SEO Content Strategy
Table of Contents
Everyone has heard the term SEO quite a lot of times, especially if you are in the marketing field. In this article, I will be telling you what SEO is, how to create your SEO content strategy and how does Google rank websites.
What is SEO
SEO is an abbreviation for Search Engine Optimisation. It is a process to optimise your content so that it is easier to find it on search engines.
Having optimized content will help you gain organic traffic on your website. It will also increase the relevance and readability of the article.
SEO increases your ranking on search engines and increases your visibility.
What is SEO content
As mentioned earlier SEO refers to Search Engine Optimisation. It is a way to optimise your website to increase ranking on search engines such as Google. Content means information that is available on the Internet and can be consumed by users.
Therefore, by combining the two terms, SEO content is content created to attract users on your website. It is a way to get more organic traffic on your website.
Ways in which you can optimize SEO content strategy are:
- Keyword Research
If you want more traffic on your website the best thing to do is Keyword research before you start writing. By using this method you can concentrate on keywords for which a specific measure of volume as of now exists. This means writing on a topic that people are searching for.
- Search accessibility
Make sure your website is easily accessible and is a very secure website. In this way, customers will trust your website and spend quality time on it. Google needs to be able to access your website to understand what your website is about.
- Mobile friendliness
Make sure your website is user friendly. Most people these days prefer using their mobile phones rather than desktop and laptop to search and read about anything.
- On-site optimization
Keep your content optimised at all times. SEO keeps updating and you must keep updating your content too. If you stop updating your content it will not be relevant.
Word count in itself does not stand as a ranking factor. But, the higher the word count, the better is your opportunity to contribute to other ranking factors like:
- Analyse the user’s search intent
- Use more backlinks
These are just a few tips you can use to create good content. But the SEO content strategy of most popular websites goes in much more depth than this. To understand how to create your actionable SEO content strategy, let’s move to the next section…
How to create your SEO content strategy
An SEO content strategy will help you organise and arrange your content in a much better way which will further increase your ranking on search engines.
I’ll be telling you about 4 steps to help you figure out your SEO content strategy
Define your goals
First, you need to decide your goals for your website. Do you want a spike in sales through a website? Do you want more traffic to your site? Do you want to just build brand awareness? Once you determine your goal it will be easier for you to focus on your content.
You can refer to the goal statistics by SmartInsights to understand what goals are most widely used.
After determining the goals of your SEO content strategy, focus on what value is your content adding to your customers’ sites. Only when customers find your content useful and valuable they will come back, refer it to others and form leads.
Consider your audience
For you to create an effective SEO content strategy you need to know your audience properly. You could use the survey method and your analytics software to help you understand your audience.
For determining who is your target audience you need to segment your customers into categories based on their background, behaviour, lifestyle, and psychographics.
For example, if your target is teenagers then you might want to concentrate on frequent updates, including more images and videos and make sure your content is optimised and is mobile user-friendly.
Create an editorial calendar
Once you understand your target audience and your content accordingly, you can build an editorial calendar.
This calendar will dictate when you will publish new content and what type of content it will be. It will help you to be regular and preventive from scrambling to come up with the new topic.
Tips for creating and following an editorial calendar
Use Google calendar
You can use Outlook as well. Share your editorial calendar with your whole marketing team. Set up reminders for the authors to know when a deadline is coming up and they keep your article ready.
Consider creating ongoing features
Keep a proper calendar ready full stop for example if you are a food blogger you might do a vegan recipe every Monday. Create a category page for each ongoing feature so visitors can find all your vegan Monday recipes or link roundups in one place.
Give yourself enough time
You need to give yourself plenty of time when you are producing more complicated types of contents such as infographics and videos. While creating infographics and videos one needs to edit a lot of times to perfect it and it can be more complicated to optimise for search.
Don’t plan too much in advanceYou should not plan too much in advance. Marketing goals, budgets or staff keep changing every few months. If you keep everything planned out for a long duration and changes occur, you’ll be wasting a lot of time.
Analyse and update
You should always stay on top of your site’s analytics. Keep analysing your SEO content strategy to understand what’s wrong and what’s right. And after every analysis update your SEO content strategy.
SEO content strategy is like a cycle, if you break one set you can disrupt the entire cycle.
You can check your success through page views, links and comments. Some other ways of understanding engagement also include social shares (shares on social media platforms) and conversion rates.
There should be 2 goals of your analysis –
Study your successful practices so you can repeat it
Look for patterns in your content. Figure out what kind of content your audience loves. If they love more infographics put in more infographics.
Set aside time for updating and improving older SEO content strategy
If you have used a particular keyword for your content but there is another certain keyword that is getting more traffic then go back and Re optimise it for the new keyword. You might be able to increase your traffic slightly by putting that keyword in the title.
How does Google rank websites
All search engines have only one main goal, provide users with the most relevant answers and search results for their questions.
Every time you ask a question, search engines use their algorithms to pick pages that are most relevant to your question. And then rank those pages. The most authoritative popular ones are ranked on top.
To pick the right website, Google analyses multiple factors:
The top 3 factors include:
- Authority of host domain
Google ranks your website based on authority. This authority is analysed on a per-page basis. To determine the authority on your website Google uses:
- The types of links your site receive
- The words used within and surrounding your backlinks
- Engagement metrics
- How long your site has been functional
- Human raters, who evaluate the quality of top result sites.
