When creating content, one of the biggest challenges we have is marketers is the balance between writing for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and writing for our customers. At least, that is the internal challenge we think exists. In reality, the challenge is not nearly as big as we think. Let’s look at how to create a content marketing SEO strategy.

In its most recently product SEO Starter Guide, Google has made it clear that “optimized content” is one of the most important ranking factors to consider. But what exactly does “optimized content” mean, and who should it be optimized for? I’ll provide a few key tips here.

Step #1: Document Your Content Marketing SEO Strategy and Goals

The first, most important step in creating a successful content marketing strategy, is to create and document your strategy and goals. According to this nifty infographic on Social Media Today, 91% of B2B marketers and 86% of B2C marketers have adopted some level of content marketing as part of their marketing strategy. However, only 38% of B2B Marketers and 37% of B2C Marketers have a documented content strategy.

Documenting your content marketing strategy and establishing specific KPIs to drive your development of optimized content can be a clear differentiator for you. The key to documenting your content strategy is to understand who your audience is, the type of content you will be creating, and how that content is optimized to achieve defined content marketing KPIs.

Step #2: Let Keyword Research Guide Your Content

According to a 2017 report by Brightedge, 51% of channel traffic across the web came from organic search. You can download the full report here if you want to dig in more to this specific statistic.

Despite all the algorithmic changes that have occurred with Google and other search engines, keyword research is still one of the most important steps in developing a SEO-optimized content marketing strategy. Keyword research can help you know and understand what people are searching for related to your industry and business. More importantly, it can also provide you significant insight into HOW your customers are looking for content you can provide.

Using this keyword research to inform your content strategy is an extremely useful tool to help you achieve your content marketing goals.

Step #3: Create a Content Calendar with Keyword Mapping

According to a study by Hubspot, “61% of marketers say that improving SEO and growing their online presence is their top inbound marketing priority.” The next tip that I have to help you grow your SEO footprint is to create a content calendar that includes keyword-mapped topics. Using the keyword research developed during the second step of this process, we can create a calendar of topics that are useful for your customers while also being optimized to address important keywords within your SEO strategy.

Step #4: Write Easy-to-Read, Unique Content

Now it’s time to start writing the content that you have mapped out in your content calendar. You should make sure that you are writing in a way that is appropriate for your audience. For example, someone that knows your brand well may search and find you entirely differently than someone that is just learning about your brand or product/service. Ensure you have mapped appropriate keywords to each content piece, and utilize those keywords effectively and appropriately. (The days of “keyword stuffing” for the sake of a defined “keyword density” are gone).

Step #5: Monitor and Measure Your Content Marketing Effectiveness

Back in the beginning of this process I said that it would be important to define and document your content marketing goals and KPIs. Now that you have started publishing your content by following this process, it’s important to monitor the performance of your content based on those metrics. If your content is achieving the goals you defined at the beginning of this process, that’s great news. Keep doing what you’re doing. If it isn’t quite hitting those targets, re-adjust your plan and keep trying.

If you follow this 5-step guide, you will be able to successful create a content marketing strategy that is optimized for SEO and also useful for your customers and potential customers. This is a win-win formula!

Want to talk to someone about your content marketing SEO strategy? We can help! We offer SEO assessments starting at $2500—just contact us here to get started.

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