Content strategy, sounds exciting right?
SEO strategy, sounds exciting right?
Content strategy for SEO, don’t you know?
Are you the last one? Then let us clear some air for you. Content strategy is very important for SEO as it plays a crucial role in promoting your business.
No doubt, Google and audiences are both getting smarter day-by-day. It’s important to adopt the universal rule ‘content is king,’ but SEO is also the queen.
They are the same vehicle’s wheels, and you can’t afford to lose any one of them.
But how do you make sure that your content is standing tall on these two pillars?
An interesting stats suggest that more than 60% of people don’t have a documented content strategy. This means 37% believe that throwing a dart blindfolded will work, even in content strategy for SEO.
Your business needs a magic mix of strategic SEO plus a dash of valuable content.
This valuable guide reveals all the secrets for a powerful Content strategy for SEO. So, keep reading.

Step-By-Step Content Strategy For SEO

1. Do The Groundwork First!

You might think, ‘But what about the keyword research?’ yes, we will get there in a while.
The first and foremost thing is to know your audience. Here’s how you can do this:

1.1 Define Your Topic Area

Firstly, explain the objective of your brand and the places where you stand out from your competitors.
As per stats, 65% of marketers find it challenging to create engaging content because they miss the first step.
Ask yourself, what fresh perspectives can you share with your audience within your industry topics?
Share a perspective that can give value and excite them at the same time. This is your topic area, which acts as a bedrock for other tasks like keyword research, content ideas, and more.
Here’s an example, if your product is ‘Gym wear.’
What your audience wants: Training tips, hydration effects, what kind of gym wear is best? How to prevent injuries?
How you will help them: Provide expertise, solutions and actionable tips, and free guides.

1.2 Who’s Your Audience?

Your business flourishes on your audience’s demand; still, very few people sit down and think about this.
You have to be crystal clear about for whom you’re setting up this content strategy. Narrow down and start the research.
Here’s how you can start:

  • Your current customers can act as a mirror for your business. Analyze the similarities and note down all the points.
  • Look out for your competitors, their followers, audience, and social accounts. In short, you can stalk them and figure out how you can niche down.
  • See how you can help others with your products or service. List out all the benefits to the audience.

1.3 Define Pain Points

Starting from ground zero helps you to get on the same page as your audience. You discover their pain points, their fears, their choices, and their challenges. It is mainly defined on these criteria:

  • Their age.
  • Their job title.
  • Challenges they face.
  • What puts them in a great mood?
  • What resources are they lacking?
  • What are their fears?

1.4 Humanize Brand Experience

When you talk more like a human rather than bots with your audience, it suddenly shifts your marketing psychology.
You’re not creating content for strangers anymore; now, they are familiar faces with strong attributes and feelings. Feel your audience and help them in the best way with valuable content.
A clear image produces a clear content strategy.

1.5 Keep Your Guide always Ready-to-Use

Now that your buyer persona is ready! You can cut some slack and focus on creating content. It unifies your marketing message and makes it clear to all (your marketing and content team).
You can go back again and again and use it whenever your team needs it. According to stats, marketers spend a whopping 32% of their time managing data quality, which is still not enough.
So, save some time and focus on content and SEO.

1.6 Don’t Say Hi to All!

In business, if you talk to everyone, you’re talking to no one.
Your product doesn’t serve everyone, just like your content.
Your target audience can be segregated based on the buyer’s persona. Now you can make a list of your targeted audience and also understand who not to target. Creating content that speaks to your desired audience keeps your content strategy on track.
Say hi to your targeted audience and leave others.

1.7 Ask the Right Questions

It’s easy to get carried away by 1000s of content ideas every single day. And it’s not surprising that 78% of companies have a team of one-to-three content specialists.
But the most important part is to keep your audience in your mind while creating that next big content idea.
Asking questions like : Is this the article my audience would like to read? Adding these statistics will interest them? Are these actionable tips? Will it be valuable for my audience? Asking the right questions helps you follow a process that involves your viewers (aka customers).

2. Keywords and Audience Search Intent

It’s time for keywords!
But not from anywhere and everywhere. Keywords, if done right, can crown your business with glorious results.
Let’s go into some detail and learn why keywords are important in a content strategy for SEO.

