SEO Content Strategy: Step-by-Step Guide to Optimize Content for SEO
Looking for SEO content strategy for your brand?
In this article we will help you discover the most powerful words, explain how SEO strategies actually work and learn you how to optimize your content for SEO.
You probably know a lot of content creators who believe SEO and keywords are synonyms, but rest assured their posts do not rank highly in search results. While keywords do represent a major component of content optimization, they cannot give you the complete SEO picture on their own.
The truth is that keywords can drastically limit the SEO potential of a website if you don’t add more elements to the equation. That is exactly what makes optimization strategies so complex and challenging, so you need to think beyond simple terms and concentrate on the target audience as well.
Our goal is to help you discover the most powerful words and explain how SEO strategies actually work. This article will give you answers to fundamental SEO questions, including these:
- What makes SEO strategy so important
- How power words actually work
- What are the most impactful words in the content creation universe
- How to build an SEO strategy in a step-by-step manner
The Importance of Crafting a Perfect SEO Strategy
You probably know how important it is to make a kickass SEO plan, but we can never overestimate the significance of this digital strategy. A wide range of studies prove this point already, but here are just a few stats to support our thesis:
- Over 90% of online experiences begin with a search engine, Google in particular. If you are not on the first page of search results, you can hardly ever gain new leads and customers.
- Google changes its search engine algorithm roughly 500 – 600 times per year. In such circumstances, you have to identify and use only the most impressive keywords.
- Half of all engine inquiries are four words or longer, which means you need to think beyond niche keywords and exploit power words as well.
- More than 60% of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is the top inbound marketing priority.
- Up to 20% of Google queries are being searched for the first time, so marketers should think about how to tailor SEO content strategy and find the right balance between ultra-competitive keywords and less popular but persuasive search terms.
How Power Words Influence Users’ Perception
Keywords play a major role in content creation, which means you need to find expressions and phrases that perfectly resonate with the needs of the target audience in a specific niche. However, some keywords prove to be more powerful than others, regardless of your field of interest.
These are the so-called power words that marketers and content creators exploit in almost every opportunity. But what makes them so important? How can they impact the perception of a typical user? It is essentially a three-step process:
- Attention grabbing: The first goal of using power words is to grab the attention of the target audience. These are mostly actionable and highly suggestive expressions that inspire people to engage.
- Stimulate the unconscious: The thing with power words is that they target the unconscious part of a user’s mind. They are not supposed to be evident or rational – they must only encourage people to make the next step in the consumer journey.
- Bypass the critical spot: The last stage of the process is bypassing the critical spot. What does it mean? It means that power words convince users to follow your calls to action without even noticing it.
15 Power Words to Use in Your SEO Content Strategy
With tons of words at your disposal, how can you tell which ones are more or less powerful than others? There are two ways to learn it – you can analyze the most successful content online to identify the best-performing words or take the shortcut and read the list we prepared for you.
The latter is obviously much easier, so keep reading to see the top 15 power words you can use in your SEO content strategy.
- You: This power word is the king of personalization in content marketing. Using “You” throughout the text creates the feeling of dialogue and interaction between you and every single user individually. Since people love to feel acknowledged and appreciated, the “You” word makes a huge impact on your followers.
- Free: This power word doesn’t even require a lot of explaining. Everybody loves free stuff, so adding “Free” to your content makes the offer much more interesting and attractive.
- New: If you already have a solid fan base, this can be a pretty fruitful power word. Namely, “New” suggests you have something fresh and exciting to offer, so your customers will check it out for sure.
- Because: A great solution for B2B marketers who target more rational and analytical audience, “Because” makes a common power word choice since it explains the logic behind your request.
- Secret: Adding a little dose of mystery to your content is a nice way to attract attention. A word such as “Secret” creates a notion of conspiracy that you and your prospect plan together. The result is that your users trust you because you share the same knowledge.
- Now: It’s a frequently used call to action element because it encourages users to take the desired action immediately. This leaves them with less time to think and reject your proposal.
- Imagine: The whole purpose of marketing is to promise a better world. Adding “Imagine” to your posts contributes to this objective as it transposes a user into the world where everyday problems do not exist.
- Create: This power word gives that much-needed energy boost to the audience by inviting them to make the move and express their creativity.
- Today only: A lot of power words, including “Today only,” play the urgency and/or scarcity card. It is yet another way to urge your prospects to subscribe, download, or buy something. The trick is frequently used in online retail.
- Why: When you write “Why,” you basically promise to provide an explanation sometime soon. That way, you help users overcome the knowledge gap and satisfy their curiosity.
- Instantly: Consumers who are searching for solutions to the problem want to get it as soon as possible. That’s why the power word “Instantly” performs so well online – it guarantees ultra quick delivery.
- Increase: A growth or an increase is widely accepted as the parameter of success, which is why marketers use “Increase” as the power word to promise higher productivity.
- Exclusive: We already mentioned that people love to feel special and unique, which is exactly why “Exclusive” plays such an important role in content marketing discourse. This power word tells users you designed a special offer that suits their individual needs.
- Remember: Sometimes the easiest way to drive engagement is by reminding people of the good old days. In such circumstances, “Remember” makes a superior power word choice because it evokes memories that inspire people to take action.
