SEO Content Strategy: A Step-by-Step Guide to Create Great Content
SEO content strategy can make or break your stance in the business.
When done right, it can work for you and when ignored it can damage you.
How would you judge someone throwing a dart blindfolded?
That’s plain stupid or probably over-confident, isn’t it?
It’s very similar to when someone writes great content, over and over again, without strategizing it around the right SEO. Content which is not aligned according to the SEO norms is as meaningless as that.
Yes, content is king, and always will be.
But in this crowded marketplace, it’s equally important to be noticed first. Your good content will otherwise never reach the crowd looking for it.
SEO is like content’s best friend today, the better their pairing, the more profitable they are.
Each of your posts should be filled with the right content and designed to be found by the right search engines.
To begin with, we need to understand what is all this fuss about content marketing?
All our businesses survive on content, the art of selling the content is content marketing. Understand that your audience comes across a lot of content on a day-to-day basis.
Ask yourself, is your content able to differentiate you from others in the crowd? If not, what reasons are you giving your customers to stick to you?
Content marketing is the art of creating relevant content that attracts the right kind of customers.
The main intention here is to shift them through the right content in further stages of your customer cycle. You are basically convincing your customer to take action by your content.
The action, might or might not always be directly about making a sale. At times it’s about educating your audience and at times it’s just for entertaining them. In either scenario, the focus is on providing some or the other value to the customer.
At the end of the day, the right kind of content marketing should enable loyal relationships. It should establish you as an authority in that particular industry.
This is why it’s important to provide them with the right information.
Starting from when they are in the research stage to when they have already purchased.
To move ahead in this Blog, we need to understand SEO in the context of content?
Search Engine Optimization is the process of bringing in the desired traffic from Search Engines.
When a customer clicks a couple of keywords on the search engine, articles are listed subsequently. They are ranked based on how relevant they are to the keyword the customer had typed in the first place.
SEO allows businesses to rank their content for the keywords and phrases their targeted audience is looking for.
It is only by optimizing your content for search engines, you get visibility in the crowd. There are many other factors apart from your content, that impacts SEO ranking.
Points like Inbound links, on-off page and even the site architecture matter.
We will be only focusing on the content aspect of SEO in this blog.
How do Content and SEO work hand in hand?
Where do you think your ideal customers are looking for answers?
Let’s imagine, you are a cake baking shop. X, a single mom, is one of your targeted customers. She wants to bake a birthday cake at home but isn’t quite sure.
Where do you think she will look for guidance?
She will go to the internet unless she has a friend sharing a recipe over a call! She would type here keywords and let the search engine do the rest.
SEO makes sure that your content is visible to your ideal customer during her time of need. It’s important to provide the right content at the right time. If you don’t, someone else promptly will!
By creating content that’s focused on the keywords your customers are looking for, you are improving your visibility. When a customer looks for a topic relevant to your business, you are listed on the search engine.
Not only dos it increases your brand’s presence but also guarantees more traffic to your business.
Why SEO Content Strategy?
Smart SEO content strategy is one of the most efficient ways to have long term traffic and eventual conversions. But one might wonder, why do marketers still hesitate to invest in it.
The reason is, SEO content marketing can be slow in showing its results and is a task to calculate. Most marketers would rather invest in tricks that give them short-lived yet fast results. Instead, they need to understand that they will have to depend on SEO strategy to stay in the market for long.
There is no one-formulae for all that works, different factors impact differently.
But once cracked, the right SEO planning will do your work for you while you focus on expanding.
Now that you understand that Content and SEO play equal importance in any business, let’s move ahead.
So strategic steps to creating an SEO Content Strategy.
- Know your target audience in and out-
The customer is always the king, there is no denying that. You started your business intending to reach an audience.
Without that audience, it has no value. It wouldn’t matter how great your product or services are, until its acknowledged by an audience. It is plain stupid if you do not pay attention to understanding your audience. If you don’t know your audience, you don’t know what they like.
And sadly my friend, if you don’t know what they like, you will never be able to impress them. You will have to study their preferences, what questions they are asking and what locations they are visiting. Not only that, knowing your audience well also tells them that you have done your research. It shows when you approach them and make you seem more believable.
You can make buyer personas with an ideal age, gender, location.
You can then comprehend how your persona would respond to a product that you are offering. Understanding your target audience closely gives you an advantage over others.
- Do your keyword Research, right!
You want to be an authority or a leader in your forum.
