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How to Build a Winning Content Marketing Strategy

Julia McCoy
Friday, 9th Jun 2023
seo content strategy

Picture this:

You’ve mastered the art of creating compelling content, but your website’s traffic remains stagnant.

The culprit? A lack of a well-crafted SEO content strategy.

Research from the Content Marketing Institute revealed that only 40% of B2B marketers have a documented content marketing strategy. 33% have some sort of strategy and 27% have no strategy at all.

Meanwhile, 50% of marketers simply outsource their content marketing activities.

In recent years, it has become increasingly difficult to capture audiences’ attention, which makes having an SEO content strategy even more crucial to your business. A well-crafted plan can help drive organic traffic, increase brand visibility, and ultimately convert visitors into loyal customers.

However, among the marketing agencies that follow a content marketing strategy, only 11% think they have a good one

So, how do you build an effective SEO content strategy?

In this blog post, we’ll look at the key steps of building your SEO content marketing strategy that’s in line with your business objectives. From identifying your target audience to researching keywords and creating quality content, our comprehensive guide has got you covered.

By following our strategic approach, you’ll be able to engage potential customers more effectively while ranking higher on SERPs – ultimately boosting your online presence and driving business growth.

Table Of Contents:

What is Content Marketing?

First of all, what is content marketing?

Content marketing is about creating valuable, engaging content that people actually want to consume.

Instead of pushing products or services in their faces, you’re building trust and credibility by providing content that resonates with them.

It’s a way to connect with your audience on a deeper level, earn their loyalty, and ultimately, drive business results.

Content marketing comes in a variety of formats — blog posts, ebooks, videos, podcasts, infographics, and more. To make sure you are creating content for the right audience, you need to learn how to create a content marketing strategy.

Why is SEO Important for Your Content Marketing Strategy?

You’ve heard the term SEO thrown around quite a bit, but do you know why it’s so crucial for your content strategy?

Fact: 53.3% of all website traffic comes from organic search.

This means that more than half of your potential audience will find you through search engines like Google or Bing.

If your content isn’t optimized for these platforms, then you’re missing out on a massive chunk of potential customers and readers.

By developing a content strategy tailored to your target audience and search engines, you can reap the following benefits:

Improved SERP Rankings

A content strategy that incorporates relevant keywords, optimized meta tags, and high-quality content increases your chances of ranking higher in search engine results. This means more visibility and increased organic traffic to your website.

Establish Authority and Trustworthiness

Rising through the ranks in search engine results doesn’t only increase visibility; it also establishes authority and trustworthiness within your niche.

Publishing valuable and authoritative content establishes your website as a reputable source in your industry or niche, and search engines take notice of this.

The higher up you are on the coveted first page, the more likely people are to view your brand as an expert source worth listening to (and doing business with).

Enhanced User Experience

A well-thought-out content strategy for SEO focuses on providing value to your audience. By understanding their needs, preferences, and search intent, you can create content that is informative, engaging, and easy to navigate. This leads to a better user experience and encourages visitors to stay longer on your site.

Targeted Audience Engagement

A content strategy allows you to target specific keywords, topics, and interests relevant to your audience. By addressing their pain points, answering their questions, and providing valuable insights, you can attract and engage the right audience, leading to higher conversion rates and customer satisfaction.

Long-Term Success

Paid ads might give you quick results, but their effectiveness dwindles once the budget runs dry.

On the other hand, investing time and effort into solid SEO practices provides long-lasting benefits that keep giving back over time – without breaking the bank.

A content strategy for SEO provides a roadmap for consistent and strategic content creation. By planning and executing your content efforts, you can build a library of valuable resources that continue to drive traffic and generate leads over time. This long-term approach sets the foundation for sustainable growth and success.

Screenshot from Search Engine Land

How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy

Developing a successful content marketing strategy is imperative for any business looking to improve its online presence and drive more organic traffic.

To create an effective plan, you need to follow several key steps:

1. Define Your Goals

Start by clearly defining your objectives. What do you want to achieve with your content marketing strategy? Examples include increasing organic traffic, improving keyword rankings, boosting conversions, and enhancing brand visibility.

