web Ranking, SEO stats report 2017), this content is also expected by customers. According to the 2017 Meaningful Brands survey, 84% of people expect brands to provide content that entertains, tells stories, provides solutions, and creates experiences and events. So what benefits can you expect from great offsite content?
Understanding the benefits of both strategies is only part of the battle. Of course, we would all like to reap the rewards of both by implementing a full strategy, however this is not always immediately practical. If you need to select one to begin with, you need to assess your goals and the current infrastructure of your website. While it can be tempting to jump straight into the ‘fun bit’ of creating large scale research projects visualised in stunning images and data visualisations, if the content of your actual website is particularly thin this is probably not the best approach.
Where You Are – Your website has a basic infrastructure, but little additional content.
Your Goal – You want to drive more users onsite, targeted for your specific business focus. You want to rank for strategic keyword terms for your industry, but haven’t targeted them yet.
Solution – If the above sounds like your business, onsite content is the logical next step. As mentioned previously, content pages onsite are the basic building blocks of any website. Without these, there is nothing for search engines to index, and with no content there are no pages to help you rank in the SERPs.
If your website is thin, there is little point in you diving into offsite content as it’s unlikely this will rank and if you do, it’s likely you will see a particularly high bounce rate as users won’t stick around.
Where You Are – You’ve nailed content onsite, now you’re looking for the competitive edge.
Your Goal – You want to improve your DA and page rankings and are also interested in increasing brand awareness and authority.
Solution – A good onsite content strategy is key to improving your DA and page rankings. The additional benefits, mentioned earlier, from gaining coverage in high authority publications also mean that awareness of your brand will increase which is a great way to build a new audience or broaden your current one.
When it comes to offsite content it’s important to always consider that you’re creating this content to appeal to a journalist or a user – not as a branded piece for your website. It’s key to not get too hung up on ensuring the content looks exactly like your site, as branded pieces will often be called out by journalists for looking too much like an advertorial. This in turn can prevent you earning links and coverage.
Once you’ve established which content strategy you want to employ, it’s good to follow best practice steps in order to ensure the content you create is as effective as possible. We’ve pulled together some criteria to help you produce successful content below:
When looking to pull together your onsite strategy, it’s important to ensure these boxes are checked.
According to a study by Venngage, in 2017 67% of marketers rated infographics, charts and data visualisation as the most engaging type of visual content. However, these are not the only types available, and creating graphics on just any topic will be unlikely to result in a successful link building campaign. Some key factors to consider are:
As we’ve discussed, the choice of which content strategy essentially boils down to your business aims and needs. It’s important to understand the difference between the different types of content and when to use both to ensure your content strategy is effective.
In summary, the key things to remember are:
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