What Is an SEO Content Marketing Strategy and how do you create one? As a digital marketer, you’ve likely heard the terms SEO and content marketing, but how do these strategies relate? As search engine results become more powerful, marketers must create content that aligns with audience needs and search engine ranking factors. A successful search engine optimisation content marketing strategy involves creating high-quality content so your site ranks higher, ultimately boosting website traffic and online visibility.
What Is SEO?
Search engine optimisation (SEO) refers to creating content or editing website pages to appear higher in search results. Popular search engines include Google and Bing. When people search on one of these websites for information, products, or services, you want your website to appear near the top.
Resource – what is SEO
SEO Ranking Factors
Creating web pages that rank is a complicated, ongoing process. Google’s search engine crawlers use over 200 ranking factors to determine search results. While content is important, writing a few un-researched blog posts won’t improve your organic traffic.
So what ranking factors should you consider? We don’t recommend attempting to master all 200 upfront, so below are a few of the most important factors determining how content ranks:
- Quality content: Google’s primary goal is to give users the answers they need. Creating valuable information requires following the proper word count, building relevant content aimed toward your target audience, and writing unique details that set you apart from the existing content. For example, a 30-word article copying what another website says won’t rank as well as a 1,000-word unique blog post answering your target audience’s burning questions.
- Keywords: Keywords define who sees your content and when. For example, if you want to appear near the top of results for “Best lemonade stand near me,” you must optimise your website for targeted keywords like “lemonade,” “lemonade in Perth,” “lemonade near me,” “local businesses,” etc. Keyword research helps you discover the best terms surrounding your brand, including long-tail keywords, easy wins, and challenging long-term goals.
- Site construction: Search engine crawlers also examine your website’s physical construction to determine your authority. Google and other search engines don’t want to send visitors to a broken website. SEO site construction involves optimising load speed, removing broken links, adding alternative text behind visual assets, offering correct site maps, using the proper heading structures H1, H2, H3, H4, etc., and much more.
- Mobile optimisation: When you build a desktop site, it usually won’t look good on mobile devices until you make adjustments. Without mobile optimisation, search engines won’t display your content to visitors searching from their phones. You must edit each page to appear and function great on mobile.
- Inbound links: Inbound links are internal links between your website pages. The more you link your content together, the easier your human visitors or crawler bots can navigate your website. Inbound links include header and footer navigational menus, on-page buttons, and internal links.
- External link building: When other websites link to your content, search engines view your website as more trustworthy and authoritative. Link building may include gaining shout-outs from another blog, shared content on social media platforms, etc.
Organic vs. Paid SEO
The ranking factors above help your website rank higher organically, though you can also pay to achieve similar results. Paid ads appear at the top of search results for the desired term, directing visitors to your site. Often, paid SEO advertisements increase website traffic, which can boost your organic search results as well.
When you successfully deliver content and website pages that rank well in search engine results, your brand flourishes in many ways. SEO success directly leads to:
- Increased site traffic
- New visitors
- Better sales funnel conversion rates
- Improved brand awareness and visibility
- Competitive advantages
- Streamlined lead generation
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a critical aspect of SEO that involves creating content catered to your target audience. Content might include blog posts, video content, long-form E-books, webinars, case studies, and other forms. Regardless of the format, content must be valuable, relevant, researched, and keyword-packed to answer audience needs while ranking high.
Content marketing serves two main purposes:
- Improve SEO opportunities: The more you create content, the better odds you have at ranking high. Imagine you have 80 different blog posts, each optimised for different relevant keywords. Now, your website has 80 more chances at appearing near the top of results for a potential customer’s query.
- Increase conversions: Content doesn’t just bring visitors to your website; rather, it offers an avenue for conversions. After a user reads your blog post, you can direct them to take any action you please.
Content conversion goals usually extend beyond just making sales. You may want visitors to take other actions, like subscribing to your blog, joining your newsletter, sharing your posts on social media, etc. Such content marketing efforts offer rippling effects that help you generate long-term results, like boosted traffic and industry awareness.
A successful content marketing strategy involves more than just publishing the relevant content. You must advertise through social media, link-building campaigns, and content optimisation strategies. Once target audiences find your content, you can engage with them on a personal level by offering answers, solutions, and educational materials that help them solve their biggest problems.