2. Identify Your Target Audience

Understand who your target audience is, their needs and wants, and how you can provide solutions with your content. Develop buyer personas to help you tailor your message to their specific interests and preferences.

Once you have a good understanding of your niche and target audience, reach out to them by finding topics that matter most to them.

Identify the phrases they use to search for information relevant to your business. You can do this by doing keyword research.

3. Perform Keyword Research

The goal here is simple: find out which keywords are most relevant to your audience so that when they search for information online, your content shows up front and center.

Uncover the phrases that your target demographic is looking for and incorporate them into your content.

Keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, Semrush, and Ahrefs can help you identify relevant keywords and search terms that align with user intent. Look for high-volume keywords with relatively low competition and long-tail keywords that are specific to your niche.

Pro tip: Content at Scale has an in-app keyword research tool that allows you to unearth golden phrases that you can turn into in-depth blog posts in just one click! No need to buy separate tools for finding keywords and writing content — saving you hundreds of dollars per year!

Here’s a screenshot of the Content at Scale keyword research tool:

4. Analyze Competitors

To stay ahead in the game, it is crucial to analyze your competitors’ strategies. Identify their strengths and weaknesses by examining their keyword usage, backlink profiles, social media presence, and overall site structure. This information will help you determine where you can outperform them or fill gaps they may have missed.

5. Plan Your Content Topics

Based on your keyword research and understanding of your target audience, create a list of content topics that align with your audience’s needs. Aim for a mix of informational, educational, and promotional content.

A well-organized content calendar helps ensure consistent output while also allowing you to plan for seasonal trends or industry events. It should include topics relevant to your audience’s interests as well as keywords with high search volume potential. 

Again, Content at Scale integrates a content calendar so you can assign projects and keep track of deadlines — without buying another software.

6. Develop High-Quality, Engaging, and Share-Worthy Content

Create well-written, engaging, and informative content that aligns with your chosen topics and target keywords. Make sure your content is unique, valuable, and offers a fresh perspective to your audience. Optimize your content for both search engines and readers.

Diversify your strategy by including various formats such as blog posts, infographics, videos, podcasts, and webinars which cater to different audience preferences and boost engagement rates.

Remember: Google loves fresh and unique material. And for your content to climb up the SERP rankings, it must exhibit Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness — 4 key elements in Google’s criteria for ranking content.

Content creation is where Content at Scale truly shines. This all-in-one content marketing tool can automate your entire process — whether you’re writing long-form blog articles, social media posts, email sequences, product descriptions, ad copy, or video scripts.

7. Do On-Page Optimization

Optimize your content for search engines by incorporating your target keywords in strategic places such as the title tag, meta description, headings, and throughout the body of the content. Ensure your content is easily scannable and well-structured using proper headings, subheadings, and bullet points.

8. Nail Your Technical SEO

Pay attention to technical aspects of SEO, such as website speed, mobile-friendliness, URL structure, and crawlability. Optimize your website’s technical elements to improve its search engine visibility and user experience.

Develop a strong backlink profile by earning high-quality backlinks from authoritative websites in your industry. Seek guest blogging opportunities, participate in relevant online communities, and create link-worthy content to attract natural backlinks.

10. Evaluate Performance Metrics

Regularly monitor your SEO performance using tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console. Track important metrics such as organic traffic, keyword rankings, backlinks, and conversions. Analyze the data to identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions.

  • Traffic: Monitor website visits from various sources like organic search results or referrals from other sites.
  • Bounce rate: Keep track of users who leave after viewing only one page on your site – this could indicate low-quality content or poor user experience.
  • Conversion rates: Measure how effectively your content leads visitors towards desired actions such as signing up for newsletters or making purchases.

SEO is an ongoing process, so keep refining and optimizing your content strategy based on the insights you gain from your monitoring and analysis. Stay updated with the latest SEO trends and algorithm changes to ensure your strategy remains effective.

Remember, SEO is a long-term strategy, and it takes time to see results. Consistency, patience, and continuous improvement are key to building your SEO content marketing strategy.

