Wondering how to create an SEO content strategy? Here are some easy-to-follow steps that can make a significant difference in how your content performs online.
Whether you're new to search engine optimization (SEO) or looking to refine your approach, this guide will provide the essentials to help your content shine in the crowded competition.
Table of Contents
What Is SEO Content Strategy?
An SEO content strategy is a plan designed to create and distribute content to improve a website's visibility in search engine results. It involves understanding what your audience searches online, creating content that answers their queries, and optimizing it for search engines.
An SEO content marketing strategy combines two marketing aspects:
- SEO: increases your chances to rank well in the search engine results page (SERP), optimizes on-page experience, and is complementary to content.
- Content marketing: gets you closer to your audience, drives engagement, and is complemented by SEO.
A well-executed SEO strategy brings cost-effective traffic and high-quality SEO leads to your website.
10 Steps of a Super-Effective SEO Content Strategy
If you’re unsure how to create an SEO content strategy, here is a 10-step guide to help you reach your goals.
- Set Your Business Goals
- Recognize Your Target Audience and Their Pain Points
- Identify Your Area of Expertise
- Research Keywords
- Develop a Personal Content Tilt
- Use Different Content Forms
- Optimize All Page Elements
- Set Content Calendar
- Regularly Update Your Content
- Monitor Content Performances
1. Set Your Business Goals
When creating a content strategy for SEO, the first thing you'll need to define is your goal because all other steps depend on it.
Do you want to:
- Expand brand awareness?
- Cultivate brand loyalty?
- Generate more leads?
- Increase sales?
- Get more email subscribers?
Defining goals will facilitate the creation of content and CTAs that will lead to their fulfillment.
2. Recognize Your Target Audience and Their Pain Points
There are different ways to identify your target audience:
Analyze Current Customers
Take a look at the existing base of buying customers and identify their demographic characteristics:
- Interests and hobbies
- Income (socio-economic status)
After conducting research, you’ll know who you’re writing for. Therefore, it will be easier to adjust the content you’re serving them.
Identify Your Competition’s Audience
Research your competitor’s website, social media accounts and YouTube channel. Find out how satisfied their customers are and what frustrates them. Read the comments, reviews and testimonials. Use this information to your advantage.
Conduct a survey and ask your customers how happy they are with your service.
- What would they like to see more or less?
- What content would they appreciate?
- What could you improve?
Include demographic statistics in the survey's introduction, and don't forget to offer some special benefit (discount, for example) for completing it.
Now you'll know your audience’s pain points and what kind of content could fix them.
3. Identify Your Area of Expertise
To position yourself as an authority in your niche, write only about topics you're an expert on. When writing about a subject you’re familiar with, the audience can feel your confidence through the complete information and your unique approach. That content keeps people interested and converts.
4. Research Keywords
There are many great options for keyword research tools, and some of our favorites are:
Semrush provides all important data about a specific keyword you enter. You’ll find out the search volume, keyword difficulty score, related keywords, keyword intent and many other important metrics. You can also see Google Ads that use these keywords in PPC advertising.
Neil Patel's Ubersuggest allows you to discover keyword difficulty and provides keyword suggestions. What makes it particularly useful is the list of the top 100 Google results for a specific keyword, with the number of backlinks, a score showing the strength of the domain and the total number of social shares.
In the feature “Keywords Explorer,” Ahrefs provides valuable insights into keyword difficulty, search volume, traffic potential, and global volume. It has a section called “Keyword Ideas” to find terms that match and questions with the given keyword.
5. Develop a Personal Content Tilt
A content tilt is a unique writing style that makes you recognizable among the competition. It's your perspective on a particular topic and what makes you stand out. This can be based on your expertise or first-hand experience. Without a content tilt, however, your content won’t sound convincing enough to stand out.
6. Use Different Content Forms
A blog increases brand awareness and traffic, keeps visitors on your site, builds trust, and provides linking opportunities and long-lasting results.
Here are some of Backlinko’s research stats confirming business blog importance and effects:
- 72% of B2B companies have a blog.
