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Creating an SEO Content Strategy for Your Business

Creating an SEO Content Strategy for Your Business

Hey! Here’s one for you – why do SEOs love going to the farmer’s market? Because of the organic content!

At Kaizen, we’re often asked to build SEO content strategies for a variety of clients. We’ve found that the challenges with content can vary and some brands may find it hard to identify the right topics for their vertical. While just using search volume and keywords to decide on what topics to write can be tempting, we’ll show you how a foolproof SEO content strategy means more than keywords with high search volume.

 

Identify your Audience, Goals, and Competitors

To start with, content created without an audience in mind brings little to no value. After all, content is made to be read by an audience. Only by knowing your audience first, will you know what content will be effective. Ask yourself –  is my audience only looking for information? Are they visiting my website because they’ve specifically searched for my brand or service? Understanding your audience also works alongside identifying your goals.

Having clear goals in mind makes sure that user intent remains a central part of your content strategy. Having the right goals keeps you and your team on the right path to prioritise the types of content you need to create. If your goals are centred around increasing sales, then it’s likely that more product-focused content will be most valuable. However, if you have goals around newsletter/membership sign-ups, then more informational content to entice users could be the most valuable. There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach – your goals should determine your SEO content strategy. 

If you’re able to, you should also look at content gaps between yourself and your competitors. Tools such as SEMrush or Ahrefs offer great insight into how you currently perform against competing websites. The aim here is to identify relevant keywords where your competitors are ranking performing better than you. This gives you some direction for your SEO content strategy – the general principle is to either create content that targets these keywords, or optimise your existing pages that are already targeting these keywords.

Note: This may not apply if you have little to no available content. 

Another key part of this competitor analysis is to identify your SERP competitors. You’ll likely already have an idea of who your competitors are in your industry, but there may be some surprises when it comes to Search. An obvious business competitor may not be a Search competitor, and vice versa. E.g. You may find that blogs or wiki-style websites are performing well for relevant keywords in your industry, but they don’t actually make/sell products, so these sites wouldn’t be considered competitors in a traditional brick-and-mortar sense.

 

Users generate keywords, keywords don’t generate users

Once you’re sure of who your audience is and what you want to achieve through your content, then your keyword research begins. You should spend the majority of your time in this stage. 

Start by compiling a shortlist of short-tail seed keywords important to your business in a spreadsheet. Use your keyword research tool of choice to find other related “branch” keywords and start to build your keyword “tree”. Not only will you want to know the average monthly searches, but you’ll also want to identify search volume broken by per month from Jan to Dec to identify seasonal trends. 

Be sure to keep an open mind here – the way people search for a given product or service may be different to how you would search for it. For example, the term “motor insurance” is searched approximately 5,400 times per month, whereas “car insurance” is searched 673,000 times per month (in the UK, according to Google Keyword Planner). If you were to focus your efforts on “motor insurance” terms instead of “car insurance”, you’d be missing out on a huge portion of the search market. 

Continue building your landscape to include long-tail terms and questions that appear in SERP features such as People Also Ask through tools such as AlsoAsked. Make sure that you capture the key micro-moments that Google introduced back in 2015; I-want-to-know, I-want-to-go, I-want-to-do, I-want-to-buy.

Don’t be deterred by the low search volume from long-tail keywords that you may see. The point of this stage is to identify the terms that are being used and shown to real people beyond search volume. For example, questions pulled from People Also Ask boxes are often 10 or 0 average monthly searches. However, they often rank on page 1 for high in demand terms. If we can create content that is the answer for this type of result, we are actually aiming to sneak in as a way around high in demand, competitive search terms/ SERPs.

As you build your keyword tree, you should be categorising. Label all your keywords across multiple categories. Whilst considering the themes important to your business, you should also be labelling by intent. Remember those micro-moments? All keywords should connect back to those 4 intent types. By doing this, you’ll be able to see the areas in which you’re lacking e.g. if you’re ranking poorly for “I-want-to-know” keywords, then a key part of your SEO content strategy should include creating informational/guide content to address this gap. 

Also, try to avoid categorising keywords with labels such as “Other” or “Miscellaneous” – when you come to creating a content strategy, these labels won’t give you any direction at all. Labels should be meaningful and help you identify the topic areas in which to create content. Top tip: when coming up with category labels, try using them in a sentence – if they don’t make sense, they aren’t good category names. E.g. “Our visibility for Car Repair terms is low, so we should create content in this area” – now imagine replacing “Car Repair” with “Other” or “Miscellaneous”.

Seasonality labels can also be applied, whereby you label the peak month for search interest for each keyword. This will inform you when certain topics are most popular, which can then be used to create a content calendar. Taking into account seasonal trends is vital for capitalising on search interest and maximising traffic potential. For example, launching Christmas content in January would be a huge mistake, as you’ll have missed out on the peak interest that occurs in November and December. Launching Christmas content in September instead will ensure it’s primed and ready for those peak months. Of course, Christmas is an obvious example, but other events and interests will likely have their own seasonal peaks which aren’t as obvious. Using search data to find out the seasonality trends related to your industry is vital for maximising your SEO content’s potential. 

 

Pick the right content format

Now that you have your data split into several categories, you should use them to reveal the content you need to create. You may find that the majority of your keywords are focused on the I-want-to-know intent or that keywords for a particular service or product spikes in a particular month. The data will reveal what keywords to target while remaining focused on the core intent or goal as designated by your category.

This is where search volume and relevance to your core business products will drive decisions on whether you should create an authoritative sub-page or a content gap-filling blog post. The most effective content strategy is using a combination of search data with user intent insight to identify what type of content will be of most use to a user. In an I-want-to-buy moment, I’m not looking for long-form content. However, in an I-want-to-know moment, long-form guides and informational content are exactly what I’m looking for. 

Organic content can only be effective if you’re serving the needs of a user. Create content with a real person as the target, not a search engine. For more details on how Kaizen can build a customised SEO content strategy for your business, get in touch.

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Todd Bishop

Todd is an SEO Account Manager with 4+ years experience in the industry, most of which has been at Kaizen. Todd has worked across some of Kaizen’s biggest and longest-standing clients, and has a wealth of experience working across retail and e-commerce clients.

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