? Adhering to this easy five-point process will guarantee more organic search traffic to your site.
⏰ While email campaigns, PPC and using social media are all necessary components for a successful content marketing strategy, SEO success can be achieved with a significant investment of your time as opposed to a significant investment of your budget.
? So invest your time wisely and follow this five-point plan for beginners to grow your audience and steadily increase organic traffic.
To engage with and build an audience, you need to become a trusted source of information on the topics relevant to your business or service.
The very nature of content marketing isn’t to enter your users into a sales funnel, but to engage with them, without selling. This way your brand becomes synonymous with the product you are writing about, so when a user becomes a customer, you are the first company they go to.
To do this you need to start with a solid bank of high-volume search terms/queries relevant to your chosen field that you can start building your content around – remember organic terms are different from building a list of paid-search terms or adwords, but the same principles apply.
This will give you data-driven purpose to begin writing content that you know will satisfy a demand and, if done correctly (by which I mean you get it to rank), will generate significant amounts of traffic to your site.
There’s no easy way to do this other than by putting in a shift and researching.
There are a great many places to look including:
☑ Relevant, blogs, magazines and news articles
☑ Look at what your competitors are writing
As you find potential search terms/queries check their search volume, there are a number of good paid-for tools, but for quick and free (but approximate) volumes, use keyword planner (additional video tutorial below) or Moz.
For a term to make it in to your bank it must be validated by a good amount of search volume – as a rule of thumb I usually won’t go after anything with fewer than 1,000 average searches a month.
Now you have your bank of high-volume keyword terms you need to prioritise them in order of biggest opportunity and quickest wins.
To do this you need to give your search terms a priority score then factor them into your content calendar, tackling the highest priority first.
To get the priority score you need to apply this simple algorithm to each of your keyword terms.
Keyword volume – competition to rank – effort to create + added editorial opportunities = the priority score.
Still with me? Let me explain.
First work out points for:
If a query has between 1K and 10K average search volume for the month it gets four points.
If it averages 10k monthly searches (or thereabouts) it gets five points and another point for every additional 10k searches it gets. So something that receives 70,000 average monthly searches, starts with a score of 11.
A query then gets a minus point if it will be difficult to rank first for. So if the sites currently ranking for that term have particularly high domain authorities and are already seen as a strong voice on the chosen topic they will be harder to displace from the top spots.
If a query will be difficult to rank in the top three (things like paid-for terms and ads at the top of the page can also factor into this) then it gets a minus of two points.
Outside the top five and it gets a minus three.
A query will get a minus point for the amount of effort it may take.
Long form content that will take a lot of research gets a minus one, if it requires a video it will get a minus two, an infographic another minus one etc… This part of the algorithm you may need to tailor to the resources you have at hand.
If there is a featured snippet or related content, this is another opportunity to get your content seen so, in turn, gets another plus point.
At the end you will have your priority score.
Of course, this is by no means an exact science, so you may need to tweak it to fit your content.
To help you tweak it you can apply it to a handful of the terms in your bank to see if the scores then make sense, once you have got it right you can apply it to all of your content moving forward.
But remember it is just a guide to help you organise in what order you write your content, it is not a law to abide.
This is pretty straightforward. Once you have your prioritised content you need to plan it into a content planner so you know when you will be tackling each piece of content. I use a tool called Teamweek.
Worth factoring in things like seasonality as well as the priority score, but doing this will give you a regular flow of content uploaded to your site, satisfying both audience demand and Google’s love of fresh content.
I could write another ten pages on this alone, (don’t worry, I won’t) but instead I will point you in the direction of a good starting point – a great recent Moz blackboard Friday about the types of content that work best for SEO (video below).
If you’re really unsure then you can wait patiently for my next blog – ‘A checklist of things to consider when writing SEO content’.
Arguably the most important but easily the most often neglected step of the process.
Within my team we schedule a weekly SEO hygiene review, this is primarily for two reasons.
One, because creating content well doesn’t mean it will instantly rank, you need to regularly monitor it and track its progress and you may find you have to work on it to improve it.
Two, because even if your content does end up ranking highly, there’s no written rule to say once it’s there it will stay there.
Keep weekly logs of where your content is ranking and track for improvements.
It’s an ongoing process but these five steps will give you a great basis to form your content strategy, ensuring you grow your audience and increase organic traffic to your site.
Do you have any questions or additional comments? Comment below ?