Consumers are a curious number. They search for the best prices, search for new recipes, explore travel destinations, find doctors and new restaurants and bike paths, and use search engines more than any other channel. All kinds of marketers know this, which is why marketers will invest on average more resources in content and SEO in 2022.
What marketers don’t always know, especially those whose job it is to create SEO and content, is what kind of content consumers are looking for and that this search engine algorithm values high enough to earn the highest position. Both requirements must be met for the content to reach the right people, and it is not an easy task.
To get the best chance, marketers need to:
And it’s just scratching the surface. Fortunately, organic search leaves a rich footprint that can be used to support a sustainable and effective SEO and content strategy. Winning high ranks is never guaranteed, but with the right knowledge, marketers can tilt the scales in their favor.
- 1 A sustainable, high-performing SEO and content strategy starts with research
- 2 Establish a baseline for website performance
- 3 Identify topic opportunities, gauge demand and benchmark competitors
- 4 Create and optimize content
- 5 Track, measure and refine content strategy and SEO
- 6 Research-based SEO and content strategy in practice
- 7 Nestle Health Science – MERITENE®
A sustainable, high-performing SEO and content strategy starts with research
Content itself does not generate traffic – less than 10% of all content generates traffic at all – and SEO itself does not drive conversions. In practice, getting content traffic from organic search requires a coordinated SEO and content-based content and content strategy.
To get the most out of the available data on content, search activity, and website traffic, your SEO and content strategy should take into account the research knowledge of the four key points of the recurring cycle.
Establish a baseline for website performance
To develop a targeted SEO and content strategy, it’s important to first understand how your site performs in organic search. This effort should include both a content audit and a technical audit. Audits help to identify and prioritize opportunities and provide a basis for measuring the impact of a strategy over time.
From an organic search perspective, a content audit should identify a comprehensive list of keywords – and, more broadly, pages – that will help your website or domain rank in the search engine. Existing high-ranking content provides a future model for new content. Evaluate content topics, content, and structure to identify patterns that can be used in a larger strategy. Lower-ranked keywords and pages can be an additional quick benefit if this content can be optimized for higher rankings.
Search algorithms are automated. In addition to keywords, they rely on technical signals in the site and in the page’s architecture to help them contextualize the page’s content and determine its value to the search audience. An SEO technical audit reveals technical issues and opportunities and helps ensure that the site and page comply with best practices. This may include elements on the page, such as H1 and H2 tags, site elements, such as page speed and mobile friendliness, and opportunities to better contextualize content, such as adding links to authoritative content.
Identify topic opportunities, gauge demand and benchmark competitors
Most options usually go beyond existing content. Search results for unread searches are presented daily to relevant potential audiences. In fact, SEO is responsible for more than 53% of website traffic. These searches contain treasure data about the keywords, pages, domains, and competitors that rank high and win the most clicks.
A targeted SEO and content strategy must identify and analyze market winners in order to drive them out.
Start by understanding what topics people are searching for and what keywords and phrases they are using to search. From this data, identify the topics you are best placed to handle. The goal here is to get the relevant traffic that is most likely to lead to a conversion. A site that sells zebra-style hairpieces and accessories wants to be ranked high in searches such as “animal headband.”
Analyze the content that ranks high for the searches you want. It’s important to understand that in the search world, these are your competitors and may not be the same as your traditional competitors. The San Diego Zoo may not be a business competitor, but if they rank high in the animal print headband, they are your search competitors. Identify which competitors’ pages and keywords are well-placed, and consider this in your content strategy.
Create and optimize content
All your research is used to create and optimize content. Identify what’s important to your business, then do your own baseline research and take into account the knowledge gained from topic, keyword, and competitive analysis to develop a search content strategy.
Importantly, the potential for content placement depends not only on the content but also on the format. The Search Engine Results Page (SERP) is a multifaceted set of results types, from traditional web listings to locations to videos and images, quick responses, shopping carousels, and more. With the right tools, you can determine not only which topics and keywords will help you rank, but also what type of content is best for high ranking.
Track, measure and refine content strategy and SEO
For the sake of simplicity, we treat the cycle of research, content creation and optimization as a linear process, but in practice it is a loop. Research is not one and the same undertaking has taken place, but it must continue. Search queues are dynamic and search engine algorithms are constantly changing to improve the quality of results and adapt to innovative technology.
The baseline performance performance created at the beginning of the SEO and content efforts provides a framework for monitoring and measuring ongoing performance. How much has your site’s voice share increased or decreased? Which pages are ranked or improved? What drove these improvements and can they be used to increase additional performance? Which new keywords have emerged and which have decreased search interest?
Active performance measurement provides the knowledge needed for continuous, targeted content creation and optimization.
Research-based SEO and content strategy in practice
It is useful to look at a real example of science-based SEO and content strategy. The Nestle Meritene example below provides an overview of how search data can be used to enrich a company’s understanding of the market and increase its voice in the most important search channel. Nestle, a BrightEdge customer, used Data Cube, our enterprise solution for companies looking to implement science-based SEO and content strategies. You can read the full Nestle case study and additional case study in the Dumpsters.com Data Cube Product Guide.
BrightEdge Data Cube supports all four phases of science-based SEO and content strategy. If you would like more information on how Data Cube can support your SEO and content strategy, please contact us to schedule a demo.
Nestle Health Science – MERITENE®
The MERITENE team, which worked with their agency to achieve the desired relevancy in search engines, used a strategy to prioritize the keywords with the highest search volume. First, they conducted a survey to find valuable keywords with at least 29,000 monthly searches.
They followed targeted recommendations, optimizing meta tags and existing content to improve SEO performance. Where content did not currently exist, they developed SEO-friendly content based on “healthy lifestyle habits” and supplements, using the language their consumers search.
During the first year, they earned 90 health-related terms that were not previously strained. Profits increased traffic from 435 users in the first quarter to 67,735 in the fourth quarter.
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About The Author
For more than 15 years, BrightEdge has empowered marketers to turn web content into business results, such as traffic, conversions, and revenue. The BrightEdge platform contains the most comprehensive data set in the industry and processes 100 petabytes per month. This includes analyzing more than 30 billion keywords and searching for social, content and rich media data points. BrightEdge provides essential market insight, business intelligence, and automated operations for SEO and digital marketers based on secure, compliant, and reliable first-party data.