What is SEO Content Strategy?
Content strategy is the piece of your marketing plan that continuously demonstrates the company as a brand and the expertise it brings to the industry. In its most basic form, it is any content you produce that results in an increase of organic search traffic. The strategy portion is the intentional content you create to achieve this purpose.
The Brain Traffic Model from the Content Strategy for the Web breaks content strategy into five components:
- Core. How do we intend to use content?
- Substance. What content is needed?
- Structure. How is content organized?
- Workflow. How is content created?
- Governance. How do we decide what to do?
Among these components, you will want to give an answer to “What content is needed” to optimize your site and gain search engine traffic. If any of the terminology in this article is unfamiliar, check out our SEO 101: Glossary of Terms.
Content Strategy and Keyword Research
Before creating your SEO Content Strategy, it’s important to familiarize yourself with your keyword search. Keyword Research is an essential part of any SEO strategy, take it from the experts – we would know.
Keyword research is defined as the process of analyzing and finding a list of valuable keywords for the purpose of SEO copywriting. The keywords, or search terms, often become a guide for the direction of your content and marketing strategy, and have an impact that reaches far and wide when it comes to connected potential consumers with your brand.
Keyword research is the process of finding and analyzing actual search terms that people enter into search engines. The insight you can get into these actual search terms can help inform content strategy, as well as your larger marketing strategy.
If you need a comprehensive review of keyword research, check out our Definitive Guide to SEO Keyword Research.
Creating Content for SEO
Creating high-quality content is critical to content marketing success. With thousands of blog posts published every day, you need a way to make your content stand out. Creating content not only helps your leads get to know your business, but it also helps your business improve your SEO ranking. As an SEO content creator, you’ll be on the fast track to boosting your website’s ranking in the search results and driving more traffic to your page.
SEO content comes in many forms including product pages, videos, infographics, blog posts, and guides. Blogs are the most common format of content for SEO content creators. It’s one of the most accessible formats for creating a large quantity of material. Blog posts are engaging and allow you to share valuable information with your audience.
With blogs, you can engage your audience by sharing valuable information with them. It’s a great way to attract links and traffic, as well as build your website’s authority.
Importance of Brand Voice
It is important to define your brand voice to be able to write successful content. A consistent brand voice and vocabulary is essential to implementing localized content and intelligent content strategies effectively. This can be the type of words you use (academic vs. casual) or your overall tone of voice (educational vs. conversational.) A simple way to identify your specific brand voice is:
- Gather a representative sample of your content.
- Describe your brand voice in three words
- Create a brand voice chart (see below)
- Ensure you understand how to put your brand voice into action
- Revisit and revise the brand voice chart from time to time
Buyer’s Persona and the Buyer’s Journey
Content has to be targeted and timely in order to generate qualified leads as part of your inbound sales strategy or in content marketing. Content, whatever its purpose, should always be timely, buyer-centric, improve your lead generation strategy, and positively impact sales.
Building a content strategy is more than considering what type of content you want to create. You first need to know who you’re speaking to, how you want to speak to them, and where to find them. Your buyer persona is the person that you want to reach with your content. This semi-fictional character serves as a representation of your target audience
You want to connect with your buyer’s persona and pinpoint the issues they encounter so you could provide solutions that they need. Each of your prospects follows a path to a solution — that path involves awareness, consideration, and decision stages. By creating content for each stage of the buyer’s journey, you’re ensuring that no visitors fall through the cracks and that every individual that comes to your site feels like they are receiving relevant, useful information.
For more on the importance of a buyer’s persona and how to thoroughly create one, check out our article on What is a Buyers Persona? (And Why Does It Matter?)
Basically, the goal is to begin with identifying blog post title suggestions based on keyword research with sufficient supporting data on why you need to create this content, why you need it on your site, what are the recommended components of the content, and how it will help you grow. Most of the time, we only recommend informational content and therefore use keywords with informational intent. This is because you’ll want these topics to be written as blog posts which you can also use in link building.
