SEO Content Marketing Strategy for 2022 (10 Killer Tips!)
Is there a secret to creating an effective SEO content marketing strategy?
And — get this — you don’t need to be an expert in content marketing or SEO to create an effective content strategy.
But, you do need to understand how the two work together. Fuel each other.
And you need to be willing to experiment.
So are you interested in putting together a practical plan that drives sales year after year?
We’re guessing that’s a “yes” since you’re here and all.
So, let’s begin building your SEO content marketing strategy.
What is SEO?
SEO (search engine optimization) is all about giving searchers the information they want while trying to rank higher on the search results page.
But simply inserting keywords into your content isn’t enough.
Google is a fickle master.
Getting found online involves things like link-building. Targeting the right keywords. And growing a local search presence.
Just to name a few. The list goes on and on.
Not to mention technical SEO issues such as speed, page layout, and performance.
But when you consistently create high-quality, relevant content, the search engines reward you with organic traffic.
Sound familiar? It’s the core of content marketing.
“Content should be your first priority when thinking about SEO.”
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing has been around a long time.
Back in 1732, Ben Franklin promoted his printing business with a yearly almanac.
In 1900, Michelin created a guide with tips on car maintenance and finding lodging while traveling.
Today, content marketing is widely accepted as a subset of inbound marketing.
And, through the years, the fundamentals of content marketing haven’t changed.
Share useful information with a target audience. Focus on their needs, challenges, and pain points.
As time goes on, you build trust and brand loyalty. Become a likable expert.
“Basically, content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling.”
Content Marketing Institute Founder Joe Pulizzi
Merging SEO and Content Marketing
So, how do you incorporate SEO into content that grows your business?
Think about what your buyer will do at each step of the marketing funnel.
Create content around your buyer’s journey at various steps.
The words people use in their queries give big insights into their intent.
Most buyers start out hunting for information, then keep researching until they’re ready to buy. And all along the way, buyer behavior intent can shift.
If they’re searching for information, they often use words such as:
- How to
- Best way to
When ready to buy, they use:
Get started by finding new, trending keywords with a keyword research tool like Ubersuggest. Check out Google Trends.
If you see a keyword rising in popularity, you should probably create a piece of content around that keyword.
Another effective SEO strategy is to create cluster content — various pieces of content focused on topics rather than keywords.
SEO Content Marketing Strategy
Planning any SEO content strategy takes patience. Keep creating, and you’re sure to see results.
Here are 10 ways to make your job easier.
1. Define your target audience
If you’re going to give your audience the content they want, first you have to define them.
Experienced content marketers build a detailed buyer persona, including demographic information such as:
- Marital Status
You should also investigate your prospects’ favorite social media platforms, publications, and websites.
Constructing a buyer persona enables you to create high-quality content for your target audience because then you know the words your customers use to communicate.
Talking the way they talk makes you more relatable.
In turn, you’ll better understand what matters to them. How they evaluate options before they buy. And what prevents them from buying.
2. Brainstorm ideas for content topics
The effort required to find great content ideas is worth it.
You’ll gain a different perspective. And true insights into how a potential customer thinks about any given topic.
You can search:
- Internet forums
- Google News
- Answer the Public
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- YouTube channels
- Amazon bestseller lists
- Facebook/LinkedIn Groups
When it comes to groups, stick to large, established groups in your niche. Along the way, you can nurture relationships for link-building.
As you gather information, keep digging beneath the surface.
For instance, when evaluating Amazon book reviews, ask yourself if the review offers an opinion of substance. Or does it merely say, “this was a great book”?
3. Conduct keyword research
An SEO keyword research tool will reveal topics your audience cares about and how popular specific topics are.
Make a list of meaningful topics for your business. Figure out the topics you want to rank for and the topics your persona is interested in.
Look for keywords with high search volume and low competition. Long-tail keywords typically lure qualified visitors closer to making a purchase.
