Most businesses are starting to learn the basics of SEO (search engine optimization) and why it matters, though developing a content marketing strategy optimized for SEO turns out to be a much more difficult task. Not only do businesses need to do quality research, content must be clear and engaging for their target audience.
By having a combined SEO and content marketing strategy, your business can maximize the time it takes to begin receiving quality traffic through organic search while driving valuable conversions on your site—meaning the right people are visiting and taking action.
What is an SEO Content Marketing Strategy?
A content marketing strategy is an organized plan to drive organic traffic and convert quality visitors into leads through publishing and distributing frequent and highly engaging content. The most effective content marketing strategies pair SEO research and tactics with content that addresses your audience’s needs, builds trust, helps them solve a problem, and encourages them to take action toward resolving their challenges.
How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy in 3 Steps
A content marketing strategy is a roadmap that combines SEO research, marketing planning, and creation and distribution of content. Here are the most important steps in creating a content marketing strategy:
Step 1: Research SEO Keywords to Target through Content
Content marketing starts with researching SEO keywords that you will target through quality content creation. Think about your business and what services you offer and utilize tools, like SEMRush or Ubersuggest, that help you understand the search market.
In most cases, you will want to target keywords that generate several monthly searches and have low competition. In other words, lots of people are searching Google for those terms and phrases and not a lot of other businesses are targeting them, too. These terms also need to harmonize with:
- Your products or services
- The specific problem those products and services solve for your customers
- What your audience is searching for in order to help them solve that problem
It can be a fun challenge to hunt down the right terms, and our data team loves spending time finding the right ones for our clients! Once you have identified your keyword targets, prioritize and plan with a content calendar.
Step 2: Create a Content Calendar
Without a content calendar, your content marketing strategy will be inconsistent and difficult to maintain. Content calendars can be simple, but most importantly, the calendar must establish content topics and keywords, due dates, and goals for the content. As a baseline, &Marketing recommends posting one new blog per month, though if time allows, two blogs per month is the most optimal.
Struggling with planning? Check out our sample content calendar inside our marketing planning workbook to help you get started.
Step 3: Write Engaging and SEO-Optimized Content
Once you have planned your content, activate your writing superpowers. Ensure that your target keyword appears in the title, first header, and first paragraph of your content, while making sure that your target audience will be engaged with your words. This may be the trickiest part of a good content marketing plan, as you are writing for both robots (Google) and humans.
In addition to good grammar, keep engaging storytelling top-of-mind while you write. Channel that favorite high school English teacher of yours and make sure your article has a clear introduction, body, and conclusion. Finally, be clear about what you want your reader to do when they finish reading. Should they move on to another piece of content? Download a helpful guide? Call you? Buy a product? Tell them what to do next, or they’ll do nothing at all (aka leave your website).
Don’t forget to post your content on all social media and share through email!
Need help with the process?
SEO and content marketing plans, although they require time and planning, have the potential to drive high quality organic leads for your business. Hold yourself accountable by creating a content calendar that sets your keyword targets and establishes due dates for your content creation. If you have questions or need help with any part of the process, reach out to us! We can guide you through keyword research, help provide topics for your calendar, or even execute the entire plan for you.
If you’re curious about some of the keywords and how they might perform, try our content marketing ROI calculator to truly understand the Return on Investment content marketing can provide your business.
About the Author
Marketing Manager Dexter Burgess takes the lead on implementing new tactics and promoting change through data-driven strategies. Dex works hard at client relations through consistent communication and positive feedback, never settling until the customer is understood and happy.
&Marketing provides the robust outsourced marketing department growing companies need without the high overhead costs of big agencies or full-time employees. Our variable model empowers businesses to reach their growth goals through access to the guidance and expertise of senior level strategists and a flexible execution team.
Are you facing challenges of your own in generating leads and meeting your business’ growth goals?
We’d love to learn more about your challenges and how a coordinated marketing approach might help take your organization to the next level.