The key to a successful content marketing strategy is simple: create high-quality content that speaks to your audience's interests, needs, and concerns, and make sure that content gets seen. Having a strong SEO foundation within your content marketing strategy plays an essential role in increasing the visibility of your website’s blog and creative assets. We’ve all heard it before, but I’ll say it again. SEO and content marketing go hand in hand.
The benefits of a cohesive content marketing and SEO strategy are endless:
- Establish Thought Leadership
- Build Brand Awareness
- Enhance User Engagement & Boost Behavior Reports
- Lure Top-of-Funnel Leads & Increase Future Prospects
Now that we’ve reviewed the key value-adds an SEO content strategy has to offer, let’s dive into how to go about forming a successful content campaign in 5 simple steps:
Anticipate Your Customer’s Needs
You know your customers better than anyone else. What questions are they asking related to your product, service or industry? Is your website answering their every question, want, and need? If you’re not their knowledge resource for all things [your product or service here], your competitor will be.
If you’re drawing a blank and failing to anticipate every question they could ever ask, fear not! We have answers (or questions rather). You may have heard of the very popular website, Answer the Public, an auto-suggestion tool that outputs hundreds of long-tail, question-centric queries based on your original keyword input. It gives you actual questions that your customers are asking!This tool is an excellent first step in the research phase of your SEO-based content marketing strategy. If you haven’t checked it out yet, I apologize in advance for the 20 minutes you’ll waste inputting queries upon queries just to see what obscurity it spits out. Don’t believe me? Try inputting “Donald Trump”, “flat earth”, and/or “dabbing” (just for fun of course).
As an alternative, Google’s “People Also Ask” search feature can be extremely insightful and an enormous asset in aiding your research process. But don’t stop at the surface! Remember to expand each question, as Google’s algorithm auto-populates additional questions each time you expand on a specific long tail query.
Define Your Brand’s Unique Expertise & Perspective
How will your brand respond to a potential customer’s search query? Establish your message and value proposition early on and ensure consistency is maintained within your content marketing strategy.
Validate Consumer’s Needs Through Keyword Research
With the help of the tools I’ve mentioned above, you should have a good list of content topics to work with. Now, it’s time to validate your findings with in-depth keyword research to better identify core keywords to target for each topic you’ve identified. There are many tools on the market to choose from to aid your keyword research process. Here are a few of the industry’s most popular go-to’s:
- Moz Keyword Explorer
- Google Adwords Keyword Planner (free)
- Keywordtool.io (free)
- Ubersuggest.io (free)
Now that you have your topic selection and research process out of the way, it’s time to get organized. Identify what publishing cadence your staff and allotted resources can handle and plan out a publishing schedule. Be strategic with your publishing schedule based on your audience's behavior, and stick to it.
Publish! Publish! Publish!
You’ve done your research, it’s time to produce high-quality content and hit publish. But before you do that, don’t forget to think through your selected medium thoroughly. The end goal for your SEO-based content marketing strategy is likely to increase traffic to your blog, but why stop there? Don’t limit yourself to enhancing one section of your website when some of your content would be better served and produced elsewhere. Remember to think through your content thoroughly and how best to serve it up to your audience. Ask yourself, would this content serve my audience better through a podcast, webinar, on a 3rd party publication, video, or interactive? Don’t limit yourself in article creation week after week or month after month. There are so many different ways to serve your audience. Have fun and get creative, in the end, your audience will be happier for it (and it will show in your reports!).
Once you’ve launched your content, remember that with any SEO work results will take time to appear. Your SEO-focused content marketing strategy should be producing evergreen content and increased traffic over time, not instant gratification. As with any marketing strategy, ensure your team has attainable goals in place and deliberate ways of tracking success.