SEO Content Strategies: Part 3 of 3
Planning to write content for SEO starts with a question. Do you want to:
- Enhance your authority on a given topic (likely done by gaining a space in a universal listing)?
- Drive revenue for a certain product?
- Close the Competitive Gap?
If you are interested in boosting under-performing pages, improving ranking for a target term, or raising your brand awareness, please refer to the SEO content creation methods blog part 2. Some of the SEO content strategies may solve one or more of these questions, as there are multiple ways of realizing your chosen goal. Overall, good SEO content strategies work together to increase your site’s visibility so search engines can display your content to searchers and potential customers.
SEO Content Strategies and Methodologies
Enhance Brand Authority
For this, much of your effort and approach will overlap with crafting content to heighten brand awareness. Authority – for a client or a brand – is really on an overall topic and not on a specific product. But at the same time, odds are those topics are product-driven, especially given a retail ecommerce business. Research high-volume terms, but keep in mind that those with the potential to be query-based should be addressed fully on their own; always answer the public questions.
In researching high-volume terms for increasing authority, take under consideration those topics that have the potential to encompass a wide range of products and services while also providing real value for users and not sounding salesy. Consider:
- Where the new content can fit in the site;
- What other pre-existing pages can the new content point or redirect to;
- Where can the new content point to other pre-existing pages to increase sharing and page authority.
Think topic clusters. What existing content (preferably high-performing) does the website have that will be linkable and relevant to this new topic? This is another case of seeing and using what resources a client already has.
Authority on a topic comes not just from providing informative articles, but also articles with lasting power. E-A-T involves a page developing a history — so can this topic? So, consider those topics that will be relevant upon the date-of-post and remain relevant a year after the post. These are your evergreen topics: topics that can be built and layered upon with future content. When we come up with SEO content strategies for things to write, we should also consider what we will write in the future based on what we’re writing now.
When optimizing content to increase your authority, remember to:
- Answer query-based topics
- Consider topics with potential to encompass several aspects of client products and services, while maintain a specific focus
- See how new content fits within the site and how it can be linkable from other preexisting high-performing content
- Explore evergreen content
- Layer future content
Driving revenue really isn’t a matter of focusing on term first, so much as it is understanding your client goals (as we should with all content assignments) and knowing which products they’re trying to push, what products are coming out, what the seasonality for products and the industry is, etc. Of course, you also want to be able to select those products that currently match client goals – while staying 3 months ahead for stronger SEO content impact – to high-volume terms and current market trends.
This requires a thorough conversation with the client.
Think Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) regarding SEO content strategy. You also need to think of pages as they progress toward a conversion within the buyer’s funnel, so don’t just optimize for terms on the target landing page — look to every page and click thereafter (and reasonable click before) until you get a conversion. Driving revenue means moving along the funnel; rank growth for this category should hit several touchpoints along the buyer’s journey. For this point, look to GA’s navigation to and from target landing pages for selected terms. Look at the spectrum of landing pages you need to optimize for a target term.
It’s also worth taking the time to categorize your target terms for driving revenue to your selected products by determining which terms within your broader category are informative and which are transactional. Informative terms should likely receive a focus for pages placed earlier in the funnel and to the left of this spectrum (possibly long-tail and more voice or query-based terms). Transactional terms should find a place directly on the page with conversion actions (likely shorter terms but also possibly query-based) and to the right of the spectrum. UX consideration comes into play here as well, but the content (besides attempting to rank) should also always be geared toward directing the next and appropriate action for the user to take. Incorporate this consideration in any content assignments as well.
Driving revenue requires:
- Understanding the client product goals and seasonality
- Matching goals with target terms
- Looking at pages beyond target landing page where changes can be made to boost ranking
- Separating informative from transactional terms within your broader category
The primary focus to solve for a competitive gap involves two facets:
- Benchmark against top-performers in a focus or target topic or group of terms and figure out what they did that worked.
- Think of something extra to make the new content you’re creating better and more valuable.
Analyze what the competitor(s) talks about and how they talk about it, then identify things they don’t talk about that the client is in an authoritative position to talk about (again looking at existing client resources). What types of resource pages does the client have to add context to the landing page you’re optimizing via internal linking that the benchmarked competitor does not have? We know how to use SEMRush and BE to identify ranking competitor pages for target terms, but to push the envelope we have to spend the time thoroughly looking at the benchmarked competitor pages themselves.
In cases like this, create two checklists side by side showing what pages our client’s target page links to vs what pages the competitor’s page links to. What types of pages does our client have to add extra context that the competitor may not have? Can we mirror all their pages? Or add something better (while maintaining focus on quality and relevancy of quantity). Besides backlink use for context, there’s also the actual content on the page. You should check the content itself — what does the client discuss that we don’t? What can we discuss that the client can’t? (All while remembering the prior points of maintaining content focus and relevancy with backlinking).
Identify these areas and make it clear when assigning content to the team. We’re not just closing a gap; we’re surpassing the current benchmark.
Close and overcome the competitive gap by:
- Benchmarking against top-performers
- Thinking of something extra or additional to make the new content you’re creating better and more valuable to consumers
- Look at link and context building opportunities and resources that competitors may not have
- Look at services, products, and topics to speak to that a competitor cannot
Post-Content Delivery Procedure
Part of our internal process should be purposeful follow-ups for every piece of content we deliver. This means making it clear to the client that we want to know their thoughts and feedback upon delivery. That means pointed questions directly related to the content. Client satisfaction is the end goal of any strategy, so stay on top of this for specific deliverables for several touchpoints with the client post-send and be open to any and all feedback. Any deliverables have to start with a conversation with the client and should end the same way.