That will only be established when your audience understands and sees how much you know about that genre. It also shows your expertise and the effort you have put into knowing more about it. This, in turn, makes you seem like a business that knows what they are up to. With your experience, you probably have a couple of guesses of what problems or issues might come into your customer’s mind.
In case you are a pet food business, you know customers would want to know about the adverse effects of sugar on pets.
However, there might still be keywords that people are looking for and you have missed.
There might be completely offbeat keywords in your industries, that people are looking for. Understand that, the markets changing rapidly and so is your customer’s preferences. It’s important to give your customers what they need. Only then will your content rank on Google. This unique content will not only rank you but also be rare.
When you provide something to them that others don’t, it creates a loyalty that your business needs.
- Create meaningful and interesting Content-
Now that you know which keywords are ranking in your genre, you can plan accordingly.
You can use this idea to generate topic ideas for your content. You can make use of this opportunity to use the same keywords in different content formats. You can create additional website pages, e-books, pictorials and white papers.
While writing your content make sure to proofread it thoroughly and make sure of relevant examples.
Always link your content to high-quality content and attach sources, that shows your genuinity. Apart from all this, make your content easy to read and space it right.
Meaningful content will ensure that your content is engaging and drives in the right audience into action.
The work is not over with just writing an SEO friendly content, it goes much beyond that.
- Optimize your content for newer and updated keywords, that come up with time.
- Add content when you have additional information about the topic.
- Keep on updating statistics and numbers that go outdated with time.
- Keep reviewing your metadata to be found by search engines.
How to structure Content right?
- Plan in advance and think well about what message you want to convey. Ask yourself, what do you want to communicate with your content? What do you want your readers to do after reading this piece? Answers to all such questions will help structure your content better.
- Make a skeleton of your Blog, as per your convenience. You can then choose to fill in point gradually.
- Make use of paragraphs with the right spacing. Otherwise, your content will look jammed and messy. This can be a serious distraction for the reader. Paragraphs will also allow the reader to focus on each specific message you are conveying.
- Use Heading and subheadings. Understand that your reader is a busy person, he might want to skim through to only the main points. If you are smart enough, your headings will create the right curiosity to drive the reader into reading further.
- Highlight your main points. In case you have a statistic or a number that adds value to your content, highlight it. These signal words or phrases can go a long way in addressing your points to the reader.
- Optimize the length of your content. Some content topics need to be in long form and some others, not so much. Understand if the topic requires you to go in depth and then proceed. Bombarding your reader with information they won’t be interested in, can be serious damage for you.
- Link to your old & relevant content. You must have invested a lot of time and effort into creating content in the past, make use of it. But always make sure that the linked content is relevant, it might seem like push-selling otherwise.
- Modify content frequently. The industry standards are changing every day and newer technologies are coming up. You should always update your old content with the latest developments.
With all these points cleared you are nearly ready to proceed with your SEO content strategy.
Like in every other aspect, you are prone to make mistakes as you begin.
The best way is to learn from others mistakes and not repeat them.
Here are 5 common SEO crimes people commit:
- Choosing the wrong keywords, to begin with-
Finding, just the right keywords and placing them subtly within your content is an art.
Chances are, you will get it wrong initially.
You can make use of tools like Google Keyword Planner that does the work for you.
It provides a thorough overview of search volumes, which you can gauge and decide accordingly.
- Not asking for feedback or reviews-
Every business on the planet is struggling to know what their customers think of them.
These reviews are a true indicator of how well you have fared.
All your efforts go to vain if they don’t impress or impact your customer.
Not only that, reviews can boost up your SEO ranking by just proving your credibility.
- Creating content just for the sake of it-
It’s a clear world outside, customers see through it when you are being dubious.
Gone are those days when filling up a website with meaningless content was still okay.
Low-quality content or duplicate content, not only brings your SEO ranking down but also hampers your credibility.
- Always try to keep your content meaningful and original.
This will help you rank within your customers and on search engines.
It can hit you right on the face, when done wrong.
- Skipping title tags and meta descriptions-
Both of them are crucial parts of your website.
They help search engines to understand what your content is about and index it accordingly.
Include your relevant keywords and keep it short and simple.
Read more on the same to understand the intricacies of designing the perfect title tag and meta descriptions.
- Ignoring Link Quality for link quantity-
One single link of high value can be more powerful than multiple links from useless websites or sources.
A single link from a popular website will help your search engine rankings.
It’s certainly hard to get but that’s the very reason why Search engines believe in their credibility.