It’s the foundation on which your SEO can thrive. However, an important part of a good content strategy revolves around resisting the temptation to simply throw any and every bit of content up online purely as a way to host your SEO keywords or embed links. Instead, content should seamlessly meld your SEO goals into high-quality text so well that it becomes indistinguishable from your other online content.
Here are a few of the major elements that should go into a good content marketing strategy as well as how they can make an impact on your search engine results.
Putting the Time in Beforehand
Before you pop open a laptop and start typing out a bunch of blog posts, it’s important to take some time to craft your strategy and do some research.
Conduct Audience Research
Knowing your audience has always been an elemental part of the marketing game, and the practice extends right into the online world. Make sure to spend time researching what your audience likes, what they’re interested in, and what questions they’re asking. This will help you target your efforts in the right direction as well as avoid spending time and money on content that won’t be as effective.
Search for Keywords
As you learn more intimate information about the needs and desires of your audience, you can begin to search out keywords that they’re using in their online searches. There are a host of various keyword search tools out there. Many are free but limited in their abilities, while others like those provided by Moz and Ahrefs are expensive, powerful, and loaded with valuable information.
As you search out keywords, remember to make sure they aren’t simply popular search terms. You should also consider the intent behind why they’re being used in the first place. If you sell pools and you use keywords that attract people looking for AC units, you’re hardly going to be providing answers for those using the search queries. In other words, choose your keywords wisely.
Content is King
Yes, everyone says it and it’s a cliche at this point, but it’s also true. Treat your content with the respect it deserves and it’ll do the same for you. That means no tacky sales pitches or sketchy content that doesn’t actually provide value.
Instead, aim to choose topics that can provide knowledge and establish you as an authority within your niche. Remember, your content is directly connected to your other marketing efforts. It’s the “top of your sales funnel” so to speak. You’re going to want it to draw, attract, and encourage potential customers to engage with you, while simultaneously leaving them with a good impression that leads them further down the funnel looking for more answers.
Taking the time to study your audience, choose valuable keywords, and plan out your content beforehand has the benefit of helping you remain focused on a single, structured message or niche as you go. This can have a synergistic, focused effect on your marketing efforts, rather than leaving you simply chasing what seems to work at the moment.
Creating Quality Content
Of course, once you have a good plan in place, you still need to create the content itself. This includes things like social media, videos, and blog posts (with that last one being the bread and butter of the online content world). Once again, there are a few things you’re going to want to keep in mind as you go, though.
One of the easiest ways to add SEO authority to your content is to simply embed hyperlinks throughout your text as you go. But, as with all other SEO, this isn’t a magic bullet. You need to add links carefully and thoughtfully. Don’t add too many, and make sure that each time you choose anchor text, it correctly represents the source it’s linking to.
Be Expansive Within Your Niche
While it’s good to have a niche, make sure to answer as many important “what, why, when” questions as you can within that niche. Don’t write yourself into a corner that speaks to a very select sliver of your audience. Instead, try to cover a variety of helpful topics as you go.
Put Humans First
Humans or search engines? That is the question. As already touched on, a good content marketing strategy caters to both of these marketing angles, but that doesn’t mean it comes naturally. It’s very easy to be sucked down the SEO rabbit hole to the dismay of your human readers.
As you craft your content, it’s critical to keep your eye focused on providing genuine, quality content that human readers will benefit from. That should always be a priority.
Length, Depth, and Organization
In addition to writing for humans, make sure your content is longform and comprehensive. Don’t be shallow. Make deep dives into each topic, and push those word counts up into the thousands when you can.
Think about the 4S approach (snackable, searchable, segmented, shareable content) each time you sit down to write something. And, finally, make sure to group your content within your site in a logical way that will be easy for readers to navigate.
As a final exhortation, make sure to set up analytics in order to evaluate how your content performs. If you don’t know what works, you’ll end up spending a lot of time and effort on creating content that isn’t helping.
If you take the time to carefully plan your content marketing strategy beforehand and then execute it with a purpose, it will greatly improve your chances of online success. Choose your audience, topics, and keywords with care, write for human readers, embed links wherever they naturally fit, and aim to create deep, quality content. If you can keep these goals in mind, you’re likely to begin to see the traffic rolling in before you know it.