2.1 Find the Keyword Intent

First thing first, audience search intent should be your goal post for content strategy.
Will they get the information they are looking for when entering this keyword in the Google search bar?
Do they want to buy shoes or learn how to make pasta? It depends on the user’s search intent.

  • Navigational intent : navigating through different websites but want one result.
  • Informational intent : When people want specific answers to specific questions.
  • Commercial intent : People want to buy something and are on a hunt.
  • Purchase intent : People are looking to buy something right now!

Creating content within these given search intents will skyrocket your SEO strategy.

2.2 Use SERPs

Did you know that companies using content strategy landed 434% more search engine results pages (SERPs) than those that didn’t?
Search engines are always trying to answer the exact needs of people. Nowadays, it’s not a cakewalk to rank on Google’s first page.
For this reason, you can find a good deal of keywords when you check SERPs (search engine result pages) and take a good look at the result.
It shows up like gold for your business.
Now, you can use this research to create content around topics that answer people’s specific needs. This builds the trust factor and shows credibility for your brand.

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2.3 Pick Primary Keywords

It can be overwhelming sometimes to research, choose, and make a list of keywords and then incorporate it into the entire article.
It’s a lot to take care of. But a simple way to get started is to choose a primary keyword for your next article and dig a little deeper. People have more chances of finding your content when you use primary keywords.
Primary keywords act like seeds for your topics. Use Semrush Magic Tool to find search volume, related keywords, gauge demand, and measure competition.

2.4 Focus on Additional Keywords

Additional keywords are related to primary keywords.
They add a little depth in the primary keywords that cater more towards users’ search intent.
For example: If the primary keyword is ‘shoes,’ the secondary keywords will be ‘running shoes,’ ‘lightweight,’ ‘gym shoes’ from a user’s perspective.

2.5 See How Many Keywords Should You Use

The answer is: It’s complicated!
But at the same time, it’s simple — as many as you can come up with.
Even if you’re a small business, having a list of keywords ( no, not 1000, it’s a lot) will work in your favor. First, go for the ones you want to rank for and leave those that are not that important right now.
Make a plan and go accordingly.

2.6 Keep Your Tools Handy

You can fix everything, but without tools, everything will fall apart again.
There are multiple freemium tools you can use, from Yoast Plugin to Semrush Magic. Try to choose the ones that fit your process the best.
Find pumped-up keywords and get started with your content strategy for SEO.

2.7 Adapt Updated Strategy

If you’re not updating your keyword strategy, you’re doing it all wrong. It should evolve and grow with your business.
Any new product? Extend your list of keywords.
Are you aiming for new markets? Your strategy should focus on new market research. And it’s good to zoom in a little bit, find different keywords, search volumes, and other diverse areas for a new campaign.

3. Link Building

Here’s a controversial question: Can you rank your website without link building?
You might think, ‘Are you serious?’ But yes, we are.
Let’s start with a few better ranking methods using a content strategy for SEO and ditch the link building idea for a while.

3.1 Shower Value through Great ON-site Content

If you can create an in-depth piece of content that satisfies your audience’s cravings, then you’re on your way to success.
A secret tip from various experts, “Write better content than the top 10 articles for your target keyword.”
It sounds simple, but yes, it does take work to create targeted and rewarding content.
For example, here’s how a year-old website meets its customers’ needs and draws Google’s attention to get ahead of its competitors.

3.2 Focus on Internal Links

Everyone knows about backlinks, but internal links are still a hidden secret.
For small businesses, internal links work wonders.
The concept of self-relevancy and natural linking can be a huge part of your self-managed link building strategy.
You can build authority on a particular topic with 7-8 pages of content interlinked on your site and stay in Google’s good books.
So, give it a try!

3.3 Build Your Brand through Citations

When you’re just starting a new business, building a reputation can seem discomforting.
But there’s always a way to get started, start with getting cited.
In simple words, citations are like a ‘value of vote’ for your business with an online mention (name, address, and phone number - NAP). These mentions are made on local business directories, social media apps, and other websites.
Like Yellow, Foursquare, Hotfrog, and True local, free listings for businesses ( a free backlink). The more citations and mentions you get, the more traffic you receive and the more popular you become in the market.

