How an SEO Content Strategy Can Improve Your Rankings
What is search intent?
Pretty self-explanatory, search intent is the primary goal or focus of a user when they search a query in a search engine. Essentially considering the difference between searching “apples” and “why eat apples”. The first may be searching for apples to buy; the latter may be looking to find the nutritional benefits of eating apples.
It’s vital to always consider the intent of a searcher in SEO. The sole function of a search engine is to present users with content that is most relevant to their search. You need to prove that your content is what the user is looking for, and you can only do that by considering what that user’s intent is in the first place.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is creating articles, videos, infographics, podcasts or any other form of media that can be published and distributed through various channels, focusing on promoting your business or service. There are numerous methods of content marketing, but what we will focus on here is blog content. That’s because blog content is great for developing your SEO content strategy and can play a huge part in your overall website performance.
Why is content creation important?
Content is king. It’s what attracts your audience, keeps them hooked. It’s what gets your name out there and builds brand awareness. Content is your company’s image, its personality, its heart and soul. Ok, I’m getting carried away, but it’s just super important for so many different reasons. Here are some stats from our partners at HubSpot to give you a better idea of just how important content is.
- Content marketing brings in 3X as many leads as traditional marketing and costs 62% less.
- SMBs that use content marketing get 126% more leads than those that don’t.
- 61% of online purchases are the direct result of a customer reading a blog.
- Companies that publish 16+ blog posts per month get 3.5X more traffic than those that post four or fewer posts per month.
What are the different types of content?
Let’s keep it simple; here’s a non-exhaustive list of key types of content and a little about why they’re essential.
- We love blog posts. Being able to keep an archive of valuable information on your site is brilliant. It also helps users find relevant content, and positions you as the go-to guru in your industry. Plus, not only will all of these pages rank separately, bringing in some sweet, sweet SEO juice to your site, but it also helps build your internal linking network, which keeps Google happy. Happy Google, happy website.
- If a picture says a thousand words, then a video is an award-winning book franchise—Attention-grabbing, easy to stuff full of information and easy to consume.
Social Media Posts
- Everyone loves/hates social media. So tapping into that relationship is a great way to spread your brand. Plus, it has the added benefit of being self-sustaining. Just post your well-timed, quality content and watch your army of adoring fans and… influencers… do the rest.
- Podcasts are an increasingly popular source of content. According to SEMRUSH, 20% of people have bought a product through a podcast. That’s some valuable content right there.
How to create content that ranks
Creating blog content that ranks requires two things, originality and relevance.
Originality is the easiest of the two to achieve. You simply create custom content that is unique to your business or brand. Creative content ranks the best in google simply because the more original and creative the content is, the less direct competition it will have.
Relevancy requires more consideration. You need to think back to user intent as well as considering your customer persona. You need to know the who, what, when, where and why of your content. Whom you’re targeting, what your prospects want. When in the buyers’ journey, they’re being targeted. Where geographically. Why they will need or find value in your content. Once you’ve considered all of these things, you can understand what your audience needs before you begin to deliver it.
Creating an SEO content strategy
As with most things, planning and strategy are key when creating your content. The most effective SEO content strategy is topic clustering.
Topic clustering is simple once you understand it. You choose a pillar topic or page as the main focus of your overall strategy. It’s what you want your brand or content push to be about, the service you wish to promote or the message you want to share. A good tactic here is to conduct some keyword research around this. Choosing a high intent phrase or question you want your pillar to rank for.
You then start building out from this, creating subtopics that will be addressed in separate blog content, which can be linked back to your main pillar post or page. Again it’s a good idea to use some keyword research when planning these out. Use related phrases or synonyms to your pillar post to make it easier to link back to.
When putting together your strategy, it’s recommended to run this as a monthly content plan. Releasing your cluster bit by bit over time. Planning a month in advance not only takes the pressure off but also gives you time to tweak or edit your content before its release date so that it stays as relevant as possible.
Conducting an SEO content audit
When you’re creating your content strategy, it’s a good idea to carry out an audit of your existing content. This is because, with some content analysis, your existing content could be re-optimised or refocused to fit in better with your new topic cluster. Either by linking directly back to your pillar content or by complimenting your subtopics.
In addition, carrying out a content audit means you know exactly what topics and areas you have already covered. The last thing you want is to be competing with yourself over a ranking position.
Create SEO-optimized content
When creating blog content, it’s key to optimise it for your chosen keyword. Below is a simple list of what you need to do to make sure your content is SEO optimised.
- Use the Primary keyword in URL and H1 title tag.
- Ensure the primary keyword is the first word in the title tag.
- Use the primary keyword in the first 100 words.
- Add internal links to relevant internal pages.
- Write a unique meta title and meta description.
Getting your content noticed
Once you’ve put together your SEO content strategy, created all your content ready to trickle out over the next month, it’s time to start getting noticed.
Now obviously, you’ve just created some fantastic, unique and engaging content worth sharing. So it’s naturally going to spread across the internet like the proverbial wildfire, probably.
Just to be sure though, it’s good to do some content outreach. Content outreach is the process of sharing, promoting, and spreading the content you created to your contacts or any outlet that you believe would find your content valuable.
There are two simple ways to promote your content that we’ll go into here. The first and obvious one is social media. Sharing your content across your social media platforms is a great way to get noticed by your existing customers. Those loyal and devout followers of your brand will, hopefully, bear your content forth into the world, spreading your brand far and wide.
Remember, you can repurpose your existing content. Repost or reshare older content to try and boost engagement. You never know how relevant your older content could suddenly become.
The second is even simpler. Some PPC. Money talks, using money to talk about your content is a sure way to get noticed. An effective and targeted PPC campaign to complement your content strategy is an excellent partnership.
We love topic clusters, and with content quickly becoming key in Google’s ranking algorithm, it’s important for businesses to utilise this super effective strategy. So we thought we’d make it nice and simple for businesses of all shapes and sizes to create the best possible content for their sites. That’s why we created the SEO BOMB: THE UNIQUE DIGITAL CONTENT STRATEGY FOR EXPLOSIVE RESULTS.