Content marketing is the story of your brand. You invite people to participate in that story through carefully crafted web pages, including your home page, service pages, sub-service pages, blogs, and more. And building a content strategy with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind is what puts that story in front of your ideal customers, clients, and partners.
As a digital marketing agency, our content creators know the value of crafting content that helps site visitors convert to sales leads who become loyal customers. Here are some content marketing best practices that will also optimize your content for search.
Do Keyword Research
Knowing your target keywords is foundational to successful content marketing. While you can make an educated guess about what some of your primary products, services, and branded keywords are, it's important that any keyword strategy you follow is data driven. For best results:
Use a Keyword Research Tool: SpyFu, SEMRush, Raven Tools, and other paid keyword research tools get detailed data in a fraction of the time it would take you or your team to comb the internet for the same information. If you're working with a digital marketing agency, their team can customize research and keyword reporting for you to better match your sales and marketing goals.
Plan Categories: Knowing keyword categories and keyword focus areas can help you maximize ROI without focusing too much on keywords that aren't relevant to your current goals. Know which products, service areas, or sub-services you want to focus on. Evaluating keyword data monthly can help you correlate changes to website updates, product rollouts, and more.
Keep an Eye on the Competition: Competitors' keywords - and their performance - can give you insights into high-performing keywords that may be missing from your strategy. The best part? This information is publicly available and easily accessible via keyword research tools.
Plan Content Types and Titles
With a sophisticated keyword strategy in hand, you can plan and develop a variety of content types that are keyword rich. You might build out:
Web pages and landing pages
Blogs, ebooks, or white papers
Webinars or podcasts
As you do this, put titles and content format types into a spreadsheet or other tracking document. This editorial schedule will help you monitor content development, keep your brand tone and voice consistent, and keep the whole team on the same page about your most valuable keywords and concepts.
You'll be able to track whether you're "weighting" keywords effectively by focusing on certain keyword types and categories more than others. And you can easily see how well keywords are distributed throughout your content by filtering and searching the document.
While this resource is highly customizable and specific to your business, we recommend including the following information in the editorial schedule tab of your tracking sheet to give it a strong foundation:
Target publishing dates
Titles (proofread and edited)
Content format type (blog, email, etc.)
Space for content development (outlines, notes, and resources)
A place to link to or add the content itself
The content status (planned, scheduled, published, etc.)
You may want to add additional tabs for keyword data, future ideas, and analytics tracking, so you have everything in one place. Check content marketing analytics monthly, and plan an in-depth strategy session every six months to a year, depending on how robust your strategy is.
If you're working with a digital marketing agency, they can help you plan, develop, edit, and publish this content and give you regular updates on how content is performing across your brand.
Scale and Grow Your Content Marketing
Consistency is key when it comes to developing and implementing content marketing. If you're building your strategy for the first time or deciding to rebuild it, it's not necessary to roll out every content format or crank out a high volume of posts right away. You can start with the formats you're most comfortable with and make it your goal to create and publish content in these formats consistently for 3-6 months.
For example, you might want to do 5-6 blog posts a month focused on answering questions about your primary products and services. That would give you between 30-40 pages of valuable content to work with. You could then easily develop emails, fact sheets, webinars, or videos that answer those same questions from a different angle, or a little bit at a time.
When your team commits to a data-driven content marketing strategy, you'll quickly have a repository of concepts, and a way of talking about those ideas, that you can repurpose in other content formats without reinventing the wheel.