3.4 Create Valuable Resources

Who doesn’t love value?
People are hungry for information, case studies, and more information. You can create a widget for resources and topics that caters to your target audience. It is the best idea to shoot your content strategy.
For example, a travel agency uses a local weather widget to attract attention and help its audience make good decisions.
Widgets can also include translators, slideshow, and digital goods.
People love search tools, booking and availability forms, which can simplify things for them.
Create a widget with a unique angle and embed your website link in it. It can solve your problem and allow more foot traffic to your online store (your website).

3.5 Answer Your Audience

You can always go for the low-hanging fruits. This means, create content around long-tail keywords that are often found in Google’s autocomplete search bar.
Sometimes, Wikipedia’s content ranks on the first page of Google (for a specific keyword). This shows a strong probability that your website can also rank well (for a targeted keyword) because Wikipedia is not supported with any backlinks.
Answer your audience’s burning questions and entice them with the answers.

3.6 Get Ultra Niche-Specific

Do you know how many people became dot-com millionaires by creating websites on niches like a Gun blog or find the perfect senior living location near you? so many.
Since these topics have low competition, they rank well without any backlinks. And it still garners attention because of proper content strategy and SEO.
So, attack the niche that hasn’t been bombarded yet and get specific (exceptions can be there still; it isn’t a bad idea).

3.7 Adopt Long-Tail Keywords

In the daunting world of SEO, long-tail keywords are your best friends (yup, that’s why this is the third mention).
When your content is inclined towards low search volume and less competitive keywords, it’s going to rank.
For example: if your client is “a flower seller,” your content answers questions from “how many flowers are there in a bouquet” to “how does grouping flowers help flower sellers?”.
It’s easy to rank for exceptional content without the help of backlinks— yes, exceptional content.

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4. The Importance of Great Content

Without content, your SEO strategy will be alone—without any support. That’s where content supremacy comes in. Let’s understand why content is a salient feature in an SEO content strategy.

4.1 Create Purposeful Content

You know the content is of good quality when backed by Google rankings and loved by the audience. But is it too simple to fabricate this type of content?
If you can create content that showers value in your audience lives and can answer these questions:

  • What do you want to tell your audience?
  • What’s the core message of your article?
  • What’s the purpose of your article?
  • What action do you want your audience to take after reading your content?

Then, you’re ready-to-go on a purposeful content journey.

4.2 Create Quality Content

More than content, quality content is the king. A well-structured, free of any mishaps, and to the point, content is powerful for SEO content strategy.
The best way to level up your content quality is to have an interesting take on a topic. Then combine it with information, stories that solve your audience’s pain points.
As per stats by Content Marketing Institute, the median time people spend on articles is 37 seconds.
This means only high-quality content can boost engagement and get eye-balls; anything less than that will not work.

4.3 Freshness is Real

To create purposeful high-quality content, you do need to add a little dash of freshness to it.
Who likes the same, repeated, boring, and sometimes even duplicate content again and again (not us)?
Google loves fresh content and also prefers it over any duplicate content. Make sure your content resembles your brand’s opinion and perspective on any new topic. This ensures the content is fresh and authentic to your audience.
Websites that present a different view on the same topic become thought leaders like Neil Patel and Brian Dean. These industry players experience 7.8 times more site traffic than non-leaders.
Now, the choice is in your hands.

4.4 Keep Your Audience Close

You created fresh, high-quality content, but does it matter to your audience?
Remember this mantra, talk with them, not at them? When you incorporate this, Google also takes note of your website.
In simple words, write like you’re writing for one person, try to solve one problem from his life in your 5-minute blog post.
Ensure he gets what he wants (it doesn’t have to be a big takeaway), but having one clear call to action works miracles for your audiences. Always keep audience intent as your content guide.

4.5 Focus on Content Design

Content and design go hand in hand— thanks to our modern technology.
Now, the design has to be on point so that your customers don’t get confused in finding solutions to their problems. ‘If you confuse people, you lose people,’ Rachel Hanfling (media producer, strategist, and trainer) you can note it on your whiteboard.
In simple words, the content design focuses on users’ needs than wants. It takes us on a journey with the user.
It helps in mapping out the perfect communication channel and language for communicating to your audience. On a quick note, it’s a new way of thinking about content.

