For the New Year, let’s see how to plan an SEO content strategy to rank higher in the SERPs! SEO is more crucial than ever this year, so let’s get motivated and improve your SEO strategy with a sparkling new SEO campaign! In this article, I’m going to walk you through how to set up a successful SEO content content strategy campaign and quickly improve your chances of outperforming your competition in the search engines!
Step 1: Assess your current SEO (technical) aptitude
The first thing to do is to improve the technical SEO of your website. Much like going back to the gym, you need to start by doing an assessment by getting an SEO audit of your website.
Use some tools like SEMrush, Google PageSpeed Insights to get a complete view of your content, your site speed, and your backlinks progress. Other technical aspects like 404 pages, backlinks and toxic links should be fixed.
By taking care of the technical aspects of your website before launching an SEO content strategy with new and improved content, you’ll be good to go!
Step 2: Determine your most important pages
In order to drive more traffic to your site, you need to know which aspects of your website need to be optimized the most.
What improvements would most increase the chances of ranking in the search engines? To answer these questions, you need to determine the most important pages of your website.
Determining the most important pages on your website can be pretty straightforward with the right tools.
But ask yourself first; which pages solve the most problems for new customers? Which pages are closest to my mission?
Compare the answers to these questions with the results of your analyzes: which pages currently have the most traffic? Which pages have the highest conversion rates? And which pages have the most shares?
You should end up with a list of pages that give you those results.
The content of these pages should be further improved.
And, pages that don’t get a lot of traffic shouldn’t be forgotten either. These pages are useful for learning.
I use MonsterInsights which gives me instant traffic results right from my WordPress dashboard without leaving the site.
Step 3: Keyword research
You need to know exactly what your audience is looking for. And the search terms they use. You need to know the keywords they are using when performing a search query in Google.
Keyword research means getting into the minds of your audience and making sure you are focusing on the research “intent” of your potential customer. If you are offering a product or service, people may not be looking for your product or words that relate to the product. They might be looking for the problem that your product or service solves.
Get feedback from your audience to make sure you’re targeting the right search terms. And use tools like Google Trends or Answer the Public, to make sure you’re focusing on the right search terms.
SEMrush can help you get a list of keywords you want to rank for. It can also tell you the search terms your competitors are using to drive traffic to their sites.
Find out which keywords you are already ranked for. Divide the list of keywords you’re not yet ranked for and those you want to rank for. You are probably already ranked for some of them.
Make a list side by side to compare.
Step 4: Set realistic goals for your SEO campaign
It’s important to remember that you won’t start ranking overnight for the most competitive keywords. If you are in a competitive niche, it will be difficult to rank for certain keywords. You will need to focus on more specific and less competitive keywords in order to have a ranking chance.
Consider traffic potential (how many people are searching for a certain keyword) and ranking potential (how many of your competitors are already ranking for that term).
Learn more about how to figure out a realistic keyword that will help you rank higher, or check out some helpful keyword research training with Semrush.
Tailor your keyword list based on the best chance you have of starting to rank or improving your rankings. You should start with keywords where you have a good chance of outperforming your competition.
Step 5: Match Content to Keywords
Evaluate your SEO content based on the list of keywords you have selected.
Does your current content match the keywords? Have you written optimized articles for the right terms?
Determine which keywords haven’t posted or page yet. Determine which articles need to be reused, thrown away, or written from scratch.
You might already have content optimized for the right keywords, but it’s not ranking as well as it should.
Make sure to check whether or not your website is suffering from cannibalization of keywords.
Keyword cannibalization happens when you have too many same or similar keywords spread throughout your website content. As a result, a search engine like Google cannot discern which content to rank higher. This means that sometimes it will rank higher for the web page that you don’t want to prioritize.
If you’ve written on similar topics, there’s a good chance that you’re actually lowering your chances of ranking for a certain keyword because you’re competing with your own content.
If so, you should use the rel = canonical tag to determine which page is the original content that you want Google to crawl and improve your internal linking strategy (more details in step 7) or tell Google to do not crawl some pages by creating a tag without an index. Learn more about it in my course below.
You should end up with a list of articles that need to be rewritten and re-optimized, and a list of articles that you can create content for in the future.
Step 6: SEO Content Strategy – (Re) Write Content!
Write the articles and rewrite the articles that need to be improved. One way to do this is to use the helpful feedback you get from cutting edge content analytics in a SEMrush content audit.
This SEO content analysis helps you improve the readability and ranking of your text, helping you write fresh, natural content that your users and search engines will love.
Make sure you start with the articles that are most likely to improve your rankings.
Develop a well thought out social media strategy and a calendar where you share your articles with your audience on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn or Pinterest.
Remember, you don’t have to be on all platforms at once. Determine through your analytics which social platforms serve you best.
Step 7: Improve the internal linking of your website
As websites get more content, internal links become more and more important.
Your internal links are very important to Google’s crawlers. Google tracks these links, so depending on how you link internally, it will give Google important clues about what content is most important.
Especially if you have a large amount of content on your site, be sure to take the time to improve your site’s internal link structure.
Make sure your most important articles have the most internal links pointing to them.
Step 8: SEO content strategy success
A successful SEO content strategy is an ongoing process.
SEO is a continuous process of trial and error, creating high quality content, measuring success, and then making the necessary changes to your SEO campaign.
Your website will always change and grow, Google’s algorithms and updates are always changing and growing, and your audience will always transform.
However, your chances of outperform your competition will definitely be higher than that, due to all of the positive SEO efforts you put in!