Why Should SEO and Content Marketing Strategies Align?
Imagine you write an article titled “How To Write a Cover Letter.” You could email this blog post out to LinkedIn community members and share it across your social media accounts, though you can’t guarantee that the people who see it actually need help writing a cover letter. Through search engine optimisation combined with content marketing strategies, you can target people who actually searched online for help with writing cover letters.
When you combine your SEO strategy with your content marketing strategy, you reach audience groups that have higher chances of converting. By aligning keyword research with search intent, you help potential customers find your blog post when they need it most.
SEO and content marketing help you achieve short-term wins, like a new blog subscriber or sale, and long-term objectives like dominating your targeted keywords. While SEO and content marketing aren’t the only marketing tools, we recommend all content marketers include these powerful strategies within their game plan.
How To Create an SEO Content Strategy
Creating and executing a content marketing strategy built for search engines and humans alike is challenging, though offers incredible rewards. You must thoroughly understand your audience, research the best terms to rank for, author valuable information, evolve over time, and improved based on results. Use our steps below to generate your content marketing SEO strategy.
1: Define and Research Your Audience
Before planning any content, you must understand who your audience is so you can adequately deliver to their needs. Target audience and target market research involve understanding two key factors:
- The entire market is interested in what you provide: For example, your target market could be any adult who’s on the job hunt. To research this market, you should research which competitors appear near the top of search results.
- The specific audience interested in your content: For example, your target audience for some of your blog posts may be recent college graduates writing their first cover letter. You can further understand this audience by developing buyer personas.
Developing Buyer Personas
Buyer personas are fictional characters that outline your ideal customer, helping you better understand their problems, needs, and solutions. To create a buyer persona, include specific details like your target audience’s age, demographics, gender, location, daily problems, and potential solutions. Next, you can craft your content around their potential solutions.
Reaching Local Audiences
When defining your audience, you should also consider whether or not you wish to appear in local results. Local SEO refers to ranking high in search queries related to your area. For example, you might want to rank for the phrase, “Resume help near me.”
If you wish to reach local audiences, you must include local SEO in your content marketing strategy. Note that you don’t have to pick one or the other. You can combine your local content strategy with an online, global SEO strategy to reach as many potential users as possible.
2: Research Keywords
Keyword research is one of the most important aspects of any SEO strategy because it directly impacts who will see your content. Picking the right terms may seem easy, though it requires in-depth analysis. You must consider the following factors:
- Monthly traffic: Monthly traffic refers to how often anyone searches for a specific term each month. High monthly traffic rates offer better exposure opportunities, though they’re often much harder to rank for.
- Difficulty: Difficulty refers to how hard it is to rank for a specific term. Easy keywords may only require one or two blog posts while the most challenging terms with millions of searches per month require months or years of hard work.
- Relevancy: The terms you select must be relevant to your own content. For example, if you write about dog-owner topics and sell dog products, you shouldn’t rank for “How To Write a Cover Letter.”
- SERPs: Search engine results pages (SERPs) help you determine what the current landscape looks like for a specific search query. For example, if you sell dog products you might want to rank for the word “dog,” though if you search this term, you’ll notice many of the results are for a 2022 film called Dog. The SERP shows that people searching for this term may not care about your dog products if they just want to stream a movie.
- Search intent: Search intent refers to a user’s intentions behind their search query. Intentions might include commercial, navigational, transactional, or informational. You can use this information to your advantage to best serve searchers’ needs.
Given the factors above, you may feel overwhelmed by picking your keywords. Luckily, you don’t have to pick just one word. We recommend selecting a group of easier short-term keywords with lower monthly traffic rates plus long-term, difficult, high-traffic terms.
As you accomplish your short-term goals, you can work toward the more difficult terms. The more traffic you generate and the more content you create, the easier the process becomes.
We also recommend selecting a balance between long-tail keywords and individual terms. Lon-tail keywords refer to multi-word phrases. In one blog post, you may try to include five to ten different long and short-tail keywords to increase your overall ranking chances.
