Learn how to create an SEO content strategy that meets marketing objectives and goals.
It’s no secret that many organizations today prioritize content marketing, and attracting new leads online is becoming more challenging than ever.
82% of marketers actively invest in robust content marketing, and no doubt: the number will continually increase.
In such a competitive landscape, a surefire way to separate your brand from the pack is to have a solid SEO-driven content strategy to garner your customers’ attention and business.
Gone are the days when you write a blog on a random topic, insert some keywords, publish it on your site, and expect it to deliver outstanding results.
It takes detailed research, careful planning, and a rock-solid SEO content strategy to drive profitable traffic to your site and generate high-quality inbound leads.
This post will discuss what goes behind making a content marketing plan and the steps to create a winning SEO content strategy.
Every organization has its own KPIs for success.
While some focus on increasing their organic traffic, others want to drive more online conversions, all desiring to grow their business. SEO and content marketing are two sides to achieving that objective.
A content marketing strategy begins with identifying your target audience and diving deeper into understanding your brand’s expertise and UVP.
A content strategy is a holistic plan keeping in mind your prospective customer’s journey to conversion, tackling questions like:
- Who is my target audience?
- What are their pain points and requirements?
- What kind of content does this audience want to consume?
- What platforms are they presently having conversations with?
- What is the exclusive expertise that our brand has to offer?
- How can our expertise match up to our audience’s requirements?
Undoubtedly, an SEO-driven content marketing strategy will drive more valuable traffic to your business. But to achieve that, you first need to comprehend your target audience and your brand’s position in the market.
Before you begin, answer these questions to help you zero in on your target market:
- What is your company’s mission and vision?
- Who would benefit from your product/service?
- Why should someone pick you over the other available alternatives?
You can get an idea of your prospects by identifying the critical characteristics of your present customers and creating buyer personas accordingly.
Look at the measurable data, from age to gender to purchase behavior to web page engagement. When you gain clarity on your target audience, you can easily create content that resonates with them.
Before implementing a new SEO content strategy, look at your existing site-wide content strategy and lay out a plan that helps uncover any issues that impact overall SEO performance.
You must also study your competition before finalizing your content strategy to give yourself an advantage. To understand a competitor’s content strategy, you should observe the following:
- Who are the competitors that are doing well?
- What keywords are the competitors ranking for?
- Which topics bring the most traffic to a competitor’s site?
- How long does a competitor take to rank on a given topic?
Understanding what works for your competitors decreases the time and resources spent on trial and error, which can help you make more effective content-planning decisions. You can use tools like SimilarWeb and Semrush to track your competitor’s website performance.
Identify the kind of people engaging with your competitors by observing their blog comments, customer reviews, and social media accounts. Remember, the goal here is not to imitate your competitor’s strategy but to examine their shortcomings and find areas where you come out on top.
With all this data, you can segment your audience and craft personalized content that meets your target audience’s specific requirements.
Once you determine your target audience, you can start brainstorming for creative content ideas. To rank high on Google, you need to target the topics your potential customers are looking for, which is your primary goal in creating an SEO content strategy.
Figure out the information you can provide exclusively to your target audience to help establish industry authority. This also helps you with keyword matches, research for audience interest, and SEO content creation.
Once you’ve narrowed down good content topics, it’s time to dive into long-tail keyword research and figure out the best keyword targets around the topics.
But how do you find keywords with search traffic potential?
- Enter a few wide-ranging keywords related to your site or niche.
- Find and pick the keywords relevant to your niche.
- Filter for keywords with Traffic Potential (TP).
- Prioritize your topics where clients can rank at each stage of the buyer funnel.
- Achieve a substantial ROI.
Estimating a keyword’s business value means assessing the probability of ranking that particular keyword that’s profitable for your business. Some keywords, although relevant topic-wise, may not lead to conversions.
For example, keywords like “can dogs eat cat food” will not rank high as they do not have a business potential for a cat food company blog.
While on the other hand, the keyword “which cat food is the best” is a better example of a keyword with high business value.
Some keywords don’t always lead to purchase; however, they can still be valuable.
For example, a person searching for “do cats not like to eat the same food” may not be keen to make purchases. But crafting a helpful post with this particular keyword and tips to create a balanced diet for a cat is a great way to introduce the product discreetly and naturally.
Hence said, ranking for a keyword can be valuable even though it doesn’t lead to direct conversions right away.
Here are a few reasons why you must consider targeting keywords that don’t lead to direct conversions:
- You can get organic backlinks
- It improves your brand awareness
- Establishes you as an expert in the field
- Get a relevant audience for your remarketing campaigns
Estimating the business value of your keywords can be very useful when prioritizing what keywords you should target first.