- Discover: The last power word on our list invites users to enter the brand-new world filled with amazing features and benefits. Discoveries are often connected to adventures, so you can use this keyword to stimulate younger audiences.
6 Ways to Improve Your SEO Content Strategy
Now that you know the most fruitful marketing and SEO words, it’s much easier to combine them with other elements and design your SEO content strategy. However, we believe you could use additional inputs in this field, which is why we made a list of the fundamental optimization principles.
Define your area of expertise
The first thing you need to do is to define your area of expertise. Keep in mind that hundreds of companies are competing in the same industry, so you must narrow down the options and concentrate on a highly specific niche. Why is that so? The main reason is clear – you don’t want to compete with dozens of other websites.
Our suggestion is to build content around one core topic and then add new layers of correlated posts. For instance, you might be selling tennis gear and equipment. In this case, the core search phrase is “tennis gear,” but you must support it with many other layers of content such as:
- Tennis rackets and strings
- Tennis balls
- Tennis bags and apparel
- Tennis replacement grips and vibration dampeners
The list goes on, but you get the point from our example here.
Define the target audience
The next task is to precisely define the target audience. You need to answer this question: Who is my average customer?
Although many marketers find this question confusing, the truth is you can quickly find a lot of customer-related information. You just need to think about the existing consumers and analyze their personal traits. These are the details you need to consider:
- Age and gender: Creating content for high school girls is not the same as writing posts for middle-aged accountants.
- Academic background: Well-educated individuals demand more eloquent articles, while younger audiences don’t mind a freestyle approach.
- Job title and income: This is important because you need to know the shopping potential of your audience.
- Lifestyle and personal values: You should write posts that perfectly resonate with the vision and values that your prospects nurture.
- Sales funnel position: Detecting the prospect’s position within sales funnel is critical because it allows you to tailor content in a way that leads users to the next stage of the funnel.
Set the goals of your SEO strategy
A solid SEO strategy is never complete without the list of goals. You need to plan objectives because it’s the only way to evaluate performance and determine whether your plan works or not.
The basic objective is to drive more traffic to your website, but it rarely ever works alone. The only situation in which traffic represents the ultimate optimization goal occurs when a website can capitalize on it, mostly through advertising or direct eCommerce sales.
Another SEO target is to raise brand awareness. Marketers set this goal if their companies are relatively new and unknown, so the primary objective is to let the world know about their business. The list goes on as you can also try to generate more leads, drive new conversions, etc.
Keyword analysis is the quintessential part of every content optimization strategy. We already mentioned power words that influence the mind of a reader, but you must also pay attention to niche-relevant keywords to improve ranking.
Before you choose the most relevant terms and phrases for your content, you need to conduct a wide range of research activities. First of all, you can start with the obvious solution: brainstorm keyword ideas with your team. After that, you should use Google to look for these phrases and all of their variations.
Don’t forget to check out the “People Also Ask” department because it’s often a valuable source of fresh keyword ideas. Of course, we also recommend you utilize Google Trends to discover the hottest topics in your niche.
Now you should have a long list of useful suggestions, so you only need to filter it and leave the most promising combinations. Once the process is done, analyze every item in one of the online tools such as Google Keyword Planner. Doing so, you will get a data-driven result that promises to boost the ranking of your content.
Create high-quality content
The days when keyword stuffing could help you rank highly on the first page of Google’s search results are long gone. Today, content is king and you have to create top-notch posts if you want to achieve the targeted SEO goals.
Now, the real question is how to keep publishing quality content week after week. The task should be easier if you follow the optimization principles we mentioned above, but there is still a lot of other work to do here.
Generally speaking, you need to make sure that each post fulfills the following requirements:
- Solve problems: Highly ranked articles always deal with customers’ practical problems. They help readers to solve everyday issues by explaining specific procedures step-by-step.
- Flawless execution: You can’t expect people to trust your advice if the content is filled with spelling mistakes and grammar errors. You must ensure flawless execution and double-check every little piece of content you publish. If you don’t have enough time to do it single-handedly, you can use services like BrillAssignment or Grammarly to do the job on your behalf.
- Engage the audience: Every post should include a clear call to action that invites users to take the next step. For instance, you can encourage people to subscribe to your newsletter or to start a free trial.
We mentioned before that you can’t prove the success of your SEO content strategy unless you measure results. This is where your optimization goals come into play once again. The simplest solution is to compare expectations with the actual results.
Did you generate the amount of traffic you were hoping for? Did you acquire new leads or conversions? If the answer to all these questions is yes, then you are on the right path. But if not, you should consider changing and upgrading the SEO content strategy.
You must find out what went wrong. Are you using the right power words? Or are you targeting the wrong keywords? Perhaps you get enough traffic, but visitors leave your website quickly? Whatever the reason may be, you have to discover it and react quickly to prevent long-term underperformance.
SEO is one of the biggest buzzwords of our era, but for good reason. You cannot expect to run a profitable business these days if your web pages don’t rank highly in search results. Building a powerful optimization strategy is critical to the overall success and performance of your company.
In this post, we showed you how to exploit power words to make your SEO strategy more productive. With all these tricks at your disposal, designing an outstanding optimization plan becomes much easier, so make sure to use our suggestions.
And if you need any additional explanations, feel free to let us know in comments – we will be glad to discuss this topic with you!