When it comes to search engine optimization, content may be king but a great integrated search and content strategy is not as simple as writing a blog post and watching the views and links flow in. A successful SEO strategy requires research and planning—these tips will help you lay the foundations of a solid blog marketing plan.
Here's how to create great blog content that improves your SEO efforts:
1. Understand the audience you're trying to reach.
Links are still the backbone of SEO and to get those, you'll need to make sure your content is relevant and interesting to the demographic you're targeting. The overall topic areas you'll be covering should be dictated by the niche in which you operate, so if you sell products related to baking, the posts you produce should have some connection to baking.
But it is possible to get an even better idea of the kind of things you should be writing about. If you've already got an established blog, look to see what subjects your most popular posts covered and concentrate on producing content that fits into those categories. So if people were reading, sharing and linking to the recipe posts on your baking blog, focus on recipe-related content. RELATED CLASS: Measuring Your Content Marketing Success
Taking a look at what works for other blogs operating in the same niche as you is also a good idea. You can use Social Crawlytics to identify their most popular posts and produce content that covers similar issues.
2. Conduct keyword research.
Keywords are another important part of SEO and should be used to help guide content creation. Once you've got a good understanding of the kind of topics you'll be covering, you can use UberSuggest to get ideas both for keywords and for other areas to write about.
For example, putting "bread recipes" into the suggestion box gives a whole host of possible content ideas, as you can see.
3. Generate truly unique content.
If your idea of unique content is taking someone else's post and rewriting it with in your own words, then you shouldn't be surprised when your blog is ignored by readers. In order to maximize your blog's potential, you need to come up with content that can't be found anywhere else on the web.
On the face of it, this might sound hard but there are plenty of ways to do it. Google Consumer Surveys is a quick and easy way to get interesting stats that can be used as the basis for blog posts and infographics.
Or why not identify key players in your niche and interview them? That way you end up with a unique piece of content and someone—the interviewee—who will promote it to their followers. RELATED CLASS: Business Blogging: How to Leverage Business Blogging for More Traffic, Leads, and Sales
4. Focus on building relationships.
Unless you've already got a well-established readership, you shouldn't expect to attract links just by publishing a post. You need to locate people who will be interested in the content you're producing and ask them to help you promote it—either by linking to it or posting it on their social networks.
Don't do this for every blog post, but make sure you're promoting your strongest content.
Outreach is a huge topic and we've only touched on the basics here, for a more in depth look at things, check out this post by Paul May from Buzzstream.
5. Invest in evergreen content.
Although timely blog posts can work wonders for a blog—attracting both pages views and links—you also need to create content that will stand the test of time. The Beginner's Guide to SEO on Moz is a great example of a resource that is still useful, and linkable—long after it has been created.
Exactly what sort of content you produce will, as always, depend on your niche. However, substantive guides and how-to's are a good starting point. It can also be a good idea to tie content into major events such as holidays.
You should also overhaul your evergreen content on a regular basis to make sure it reflects any changes that may have occurred following its launch.
Finally, remember that building a successful blog takes time and patience. Don't give up when you fail to rank number one on Google overnight. Keep going, and you'll get there in the end.
Do you want to nurture more leads to revenue with relevant content?
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