If you have been into digital marketing and SEO for a long, you would have now known what matters the most to be successful in SEO.
For years, SEO pros have come up with new theories, but marketers like Neil Patel have always stuck to a single notion- Content is everything.
Since the release of the Hummingbird algorithm update, the creation of SEO-optimized content has become more crucial.
In theory, it might sound easy, but are we doing enough to create a solid SEO content strategy?
Many SEOs believe that they are doing enough to create SEO-optimized content using a keyword research-like strategy. Keyword research is undoubtedly an excellent way to begin, but it doesn't give closure to your content.
In this article, we will be sharing the SEO content strategy and various optimization techniques to achieve higher ranking and maximum visibility.
What is an SEO?
Search Engine Optimization is a process that improves the visibility of a website in search engines.
It is a set of techniques used to improve a website's rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs). In simple words, SEO is a set of strategies that help you to get more traffic and high rankings to your website.
Google uses various factors and metrics to prioritize the search engines and rank the ones with higher authority and greater relevance.
SEO has become a crucial part of digital marketing and plays a vital role in its success.
To get a higher ranking on SERPs, the most important factor is content creation which helps you to increase your visibility and ranking in search engines.
Content marketing is the most effective way to generate leads, increase brand awareness, and ultimately convert those leads into sales. The best way to ensure that potential customers see your content is to create an SEO strategy in tandem with your content.
What is Content Strategy for SEO?
Content strategy for SEO is a strategic approach to creating, delivering, and measuring content that will positively impact the online search engine ranking.
A content strategy should provide a clear vision of what your business needs to achieve and how to achieve it. It should identify the core content and deliverables that your organization will create.
Remember, you are not writing content for the search engines but your target audience. However, there are few On-page and Off-page SEO optimization strategies that are noticeable by Google.
And, they are a strong ranking signal as well.
A need for a planned content SEO strategy is utmost when you have a clear business objective in mind.
Scattered and unorganized content will be challenging for search engines to index, identify your area of authority, or rank your site pages.
That's when you need to create and set up a content strategy for your business.
Ways to Easily Set Up an SEO Content Strategy
Now, you might need this playbook to create a solid SEO content marketing strategy for your brand.
So, don't hesitate to take a look at this. It is a simple yet effective content strategy template to help you create quality content for your brand.
Know your Target audience
With SEO, the focus must always be towards the CRO (conversion rate optimization) as well.
As said, the content is for the audience and not for the search engines.
So, the game begins by knowing your target audience. They are the people who will be using your website, apps, and other online marketing tools. Content creators need to understand their audiences before they can make good content for them.
A few questions you need to get a hunch about the target audience:
- Who are your ideal customers? What is your target market? Know your customer's demographics, age, gender, and all other relevant information that you need to filter out the target audience.
- Who are your competitors in the same industry? Now, this is most crucial for success. Your competitors are the ones who will be having a tough time beating you in your niche but they are the ones who are going to give you a clue about their winning strategy. Know their content types, content formats and fill out the content gap if any.
- How do people use your products or services? Think about how customers go about using your product or service.
- What products do you offer? If you are a food truck, then it is obvious that you need to offer food. If your company is in the B2B industry, then know what type of products they sell and how people use them.
All this comes down to one agenda; solving the target customers' pain points and offering them the best products and services solution.
Create a list of Topics
As you already know the type of content your target audience needs, it is time to make a list of topics.
Do not create an entire blog post on each topic. As mentioned earlier, focus more on one niche and publish few related posts or deep dive into one subject.
The key to success in the first place is to find a topic area. A topic area is a term to define the information or a broad topic that you can provide to the target audience which sets you apart.
To find the list of topics, make a list of few terms close to the products and services you offer. Now, use an SEO tool like SEMrush or Ahrefs to find your key terms' search volume and competition.
You will be able to generate a few short-tail keywords as well using this tool. But, this is not the end! Create a list of 10-15 such keywords with decent search volume and find the closely related keywords.
For example, a plumbing company would want to write an article on washable tiles. But, that is a massively competitive keyword.
Hence, the best practice is to find a keyword around this topic. You can also use Google autosuggest or the Google trends-like tool to generate more topics.
Create a list of long-tail keywords
Creating a short-term keyword around a popular topic such as SEO or digital marketing is a waste of money!
The main keyword is a popular one, but this is the only keyword to bring traffic to your page. Using closely related keywords or long-tail keywords can improve visibility and bring organic traffic from different searches.
When creating a pillar topic for your main keyword, use the long-tail keywords to create various content clusters to comment users with the information and increase relevance.
Perform keyword research
The essential step in creating the content strategy is finding the right keywords that drive traffic to your page.
Now that you've got a list of words and phrases conduct keyword research to finding the variations of keywords.
Use keyword research tools like SEMRush, Ahrefs, or the Google keyword planner to find the related phrases, questions, and terms. The best part is getting insight into the monthly search volume, backlinks, keyword difficulty, and other vital metrics.
Time to create a content
Now that you have the list of keywords that can boost sales and increase ROI, use them in your writing pieces.
No matter what type of content, information, and answer is provided on the site, make sure that they are delivered to serve the searcher's intent.