- Blogs that provide educative content (value for users) generate 52% more organic traffic than blogs that write exclusively about a company.
- B2B blogs typically earn 282 visits monthly from organic search.
- The best B2B blog articles receive an average of 99 social media shares and 49 organic search visits monthly.
Tip: Always publish content on a platform where you have complete control. Having your own platform is a starting point for content distribution, a place you can redirect your audience to. Posting on social media and guest blogging is advisable, but most of the time, it’s seen as an accompanying method rather than the pillar of your SEO efforts.
7. Optimize All Page Elements
Best SEO practices imply incorporating keywords in all important page elements:
- Main headline H1
- Subheadings H2s and H3s
- Title tag
- Meta description
- Uniform Resource Locator (URL)
- Content body
- Alt text
Optimizing the entire content will increase chances for better ranking and visibility, but don’t exaggerate. Keyword stuffing is a black hat SEO technique that can harm your rankings and get you penalized by Google.
8. Set Content Calendar
Publishing high-quality content regularly can be an effective tactic for good SERP positioning. Use a content calendar to keep organized and develop a simple and concise publishing plan.
Some of the best editorial calendars you can use are
9. Regularly Update Your Content
Information changes, as do statistics and trends. Update your content regularly to provide the most current information. While there are no preset rules on how often to update your content, it’s always advisable to keep things fresh.
Content updates have many benefits:
- Make your brand relevant.
- Increase brand visibility.
- Attract more organic traffic.
- Boost user engagement.
- Provide a pleasant user experience.
- Improve SEO showing Google you’re an expert in your niche.
10. Monitor Content Performances
An SEO content marketing strategy is an ongoing effort that requires time and resources. To be sure it brings results, monitor the most important SEO metrics:
- Total clicks show how many people clicked on your website. If the number rises, your SEO content strategy is successful. If it's dropping, you'll have to adjust.
- Organic traffic displays the number of organic search engine visitors to your website. This metric is like “total clicks” but measures traffic from all search engines, while “total clicks” counts only Google’s traffic.
- Dwell time reveals how long users stay on your website until they return to the search engine. The longer they stay, the more engaging your content is.
- Bounce rate is the number of visitors who visit your website and leave it without any engagement. A high bounce rate indicates users don't find your content valuable.
- Conversion rate is the number of times people followed your CTA and made a purchase. It is shown in percentages. A good conversion rate is everything above 10%.
- Indexed pages show Google is indexing your pages and ranking them in SERP.
- Average Click Through Rate (CTR) is the percentage of people who see your website on Google and click on it. The higher the ratio, the more traffic you’re getting.
- SERP rankings indicate how much Google values your content.
If some of these ratings drop, make the necessary adjustments to improve your tactics and reach your SEO goals.
Why Is Content Strategy for SEO Important?
Having a good content strategy for SEO is crucial for several key reasons:
- Improves search engine rankings: Quality content optimized for SEO increases your website's visibility on search engines like Google. Higher rankings mean more visibility to potential customers.
- Drives organic traffic: A well-executed SEO content strategy attracts organic traffic, often more sustainable and cost-effective than paid traffic.
- Builds authority and credibility: Consistently providing valuable, relevant content establishes your brand as an authority in your field, building trust with your audience.
- Enhances UX: SEO isn’t just about keywords; it’s also about creating a user-friendly website. A good content strategy improves the overall UX, keeping visitors engaged and reducing bounce rates.
- Increases engagement and conversion: Engaging content optimized for search engines can lead to higher engagement rates and, ultimately, better conversion rates as visitors are more likely to become customers.
- Provides long-term results: Unlike paid advertising, the effects of a good SEO content strategy can provide benefits for a longer period, offering a better return on investment.
- Adapts to changing algorithms: Regularly updated and well-optimized content is more adaptable to the frequent changes in search engine algorithms, ensuring sustained online visibility.
- Gathers valuable data: SEO strategies provide valuable insights into customer behavior, preferences, and trends, which can inform future marketing and business strategies.
