Creating an SEO Content Strategy with Premiere Creative
The process of creating a sound SEO content strategy differs greatly compared to a few years ago. If you’re a small business based in Northern New Jersey, New York City, Queens, Long Island, or Connecticut, we don’t have to tell you how difficult it is to capture consumer attention on search. Everyone knows that black hat SEO hasn’t worked for over a decade. What a lot of businesses don’t know is that – in a market saturated by savvy digital marketing strategists – even most white hat SEO best practices are insufficient to produce optimal results on search. In today’s overcrowded market for search, what can SEO strategists do to stay on page 1 of high intent Google searches?
For a time, this was a question that threw Premiere Creative’s leading team of New Jersey based SEO experts for a loop. We started to feel a slight dip in organic search traffic hitting client websites as more and more of their competitors began employing their own SEO content strategies. After a lot of research, trial and error, SEO conferences, and search engine marketing symposiums, we were finally able to employ a set of best practices that got clients soaring on search again. This piece will discuss our findings and how you can use them yourself.
SEO strategy involves more than packing the content on your website with keywords for which your target customers are searching. It’s better to think of it as the process of organizing a website’s content by topic. This exercise is advantageous for a few reasons. First, and for reasons covered deeply in our post about design for SEO, organizing your website’s content based on clearly defined topics and categories makes it easier for users to move around on your website and find the information they need. Websites with good user experience design tend to hold user attention for longer periods of time. Google rewards UX oriented websites with higher authority and improved rank. Second, Google has a much easier time crawling, figuring out what your content is about, indexing it, and ranking it when your website has topic based organizational structure. With all this in mind, we encourage you to throw on your search engine optimizer hat and enjoy this guide for 2020’s next level SEO content strategy.
The Role of the Search Engine Optimization Expert
An SEO (Search Engine Optimization) expert is essentially a highly specialized content strategist. Their job is to optimize websites based on the criteria that search engines (Google. When we say “search engines” we mean google.) use when assigning rank to webpages in response to search queries. Content is certainly a huge part of that process, but there are also technical aspects to the process of optimizing websites for organic search that SEO’s must take into account. There are three broad categories for SEO:
- On-Page SEO: This is the category that we’ll be focusing on most acutely throughout this post. On-page SEO deals with the actual content on the website, and how it can be optimized to answer as many relevant and frequently asked questions on organic search as possible.
- Off-page SEO: This part of the SEO puzzle deals with what’s commonly referred to as “backlinking structures.” A backlink is a link that directs traffic to your website from another part of the Internet. The reputation of the publishers posting links to your website – as well as the volume of links – help your site build trust in the eyes of Google’s crawlers and algorithms. Building a strong network of backlinks from high-quality publishers is important for bolstering organic rank.
- Technical SEO: This component of SEO focuses not on the content on or references to a given website, but rather on the actual build of the website itself. Believe it or not, Google’s crawlers are as interested in the backend code on a webpage as it is on the consumer faces content of a website. Ensuring that the website is built and organized for search on the backend is as important as the content.
It’s important to keep in mind that not all businesses will have the same SEO strategy. Focusing on content may work better for some businesses than it does for others. That being said, the three points outlined above – when taken into equal consideration – will pretty reliably improve organic search results for companies across all verticals.
We turn now to the 3 steps for improving your SEO strategy in 2020. Read on to get your company’s website flying on search.
How to Optimize Your Content for Organic Search
1) Create a List of Topics
Regardless of how crowded the market for consumer attention becomes on search, keywords will always remain the most critical element to understanding what your audience is looking for, and delivering content that resonates. That said, the first step to building out a robust SEO content strategy doesn’t involve identifying specific keywords. The first step is to understand and identify topics that people use keywords to learn about.
Start by identifying 10 short terms that you associate with the products or services your company provides. Let’s say you are a plumber based in Morris County, New Jersey. The terms you identify may include:
- Dripping Faucets
- Slow Draining Sink
- Clogged Drains
- Running Toilets
- Jammed Garbage Disposal
Once you’ve compiled your list, you can use Google’s Keyword Tool to find commonly used variations for each term and their consequent search volume. It’s important to note at this point that you’re NOT going to be targeting these short-tail keywords. That may seem counterintuitive, but consider that you’re only just beginning to optimize your website for search at this stage. The short-tail keywords that you’ve compiled are almost certainly too competitive for you to target right out the gate. Instead, these keywords will serve as topics for you to write around. Sticking the plumbing example, let’s say you’ve identified “Dripping Faucets” as one of the highest volume plumbing keywords in your area. The next step is to begin building content around that keyword. Creating a section of your blog dedicated to the “dripping faucets” topic will allow you to target slightly less competitive related keywords and build your authority in the eyes of Google. Topics for the dripping faucets could include things like:
- 10 Common Causes of Leaky Faucets
- DIY Dripping Faucet Fixes
- When Leaky Faucets Are Cause For Concern
Seeing short-form keywords as topics and drafting content about those topics turns your website a central hub for answers to relevant questions online. The next step is dividing up your website’s blog section by topic and filling each topic with well-written posts – each in excess of 500 words. Doing so will allow Google’s crawlers to recognize understand what your business’ vertical and area of expertise. It will also help it identify local queries to which your website provides the most relevant answer. Over time, you’ll begin to rank for the high-volume short-term keywords that you identified at the beginning of the process. But before that happens, we have to know which long-form keywords to use when drafting content about which topics.
