10 Steps to Build a Solid SEO Content Strategy

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Having a well-defined SEO content strategy will help you make sure that all your content marketing efforts deliver results. Without it, you’ll waste time creating content that won’t boost your brand’s rankings, let alone keep your target audience engaged.

Now if it’s your first time creating a content marketing SEO strategy for your business, then we got you covered. Below are ten steps that will guide you throughout the entire process. From making meaningful, effective content to making sure it gets to where it needs to, it’s all down here.

Set Your Goals

You’re probably already tired of hearing this, but you need to set goals before making any SEO and content marketing plan. By having a set of objectives, you’ll be able to calibrate your content strategy properly. This will enable it to focus better on achieving your goals.

Say your goal is to gain new leads for example. For your SEO content strategy to help with that, it must include content that provides valuable insights while still leaving the readers gasping for more. That way, it will be easier for you to get them to subscribe to your website.

Whatever your goals are, make sure they’re realistic and actionable by following the SMART model. This will give each of them a sense of importance and direction, as well as motivate you to achieve them.

Identify Your Target Audience

Next, you need to make sure your content strategy provides both relevant information and positive experience for your target audience. If you want to create content that delivers these, then you need to get to know who your customers are first. 

Getting to know your target audience involves many things. At the very least, you need to find out what makes them tick. This means looking at various data (i.e., age, gender, purchase behavior, etc) so you can get a better picture of the people you’re writing to.

Meanwhile, giving out surveys and feedback forms will help you know what people think about your brand. This allows you to group your audience accordingly as well as create more personalized content to meet their specific needs.

Additionally, you should observe how your target audience interacts with your competitors. This will help you tell apart those who like their brand from those who don’t. The easiest way to do this is by checking your competition’s social media handles, blog comments, and customer reviews.

Define Your Brand’s Specialty

Once you’ve gotten to know your target audience better, assess how your brand can add value to their lives. This mainly involves thinking about what your product or service has to offer, as well as listing all the benefits people could get from it. Then write about it in such a way that readers will find it engaging and informative.

Another way to define your brand’s specialty is by writing about the things that make it truly unique. If you’re offering a one-of-a-kind product or service, then better answer every question related to it as best as you can. To effectively do this, you need to know everything about your product or service beforehand.

But in case our brand’s uniqueness lies in the production rather than the product itself, then better focus on that when making content. Describe how your product or service is made in such a way that everyone can understand. Trust us, even boring-sounding technical details can sound exciting with proper writing.

List Potential Content Topics

Then comes the fun part: Brainstorming new ideas for content topics. Combine the insights you gained from the previous two steps above. That way, your topics will be something your target audience really cares about.

Now there are a couple of things to keep in mind when creating new content topics. First is content tilt. That is, the angle from which you’ll write the content. By establishing the right content tilt from the get-go, you can better encourage your readers to get involved with your brand.

The other thing to watch out for is the topic area. This involves any information that only you can provide. Used properly, it will set you up as a voice of authority within your industry. Thai will ultimately help you create content that converts.

Perform Keyword Research

As soon as you’ve finished listing all the topics you want to write about, time to find the right keywords to insert in your content. Start by picking a broad search term that’s related to your core content. For example, if you’re selling cat food, then use the keyword: “cat food”.

Then narrow down your search by taking in factors like product features, keyword variations, and what-not. This will help you make a preliminary list of keyword ideas to research.  To dig into your topic area a bit deeper, best include some long-tail keywords, too.

Search intent will also play a huge role when it comes to keyword research. To ensure you pick the best keywords, you must learn the words or phrases usually used by your target audience when searching on Google and other engines.

Anyway, once you’re done making the list of potential keywords, you can run them through your preferred keyword research tool. Ahrefs’ Keyword Explorer is by far the best keyword research tool you can invest in. However, you can also rely on alternatives like SEMRush, Majestic, and GrowthBar.

