SEO is considered one of the most important channels in marketing by many industry experts. But the way it works has significantly changed over the past few years, making it more complicated and competitive to rank.
However, with all of these changes came a tangible improvement in user experience as Google is getting better at matching search results with search intent, allowing people to get better information for what they are looking for. There is no longer a need for keyword stuffing, which may come across as unnatural at times. The focus has changed towards content strategy and finding out what the search intent is for each keyword or topic.
So, what are the most important things to take into consideration when we create our strategy? What does it really take to perform well with SEO today?
Search Data Informs the Right Content Strategy
When creating a content strategy, the best thing to do is to look at search data, as many see it as an unbiased source of truth on what consumers want. In such a big pool of increasing competition, you shouldn’t shoot in the dark when creating content, but rather you should inform yourself so you can create a data-driven content strategy.
77% of marketers say that search data plays a huge role in how they develop their marketing strategy. The goal is to improve the receptiveness of their audience and increase conversions, ultimately leading to brand growth and awareness.
But how do you build a data-driven inbound strategy? Here are key things to consider.
Do keyword research
Keyword research helps you understand how to optimize your content to rank well in search results, what keywords your audience introduces and how often. ‘’Keyword research can provide you with a lot of information about what your target audience is looking for on Google,’’ says Marc Stitt, the Chief Marketing Officer of FMX. It is seen as an efficient practice, 80% of marketers saying their content is based on SEO keyword research.
When it comes to finding the right keywords, Google is your best friend, but you can also use different tools. First of all, you should know your niche, find relevant topics in it, and then identify all the keywords related to these topics. For each keyword, you want to look at the search volume, difficulty to rank against competitors relative to your domain authority, and how much it costs per click to bid on it. This data can help you organize your content so that you can answer the user’s search intent and get an edge over your competition.
Make sure to also identify secondary keywords. When creating a plan for your content, make sure to do a Google search for the keyword you’re trying to rank for and see the results from ‘’People also ask’’ and ‘’Related searches’’. You can also group your keywords and structure your content based on this.
You should perform keyword research regularly. Otherwise, you risk getting left behind. Use this to optimize your existing content as well.
Know your audience
Creating content without knowing your audience is in vain. Researching your ideal reader will help you understand the type of content you should have on your site.
Find out who is your ideal customer profile, what their main pain points are, what they’re interested in, what age range they are, where they’re from, what content formats they prefer, etc. You can use data from your website, Google Search Console, a survey among your customers, and visit websites they gravitate to.
Analyze your competitors
Observing your competition gives key insights into where you stand.
Analyzing their content might help you notice industry trends, relevant keywords, content ideas, and winning strategies, but also their weaknesses you can use to differentiate yourself.
Meeting the Reader’s Search Intent Is Critical
As search engines are getting better at figuring out what users look for, you simply can not skip optimizing your content so that it meets the readers’ search intent. According to Forbes, there are four types of search intent:
- Informational, where users search to get information, navigational, where the goal is to reach certain websites
- Transactional, where the intention is to purchase something
- Commercial investigation, where users search for the information they’re going to use to decide whether or not to purchase something.
Knowing the intent behind the keywords the target is using shifts the strategy towards humans, and not robots. It’s all about the value the audience gets.
The More Content You Create, the Higher You Can Rank
Organic traffic through SEO is a long-term strategy in which content that answers the reader’s questions is critical. When you post consistently, you improve your chances of ranking highly, you constantly give your audience valuable content to come back to, thus improving lead generation and establishing yourself as a trustworthy source and an authority in your industry.
Search engines tend to favor websites with more and longer content. But it’s also important what you post. You want to make sure that, while posting often, you don’t decrease the level of quality but instead you continue to give readers content that will provide a valuable experience and convert more.
If you work in a field where information is constantly changing, it is a must to post constantly as, in this case, newer posts will rank higher. Also, don’t forget that SEO can take some time to show results. In a survey conducted by Morningccore, 43.2% of marketers say they expect to see results within 12 to 14 months. Take this time to constantly create content for a larger and larger audience.
Even though there have been SEO changes recently, they serve a better user experience for the searcher or consumer. Engines now know what the users are looking for and are able to match the top results with what they need.
Do your research and get to know your audience and their intentions. When you consider the type of traffic you’re trying to attract, these adjustments will only help you. They’re meant to rank higher the sites that produce insightful content in correlation with the search intent.