Tip: You can gain rankings quicker for long-tail keywords when you write about your industry in your geographic location.
4. Generate awesome content
Quality content in multiple formats spreads brand awareness. Think beyond blog content creation. Experiment with formats that are less saturated.
- Case studies
- White papers
- Slideshare presentations
- Live events
- Social media posts
- Slide decks
Some content is better suited to certain formats. Decide on the best format for your niche while trying out new ones.
Use formats your audience already consumes, but focus on your strengths.
Don’t like to write? Make videos.
5. Optimize the heck out of it
Take advantage of the many opportunities to optimize your content with keywords.
The meta description is a critical spot, a 50-160 character description of the content.
Meta descriptions are visible on the search engine results page directly under the link to your site.
The title tag is a 50-60 character description of your content that appears at the top of search results. Think of it as a heading that describes the page.
Subheads are also prime real estate for SEO, as are images. The image alt tag describes images to visually impaired readers.
6. Keep your content current
The search engines like regular content marketing efforts.
Do a content audit periodically. What’s the content’s purpose? Does it need a complete rewrite, or simply a new paragraph?
Make sure your content is up to date. User search intent and the search terms they use can change over time.
Google Analytics and Google Search Console data contain clues for improvement. Look at which metrics are below average to get ideas.
For instance, if a page has been performing well with long-tail keywords, maybe try to rank for shorter keywords.
Check out your competition again. Test your links to see what happens.
7. Leverage your top-performing content
How do you engage customers that would have never seen your content?
You repurpose it.
Go through analytics and comments, looking for themes. Repurpose the content containing those themes.
Then share with websites geared specifically towards a different type of media.
Turn an infographic into a video and post it on YouTube or Vimeo. Transform a case study into a slide deck and upload it to Slideshare.
Or, simply turn an existing blog post into multiple fresh posts.
Say you wrote a post about five ways to relieve stress. Create five different blog posts, each going into depth about a single item from the original list.
8. Check out what your competitors are doing
Find out everything you can about how your competitors create their content.
Who are the people behind the website? What’s their background? Who are their industry connections?
Dig deeply into their credentials. Look at what they’re doing well, and adapt good ideas into your content.
Also, analyze their shortcomings. Is their site difficult to navigate? Impersonal? Are the menus confusing?
Monitor their social media activity. Determine if they’re participating in the rise of influencer marketing.
Use an SEO tool to get valuable information, including organic monthly traffic, top keywords, backlinks, etc.
9. Host your own platform
Many free blogging platforms aren’t SEO-friendly. They lack the capability to customize.
You never know what any given platform is going to do. Your content could suddenly disappear. And if you leave, you risk losing your readers.
When you build your own website and blog on your own content marketing platform, you control decisions like whether or not you want Google Ads.
Plus, pride in ownership leads to diligence in:
Who knows? You may want to sell your website for a tidy profit one day.
10. Track your results
You’ll never reach your digital marketing goals without studying your data.
Many businesses have seasonal fluctuations. Look at an entire year’s worth of data. Compare the current year to previous years.
Your Google Analytics dashboard will show you:
- How many people visit
- Geographic area
- Device type
- Bounce rate
- Conversion revenue
You can see what people do while on your site and how long they stay. So set up SEO goals at every step along the conversion path.
That way, you’ll know exactly where you’re losing people in the sales funnel.
SEO Content Marketing Strategy: Your Key to Higher Profits
So now you know how to use SEO and content marketing together to your advantage.
Once you have a smart SEO-friendly content marketing strategy in place, you’ll make more money and build customer loyalty with less effort.
So don’t wait.
Choose a method — or three — from the above list, and jumpstart your digital marketing strategy today.
Patricia Saya is a Smart Blogger Certified Content Marketer and AWAI trained Copywriter who writes well-researched SEO content and copy. A verified Case Study Specialist, she helps businesses grow with distinctive customer stories. Connect with her on LinkedIn or visit her website at patriciasaya.com.