How an SEO Content Strategy Can Improve Your Rankings

How an SEO Content Strategy Can Improve Your Rankings

An SEO strategy encompasses everything involved in SEO; including technical, on-page and off-page SEO. Providing a process to help organise content and SEO efforts for a website with the aim of increasing organic traffic and keyword rankings.

An SEO content strategy focuses on on-page SEO and content marketing. It allows you to keep track of the content you’re creating so that you can plan and segment content to benefit your site and on-page SEO and content marketing users.

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 site’s 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.

Blog posts

  • 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.

Videos

  • 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

  • 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.

 

Conducting an SEO content audit

Before you create a whole new strategy, we’d recommend auditing your previous content. An SEO content audit uses various tools and data from across your business to review and refine your pre-existing content.

By analysing data from Google Analytics and SEO data like search engine rankings you may find that older content can be re-optimised or refocused to support your strategy and other content across the site.

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.

Find an in-depth guide on ‘How to run an SEO content audit’ in our previous blog post.

 

Creating an SEO content strategy

Lesson Studying GIF

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. 

How to create content that ranks

When it comes to search engine optimisation, the aim is to boost search visibility and organic traffic to your site. However, many factors contribute to how you rank, and content plays a massive part in this. If nothing else, having high-quality content across your site expands your potential visibility across relevant search queries. Let’s run through the steps to create an SEO content strategy.

Know your audience

This is a rule of thumb for businesses; you should know exactly who your target audience is and the content they want to interact with.

If you haven’t already mapped out who your target audience is, now is the time!

There are a few things you need to consider before settling into your audience:

General Demographics – Think about age, gender, job role, education level.

Day-to-day – What are the day-to-day things that you’re product or service can support

Pain points and Triggers – What issues do you solve and what are the factors that can trigger them to make the decision to purchase?

Barriers – What are the issues potentially stopping them from making the purchase?

Keyword Research

Selecting keywords is the first step in creating quality and relevant content.

If you have access to keyword research tools then there are some key metrics to review before you select your keywords.

Intent – Search intent refers to what users are looking for when they search. The 4 different search intents are commercial, transactional, navigational and informational. Understanding what users expect helps you decide which pages should target those keywords. For more on user intent check out our YouTube Video – ‘A Beginners’ Guide to Search Intent

Volume – Volume refers to the average number of searches for that keyword monthly. A higher search volume would be ideal as it means that there are more people looking for that term. However if you work in a niche area it’s not always possible to have ridiculously high volume.

Difficulty – The keyword difficulty helps you determine how difficult it would be for one piece of content to rank for that term. Often high volume and high difficulty go hand in hand because competitors will also have seen the high volume and jumped at the opportunity.

Now if you don’t have access to keyword research tools and aren’t sure where to start don’t worry we have some tips for free way to check out your keywords.

The first way is by simply going with a Google Search. Head to Google, jump into an incognito tab and search for your key term. Although this doesn’t show you search volume or difficulty directly you can still tell a lot from the search engine results page.

The first thing you can determine is how many competitors have content that ran for that keyword. And how big are those competitors? If they’re the big players in the industry you can determine that it’s likely to be pretty difficult to outrank them for that term.

The second thing you can tell by looking at search results is what the user intent. If the SERPs show mainly product pages, then the keyword is likely transactional or commercial. Whereas if you’re seeing predominantly blogs and resources, it’s likely to be informational. This helps you to determine what pages to optimse for that keyword or what kind of content you need to create based on what already ranks.

The final thing highlighted by search engine results pages is thew top content type for that search term. If the top results for your search are all the same content type is clear that that content is received well by users and search engines.

Creating Content

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 on 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.

By providing both of these things, not only is your content more likely to rank, but it also supports user experience, ensuring that once potential customers reach your site, they have the best possible experience. This decreases your site’s bounce rate and increases the likelihood that they’ll look at more pages and then come back to your site for further information on another occasion.

Create SEO-optimised 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.

Consistency

One thing to ensure you SEO strategies aren’t wasted is to remain consistent and on top of everything. One way we really recommend is to put together a content calendar for you blog content. This will help you know what content is needed and when.

By remaining consistent with pieces of content written for users with SEO in mind you’ll quickly see the reward in organic search as you begin ranking for your target keywords.

Getting your content noticed

needy cat GIF

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 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 way would be backlinks. Backlinks are links from external content that points towards your content. This sounds easy but in actual fact it is pretty difficult. One method is to reach out to other sites if they have space in their content where you see a link to your content would be relevant and fit.


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.

Book a free SEO Bomb demo here

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