3: Create a Content Plan
Once you know your keywords and phrases, you can start creating content ideas. Your content plan should reflect your short and long-term ranking goals. We usually recommend the clustering strategy:
- Break your long-term goals into “clusters”: Consider all of your most difficult long-term keyword goals and group them into related clusters. For example, you may separate content clusters for information on training dogs, picking dog food, finding the best dog accessories, etc. Each of these topics may relate to your brand, though they all answer different types of questions.
- Create content ideas for each cluster: Now, you can create ideas for blog posts that align with each cluster topic. The individual articles should capitalise on your short-term keyword goals. For example, if you want to rank for “best dog collar for rat terriers,” you could include this article under “finding the best dog accessories.”
- Pick keywords for each article: Aside from selecting the primary keyword for each blog post, you also must consider secondary terms and semantic alternatives. All keywords should closely relate to your primary term. Using the example above, you secondary terms might include “dog leashes,” “dog collars,” “dog tags,” “rat terrier collars,” etc.
- Plan your schedule: By now, you may have a list of hundreds of different articles you wish to write in the future. Unless you have a large content strategist team, you must prioritise content and decide where you’ll begin. You could either work cluster to cluster, completing each post before moving on to a new topic, or pick the lowest-hanging fruit in each cluster to add more variety to your website’s content.
- Define content details: Finally, you must plan your content details, like article length, images, publishing schedules, advertising tactics, etc. We recommend viewing the SERPs again to better understand how your content should look. For example, if all the articles under you desired phrase are short, then you should avoid long-form content.
4: Author Content
Authoring content may feel like a breeze after you’ve created a thorough plan with targeted keywords. While your content strategy defines your article’s general goals, you must conduct additional research when you actually sit down to write. SEO content must be highly valuable and informative to stand out among the competition and rank higher.
Use these tips when generating your content:
- Research the competition: If you want to create similar articles to your competitors, you’ll need to make your post stand out so you can rank higher. You can use existing information as a starting point, but you should add your own insightful comments and in-depth explanations. Google won’t rank your site content higher than the current top results unless you have valuable information to add.
- Include examples: Examples show that you’ve done your research. If your writing about the best dog collars, don’t just link to the one your brand sells. Instead, include examples of a bunch of top options for readers to choose between.
- Link to authoritative resources: Linking may not directly optimise content, though it adds value and authority to your content. When mentioning statistics, facts, or specific claims, link to the reputable, primary source that discovered the information. Authoritative sources might include scientific reviews, research studies, journals, or other primary sources.
- Use easy-to-understand language: You should understand who your audience is from your market research. Unless your target audience is advanced, scholarly professionals, you want to speak with them in a human tone. Avoid jargon and complicated phrases that may deter beginners.
- Break up large portions of text: Giant bodies of text intimidate readers and make it harder for crawlers to understand your content. Break up text into shorter paragraphs, bullet points, instructional lists, or different sections. Sub-headers (H2, H3, H4, etc.) boost SEO and improve readability.
- Offer visuals: Images and videos make your content easier to understand and more valuable. Don’t forget to include closed captions and alternative texts so all users can enjoy your visuals. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), most websites must include various accessibility features to adhere to government requirements, otherwise, they may suffer SEO penalties.
5: Measure Results
Before publishing content, you should establish a measurement system to track how well your articles perform. Rank tracking helps you understand which blog posts appear under your desired terms. You can use this information to improve your current articles and better plan for future ones.
We recommend using comprehensive data tools, like Google Analytics. With Google Analytics, you can view how your site traffic improves based on each SEO strategy. The tool shows you your most visited indexed pages, where users navigate after landing on your content, and how they find your articles.
We recommend setting up all of your preferred measurement tools before publishing content so you can understand your baseline. Next, set measurable goals and track how well you achieve each.
6: Continue Evolving Content for Search Engines
Based on how your content performs, you must continue evolving to achieve your desired results. You can author new blogs based on your content plan, though we recommend revising existing content as well.
Say you have a few under-performing articles because you used the wrong keywords or didn’t include enough valuable information. Even though you’ve published these items, you can still go back and revamp them.