A flowchart from Ahrefs on how to choose a content topic

Building a Content Marketing Strategy Around Your Audience

Understanding your target audience is the most crucial step in building your SEO content marketing strategy. To effectively engage with your readers, you must first determine their characteristics and wants.

Demographics

Begin by gathering data on the age range, gender distribution, income levels, educational background, and geographic location of your ideal customers. You can use tools like Google Analytics, social media insights, or customer surveys to gather this information.

Interests and Pain Points

To better understand the interests of your target audience and address their concerns effectively through content creation, participate in forums such as Reddit, Quora, social media groups, or comment sections on industry-related blogs for common questions or problems they face.

Online Behavior Patterns

Studying the behavior patterns of your audience when they’re online can help guide you in building your SEO content marketing strategy.

  • Browsing habits: Which websites or platforms are your target audience frequently visiting? This can provide you with valuable insights on where you should focus your promotional efforts.
  • Social media usage: Determine which social networks are most popular among your desired demographic so you can create shareable content specifically for these platforms.
  • User-generated reviews: Monitor review sites like Yelp or TrustPilot to gauge consumer sentiment towards products/services similar to yours.

Taking these factors into account will help shape a more targeted SEO content marketing strategy that appeals directly to those who matter most – prospective clients seeking solutions from businesses just like yours.

Screenshot from Search Engine Journal

Finding the Right Keywords

Keywords are the backbone of any content strategy for SEO, so you want to get this right before you start planning your content calendar.

To create content that ranks well in search engines and drives organic traffic, research terms and phrases that your target audience uses when searching for information related to your niche.

Analyze Competitor Keywords

Another effective SEO strategy is analyzing the keywords your competitors use. By examining their content and understanding which terms they’re targeting successfully, you can identify opportunities where you could potentially outrank them with better-optimized content. Tools like SpyFu are specifically designed for competitor analysis.

Create a List of Long-Tail Keywords

Focusing on long-tail keywords – longer phrases with lower search volume but higher conversion rates – can make a big difference to your SEO success. Since these terms are more specific than broad head-term queries (e.g., “content marketing” vs “how to improve my content marketing strategy”), they often have less competition and attract users who are closer to making a decision or purchase.

Tips for choosing target keywords:

Thoroughly researching keywords and including them in your content can help boost search engine rankings, thus bringing more organic traffic to the website.

Create Quality Content

Now let’s dive into the core of an SEO content marketing strategy — creating content.

To engage your target audience, you must provide valuable information that addresses their needs and interests. This involves researching topics relevant to your industry, understanding what questions your audience has, and crafting well-written articles that answer those questions.

Here are some key elements to consider when creating high-quality content:

  • Originality: Search engines penalize duplicate content, so make sure your content is unique and not just a rehash of published material.
  • In-depth information: Provide comprehensive information on the topic at hand. This can include statistics, case studies, or expert opinions.
  • User experience (UX): Make sure your website is easy to navigate with a clean design and clear headings. A positive user experience will keep visitors engaged with your site longer.
  • E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness): Google rewards content that demonstrates E-E-A-T. Write your content from the perspective of an expert in your industry. You can also build trust and authority through credible sources.

Create Engaging Headlines

Your headline should be catchy and relevant and include your main keyword. CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer can help you craft a compelling title that encourages clicks.

Write High-Quality Content That Provides Value

Your content should be informative, engaging, and original – this means avoiding plagiarism at all costs. Aim for long-form articles (1,500+ words) as they tend to rank better on Google.

If you want to augment your workflow with AI, Content at Scale is the best tool for generating high-quality, long-form content. With a single keyword input, you can get a long-form blog post (we’ve seen it write up to 7,000 words) within minutes. Plus the app comes with all the SEO tools you need to rank for your chosen keyword. Here’s a fuller breakdown if you want to learn more.

Maintain Readability

Properly structuring your text is a great way of ensuring your content is easy to read. Use short paragraphs and subheadings to break up your content and help your readers stay focused and engaged.

If you have a long paragraph, try breaking it down into bullet points or numbered lists to make information easier to digest.