4.6 Make Sure Your Content is Readable

Ever came across a content piece where every word and paragraph are intertwined and mixed (no spaces, no proper format, nothing)?
People take out their precious time to come to Google and find answers, and if your content is not skimmable, you will lose them.
Readable content is a treat to your viewer’s eyes. The easy flowing paragraphs, properly formatted lines, and clear white-spaces help readers grab their content snack piece in less time.

4.7 Context and Relevance plays a Big Role

It’s no longer about how many times your target keyword pops up in an article. Now, it’s more about the context and how relevant your content is in the eyes of Google and your audience.
The context of keywords, recurring terms, and phrases play a huge role in deciding if a visitor lands on your page first or on your competitors.
Over 28.5% of people only look at the first page of Google results. Now is the time to turn the tables around and create more relevant content with proper SE-optimization.

5. Site Structure and Optimization

Now we’re at last yet the most crucial step of content strategy for SEO. Optimization of the entire content piece and maintaining a good site structure keeps your content updated and sorted.
Let’s understand why they are important for content strategy and ranking on Google?

5.1 Importance of Site Structure

We are familiar with Google terms and conditions, right? Google prefers content pieces that users love, and users love content pieces that are easy to navigate.
A good site structure helps Google to understand your best content while taking a tour of your website. It evaluates easy-to-find pieces of content and indexes it with the users’ search intent.
If your site’s purpose and intent are all clear to Google, then congrats, you won!

5.2 Make Google Your Friend

Look, 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to your site if they encounter any bad experience (related to navigation, check-out, products, or anything else).
With the help of exclusive site structures, you can make sure that you surpass this doom.
Find your best performing content piece and link it to other pages on your site. It produces a domino effect and helps your other pages to rank well.
This means you can also use high performing content to boost search engine rankings for your Sales pages. In the end, Google will shake hands with your website content.

5.3 Create the Best Site Structure

In an effective SEO content strategy, your ideal site structure should stand tall like a pyramid.
Your homepage should be on the top of the pyramid and linked to all other pages on your site. The long-tail keywords optimized pages should appear at the bottom of the triangle/pyramid.
Find the most competitive search terms and place them at the top of the triangle.
This ideal structure makes your site more attractive.
Stats suggest that 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content or layout is unattractive. Assist your audience accurately with what’s new on your site, the place where they can find their answers, and what you’re selling to them.

5.4 Optimize Smartly

Now that your site structure is on point optimize, optimize and optimize (but go easy on it).
A well-optimized meta title includes all the relevant keywords. It’s doubtful that your article’s headline will show up every single time in the search results.
So, that’s when the meta title shows up. It acts as a primary piece of information for the audience. Try to keep its length between 15-40 characters because it has an 8.6% higher CTR than those outside the range.
Include power words and indicate the problem your content is solving in the meta title.

5.5 Add a Catchy H1 Title

It’s important to create a unique H1 tag that helps visitors. For that purpose, use a focused long-tail keyword in your H1 title.
Describe the content for your text body in the H1 tag since Google prefers it more. ‘How To’ articles and headlines that provide ‘top 10’ and ‘5 best’ ‘N thing’ rank 2x times more than other types of content.
Make room for some creativity and make your H1 title appealing to our audience.

5.6 Make Your URL Readable

It is a small yet pivotal factor that affects your content and SEO strategy.
A good quality URL is attention-grabbing to the audience. It describes what they will gain from it. Also, a readable URL explains to users what’s inside for them.
Here’s how you can optimize it:

  • Use punctuation in your URLs.
  • The page’s primary keyword should match your URL description.
  • Use lowercase and don’t mix in capital letters.
  • Make it as short as possible.

All these points can be a little overwhelming, and that’s okay. But never leave your content strategy and SEO alone (they need to work together for your business).
The key is to learn from your competitors’ mistakes and keep going.
It does take time and effort, but in the end, it’s worth it.
Our expert content marketers can help with the content creation and SEO process for your website. Contact us today to get started.

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