Content marketing is one of the most effective ways to drive sustained traffic to your site. But that doesn’t mean you can publish just any content and call it a day. To reach your target audience and drive meaningful results for your brand, you need to deploy an overarching SEO content strategy that aligns with your business goals and can be leveraged to improve your online visibility across the internet.
An SEO content strategy is a method for improving your website’s search engine rankings to increase traffic and, ultimately, to generate more leads and sales. It can also be used to earn SERP features, like featured snippets, carousels, knowledge panels, “people also ask” sections, and shopping results to boost brand awareness.
Having an SEO strategy is crucial for consumers to discover your brand online. If you’re not ranking for keywords that are relevant to your brand, chances are, you’re losing business to your competitors. Before making a large purchase, 81% of consumers use search engines to do research and find what they’re looking for. Of those searchers, 75% never scroll past the first page on Google. If your brand doesn’t show up early on in the results, consumers may not even consider it when shopping or researching online.
Audience-focused content has also been proven to withstand the test of time. It continues to perform well through search engine algorithm changes and is more cost-effective than paid ads in the long term because the value of SEO does not depreciate after your budget for clicks has been maxed out. In fact, some content actually gains authority on search engines as time goes by without additional investment.
Initial benchmarking helps you understand how your site is currently performing and pinpoint ways that it can improve. Reporting on how much traffic your site currently receives is also crucial to measuring your SEO success so that you can easily see the impact of your SEO content strategy month over month. Google Analytics is a popular choice for benchmarking SEO progress.
Keyword research is analyzing the search volume, difficulty, and cost per click of search terms that are relevant to your brand, products, or services. Through keyword research, you can choose 2-5 keyword phrases to target per webpage. By choosing the right keywords, your brand can appear high in the search results for queries your audience is posing.
A competitive analysis of your top competitors can help identify additional SEO opportunities and content gaps. It involves researching what type of content your competitors are publishing and how much traffic certain topics are generating. You can use this information to generate ideas for net new content or sections to add to existing pages.
Although you may like to optimize every page on your brand’s website, it may not be realistic to do in a short period of time if you have hundreds of existing pages. Also, you can achieve substantial SEO improvements by prioritizing high-opportunity pages. Learn which pages to optimize first here.
Content writing is where the SEO magic really happens. This involves strategically using your focus keywords, writing concise, answers-based content, and filling in SEO metadata completely. Learn how to write SEO content here.
Search engines favor websites that have regularly updated content. And having more content expands the number of search terms you’re able to rank for and SERP features you can earn.
Once you’ve established a strategy for ongoing content optimization and creation, consider ways to distribute it across the internet. For example, you may submit timely or newsworthy content as a bylined article for an industry publication. You can also share recent blog posts on your brand’s social media pages and email marketing lists. When your content is republished or linked from a credible source, it helps your SEO by leaps and bounds since Google values websites that have acquired backlinks.
The above steps for creating an SEO content strategy should be tailored to your business goals. To ensure ongoing SEO success, customize each tactic so it caters to your audience's needs and merges with your marketing efforts. Combining your content strategy with other SEO tactics, such as link building, technical SEO and local SEO will further improve your results.