Content Marketing, SEO,
7 Steps to a Successful SEO Content Strategy
SEO content needs to be optimized and evaluated ever so often in order to keep it relevant as well as effective. Thus, SEO content strategies should also be devised in accordance to a plethora of requirements of each organization. To keep the content marketing strategy functional, it is also imperative that with the changes occurring in the industry, one remains updated with what still works and what doesn’t. Here’s how we can achieve the same.
Building an Audience-Focused Content Strategy
Knowing who your audience is and what they want will help you devise a functional and strategic content marketing plan. Analysing your current customers’ behavior will guide you. Clarity on your own product / offering as well as it’s USP is critical – put yourself in the audience’s shoes and think carefully about the questions that could arise or any roadblocks that can hamper conversion. Be open to learning – take surveys, create a target audience profile or personas, and stay up-to-date on tools that can help you unearth valuable information. Understanding consumer behavior and audience research will raise awareness about what your content can be framed towards.
How to Build Your Content Marketing Strategy
Know your objective
Your first step should be to define your goals as a business or a website. Do you plan to drive sales through your website? Do you use ads to monetize your site and therefore want to boost traffic simultaneously returning readership? Your goals will tell you what types of content you would need to pay attention to.
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If you want to push sales ahead, your primary focus should be informative and visually-appealing product pages that are optimized for both search and conversions. Secondly, focus on creating helpful blog content that illustrates tips to use your products and further link it to relevant pages (make sure that the blog does not have a self-promotional tone).
In case your site runs on an advertising model and the objective is to attract more readers through search, then it is pertinent to focus on rich content (such as video-resources, long-form articles that are both informative and interesting).
Identify your target audience
Know your audience by utilizing analytics software and surveys as these tools can help you get a better picture of your typical visitor or client. Developing personas of target groups can help you define and categorize your ideal site visitors and customers. Then, think about the content that a particular type of audience group would search for and read.
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For instance, if your target audience comprises teenagers, your content should have less text and more visuals in the form of images and videos. Similarly, a B2B site that targets C-level executives should have high-level white papers which can be downloaded and saved to be read later.
And yes, do optimize your website for mobile usage.
Determining What Topics to Cover with Your Content Marketing
Mapping your target audience and their needs against your offering will help you decide the main themes or topics your content strategy needs to be geared towards. Does your audience prefer fun, lighthearted or educational content? If you’re in an industry such as Financial services – perhaps educational content will work better. Luxury brands tend to focus on what sets them apart. Focus on creating content buckets and deciding preferences such as tone and length. Once these macro level decisions are made, brainstorm, brainstorm and brainstorm! Involve every department and function of your organisation and think of content ideas centered around your theme.
Conduct Keyword Research
Find long-tail keywords that fit into your theme – there are a number of tools in the market that can help you achieve the same. Some of the recommended ones are Google Keywords Planner, Wordstream, and Ubersuggest. Do a cost-benefit analysis in terms of which keywords to target and how difficult it would be to target them, thereby setting priority and targets. Based on your keyword research findings, create an editorial calendar for content development and publishing.
Provide Unique Value in Your Content
Once your content calendar is set and content is beginning to be developed in different mediums such as blogs, videos, or infographics – assess the value of what you’re creating. Try and create content that will fill a unique need in the market. Ask yourself if it fills any gaps and if it matches your objectives. Dive deep into what your competitors are doing and find your own niche or segmentation within the content in the market. Even the medium of content can help you provide unique value. Consistently track your content’s performance and learn from its valuable lessons.
Have a content-schedule in place
Plan your content creation and its subsequent delivery way ahead of the actual date of publishing. Stick to a monthly schedule so that all the teams are aware of when new content has to be delivered and what type of content it will be.
Here are a few quick tips on creating a monthly content schedule.
- Share the editorial calendar with your content team and SEO team. Set up reminders for writers so they receive a notification when a deadline is coming up.
- Content types such as videos and infographics often need several rounds of edits and can be more complex when it comes to search optimization. Hence, have plenty of lead time in hand while developing these.
- Since SEO is a dynamic field, it is not advisable to plan too far out in advance. Content requirements might change due to various reasons, so do not plan for the next 6 months altogether. At the most, SEO companies in India and abroad make SEO content strategies only for the coming three months but rarely beyond that.
See also Why Content Marketing is the New SEO [Infographic]
Analyze, assess, repeat
Adding relevant content types on your website isn’t the end of the story. You need to stay on top of your analytics to know what’s generating the desired results and what isn’t. Comments on blog posts or articles, page views, links, social shares (Facebook likes, tweets, etc.), and optimized conversion rates are amongst the reliable measures of success and engagement.
Do take notice of the pattern of shares and likes. For example, if infographics are attracting more traffic as compared to blogs, then change your strategy and include more infographics accordingly. Reshuffle your editorial schedule going forward so you can invest more effort and time in the content types that are really being read, liked and shared.
In case another variation of keyword draws more traffic, it is advisable to re-optimize your content according to the new keyword. You might be able to increase traffic to a great extent by putting that keyword in the title.
SEO strategies keep changing all throughout. It is quite possible that the affordable SEO services provided by a digital marketing agency or an organization last yea would possibly become obsolete by this year. Keeping in mind that it is such a dynamic industry, one should work to figure out a viable plan that will allow space for the organization to grow.
Follow these 7 steps to a successful content strategy.
Read also Content Marketing for eCommerce in 2017