It’s a terribly difficult job trying to optimise your content strategy for SEO in a way that will still make it appealing for your users. Here I will be aiming to help you solve this issue with some top tips about your content marketing.
Why is it Important to have a Good Content Strategy for SEO?
A good content strategy will enable you to have a much better understanding of your audience, meaning you’re are moving away from keyword-focused content to audience-focused content. You need to remember that your prospects and their needs should always come before search algorithms. That being said, it is also important to be ranking high up the SERP as 75% of internet users won’t even scroll past the first page!
So how do you create a balance?
Have a Content Marketing Strategy in Place
Sounds obvious right? But you’d be surprised at how many people forget to plan a content strategy and just wack out any old content in the hopes of raising their ranking on the search engines. Unfortunately it doesn’t work like that. You need a plan. You need ideas. You need to research!
It takes time to write a compelling and enticing piece of content that is going to get you a decent amount of organic traffic but if you were to have a set plan in place, with the correct research conducted, it will reduce this time dramatically.
Keyword & User Intent Research is a Necessity
What’s the point of writing a great piece of content if it’s not something your users are interested in?
Probably the most important part of content optimisation is understanding your audience and their needs. Most people come onto the internet to solve a problem and it is your job to provide a solution. So the question is simple. What are your users problems? Their pain points? How can you help with this?
Top Tip: User intent evolves over time. What may have been relevant 6 months ago may not be relevant or correct today so it is important to keep your content updated.
The best way to find user intent is to conduct some keyword research. Firstly, what do you think your users are searching? What keyword do you want to be shown for? If you have an idea of this already then go ahead onto Googles keyword planner or Ubersuggests. Or how about giving answer the public a try? It’s a great way of seeing what people are typing into the search engines.
When you are doing your keyword research it is important to find long tail variations that you can sprinkle throughout your content. (Try to stick to 1 targeted keyword per page and around 5 long tailed variations throughout). It is these long tail variations that will be more specific to the users needs and this is what will help you identify user intent.
If you find a keyword that you want to be showing on Google for, with a number of long-tail variations that is able to identify a users intent/problem AND you can solve this, then great! You can write an engaging piece of content on this topic.
Design Good, Valuable Content
If you have done the correct keyword research then creating a piece on content that is valuable should come naturally. Each piece of content should aim to solve only 1 problem of the user – don’t try to kill two birds with one stone.
The actual structure and layout of your content is also important as well as your language:
- Split it up with short paragraphs and use headings, this will make your content scannable which is a definite must and headings are an important factor of SEO
- Make sure you are using the same language as your audience. Remember you could be writing to someone who is completely uneducated on the subject so try not to over complicate things with difficult to understand words and phrases
- Make sure your content is shareable. Would you share it? Can it help other people?
- Make sure your content is actionable. Is there a clear CTA? An invitation to share? Links to related content?
- Make sure your content is findable. Is your keyword in the H1? Is it in the title tag? Have you optimised your meta description?
Remember, you’re writing for your readers first. Making your content as clear and easy as possible to read and navigate and making sure it is relevant to the audience is most important. If you have done all of the above then organic rankings should come naturally.
Proof Read, Proof Read & Proof Read
OK so this may seem like a sensible thing that everyone would do. But if you are in a hurry to get your content out there then proof-reading may easily be missed. Although I advise that you never hurry with your content – this should be a strict no no.
Proof read it not once, not twice but at least three times. My best advice is that once you think you have finished your content leave it for at least 24 hours. Take some time to relax your brain and come back to it the next day with a fresh set of eyes.
You should always be asking one of your friends/colleagues/family members to proof read your work as well. You may be great at spotting spelling mistakes but what reads well to you may not read so well to others. It’s always great to get a second opinion.
Check Keyword Usage
So if you have taken my advice above then each piece of content should only have one targeted keyword and around five maximum long-tail variations. Keyword checking is about how you have used the selected keywords in the content. Make sure when you are proof-reading you are ensuring the content isn’t keyword stuffed. Google will detect this and lower your rankings on the search engines!
It’s simple really – make sure your keywords sound natural. That’s basically it. They should be used naturally in the title, meta, headings and the content itself.
So there are 5 main pointers on optimising your content strategy for SEO purposes! If you’re a beginner and are looking to optimise not just your content, but your website as a whole, we’ve got that covered here!