July 26, 2018
We all know that great content posted regularly is the cornerstone of any SEO strategy.
But here’s the thing: it’s not enough to post random articles on random topics using random keywords.
This is not a strategy.
This is just something to keep you busy.
Do you really need to clutter your schedule with something that may bring zero results?
I didn’t think so.
If you recognize yourself in the description above, keep reading. I’ll tell you all about the SEO content strategy we use to get clients for Idunn, my digital marketing agency, and to help our customers.
4 steps to an SEO content strategy that brings profit
When I first started Idunn, I also started blogging. The first few months passed and I had no results from my efforts. Poor rankings and very few views of each piece I published.
I wrote an in-depth article about my first errors. I obviously don’t like to dwell too much on them, so you can read all about how we fixed our strategy here.
The main takeaway of my initial journey is this: I barely had a strategy. I was writing what I thought is of interest to…people. Not specific people, just people in general. To be honest, I was also writing about what I liked to read.
Definitely not good for business.
This is the strategy I started to put together back then and kept on refining.
This is the strategy that brings 99% of our customers and the strategy that keeps our existing clients coming back.
1. Be Clear on Whom You Are Writing for
Sorry if this disappoints you, but the most important thing in an SEO content strategy aren’t keywords. Not even backlinks.
It’s making sure you speak to the right people in the right tone of voice.
After all, how can you choose keywords and topics if you don’t know who should respond to them?
So, make sure you know:
- Who your audience is
- What their needs and pains are
- What is their preferred type of content
- What is the expertise your company can offer
- How can you match your expertise with their needs and pains
The last point above is your key to creating an SEO content strategy that doesn’t just bring meaningless traffic, but also leads and clients.
2. Define your topics
Now that you know what you have to offer and what your audience wants to hear, you’re ready to generate topics.
Why do you need to check both these boxes?
First and foremost, because you need to offer valuable content to your audience.
Secondly, from an SEO perspective, because Google made it clear that E-A-T content is the one that ranks highest. E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness.
In other words, you need to be an expert who is viewed as an authority in their field and who gains trust if you want your content to rank well.
For example, if you are a real estate agent, you can offer tips on choosing the right neighborhood or on negotiating the price of your new home. But when it comes to choosing the right mortgage, your expertise might be questioned (unless, of course, you also have a financial background).
So choose your topics wisely and don’t venture into winging those that you are not a true expert in.
3. Find the perfect keywords
Yes, finding the right keywords is only the third step. Search has changed quite a lot in recent years. And perhaps the most significant of these changes is that context and content value are key ingredients for an SEO strategy that yields results.
So, now that you have the perfect topics at hand, how do you find the perfect keywords to match them? In other words, how do you find the perfect opportunity?
Step 1: perform a broad search on your area of expertise. Following up on the example above, you can search for “houses for sale in South Bay”.
Step 2: you don’t want to optimize for such a broad term, so you need to start narrowing it down. Do so by considering your differentiating factors. Do you sell villas? Apartments? Perhaps rentals?
Take a look at the “related terms” on Google. What else do people ask about the real estate market in South Bay?
You could come up with something like this:
- Cheap houses for sale in South Bay
- Villas for sale in South Bay
- Best properties for sale in South Bay
- South Bay house price
- Condo for rent in South Bay
Which one of them sounds more like what you do? Pick one and move to the next step.
Step 4: vet your keyword. Depending on the domain authority of your website, the keyword you chose and a few other factors, you will find that it’s not easy to rank for all the keywords you want to.
That’s OK! There’s always another opportunity if you dig deeper. Tools like SEMrush can easily analyze your domain and tell you exactly what and how to write to rank for a certain keyword. There are countless other tools that assess the difficulty of a keyword.
Take a look at those tools and, more importantly, be realistic.
If you are not Zillow, it will be hard to rank on the first page for “houses for sale in South Bay”. Turn your keyword into a long-tail one. Yes, the search volume is lower for long-tail keywords, but their advantage is that they bring highly-specialized, ready to buy visitors. So don’t dismiss them just because they won’t bring you millions of visitors.
It’s better to get 1000 visitors out of which 25 may become clients than 10.000 visitors out of whom one will maybe become your client.
But I digress.
Let’s take a look at the last step.
4. Bring it all together
This is the part where it all comes together.
Start by thoroughly researching your topic. Yes, do that even if you are an expert on it. It doesn’t hurt to add another perspective or stats and reports that support your claims.
Next, insert your keyword in all the right places: H1, H2, meta description, the first 100 words and the last 100 words.
Make sure that your content is relevant for your target audience and that it brings value to the table. Don’t overdo the promotion. A single short CTA is enough in a blog post. You are there to build authoritativeness and trust – both with your readers and search engines.
Lastly, try to stick to a regular posting schedule. Again, you don’t have to overdo it. You don’t need to post a long-form article every day.
Come up with a posting calendar that you are comfortable with and that allows you to spend enough time on each piece.
Google (much like any other search engine) is putting users first. If you want to rank better, your SEO content strategy needs to have the best interest of the users as a cornerstone, too.
This is why my strategy starts with identifying your ideal “crowd”, their needs and their pains. And this is why keyword research and publishing are the last things you should focus on.
If you need help with any part of this strategy, especially writing content that gets read thoroughly by human readers and indexed by Google bots, take a look at our copywriting and content writing services. My team can help you get the ROI you need from content!
Adriana Tica is an expert marketer and copywriter, with 10 years in the field, most of which were spent marketing tech companies. She is the Owner and Founder of Idunn. In October 2019, she also launched Copywritech, a digital marketing agency that provides copywriting, SEO content writing, and strategy services to companies in the tech industry.