Furthermore, over-optimization and under-optimization might be where you are missing. Here are the quick tips to keep in mind:
- When you have the list of keywords, start building your pillar content. Use different kinds of information to get visitors to your site and offer them what they are looking for.
- Don't inject too many long-tail keywords or exact keywords into the page. This may be a red flag for Google and the consequences of keyword stuffing are already known.
- Optimize your content for the On-Page SEO to enhance the SEO and content marketing efforts. Use relevant headings and subheadings. Use header tags like H1, H2, and H3 and meta descriptions.
Create a content editorial calendar
A planned blogging schedule will ease your content marketing efforts and help you to stay on track.
A weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly planning is essential for creating a routine that will help you create valuable articles that your audience wants to read.
Use scheduling tools like Google Calendar, Apple iCal, or Outlook to ensure that you don't miss critical posting dates. Review the editorial calendar regularly to stay updated with what is happening around you and keep your audience interested and awaited about your next topic.
Create a solid link building strategy
After creating the right content and optimizing it with the keywords, it's time that you create the backlinks.
Link-building is the process of attracting inbound links to your website. It involves building relationships with other websites, blogs, directories, and social media sites.
Link-building is an essential part of your SEO strategy as it gives the search engines a signal that your content is valuable for the readers. The more valuable links to point to your content, the more trust your page gains in the eyes of Google.
And, the secret to this is to create high-quality content that satisfies the searcher's intent. Make sure to use the stats, infographics, and other relevant data in your content to make it more linkable.
Furthermore, use the internal links to connect two pages of your site. Internal links are the primary ranking signals as the search engines use them to crawl from one page to another and understand the relevance of the content. Hence, the best practice is to link the pages to a high authority page of your site, like the homepage.
Use the variations of anchor text, and link building process must look natural to the search engines.
SEO Process to implement
Once you have your search engine optimization strategy, some other things need to be done to continue optimizing these strategies later.
Here are a few things to focus on:
Optimize your old blog posts
Old blog posts are always more lucrative than your new blog posts. Because they have been here for a long time, and Google has already built some trust.
Hence, the key to reviving your old posts is to optimize them continuously so that the search engine knows the article is updated and relevant to the changing trend.
Look for the search intent
The keywords are essential to rank your page, but it is not enough. The pages should be optimized for all possible searches.
This way, you can make sure that the readers get what they want. Adjust your subheadings that see fit to the new search intent. Use or tweak the sub-headings that your top rivals are using and create better content around them.
Build new links to it
Use the link building and cross-linking process to build new links from the old pages and pages that bring more traffic to your site.
Use tools like Google webmaster tools or Google Analytics to find the pages that bring more traffic.
How is an audience-focused content strategy different from a keyword-focused content strategy?
Content marketing strategy is about focusing more on creating audience-centric content. The focus must be on pointing the brand's unique value proposition and increase brand awareness.
Keyword research is excellent at finding out what people say about your brand and how it's used. However, it's not so great at finding out the needs of the audience. Some audiences may want to look for the purchase of the product, whereas some part of the audience will be interested to learn the use of the product.
When a company focuses on the audience rather than the keywords, they will create high-quality content that appeals to their target market. They use this content as a way of generating leads and driving business towards them.
Audience focused content answers the questions that a keyword-focused might fail to answer:
- Understanding the pain points of the audience and find the solution.
- What type of content does your audience like?
- What are the unique feature and expertise of the brand?
In a nutshell, a combination of two strategies is more effective than either one alone.
Finding your unique content angle
The key to connecting with your audience is finding the unique angle that you can use to solve their problems.
To connect with your audience, you need a unique way of solving their problems and using something they understand to help them out.
And that's where you connect your brand expertise with the customers' pain points. Precisely, we would call it the Content tilt. This term is coined by the content marketing institute and defines as the unique angle you can use to solve your customer's problems.
Content tilt is the way you tell your story through your unique perspective on your content niche. It's your unique perspective on your content niche, which creates an opportunity for you to attack, lead and, ultimately, own the category.
Finding the unique angle of solving customers' problems in a way that is understandable by them and entertainingly providing valuable information will be enough for you to connect with your audience.
Create A SEO Content Strategy That Supports Your Business Goals
It's all about understanding your audience and what they need from you. If you have the answers to these questions, it will be easier for you to build content that resonates.
It's tempting to put content centered around high-traffic keywords into your site, but you should think about whether or not this is right for what you're trying to accomplish. If you're trying to drive traffic and boost your SEO, then it makes sense to put highly relevant content that the people searching for will find valuable.
But if you're building a brand new site or re-branding an existing one, what's the best way to attract new visitors?
Your audience is likely to search for information about your product or service, so if you want them to find you and purchase from you, then it makes sense to create content that provides valuable information.
This will help people discover what they're looking for and what they need to know about your product or service.
The great thing about content is that it can be anything you want it to be.
This means that the more time and effort you put into creating high-quality, relevant content, the more likely people will find you online.
Lastly, a good content strategy will include a plan for building customer relationships. If you don't provide a valuable experience for your customers, they won't keep coming back to see what's new.
All this brings you to the end of a playbook with the need for creating the most valuable content. Plan out your content, find the best keywords and use the content marketing and SEO tools to boost the customer experience and increase the organic search traffic.
Once you start creating a blog regularly, you will find the area of expertise and the customer's pain points. That's what we consider a win.