Creating content without the help of an SEO content strategy is like playing darts blindfolded; you might hit something, but your chances of hitting the bull’s eye are much lower. The world of content marketing is already crowded. Every brand is producing content while trying to stand out from the competition. Only the most successful enjoy a great organic click-through rate and increased ROI.
61% of consumers are interested in purchasing from brands that generate custom content. If your content fails to set you apart from the competition, you could lose the majority of customers. The trick is to use an SEO content marketing strategy to your advantage.
Here is how to create a strong SEO content strategy to guide your yearly content output:
Understand Your Customer
What do you know about your ideal customer? You are creating content for your end customer, and the more you understand about them, the easier it will be to create great content. While you may sell the same product as the competition, you could have a completely different customer base. The trick is to commit to researching your ideal customer. Creating detailed buyer personas is a step in the right direction.
Some customers will react in a certain way to specific terms in your content. That’s why you should group them by demographics. You can group them using psychographic data, location, age, or even gender. This will help you create an SEO content strategy that includes topic ideas that match your audience’s interests.
It will also help you understand the kind of content to create at different stages of your customer’s journey. While one type of content will be ideal for customers who are simply looking for information, other kinds of content are ideal for customers who only need a slight push to make a purchase.
Do Some Keyword Research
Keywords are one of the most important parts of your SEO content marketing strategy. They ensure that your site visitors can find your content when browsing search engines. While it can be hard work, conducting great keyword research could allow you to enjoy the fruits long-term.
The trick is to find the right keyword. You also need to ensure that keywords will fit naturally into your content. When picking keywords for your SEO content strategy, you must focus on search intent; why are customers searching for that term on Google? There are four search intents:
- Informational — the searcher is only interested in getting information about a specific company or product.
- Navigational — the visitor is looking for a specific website, but they don’t want to type the entire URL.
- Commercial investigation — the searcher has yet to make the final purchase decision, but they want to compare products or see reviews.
- Transactional — the searcher’s main aim is to buy products. They probably already have the background information about the product.
Be sure to use a good mixture of short and long-tail keywords. As voice search becomes more prevalent, adding long-tail keywords to your SEO content strategy could help you future-proof your rankings. Roughly 1 in every 4 adult consumers now owns a smart speaker, and this number keeps increasing.
Conduct Competition Analysis
How well is the competition serving the current marketplace? Do they satisfy the customer, or are there gaps in their content delivery? SEO is a zero-sum game; one business will have to drop its ranks for another to take its place. By looking at the kind of content the competition is delivering, you could generate more value-oriented content.
This SEO content strategy approach is referred to as the Skyscraper technique. To benefit from this approach, you should consider factors like:
- The average number of words for every blog post from the competition
- How engaging the competition’s content is
- Whether the competition has used infographics and images in their content
- Whether they have created a great link ecosystem through their content
Anything that gives you an edge against your main competitors is highly welcome. The goal is to offer more value to your audience while pleasing search engines. It might take some time before your content ranks, but this SEO content marketing strategy has long-term gains. Following this approach can help you become an authority in your industry.
What Should You Include in Your Yearly Content Calendar?
Once you have a grasp of your ideal customer, it’s easier to know what to include in your SEO content strategy. You should set out to create several posts per week for consistency. The content calendar should include information like the content topics, the keywords, deadlines, calls-to-action, and working headlines. Here is a deeper dive into the first two:
- Content topics — picking the ideal topics for your content calendar can be quite straightforward, as long as you know where to look. You can start by assessing the typical questions customers ask about your business. Researching the kind of content the competition is creating also helps. Even better, there are multiple tools that can help you identify topic ideas. For starters, Google auto-fills keywords on its search page, which could help you get an idea of related topics that are popular with consumers. Google Trends also helps you understand the kind of keywords and topics that have been trending.
- Keywords — Google Keyword Planner could help you find great keywords to improve your SEO content strategy. You can identify the best long-tail and short-tail keywords to use. Again, conducting competition analysis will also help you understand the best keywords to use.
Keep Measuring and Refining Your Content
Creating a strong SEO content marketing strategy is just the first step. You need to keep refining your content calendar throughout the year. How are customers responding to your current choices? Is the competition creating better content than you?
You need to revisit your SEO content strategy consistently to keep your website engaging. Remember, it takes anywhere between four months to a year to start seeing SEO results.
The Calendar Makes Everything Easier
While you could walk the trial-and-error path of content creation, you likely won’t get the results you need. Having a well-defined content calendar will keep you moving and disciplined throughout the year. Content creation is especially vital in the modern world, where eCommerce has been booming. Work on your SEO content strategy to build a competitive edge against the competition.