Getting your content marketing right is the key to success with your SEO strategy. Yes, both SEO and content marketing go hand in hand and should be seen as part of the same process, but for a small business, this can be difficult.
If you can get your content right, and put it in front of the right people, you will have a solid base on which to build the rest of your strategy, and that strategy can attract clients.
So how do you do it?
Create Quality Content
How long does it take to read the content on your best pages? Is it just a few seconds?
The best content is that which provides all the information a customer is likely to need, and then some. It goes into incredible detail and answers all the questions. It offers value.
If you have little in the way of content, and that which you have is lacking quality, then you might find people don’t stick around. They also won’t have a reason to come back. What’s the point if they don’t find the answers they want? Does your site have all the answers?
Research Your Keywords
There are multiple facets to keyword research, I’m going to deal with just two here, but they’re probably the most important two.
Firstly, what are your customers looking for? Very often a company will begin by creating content that is geared towards their main keywords. For example, if my company sold “water boilers”, then I’d start by talking about their benefits and how, if used correctly, they can boil water efficiently and cleanly.
But are your customers searching for ‘water boilers’? Or are they looking for other things such as “how I can make lots of tea?”
You need to think beyond the keywords that explicitly describe the products you sell, and instead look at other keywords, such as:
- What do your typical customers do with your products?
- What issues does your product solve?
- What frustrations do people have with your product and how can they be solved?
- What worries have your customers got which your product resolves?
Also, do you have multiple names for your products?
Some products and services have technical names as well as more common ones. You need to ensure you’re writing content that deals with both. A potential customer may not yet understand the jargon that goes along with your products, so you need to make sure your content speaks at both levels.
Once you know those words, you can then begin to use them in your content.
And that brings us to the second use of keywords – to provide context.
Head over to Google and type in “water boiler”, then scroll down to the bottom and you’ll probably get a list somewhat like this below:
These are searches that Google thinks are related to the term “water boiler”, so it would make sense to create content that includes those keywords (where possible, don’t force it) and addresses them as subjects within your knowledge-base, blog or article directory.
Some other SEO content writing tips are:
- write a general piece about one of your products
- expand on that and take some of the general terms and describe them in more detail
- Create multiple types of content, don’t just limit it to text, include video and images
Keep it fresh
Any content strategy for SEO has to include freshness. If you work in an industry that changes regularly, then you need to keep up with it. Have you noticed that accountants all send out big documents right after a budget? That’s spot-on content marketing.
It hits your doormat a couple of days after the budget, right when you need to know more about it and how it affects your finances.
Do you work in an industry like this? If you do, then you could become the go-to place for up to the minute news and views, and more importantly, advice.
The more volatile the industry, the more erratic the search terms will be and the better chance you have of getting your site to number one.
Also, keep note of what’s happening in the news. The way people search for things is often affected by what’s happening in the world, and subjects which one day weren’t of interest can suddenly become extremely popular.
For example, when the British Astronaut Tim Peake joined the space station last year, more people were asking questions about space and science.
Can you answer direct questions?
You may have noticed adverts for Google’s products where someone asks a question out loud. This is the way Siri works on Apple and Cortana on Microsoft. As more people move to using their voice to search, they will begin to use more elaborate sentences and ask full questions.
For example, I could have a blog post called “What is the ideal temperature for the perfect cup of tea?” That answers a question directly, and there’s a chance someone is searching for it. So give them the answer!
These are just the beginnings of what’s required in an effective SEO content strategy, but if you do these things now, and build on them week by week, you will start to see your rankings improve.