2) Create List of Long Form Keywords for Each Topic
So you’ve identified some broad topics (i.e. your short-form, high-volume keywords) for which you hope to eventually rank on page 1. The next step is to actually start writing content for the pages under each topic. For that, we turn to long-form keyword research.
For each topic we’ve identified, use the same keyword planner to identify 5-10 long-tail keywords that speak more deeply to the original topic. Sticking with the plumber example, you want to create content around the “leaky faucet” in order to better rank for related terms and, ultimately, to rank for “leaky faucet.” So you identify the following common long-form searches:
- “How to fix a leaky faucet YouTube”
- “How to caulk a faucet”
- “Cheap ways to deal with a leaky faucet”
- “Compression faucet is leaking”
- “Delta faucet leaking from base”
The list can go on for much longer, but for the purposes of this article we can stop there. What we’re trying to outline is that – once you’ve identified a topic and found some long-form keywords based on the topic – there is no end to the volume of relevant content that you can produce in relation to the high-volume short-tail keyword. This strategy attracts people who have a variety of needs related to your products and services. It will allow your website to show up as an actual relevant source of information anytime someone searches for something related to your goods or services. The concept that we’re describing here is referred to as “topic clustering,” and it’s increasingly becoming a best practice in the world of SEO strategy.
We’ve already discussed hot to identify the most relevant high-volume short-tail keywords related to your business. Once you have in mind those keywords that you’d like to use as topics, you can start searching for long-tail keywords and related to each topic and draft content around them. But why stop there? Once you have the long-tail keywords, you can go through another iteration of keyword research. Let’s say you want to dive deeper into the “delta faucet leaking from base” long-tail keyword. Repeat the process above.
When you plug “delta faucet leaking from base” into the keyword planner, you come across terms like “delta bathroom faucet repair one handle” and “delta bathroom faucet repair two handles.” You can make begin drafting separate content subdivisions for delta faucets in bathrooms, delta faucets in kitchens, laundry rooms, and much more. By the time you repeat this process with every long-tail keyword deriving from the original short-tail keyword research we conducted in step 1, you suddenly have a clear and concise SEO content strategy that’s hierarchically designed to answer as many queries as possible. That is the essence of step two.
3) Create a Separate Page for Each Topic
So far we’ve created a rough hierarchy of topics based on the way people search for your products and services. A great and simple next step is to create separate pages for each topic linking out from each one to the related subtopics. Confused? Fear not – we’ll explain further.
So in step one, we laid out a methodology for identifying broad topics around which to organize all the content on your website. These high level topics are extremely competitive and highly relevant keywords for which you’d eventually like to rank on page 1. They organize all the relevant content on your website as broadly as possible. In step 2, we dived deeper into those topics and identified long-tail keywords around which to base more specific and specialized content.
The next step is to create a separate page for each of the topics uncovered in step one. The point of each page is to outline each topic at a high level, and to use the long tail keywords from step two to explain them in slightly more depth. To use a different example, let’s say you’re trying to make website about SEO and want to organize the content so that it shows up on more searches. You identify a few different broad topics to focus on with SEO. They might include things like:
- Black Hat SEO
- White Hat SEO
- Content Strategy
You then take one of those broad topics and identify a number of long-tail keywords. Let’s do it for “Keywords”:
- How to identify the right keywords
- Long-tail keywords vs. short-tail keywords
- Keywords eCommerce
For step 3, we are proposing making a single page for each broad topic in step 1, and explaining the nature of the topic by referencing the long-tail keywords discovered in step 2. For the “keyword” page, you could write a bit about what keywords are, why they’re important, and ultimately discuss methods for identifying the right keywords, what the difference is between long and short tail keywords, and finally discuss keywords that are best to use in eCommerce. Creating pages like this for each one of the main topics identified in step one will allow Google to better understand how all the pages on your website are related to each other, and assign appropriate relevancy scores relative to search queries.
Improved SEO Strategies with Premiere Creative in New Jersey
Premiere Creative is New Jersey’s leading marketing agency for SEO and search engine marketing for a reason. The methodologies outlined above produce incredible results. Organizing your SEO content around topics rather than keywords is critical for harnessing user intent, making your website relevant, and helping Google’s crawlers to understand and ultimately index content on your website. By building content hierarchies driven by keywords and related to highly-relevant frequently searched terms, Google can better deliver links to your website in response to searches made by your target customers. The result: a steady stream of leads hitting your website organically from search when they need you the most.
To find our more about how Premiere Creative’s services can deliver the result you need, give us a call at (973) 346-8100.