- Link popularity
Link popularity is the number of backlinks (incoming links) that point to a particular website. Here, Google analyses only the popularity and frequency.
- Ancor text of external links to the page
This means that Google also considers the quality of content of the external links that lead to your website. Here, unlike ‘link popularity’ Google analyses the quality over quantity.
KPI stands for key performance indicators. These are objective metrics that help you to measure the success of your organisation.
Here are some critical KPIs you should be checking –
Organic sessions measure the number of visits to your website from various search engines such as Google. A session is a visit to the website, the actions that take place during the visit and exit of the user.
Organic traffic can be measured using various analytics sites such as Google Analytics. Growth in organic traffic is the one the most important KPIs because it lines up with the goal of SEO, getting more traffic.
There are various reasons for the increase in organic traffic. It could mean more branded searches. Your digital marketing efforts pay off with an increase in brand awareness. You will then see more searches for your brand name or products.
As a result of your on-page and off-page Optimisation, your website will improve in rankings for keywords.
An upgrade from the second or third page to page one can increase organic traffic.
You can also increase traffic by creating and using a relevant page title and writing a meta description which is clear and enticing.
Keywords increase ranking
Keyword rankings are when your specific keywords are positioned in major search engines like Google. The higher the ranking the better it is for you. Your website ranks higher when you have a high volume of keywords.
Some keywords will naturally, for example, your brand name.
Keyword ranking is directly related to your SEO success. Improvements in keyword banking will achieve other objectives such as more traffic, leads and sales.
Constant changes take place in Google’s algorithm. You should at least keep an eye weekly on your rankings. If there is a drop in rankings this could signal an issue and your site must be addressed.
The first two factors are meant to draw visitors to your site through search engines but what action do you need users to take once they’ve landed on your site?
You want to convert your visitors into customers and land a sale. A lead is any contact with a potential customer.
You can set up your goals in Google Analytics to track your leads.
You can also understand where people drop off and make improvements to your site.
This is an important KPI too as it tries to fulfil your business goal, an increase in sales and growing customer base.
To improve results for this KPI ask these questions about your website –
- Is your website easy to navigate?
- Is your content persuasive and trustworthy?
- Can the user move through the conversation funnel easily? Are they easily buying your product?
This measures the percent of sessions other users load the page and exit instantly without performing any action. It is calculated by dividing the number of non-interactive sessions by the total number of sessions.
On average the bounce rate is between 40 to 60%. So this means about half of All sessions are expected to end without any action taking place. This will depend mainly on your industry.
When users click on your link and bounce back to the search engine results page it probably means that your page is not relevant, frustrating to navigate or not trustworthy.
Audit your pages routinely to decrease your bounce rate and improve your page.
Pages per session
Pages perception measures how many pages users visit during a session on an average. It also includes the repeated views of a single page by a person.
Strong pages per session metric will depend on the depth of your site. If you have a one-page website then one page per session is perfect. If you have a heavy content website focused mainly on informing the user for an E-Commerce site, the users then view multiple products and go through a multi-step checkout process.
Here, you expect to see many more pages per session on an average. Pages per session indicate the value/quality of your website and how your users navigate through it.
Session duration measure’s average length of a visit on your website. The duration depends on the depth of your content and architecture of your site.
It indicates the quality of your website and your content.
This is the time a website takes to load. It is very obvious that if a site is taking a long time to load you are very much likely to bounce back to the search results page.
You are probably less likely to buy something from this website since your first interaction has been frustrating.
Most users will bounce back to the search engine results page if your website takes more than 3 seconds to load.
Googlebot and other crawlers need to fully access your website to be able to assess the value and relevance of your content.
If your website has crawl errors it means that Googlebot is having trouble to get through to your site. Crawl errors can be found in Google search console.
You can test the probability of a page using the “fetch” as Google tool in the search console and clicking on the “fetch and render” option.
Crawl errors can also be a server error if Googlebot cannot communicate with the DNS server, the request timed out, or if your site is down. Crawl errors can also exist at the URL level if a page no longer exists or has a long redirect chain.
I have tried to cover most of the important topics related to SEO content strategy. Told you about what SEO is, what SEO content is, ways in which you can optimise your content, how to create an SEO strategy, how Google ranks websites and important SEO KPIs to look out for.
Hope this article clears your doubts about SEO content strategy and how to go about it.
How effective is SEO?
Cost-effectiveness – SEO is one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies because it targets users who are actively looking for your products and services online. While cold-calling can still be an effective strategy, the leads generated cost 61% more than leads generated by an inbound strategy like SEO.
Is SEO important in 2020?
The strength of SEO and driving organic traffic is clear. ... Optimizing your pages for SEO is going to be even more important in 2020 as organic search continues to rise above other search traffic. That's why SEO should be a serious consideration for your brand in the coming year.
What are SEO best practices?
Add Your Main Keyword Early On In Your Content; Write Unique Titles, Descriptions and Content; Optimize Your Title Tag for SEO; Optimize Your Site's Loading Speed; Track Your Results With The Google Search Console; Optimize Images for SEO; Use Internal Linking