If you use an AI writer like Content at Scale to create your content, there are additional steps you’ll need to take to ensure you reach a standard of quality consistently, with every single blog. We developed the C.R.A.F.T. framework with this in mind. It will help you take your AI content from bland and robotic to unique and personalized for your brand.

Want to learn every step involved in our C.R.A.F.T. framework? You’re in the right place. To learn more about AIO and C.R.A.F.T, read our individual guides:

Additionally, subscribe to our blog, watch our C.R.A.F.T. and AIO tutorials on our YouTube channel, and read this blog to understand the AIO model.

Optimize Content for SEO

After keyword research and content creation, the third and last component of a good content marketing strategy is search engine optimization.

Here are some of the best practices to ensure that your content is optimized for search engine visibility.

Integrate Keywords Naturally

Once you have identified your target keywords, integrate them naturally throughout your content. Include them in the page title, headings, subheadings, meta description, URL, and within the body of the content.

However, avoid keyword stuffing, as it can lead to penalties. Maintain a balance and ensure your content reads naturally.

Write Descriptive Meta Tags

Write an enticing title that incorporates your primary keyword. The meta description should also include your primary keyword while providing a concise summary of your content.

These elements appear in search engine results and influence click-through rates, so keep them concise, compelling, and relevant.

Both the title and meta description should capture the attention of your target audience and convince them to click on your page in search results.

A few tips on writing keyword-rich titles and headers:

  • Title tag: Ensure each page has a unique title that accurately reflects its contents while including target keywords.
  • H1 tag: Use this tag for the main heading/title of the page – make it descriptive and include your primary keyword.
  • H2-H6 tags: Use these tags for subheadings within sections of content – they help break up large blocks of text and provide additional opportunities for keyword integration.

Use Descriptive URLs

Create SEO-friendly URLs that incorporate relevant keywords and accurately reflect the content of the page. Avoid using generic URLs with numbers or random strings of characters. Instead, use concise, descriptive words separated by hyphens.

Format Content Properly

Create valuable, well-written, and original content that satisfies the search intent of your target audience. Aim for comprehensive and in-depth content that addresses common questions or concerns. Use proper formatting, headings, and bullet points to enhance readability.

Optimize Images

Use descriptive file names for your images and include alt text that describes the image using relevant keywords. Alt tags not only help with SEO but also provide accessibility for visually impaired users.

Optimized images can help improve your rankings in image search results and enhance the overall user experience.

Improve Page Load Speed

Website speed is a crucial ranking factor. Optimize your website’s loading speed by compressing images, enabling browser caching, minimizing code, and using a fast hosting provider. A faster-loading website improves user experience and encourages visitors to stay longer on your site.

Use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix to identify areas for improvement.

Make Your Content Shareable

Incorporate social sharing buttons on your content to make it easy for readers to share it on social media platforms. Social signals can indirectly impact your SEO by increasing visibility, attracting more backlinks, and driving traffic to your site.

Include internal links within your content to guide users to related pages on your website. This helps search engines understand the structure and hierarchy of your site.

Additionally, try to acquire high-quality external backlinks from reputable sources. Relevant backlinks add credibility to your content.

Optimize for Mobile Devices

Ensure your website is mobile-friendly and responsive. With the increasing use of mobile devices, search engines prioritize mobile-friendly websites in their rankings.

Test your site’s mobile responsiveness and make necessary adjustments to provide a seamless user experience across all screen sizes.

Keep Your Content Fresh

Regularly review and update your existing content to ensure its accuracy and relevance. Adding new information and insights can also attract more visitors and encourage search engines to crawl your site more frequently.

Monitor and Adapt

Monitor your website’s performance using analytics tools. Track keyword rankings, organic traffic, and user behavior and look for areas that need improvement.

After making changes, test your website again to see if its SEO performance has improved.

By following these optimization practices and consistently providing high-quality content, you can improve your website’s visibility and attract organic traffic from search engines.

Promote Your Content

Once all the hard work has been done, don’t let your efforts go unnoticed. To ensure your content reaches the right audience and gains maximum visibility, promote each piece through various channels such as social media platforms, email marketing campaigns, or guest blogging opportunities. The more exposure your content gets, the higher its chances of ranking well in search engine results.

