When it comes to search engine optimization success, content is king. You have to get your content strategy right if you want to achieve high rankings in search engines like Google. This is why it is vital for you to create relevant and unique content that stands out from the millions of spam articles that get posted every day. You need content that will be useful to your readers and establish your authority in order to get you useful links for your site’s growth. There are a few key steps to follow in order to develop an effective content strategy.
Identify Your Niche
You need to identify the point and purpose of your brand. Once you know this, you will be able to pinpoint the kind of unique content that your target audience will seek. The topic niche or area guides you on identifying your audience, your keywords, as well as your strategy. This information will guide you to get appropriate topics for curating your content.
Define Your Target Audience
It is vital to know who your target audience are in order to run a successful content marketing campaign. They will be the primary consumer of your content so you must know them well. There are various ways to identify the target audience.
First, you can look at your existing customers if you already have an established business. Determine the demographics and needs based on your knowledge of your customers and you’ll have a great start.
Another method is checking out who your competition is targeting. According to Igor Kholkin, founder of a leading Los Angeles SEO agency Avidon Marketing Group, “Your competition’s content should give you an idea of who the market audience is and what they look for. Look specifically where people engage and what they discuss on your competitors’ blog & social media. We use this methodology as a shortcut to learn about our clients’ customers quickly.”
Identify Target Keywords
After you have identified your target audience, you need to identify it is time to identify the best topics and the right keywords to target with your content. Your content should be based on your knowledge of your industry and the topics they look for will give you an idea of what your potential visitors are looking for on Google.
You can start with broad categories, then narrow down to specific searches with variations of the main keyword or product category. You can use a keyword research tool to get the most appropriate keywords for your content. One trick is to find and link to other relevant articles that you can use to pitch their authors to include your content in their future publications.
Optimize for On-Page Factors
It is not just a matter of identifying keywords and using them in your article. You need to optimize them in a way that they rank your content high on the search engines. Try to make your content relevant and have a high comprehensive value so that that readers who come across it will be more likely to share it on different platforms.
The more your content is shared, the more followers you get and the more it is clicked, thus pushing it up to the search engines. Try and stick to a consistent publishing schedule. When you do this, you create anticipation on the part of your followers. There will be those individuals that will always look forward to reading your articles at a particular period.
Last but not least, you can use these keywords within your headings and sub-headings as well as meta description. Using keywords in such a manner ensures that your content is easily found by your audience.
Optimize Links & Content Layering
When organizing your content, try to identify areas where internal linking and layering of content make sense. These two processes are vital for your content strategy as they allow you to structure your site in a manner that readers and search engines can follow with ease.
Content layering is the process of placing middle-of-the-funnel content over bottom-of-the-funnel content through covering relevant and related topics and linking between the pages internally. The advantage lies in the fact that middle-of-the-funnel content is usually more linkable than bottom-of-the-funnel.
Internal links will help spread each page’s organic value to other related pages, as well as help visitors find other interesting content. Significant equity can be passed through via internal linking towards your middle-of-the-tunnel content and get through to your converting pages, giving you more traffic.
Content Promotion & Link Acquisition
Links play an integral part of any SEO content strategy. You need to focus on linkability as you decide what your content will be. Linkability is the likelihood of securing links to your content based on various factors.
You have to identify sites that are going to be interested in your content and connect with them to establish a relationship and work towards getting a link from them. You need to put in an honest manual effort into choosing your target sites, as these are people and companies who will not only check out your content, but will also link to it and share it.
When setting up your content to promote after publishing, you need to consider some very important aspects:
– Potential sites for link acquisition
– The monthly search volume of the topic & its keywords
– The competition difficulty in current search results
– Quality of content of the current top-ranked pages for the keywords
There is a lot of information available on the web about the specifics of each of the above steps. Above all, you need to make sure you are an expert in your field and your content is based on that expertise. Google and other search engines are able to gauge and appreciate true value of content on the web, prioritizing authoritative expertise in its search results more than ever before.