Optimize for search and for mobile. This step is essential. According to one study, search contributes about a third of the traffic that websites receive. The principles of good search-engine optimization (SEO) must be applied to every piece of content as you create it, not just after-the-fact, in the metadata. Who is your audience? What answers are people looking for? What keywords will they use to find those answers? That’s what you need to know on the front end. You can certainly extend your reach by crafting sharp headlines, managing the on-page SEO, and building a diverse but relevant link portfolio — but you extend it all the more when the content itself follows best SEO practices. Also create content with mobile in mind. Think carefully about how the length of your message, the formatting, visual elements, and links will shape user experience. The better the experience, the more likely customers are to stick around and absorb the message. Design a modular but cohesive content plan. You can increase your impact by creating “content modules” — small bits of content, each with a targeted purpose, that can be used in a variety of ways. For example, a blog post can be excerpted to provide social media status updates, included in your e-mail newsletter, syndicated on LinkedIn, and more. But each module should also plug into a clear narrative arc. In a screenplay or a novel, that arc follows the hero’s journey; in content marketing, you use it to guide the buyer’s journey. The typical arc goes from broad (for instance, who we are and why our brands can help solve people’s most urgent problems) to narrow (the differences that define a superior product or service). To build a cohesive user experience, map out how you’ll use these modules to tell your story from beginning to end. Get the full story at Harvard Business Review