Here are some effective ways to promote your SEO content across multiple channels:

  1. Social media: Share your content on popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Tailor your posts according to each platform’s unique features and user demographic.
  2. Email marketing: Send out newsletters or promotional emails with links to your latest content. Make sure you have an engaging subject line that encourages recipients to open the email.
  3. Influencer outreach: Collaborate with influencers in your industry who can share or endorse your content, helping it reach a wider audience. Research relevant influencers using tools like BuzzSumo Influencer Search.
  4. Guest blogging: Contribute guest articles to reputable websites within your niche, including backlinks to related pieces of content from your site. This not only drives traffic but also improves your domain authority.
  5. Paid advertising: Invest in paid advertising options such as Google Ads or sponsored social media posts to increase the exposure of your key content pieces.

Source: HubSpot

FAQs – How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy

What is a content strategy in SEO?

Content strategy for SEO refers to the planning, development, and management of written and visual content to improve a website’s search engine rankings. It involves keyword research, audience analysis, and creating high-quality, relevant content that appeals to both users and search engines.

Does content strategy help SEO?

Yes, a well-executed content strategy significantly helps improve SEO. By producing valuable and engaging content tailored for your target audience while incorporating targeted keywords naturally within the text, you can boost organic traffic from search engines as well as increase user engagement on your site.

How do you write an SEO content strategy?

To write an effective SEO content strategy:

  1. Conduct thorough keyword research.
  2. Analyze your target audience’s needs and preferences.
  3. Create high-quality original content that addresses those needs.
  4. Optimize titles/meta descriptions/alt tags for better visibility.
  5. Implement internal and external linking strategies.
  6. Regularly update existing material.

What is the difference between a content strategy and an SEO strategy?

A content strategy focuses on planning, creating, and managing all forms of digital media (written, visual, and audio), whereas an SEO strategy specifically targets increasing online visibility through higher SERP rankings.

However, both strategies often overlap as high-quality content is a crucial component of effective SEO practices.

How can I improve my SEO and content marketing?

Improve your SEO and content marketing by focusing on creating valuable and informative pieces that resonate with your target audience. Conduct keyword research to find opportunities for ranking improvement. Optimize existing articles using proper header tags, internal linking strategies, image optimization (alt text), and mobile-friendliness improvements.

How to use SEO as a marketing strategy?

Using SEO as a marketing strategy involves optimizing website structure (technical) along with producing high-quality, targeted content based on keyword research. Monitor rankings regularly to measure success while continuously refining site performance and user experience. Additionally, build authority via backlinks from reputable sources to increase organic traffic.

Which is the best strategy: SEO or content marketing?

Both strategies are essential components of digital marketing. They complement each other effectively when executed properly. A strong foundation in technical and on-page optimizations paired with the consistent creation of high-quality content will yield better results than relying solely on one approach over another.

Conclusion

A content marketing strategy is crucial for businesses looking to improve their online presence and attract more customers. By using these steps, you can create a successful content strategy for SEO that will help you reach your target audience and accomplish your business objectives.

  • Identify your target audience: Understanding who your ideal customer is will help you create content that resonates with them.
  • Research keywords: Conducting keyword research will ensure that your content is optimized for the right search terms.
  • Create quality content: Producing high-quality, engaging content will keep visitors on your site longer and increase the chances of them converting into customers.
  • Optimize content for SEO: Incorporating keywords, meta descriptions, and other on-page optimization techniques will make it easier for search engines to crawl and index your pages.
  • Promote your content: Sharing your content on social media platforms, email newsletters, or through outreach campaigns can expand its reach beyond just organic traffic from search engines.

Crafting an effective content marketing strategy is all about finding the perfect balance between creating valuable content and optimizing it for search engines. By understanding your target audience, conducting thorough keyword research, and crafting high-quality content, you can improve your website’s visibility, attract organic traffic, and boost your online presence.

Content at Scale can help you automate the content creation and SEO tasks of your content marketing strategy so you can publish more while spending less. Sign up today!

Written by Julia McCoy

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