Create an Editorial Calendar

After finalizing your keywords list, create an editorial calendar so you can evenly spread them out and maximize your content’s impact. As an added bonus, it will even help you track deadlines and save time while executing your entire SEO content strategy.

There are a couple of tools that will help you create excellent editorial calendars. Take HubSpot’s free editorial calendar templates for example. Aside from helping you plan and organize your content, it can be integrated with Google Docs, Microsoft Excel and even Google Calendar.

You should also consider adding tangential topics to your editorial calendar. These are content not related to your main topic cluster (i.e., fun facts, how-to’s, etc). Wth the right keywords and subject matter, these will help you keep your customers hooked and Google’s algorithms happy.

Speaking of Google’s algorithms, while you’re writing primarily for your audience, you should still avoid neglecting the search engines. So alongside your editorial calendar, you need to create a solid link building strategy and integrate it within your SEO content strategy.

Link building involves attracting new inbound links (aka backlinks) from other websites, as well as removing bad ones in yours. Basically, the higher the website’s authority is, the more positive impact it can have on your rankings.

Link building can be done in several ways. However, the best technique is still guest posting. This involves creating content (containing backlinks) and having other websites publish it. The better your content, the more likely it will be accepted.

Make it a point to include guest posting in your link building strategy (alongside other techniques). That way, you’ll gradually improve your website’s rankings. And by extension, it will help you make your content strategy more solid.

Start Creating Content

Once you’re done with your keyword research, editorial calendar, and link building strategy, you can proceed with creating the content itself. Have fun as you do this, while still keeping in mind the insights you gained from the previous steps.

Make your content as engaging, easy to read, and relevant as possible. Think about the overall structure of your text. The shorter the paragraphs and sentences the more at ease your readers will be. Also, avoid being overly verbose while writing. People don’t like encountering difficult words in their content.

Moreover, you need to keep your content factual and up to date. Use only the most reliable and trustworthy references when gathering information. And you’ll have to update your content every once in a while so it can stay relevant and fresh.

Optimize Thoroughly

As soon as the content is finished, you can proceed with making it SEO-friendly. This mainly involves inserting the keywords in strategic parts of the content. Done properly, it will enable Google and other search engines to crawl, index, and rank your website.

Start by inserting the focus keyword on the title tag and meta description. Remember to limit their characters by up to 60 (for title tags) and 160 (meta description). Then proceed with placing the keyword on the first paragraph of the article. From there, the keywords should be inserted sporadically within the article’s body as well as on one of the subheadings. For good measure you should insert it in the alt text section of your featured images.

Make sure the keywords are inserted as seamlessly as possible. That way, it won’t put your readers off. Also, avoid overusing your keywords, as this can lead to penalties from search engines.

Monitor Your Progress

Finally, monitor your content once it’s live on your website. This will help you measure the success of your SEO content strategy, as well as identify growth areas to improve on. 

One of the most crucial metrics you need to track is traffic. That’s because without it, there won’t be any engagement and conversion happening in your content. Check if your content is experiencing an increase in traffic over time. If there is, then it’s a clear sign that your content marketing in SEO is doing its job. If there’s none, then better try a couple of SEO techniques to boost it.

At the same time, you need to watch your SERP ranking. If your content strategy is solid, then it should help your content appear in the first results page whenever someone types in your keyword.

Build a Solid SEO Content Strategy

A great SEO content strategy won’t just help you achieve your business goals; it will also enable your website to attract your target audience and turn them into loyal customers. So if you want your brand to reach new heights and boost its profits, then you’d better create a content strategy that works. Follow the ten steps above, and you’ll do just that!

About the Author

Isaias has been working as a writer since 2011. He started out as a freelancer before moving on to work full-time at Reach Digital. He specializes in creating list articles, and the topics he’s written about include, finance, golfing, health and fitness, and home improvement. Additionally, he knows a bit about basic SEO principles, learning how to craft guest posts, build backlinks, and insert keywords in the right places.

Isaias is currently part of Reach Digital’s Content and Affiliate teams.