How to optimise your blog content marketing strategy
A guest post by Frankie Wallace.
Understanding how to optimise your blog content for the search engines (SEO) is critical for your content marketing strategy.
A robust, SEO-informed content marketing strategy can steadily grow your blog or website. Monetised blogs working in conjunction with a product or service can benefit from this towards the expansion of your brand.
There’s no need to promise quick results or trick your consumer into viewing your content or making a purchase. Optimise your blog content marketing strategy by being ethical, transparent and genuine. This way you can capture the types of readers who fit well with your brand.
What is SEO?
Search engine optimisation is the practice of creating and editing content which ranks well on search engine results pages (SERPs).
There are technical details such as having a mobile friendly site with metadata. But to optimise your blog content for SEO also requires providing friendly, informative, useful and relevant content specially written for your readers.
SEO is constantly evolving to cope with changing search algorithms. The black hat techniques which worked well in the past can now get you blacklisted by Google.
There are also white hat techniques, which are safer and in line with Google’s preferences and policies. The process of creating genuinely useful content to optimise your blog falls in the white hat category.
What is black hat?
Black hat techniques to avoid include:
- Keyword stuffing: This practice involves shoving keywords, including irrelevant ones, into the text. This makes the copy feel unnatural.
- Including irrelevant links: Got links to a casino in a blog post about an entirely different topic? That’s an irrelevant link. Too many of these, and Google will catch on.
- Using private blog networks: These are communities of blogs which exist entirely for link building purposes. They link to each other and to clients who buy links on their blogs.
- Cloaking: This practice involves showing one thing to search engines, but something else to the user who clicks on it.
- Redirecting: Like cloaking, redirecting is a bait and switch move. When a user clicks on a link, the site redirects them to something else.
Why white hat is better
White hat SEO techniques include:
- Carefully implemented keyword research: Use tools like Spyfu, Moz, SEMrush and Ubersuggest to determine which keywords to focus on in your content. Then include them in your optimise your blog content marketing plan.
- Create and promote content that genuinely helps the user: Research into the kind of content people need, or what would help them that’s relevant to your niche. Then optimise your blog content to assist them.
- Regular images: Break up your text with images and videos to make it more readable.
- Proper use of headings (H2s, H3s) and other structured data: Making your content more scannable also helps Google understand what you’re blogging about.
- Accessible views on desktop, mobile and tablet: 2 billion people access the internet from their mobile phones.
- Use local business listings (if you’re a business): 20% of all searches include a local intent such as “Chinese restaurants near me” or “buy car parts in Philadelphia”.
How SEO impacts content marketing plans
Once you’ve done your keyword research, it’s time to plan to optimise your content. Your goal is to use inbound content marketing strategies to help your audience find you. This can include:
- Animated images
- Social media posts
- Engagements on others’ posts
Your strategy should be informed and powered by SEO. Your site should have your technical SEO details in order. You should be writing keyword-focused content focusing on the searcher’s intent. This kind of content marketing allows you to solve problems and answer questions for your users.
SEO and content marketing: an example
SEO and content marketing are vital to each other. Let’s examine an example that illustrates the use of SEO and content marketing.
Bill’s Chinese restaurant is a fictional eatery located in Buffalo, New York. Bill has a small website and he’s just beginning his content strategy. When you look up Chinese restaurants in Buffalo, NY, this is what you get:
Sadly, you don’t see Bill. You do see ratings from his competitors. Bill does have lots of happy customers, though, so he asks them to review him on Google after he sets up Google My Business. That’s awesome SEO content — supported by content created by Bill’s customers.
Diversify on customer search
SEO research reveals that Bill’s Chinese Restaurant is missing a big opportunity. People are looking up “vegetarian Chinese food” and going to his competitor.
Bill adjusted his existing page to highlight the fact that he has the widest selection of vegetarian Chinese food in Buffalo. He also wrote a blog post might offering tasty recipes and tips for cooking vegetarian Chinese food.
Bill also provided a call to action at the end of his post inviting people to stop by with a downloadable coupon for a free vegetarian appetiser.
Capture customer details
Another call to action would be to ask his web visitors to share the post and sign up to his email list. That results in more business for Bill, especially when users Google those local and food-related terms.
In our example, Bill used keyword research, competitor research and an individual piece of content to strategise results. Hopefully this will result in more traffic for him.
Is your content marketing strategy lacking SEO? It is worth considering to optimise your blog content for SEO?
Ready to optimise your blog content for SEO?
Use SEO research to make your strategy fill your users’ needs. Think through each piece of content like Bill did to create something useful and searchable. Focus on the goal of customers coming to you via the search engines.
About the author
Frankie Wallace regularly contributes to a wide variety of blogs and enjoys writing about health tips and politics. Wallace currently resides in Boise, Idaho and is a recent graduate from the University of Montana.