Not having a solid content strategy is one of the biggest SEO mistakes you can make. It impacts everything from your website visibility to your audience engagement and sales. Your content strategy must be comprehensive to be effective. For example, blogging on its own is not a complete strategy. Neither is SEO keyword research or social media marketing. Those are simply elements of a content strategy. Keep reading to learn how to create a content strategy for creation and distribution that impacts SEO.
How to Create a Content Strategy Step-by-Step
In today's digital landscape, where information overload is the norm, creating a well-defined content strategy is essential for businesses looking to cut through the noise and connect with their target audience. A content strategy serves as a roadmap, guiding your content creation and distribution efforts to align with your goals and resonate with your audience. By following a step-by-step approach, you can ensure your content includes the essential elements of a content strategy to drive strategic outcomes that boost SEO.
Step 1: Set Clear Goals
Begin by defining your objectives and what you want to achieve with your content strategy. Your goals could include increasing brand awareness, driving website traffic, generating leads, or positioning yourself as an industry thought leader.
Example: If you are running a fitness apparel e-commerce store, your content strategy goal might be to increase online sales by 15% within the next six months.
Step 2: Identify Your Target Audience
Understand who your target audience is and what they really want. Conduct market research, analyze demographics, and identify their pain points, needs, and preferences. This information will help you tailor your content to resonate with your audience.
Example: Your target audience is fitness enthusiasts, both men and women aged 25-40, who prioritize quality, style, and performance in their workout attire.
Step 3: Conduct a Content Audit
Evaluate your existing content (blog posts, social media content, videos, emails, website copy, etc.) to determine what has performed well and what hasn't. Analyze metrics such as engagement, conversion rates, and social media shares. This assessment will help you identify gaps in your content and areas for improvement.
Example: The content audit reveals that posts featuring workout outfit ideas and tips for choosing the right activewear received high engagement, while written product descriptions lacked engagement.
Step 4: Develop Content Pillars and Themes
Based on your audit of what performs best, create content pillars that align with your brand and your audience's interests. These pillars should be broad categories that cover different aspects of fitness apparel. Develop themes within each pillar to guide your content creation process.
Content Pillar 1: Fitness Tips and Advice
Themes: Workout routines, fitness challenges, training tips
Content Pillar 2: Style and Fashion
Themes: Outfit ideas, seasonal trends, athleisure fashion
Content Pillar 3: Product Features and Reviews
Themes: Fabric technology, product comparisons, customer reviews
Step 5: Create a Content Calendar
Develop a content calendar to plan and organize your content creation and publication schedule. This ensures consistency and enables you to align your content with important events, holidays, or product launches.
Example: The content calendar outlines two blog posts per month, one sales-focused email per week, one video review every two weeks, and daily social media posts featuring new product releases or fitness tips.
Step 6: Determine Content Formats and Distribution Channels
You don’t have to be on every social media platform or use all the marketing strategies, but it’s important to select a few and do them well. When it comes to how to create a content distribution strategy, choose content formats and distribution channels that resonate with your audience. Review your content audit and do external research to find out what those are.
Example: Focus on creating high-quality product review videos for your website and email marketing campaigns, visually appealing outfit inspiration posts, short-form videos on Instagram and TikTok, and detailed blog posts about workout tips and fashion trends.
Step 7: Optimize for Search Engines
Implement search engine optimization strategies to improve your content's visibility in search results. Conduct keyword research to identify relevant and high-traffic keywords. Then build a keyword map to identify ways to incorporate them naturally into your content.
Example: Conduct keyword research to find terms like "best workout leggings," "moisture-wicking fabric," or "trendy activewear," and integrate them strategically into your blog posts and product descriptions.
Step 8: Monitor and Analyze Performance
Start creating and publishing content according to your content calendar. Then use analytics tools to measure metrics such as website traffic, engagement, conversion rates, and social media insights. This data will help you make informed decisions and iterate your content strategy over time.
Social Media: Track likes, comments, shares, and saves.
Blog Posts: Track time spent on the page and link clicks.
Email Marketing: Track open rates and click-through rates; conduct A/B testing to compare subject lines and content matter.
Ads: Track impressions and click-through rates; conduct A/B testing to compare ad visuals and CTAs.
Website SEO: Track search engine rankings for relevant keywords and website traffic from various sources (social media, email, etc.)
A content strategy isn't something you create once, and it works forever. If your goals change, your strategy may change. If your audience moves from one social media platform to another, you’ll also need to move your content efforts. Because marketing trends are ever-evolving, so should your content strategy. So, the question becomes what you do if you don’t have time to create or manage a content strategy that impacts SEO.
Get Help Managing the Elements of a Content Strategy that Impact SEO
An SEO freelancer can play a crucial role in managing essential aspects of a content strategy that directly impact search engine optimization. Here are some key areas where my SEO services provide valuable expertise:
Keyword Research and Optimization: I will conduct comprehensive keyword research, identifying relevant and high-performing keywords related to your industry and target audience. I’ll strategically incorporate these keywords into your content, titles, headings, and meta tags to ensure your website drives organic traffic. Lastly, I’ll recommend improving the website structure, URL hierarchy, and overall user experience to enhance SEO performance.
Content Creation and Optimization: I will assist in creating high-quality, engaging content that resonates with your target audience while also being optimized for search engines by using relevant keywords, structuring headings and subheadings, formatting content for readability, and incorporating internal and external links. Additionally, I can offer guidance on creating optimized content for different platforms, such as blog posts, articles, landing pages, and social media.
Link Building and Outreach: Building high-quality backlinks is a critical aspect of SEO. As an SEO freelancer, I can help develop a link-building strategy, identify authoritative websites in your industry for potential collaborations, and conduct outreach to secure valuable backlinks. I’ll also monitor and analyze the backlink profile to ensure the quality and relevance of acquired links, helping to boost your website's authority and search rankings.
Technical SEO Audit: A technical SEO audit assesses the health and performance of your website from an SEO perspective. I will provide a comprehensive audit to identify any technical issues hindering search engine crawling and indexing and recommendations to optimize website speed, improve mobile responsiveness, fix broken links, enhance site architecture, and resolve other technical issues that may impact SEO performance.
Monitoring and Reporting: Lastly, as an SEO freelancer, I can monitor the performance of your content strategy through analytics tools and provide regular reports on key metrics such as organic traffic, keyword rankings, click-through rates, and conversions. I’ll also interpret the data, identify trends, and make data-driven recommendations for further optimizing your content strategy.
When it comes to how to create a content strategy that impacts SEO, having an experienced SEO freelancer on your team makes all the difference. Contact me today to learn more about how I can help!