A keyword analysis is a vital part of any SEO strategy. Simply identifying significant keywords and phrases to your website is not adequate; you must analyze those keywords to discover where valuable opportunities lie.
However, for various reasons, some keywords are more challenging to rank than others. This doesn’t mean you should avoid difficult keywords; you should consider ranking difficulty when targeting them.
You can analyze these keywords in a variety of areas, such as:
Search intent should always be a primary consideration when evaluating keywords. A search intent for every query can be classified into informational, navigational, commercial, and transactional.
- Informational– Informational searches focus on finding certain information or getting an answer. These queries involve “who, “what,” when,” and “where” types of questions.
- Navigational– Navigational searches focus on finding specific web pages or sites where the queries often involve branded terms and service names or products.
- Commercial– Commercial searches usually involve shopping or comparing vendors, where the queries involve looking for data to make a purchasing decision but don’t always lead directly to a purchase.
- Transactional– Transactional searches have the most commercial intent as these searchers are directly looking to make a purchase. Terms like price, discount, and sale are standard among transactional queries.
Search volume (SV) for a specific keyword is essential as this volume provides an idea of potential audience size.
More monthly searches equals a larger audience. Targeting larger audiences offers further exposure for your brand with a high possibility of converting customers.
However, SV is not the only data point in your keyword analysis; it must be evaluated with other factors such as intent, authority, relevance, difficulty, etc.
Analyzing your current ranking pages is crucial for any keyword you target. The ranking pages will provide insight into how you can rank your content. For example, if most of the ranking pages have embedded videos, you must aim to include a video on your page.
Take inspiration from how the existing ranking pages are structured. What is the type of content on these pages? How do these pages use H2 and H3? Is there alt text on the images? Ranking pages also provide insight into the competition level for your target keywords.
Many SEOs think authoritative websites rank very quickly on Google; thus, they take a website authority metric, for example, Domain Rating (DR), into account while assessing the ranking difficulty.
SEOs believe that website authority can impact rankings even though Google does not have an internal website authority metric.
High-DR sites are likely to have more high-authority pages from backlinks, thus helping other pages rank higher with the help of the internal links on those pages. Searchers choose to look for trusted brands for some queries.
Backlinks are one of Google’s top-ranking aspects. The more significant number of excellent backlinks the current top-ranking pages have, the more challenging it’ll be to compete against them.
To roughly check the number of backlinks you require to rank in the top 10 search results, you must check the Keyword Difficulty (KD) score. However, this only provides information about the quantity of backlinks. But quality matters equally, so you’ll need to review each page’s backlink profile.
Once you have a list of keywords that fulfill your criteria, you can create high-quality content that answers your prospect’s queries.
What exactly is search-focused content? It’s the content that matches search intent for its main target keyword. If you have already analyzed the search intent during the procedure of assessing ranking potential, then all you have to do is to match it.
SEO content marketing is not a set-it-and-forget-it strategy. You must ensure that it converts when your content gets more traffic.
When you publish a content piece, you need to maintain it actively by constantly updating and refurbishing it often.
Why should this be done?
- Your post will not rank on the first try consistently.
- Your post ranking may decline after a specific period.
- Search intent may change for some keywords.
- Your content information can get outdated, thus, affecting its quality.
The SERPs are dynamic, and other people’s content may overthrow your rankings; hence, you’ll have to find out why and outdo them again.
Look at the bounce rates and CTR to understand how your visitors interact with your site. Set a target keyword for each page to get a notification if your rankings begin to decline. You can then examine if it’s because the content needs refreshing.
Once that is acknowledged, identify which content needs updating and which posts need rewriting. You can also use this info to accentuate high-performing topics in your future content plans.
You can further enhance the user experience by:
- Emphasizing high-performing content on your site.
- Modifying low-performing content to resemble high-performing pages.
- Making blog posts with a higher conversion rate landing pages.
Marketing teams already have a lot on their plate, so why not leverage technology to streamline your processes? Here are a few tools that can help you create a fail-proof SEO content strategy:
- Google Search Console to Monitor your Website
- SEMrush for keyword research and competitor analysis
- Answer the Public to Discover new content ideas
- Clearscope for Content SEO Optimization
- Radarr social listening to understand audience interests and intent
A robust SEO content marketing strategy drives traffic and profits to your business and incentivizes you to keep your content fresh. The research you conduct while building your strategy will contribute to identifying your audience and area of expertise.
Once you implement the insights shared in this blog, you can create stellar content pieces to attract your audience and acquire higher SERPs from Google.