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3 Tips for Developing a Cohesive SEO and Content Marketing Strategy

Content and SEO go hand-in-hand. One cannot succeed without the other. If you're not actively managing SEO, it can be difficult for your audience to find your content and learn more about your business. If you're not writing quality content, search engines are less likely to index it.

High-quality SEO involves a variety of ranking factors, but content is one of the most important. Here are a few tips on how to create SEO-optimized content:

1. Let your keyword research guide your content.

When conducting keyword research, consider these essential elements of performance:

Relevance

When choosing keywords, you first want to identify your page theme and then target keywords that are in close relation to that theme. For example, if you’re writing a blog post about how to conduct keyword research, a good keyword selection could include “keyword research process,” “keyword research tips” and “how to find keywords for seo.” However, a keyword like “digital marketing tips” would be a bit broad and could capture users that aren’t necessarily looking for keyword research assistance. By matching searcher intent, you’re more likely to get your content in front of a more qualified audience.

Search Volume

Writing about topics that have minimal search interest won’t provide your business with much value. If your keyword research for a new web page indicates that there is zero search volume for all of your intended keywords, you may want to reconsider the page’s topic and purpose. When finalizing your keywords, try to balance both relevance and search volume. While you may be tempted to target only high search volume keywords, going for lower search volume keywords may be a good choice if you’re in a niche market and the keyword is a good descriptor of your content.

Competition

Consider your competition when choosing keywords to optimize for. While a keyword might have high search volume, it can also have high competition, and the first page of search results may be dominated by big brand sites that have more authority. For example, if you’re a tutoring service trying to rank for a broad, high-volume keyword like “ACT test prep,” chances are you will be competing against popular publishers that can get away with broader keywords since their domain is more established. Even if a keyword like “ACT review courses” has a lower search volume, it could be a better fit for your business and improve your ranking potential if it has lower competition. A keyword analysis tool, such as Moz’s Keyword Explorer, can tell you how difficult it will be to rank for a specific keyword and help you identify keywords with less competition.

Long-tail versus short-tail

Long-tail keywords are typically phrases that contain three to five words, while short-tail keywords contain less than three words. By incorporating long-tail keywords into your strategy, you can be more specific and are more likely to reach the people interested in your product or services, which in turn can increase leads. For example, if you own a shoe boutique specializing in fair trade, targeting keywords such as “fair trade running shoes,” “eco-friendly running shoes” or “ethical running shoes” would help you reach your target audience better than simply “running shoes.” Who doesn’t love a running shoe that practices proper ethics?

Once you understand how your audience is searching and identify the keyword set you want to optimize for, you should incorporate variations of your keywords into your content and metadata in a natural way. Never “keyword stuff” — it doesn’t work!

2. Write quality content.

When writing your content, you should think not only about what your audience is interested in, but also what Google would want to serve its audience. Google processes over 40,000 search queries per second. That’s a ton of answers they need to provide for people. With search engines wanting users to easily access the information they’re looking for, it’s best if your page content is relevant and comprehensive.

When assessing your page content, think about what your theme is and how you can thoroughly answer someone’s query. For example, someone searching for “fever” will probably want to know its causes, symptoms and treatment.

Sure enough, one of the top Google search results for “fever” provides all of that information and more:

 

 

When analyzing your current content and creating new pages, you’ll want to reduce thin content and make sure your pages have enough information for the reader. You’ll also want to make sure you’re producing content that is relevant to your brand. Google will know if it doesn’t make sense for you to rank for a keyword in a completely different industry.

3. Make your content user-friendly.

The user experience on a website affects engagement signals such as bounce rate and average session duration, which can affect your organic rankings. For example, high bounce rates can be an indicator to search engines that users are not easily finding the information they need. Various aspects of your site can affect a user’s experience, from URL names and breadcrumb titles to navigation structure and calls to action.

When designing your content and pages, think about how to streamline the experience and help users along the way. Phrase your headings in a way that lets users know they’re on the right page, and guide them to contact and conversion points. With SEO and UX working together, you can drive users further down the marketing funnel and increase leads.

Extra! Extra! promote your content!

Once you’ve written and optimized your content, share it! Getting likes or shares on social media can help send Google positive social signals. While social media metrics aren’t a known ranking factor in search algorithms, promoting your content can help get it in front of more people and build brand awareness. If your content is good, social sharing can also help acquire links, which are a ranking factor.

SEO involves several components, but improving your content strategy can build a solid foundation. If evaluating your current content seems like a daunting task, or if you’re stuck on content generation ideas, Symmetri can help. Contact us to learn more about our SEO and content marketing services.