How you organize your content is a function of the goals you want to accomplish. But what should guide the process?
It really comes down to the master you want to serve. I see a few camps (sales first, audience first, you first) but I’m still working on that.
The first piece is choosing the measure(s)
Let’s say your goal really is helping the most amount of people. Okay so is money a good measure? It kind of is, right? It’s the signpost. But it’s also one of those weird things that creates tunnel vision when you focus on it.
Like short sighted conversion rate optimization activities that bump sales almost as much as they bump returns.
If you come from a product background, it’s optimizing for sales – how do we get more people to read the content to get to a point where we can sell them a product at the end of the funnel.
Coming from a search background, it’s optimizing for traffic.
So we pick a measure to start with and then we carefully add from there.
With search, you start by figuring out what types of things people are searching for at what rates and map their intent (needs, desires, goals) from keywords to topics.
Layering in comparative value
When you’ve set up goals in Google Analytics and assigned a dollar value to those goals, you can start using something called Page Value in sorting your top of funnel content priorities.
What’s an email subscription worth? Not sure? Just divide the annual revenue (of list related activities) by your list size to get a ballpark. I hate even recommending that, it’s a dangerous proposition as not all subscribers are created equally, and that’s part of the magic of layering in comparative value to a fine decision making process, but better than nothing.
Layering in comparative cost
The most fun thing about search as our example is very few people do this. Consider real measures of competitiveness like link velocity on competitor content or how strong/deep the competition really is for a topic, and could effectively estimate the costs of time and money in creating, improving, or promoting a single piece of content to outperform others’ content on a per page by topic cluster basis.
At that point you have a really solid decision making tool. You can sort opportunities based on lowest cost to highest value, filter by type of work (create new content, improve existing content, amplify), and already have your estimates for the amount of content creation or promotion efforts would be required accounted for.