Expert Insights on SEO Content Strategies
- Crafting Authentic Stories
- Niche Understanding and Holistic Approach
- Quality Content, Mobile-Friendliness, and User-Centric Design
- Keyword Alignment, User Intent, and Site UX
- Customized Research, Creation, and Adaptation
We asked digital marketing professionals: “What are the key components of a successful SEO content strategy?”
Here are their responses.
1. Crafting Authentic Stories
James McCallough, Digital Marketing Consultant at Cadmus Copy
If SEO makes up the bones of your online presence, content is the beating heart and soul. Together, they tell your brand's story confidently and professionally, ensuring that your promises to customers are believed, appreciated, and – most importantly – heard. It's not just about visibility in a crowded space; it's about making a lasting impression. Cadmus Copy creates content for the real people who buy from you and works SEO magic in the background.
2. Niche Understanding and Holistic Approach
Sarah Newnham, Founder and Managing Director at New Edge Marketing
Understanding your client's niche is crucial for optimizing their content for search engines, as Google's algorithm treats all niches equally.
Key elements of a successful SEO strategy include:
- Technical SEO: Ensures the site is easily discoverable by search engines.
- Content quality: Focus on relevance, expertise, and authority to produce top-notch content.
- Search intent analysis: Analyze keywords and online behavior to understand what the target audience seeks.
- Goal setting: Establish clear, measurable goals to track SEO and content strategy progress.
- Data analytics: Use analytics to assess the effectiveness of strategies and identify areas for improvement.
- Client collaboration: Maintain constant communication and collaboration to align strategies with clients' expectations.
3. Quality Content, Mobile-Friendliness, and User-Centric Design
Uzma Wani, CEO and Founder of Gignaut
Cultivating a robust SEO content strategy is akin to crafting a masterpiece. It begins with insightful keyword research, but it's the high-quality, mobile-friendly content, backlinks, and user-focused design that truly set it apart. In the ever-evolving world of SEO, the brushstrokes of technical excellence, regular updates, and a commitment to user experience form the canvas of success.
4. Keyword Alignment, User Intent, and Site UX
Mihai Iosif, Head of SEO team at eCommerce Today
By intertwining SEO and content, you can achieve improved search rankings, higher traffic, and increased user engagement.
Here are five actionable steps to harmonize your SEO and content strategies:
- Research keywords and craft content that aligns with your audience's search intent.
- Ensure content matches the intent (informational, transactional, navigational) of target keywords.
- Audit and improve website UX elements like load speed, mobile-friendliness, and navigation.
- Implement descriptive anchor texts in internal links to enhance page authority and user navigation.
- Conduct periodic content reviews and updates for ongoing relevance and SEO health.
5. Customized Research, Creation, and Adaptation
James Piper, Founder & CEO of Piper Marketing, LLC
At our agency, we recognize the uniqueness of each client and their specific goals, shaping our bespoke SEO and content strategies. Our foundational approach for all clients includes:
- Keyword research and content planning: We begin with in-depth keyword research to uncover relevant search terms and topics, guiding our content planning to align with the target audience's searches.
- SEO content creation: Our skilled content development experts blend SEO best practices with high-quality, engaging writing, ensuring the content resonates with readers and ranks well in search engines.
- Ongoing monitoring and adaptation: Our strategy is dynamic, not static. We continuously monitor keyword rankings, content performance, and audience engagement, adjusting our approach to maintain effectiveness and engagement.
Wrapping Up on SEO Content Strategy
Because it produces quantifiable outcomes, 46% of B2B services intend to increase their investment in SEO content strategy. Use this 10-step tactic as a guide for writing and optimizing content that converts.
As a result, you’ll rank higher, gain more organic traffic, achieve better rankings, generate more leads, and convert them into prospects.
If you need help on this path, contact the top SEO agencies we’ve listed for you!
SEO Content Strategy FAQ
How to create an SEO content strategy?
To create an SEO content strategy:
- Set your goals
- Identify your target audience and their pain points
- Determine your area of expertise
- Research keywords
- Develop a unique writing style
- Use different content forms
- Optimize all on-page elements
- Set content calendar
- Regularly update your content
- Monitor and adjust