Regardless of SEO purposes, you should regularly perform content audits to ensure that all of your information stays up-to-date. We recommend the following tasks:
- Check for new keywords and optimise content accordingly
- Add information to increase the content’s value
- Update any outdated facts or statistics
- Refresh outdated phrases or slang
- Add new videos and images explaining the content
The tips above ensure that all of your hard research and writing work doesn’t go to waste on an outdated article.
Insights For Evolving Your Content Marketing SEO Strategy
Content marketing and SEO aren’t one-and-done strategies. Building successful content that always ranks high requires evolving based on trends, data, and insights. Use our insight tips below to evolve your SEO content.
1: Analyse the Competition
Any competitors that rank higher than you must be doing something right. Luckily, you can use this information to your advantage. We recommend analysing the keywords they rank for, the types of content they create, and their website structure to locate how you can improve.
For example, your competitor may rank higher than you for “dog collar” because they also optimise their content for the phrase “custom dog collar tags.” Without competitor research, you might not realise this phrase’s opportunity in your articles.
2: Optimise for Your Top Device Types
Google Analytics and other tools show you where your users access your content from most often. According to Statista research, 59% to 63% of organic Google search result visits come from a mobile devices, depending on the year.
If you discover that most of your visitors come from phones, you can optimise your content to appear better and load faster on mobile devices. We recommend adjusting button and link sizes, fonts, content alignments, and visuals to make your page look and function well on a smaller screen.
3: Convert to Different Content Types
Content comes in many forms, and users always have preferences. If you notice some of your blog posts don’t perform as expected, it may be the format. Check the search engine results page to see how your content type compares to the rest.
For example, if you post presentation slides while the high-ranking websites offer YouTube videos, you may want to convert your content to match. Converting content doesn’t have to be difficult. You can keep your information the same while adjusting how you present it.
4: Create More Engaging Experiences
Understanding how your audience behaves after they access your content is critical. If you have tons of visitors that only read your article for a few seconds before abandoning it, you may need to add more engaging features. If people stay on your website for a while to consume the entire article but don’t complete any actions afterwards, you may need to prioritise your calls-to-action (CTAs).
People want personalised, interactive, and fun online experiences. The more you can convince visitors to engage and convert to your website, the better your content appears to search engines. Some SEO content engagement improvements could include:
- Internal linking between posts
- Interactive step-by-step walkthroughs
- Relevant footer links
- “Other readers enjoyed” articles
- Easy-access social media share buttons
- Subscribe links
5: Pick the Right KPIs
How you measure your SEO and content marketing strategy directly impacts your success. Deep insights help you locate the most specific problem areas so you can improve. We recommend including the following SEO and content marketing KPIs in your strategy:
- Page views: How many people viewed a particular piece of content? Out of that total number, how many visitors abandoned, stayed on a page, or converted?
- Website visits: How many people accessed your website in the last day, week, month, or year? Does this number depict growth since you began creating SEO content?
- Bounce rates: What percentage of site visitors immediately left your site without exploring more content? Which page made them bounce?
- Time on site: How long does your average website visitor spend on your website?
- Time on page: Which pages do people spend the most time on?
- Social shares: How many people share your SEO content across social media platforms? Which social platform do people use the most when linking to your articles?
- External links: How many external sites link to your website pages? Which content marketing campaign has the most external links?
- New subscribers: How many new subscribers or emails have you received since starting your SEO and content marketing strategies? Do more people subscribe after reading certain articles?
- New leads: How many leads have you generated from your content marketing and SEO campaign? Do the leads convert?
- Sales: How many new sales did you acquire from your SEO and content marketing efforts?
Do You Need Help Mastering SEO and Content Marketing?
SEO and content marketing strategies are complex. You must conduct in-depth research and develop an experienced understanding of the many SEO factors at play in order to see incredible results. Luckily, you don’t have to tackle SEO and content marketing on your own.
Our SEO experts at PDE know exactly how to develop a winning content strategy for your brand’s specific industry, market, and audience needs. We offer independent SEO services and comprehensive digital marketing strategies that include content creation, social media marketing, and website maintenance. Our SEO strategy includes on-page SEO, local SEO, link building, call tracking Google penalty removal, and more.
We serve Perth, Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide, and Melbourne in Australia for SEO and content marketing support. Contact the team at Perth Digital Edge to elevate your brand and stay ahead of the competition. Find your digital edge today.