If over 1,400 professional marketers agree that it’s vital, what are you doing about your content marketing strategy? SEMRush conducts an annual State of Marketing Report, and 97% of respondents said content marketing is integral to their marketing strategy.
Creating quality content that resonates with your audience requires more than research skills, a dynamic mind, and a sharp wit. It also requires an organized plan about what to write, when to post, and how to promote it. That’s where content strategy comes in.
A solid content plan increases the quantity of high-quality content on your site. Plus, it helps you answer important questions about your target audience, what your prospects want to know, and how they want to consume it. That information is critical for your website’s content to increase SEO efforts.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about creating a content strategy that benefits your SEO.
What Is a Content Strategy?
A content strategy is a plan for creating and publishing informational and promotional content on your website or blog. The purpose is to attract and engage readers, with the ultimate goal of converting them into customers.
A proven content strategy addresses the following questions:
- What type of content will you publish?
- What is the frequency of posting articles?
- To which sites and channels will you publish?
- Who will be responsible for publishing and curation?
Use this information to develop content that addresses your reader’s needs and provides them value. Always use keyword-rich titles with consistent and accurate descriptions to ensure that search engines correctly identify and index your content. Use internal linking within your site to build credibility with visitors who may not know your brand name.
Define Your Content Marketing Goals
Before developing a content strategy, you need to define your goals. High-quality content should drive SEO and generate sales, conversions, leads, and more.
A content plan for an eCommerce business should have a clearly defined profitable action as its goal. A content strategy is not one-size-fits-all. What generates interest and sales for one product or company may not work for another. It all hinges on the company’s goals, audience, and industry.
Your content plan should align with your broader business goals and help you define your topics. The core content should be unique and informative to position you as a thought leader.
Uncover Effective Keywords
Once you know your target audience and the topics you’ll create, the next step is to generate a keyword list that supports those topics. Keywords are essential for SEO but will only work if you pair them with your audience’s wants and needs.
It’s a simple 3-step process to find relevant keywords.
Step 1 – Broad Search
Start with a primary keyword like “Sunglasses.” You can perform a Google search or use a free tool like Ubersuggest.
Step 2 – Narrow the Focus
Entering the term “Sunglasses” into Google will return a few more keywords, such as “Sunglasses for men” or “Sunglasses for women.”
Now that you have a few focus keywords, you also want to add a few long-tail keywords.
Step 3 – Long-Tail Keywords
Long tail keywords may receive less search traffic, but they are more likely to yield higher conversion rates because they are more specific.
If you don’t have a keyword tool, look at the titles on the SERP (Search Results Page). They provide an excellent source of long-tailed keywords you can use as titles or sub-heads in your content. Some examples, in this case, would be “designer glasses and sunglasses,” “buy sunglasses for women online,” or “Buy polarized sunglasses for men and women in (your location).
Measuring Content Performance
How will you know if your content works? The three metrics to judge the success of content marketing are traffic, search rankings, and the leads generated.
You need to continuously monitor the organic traffic using a web analytics tool such as Ahrefs, Alexa, SEMRush, Google Analytics, and other paid tools. You can also read our blog on how to increase blog traffic for more advice and tips.
Effective content marketing combines a well-organized content strategy with clearly defined targets. You must continuously analyze the results. Regardless of how engaging and well-written the content is, it must generate value for your business.
Know Your Audience
The most important consideration is your audience. Your readers are your customers, so it’s essential to understand your audience and what they want. By conducting some audience research, you can better understand who your readers are to generate relevant content.
Here are things to consider when conducting audience research:
- Identify readers’ characteristics
- Personality type (persona)
- Motivations and pain points
- What solution are they looking for?
- If it’s a B2B audience, what industries?
- Market trends and customer buying habits
- What motivates your readers to buy?
- Understanding your competitors
Knowing all of these factors is a critical step to identifying your target audience.
Decide On the Type of Content
Now that you know your goals and audience, it’s time to focus on the right content. It’s critical to your success and will determine your content plan for SEO.
You have many options, but choose topics relevant to your audience and goals. For example, if you want the content to rank for a specific keyword, create a blog post that naturally includes that keyword with a density between 1 to 3%. For a 500-word article, you wouldn’t want to add the primary keyword more than 15 times. Add similar blogs to help rank for that keyword and increase click-through rates (CTRs).
To get the best results from your SEO content strategy, publish as many of these as you can regularly:
Blog Posts - Publish them on your website or a separate blog. Blog posts can include a wide variety of content, such as opinion pieces, how-to guides, interviews, research studies, or any other content related to your business.
eBooks - eBooks can be either a standalone piece or part of a series. They help provide in-depth information about your business and are excellent lead magnets for lead generation.
White Papers - Generally longer than eBooks and concentrate on a specific problem or pain point your readers may have. They are often used in lead generation and distributed to prospective clients, customers, or members.
Landing Pages – SEO landing pages are specifically optimized for search engines and human readers. A successful eCommerce landing page focuses on two or three targeted keywords and always includes a call-to-action (CTA).
Newsletters – 83% of B2B marketers leverage email newsletters for content marketing. The purpose is not about selling. Instead, it keeps your subscribers informed about your company, products, and services, fostering customer loyalty through valuable content.
Case Studies – These industry-specific, real-life examples show how your products solve problems. Case studies impact your target audience and help build trust using actual data and success stories.
Although the content types above are the most used, other content helps build your audience and traffic. A content plan for an eCommerce business incorporates social media posts, emails, podcasts, videos, and infographics.
Some of the most successful content is free. It’s User-Generated Content (UGC). UGC has become a significant lead generation source, with almost everyone taking selfies and pictures of their food.
92% of shoppers surveyed say they trust recommendations from people they know vs. company-generated ads or information.
Estimate ROI for Each Piece of Content
73% of content marketers report using content to nurture their leads, while 64% report that content marketing generates sales and revenue.
As with any paid marketing effort, evaluating your content’s ROI is important. There are two primary ways to measure the impact of a piece of content, such as click-through rates and engagement rates (likes, shares, or comments). While these metrics can provide an idea of how successful the content is, they don’t necessarily tell the whole story.
Remember that getting people to engage with your content will be a learning curve. Content marketing often takes six to nine months to pay off with organic traffic. However, you should start seeing faster engagement once you build a following.
Content = Better SEO & Online Visibility
Great content helps drive traffic to your site, establishes a strong brand identity, and signals that your business is trustworthy and reliable. Relevant content can help boost your search visibility in SERPs.
However, if you don’t know where to start, it can be daunting to know how to create content that is both engaging and SEO-friendly. It’s crucial to have a content strategy to guide you to publish content that will be useful to your readers and rank well in search engines.