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Content is the cornerstone of any marketing strategy, and it is the most important piece of your website.

Whether you are publishing articles to promote your products or your articles are your product, your content needs to be top notch to get the traffic and conversions that you want.

You need to develop a strong content strategy to guide your efforts and get the best results. To start, you need to learn how to analyze your content needs at any stage of your marketing, whether you are just starting your site or you are trying to revive a site with flagging traffic.

Perform Keyword Research

Keyword research is ground zero for any content strategy

But you shouldn’t perform keyword research at the start of your content strategy and then never do it again. Ongoing keyword research should be a key component of your content marketing efforts.

Use the Google keyword tool and other tools that not only provide you the statistics for the terms you enter but also offer suggestions for related keywords. You may find that even a minor tweak to your search string, such as using “lawyer” instead of “attorney,” may yield you more search traffic.

Your keyword research can also uncover interests and problems that your audience has. For example, many people search for answers to a specific question, and that question will show up as a search term. You can then create content providing the answer to that question or various solutions.

Check Out Your Competitors

Your competitors are just as hard at work at reaching your audience as you are. Checking in on what they are doing can give you some great insights for your own content.

You can learn many things from your competitors, such as the type of content that your audience wants, the best time to share that content, and the best channels on which to share it.

Pay attention to what articles are getting the most comments and what social posts are getting the most likes, tweets, and shares. Then think about what it is about that content that is generating engagement: Is it the topic? Is it the way the headline is written? Is it the time of day that it was shared?

If the same content is shared across different channels, pay attention to how it performs on each to get an idea of where your audience is engaging the most.

Interview Clients and Prospects

One of the easiest ways to find out what content your clients need is to ask them.

You can do this by talking to them in person or by holding a focus group. You can even ask them in more informal ways, such as through your call to action.

For example, if you write a roundup of the top bloggers in a certain niche, you can end your post by asking what other bloggers should have been included on the list. That can let you know what other sites your audience loves.

Social media, surveys, and even ads are other ways to measure user interests.

Your research should focus on finding out what kind of content your audience needs, where they are most likely to look for that content (such as in a blog post, a video, or a social media post), and when they are most likely to access that content.

Experiment with Length

Customers will respond to different content lengths at different times.

When they are rushed for time at work, they may prefer to skim an infographic or a light article. When they are in the thick of the buying process and are doing more research, they may want a more in-depth article that is backed up by a lot of stats.

Experiment with different content types and lengths, including videos, articles, social media posts, and more. Check your analytics to find out what types of content are performing best. Perform A/B testing so you can narrow down the results and determine if the length or the content type has the most effect — or if it’s both.

Test Publishing Times

Often, the subject matter you write about determines the best time to publish your content.

For example, if you are writing about marketing, you will get the best results by publishing during the day when professionals will be on the hunt for this information.

Your analytics can also help you determine the best time to publish information. Comb through the analytics on your blog and on your social media channels, as each of these can yield different optimal times for publishing.

Take advantage of all the tools at your disposal to improve your content strategy, such as your analytics, keyword research software, content curation software, and more. CodeFuel offers many tools to improve your engagement and advertisement strategies based on optimal placement of your content.