SEO Content Strategy Essentials
- Make sure the intent of your keyword matches the intent of your title. A good tip is to try and figure out what the people who are searching for this particular keyword want to know. Once you have that figured out, you can craft your topic/title to answer their question/give them the information they’re looking for.
It’s also important that you understand what the keyword actually is so that you’ll be able to provide the best title/angle that would revolve around that topic. If you’re not sure what it means, you can always check how other sites are talking about it so you get a better idea.
Be careful about using transactional keywords as the target keywords for informational pages. Those are mainly to inform things like product page copy and backlink anchor text. You can still use those keywords for blog posts, but you should individually investigate them and make sure that Google is actually ranking informational content for that keyword in the top 5 or so positions, and you also don’t want to inadvertently outrank your own product pages for those keywords.
Specifically, you’ll need informational keywords when doing content strategy for blog posts. Content strategy in general can encompass all types of pages including product pages, landing pages, listing pages, and others. So informational and transactional keywords both have their place.
- Consider the site’s authority. When choosing keywords from your keyword research, consider the authority of your site. If the site is new or has very little authority, choose keywords with the lowest difficulty instead of targeting KW with high volume search but with high difficulty, as it would be hard to compete with already established sites.
- Google the keywords. This will allow you to get an idea on what other sites are talking about, and try to come up with a way to make your content better than the rest. If other sites, for example, have 5 Tips, Make ours 8-10. Or if others are just talking about “how,” make ours what, how, where, etc.
- Keywords don’t need to be an exact match. You don’t want to sacrifice natural-sounding titles in order to force in an exact match keyword. Let the keywords inform the overall idea of the title, but they don’t necessarily need to be an exact match. For example, Google can make the connection between an “e-learning developer” and a “developer for your e-learning platform.” Exact match isn’t strictly necessary to have in the title. It’s nice if you can include it, but the most important factor for the title is drawing in viewers, and the creative copy can accomplish this better in many cases than just repeating the query. Do make sure that the title is clearly relevant to the query, and for ranking/featured-snippet purposes it would be good to have the exact match as a heading or subheading in the article content.
- Same title as another article is sometimes OK. It should also be worth mentioning, though, that having the same title as another article from another site isn’t necessarily a bad thing either, as long you make your content better than theirs. If the first page is saturated with exact-match long-tail keywords, though, then standing out might be a better strategy than conforming exactly to the keyword.
- Speak to the buyer’s journey. Usually, when working on a high-level marketing strategy, it requires that you speak to the buyer’s journey. You want to make sure to touch on how that keyword phrase ties back to the buyer’s journey of your product or service.
For example, say you’re a company that appraises homes. You could structure your content as follows:
Suggested Title: Does A Messy House Affect An Appraisal?
Target KW: does a messy house affect an appraisal
Search Volume: 200
While low search volume, this keyword touches on a topic very much on the mind of a hot lead. This is a direct query that’s linked to appraisals, which are part of the home-buying process.. And as a result, you would need to rank for that term.
- Use a content explorer tool. At Galactic Fed, we like to use Ahrefs. You can also run the keyword in Ahrefs’ “Content Explorer” for more topic ideas and to check which topics generate more traffic that could also bring traffic to your site.
- Overview. For each blog post title recommendation, it’s best practice that each article must be thoroughly explained, keyword-justified (using both main topic keywords and keywords for subtopics of the article), and well thought out within the context of your brand and content direction.
- Cross-check against existing material. When you do content creation it’s recommended to add internal links. The internal links are a good way of cross-checking against existing material and establishing potential in-article backlinks for content syndication.
A perfect SEO content strategy seamlessly marries the science behind ranking higher in search, with the various compelling pieces of content a reader can consume. It’s using the content you produce not only to educate, entertain and inform, but to make sure people are able to find your business and brand right when they need it. The best type of SEO content addresses your buyer’s journey and solves real problems, so when they are asking a search bar the questions, you are the answer.