How do you go about creating an SEO-first content strategy? Hmm, let's think about this one.
We recently developed a content strategy proposal for a software company, and it included a basic level of SEO research, which we include whenever our client doesn't have an SEO consultant or expert already on it. After all, knowing what people are searching for can help you shape and direct the content.
But that's only part of the puzzle. Our projects are what we call "audience-first" content strategies. In other words, we're asking, Who's going to use this content? Who needs to see it? Who needs to be impressed?
Understanding the audience and the audience journey is number one in our book to creating an effective strategy and ongoing content. The most valuable (and therefore SEO-friendly) content happens when you consider your audience first. Not a spreadsheet of numbers and phrases in isolation.
SEO research is one tool (of many) that we can use to figure out what your audience is searching for. Using SEO research as your only guide to content strategy? We don't recommend it.
SEO takes a bit of a lot of things to work well. Current content optimization, meta data and link optimization, cross-linking, content marketing, paid search, and PR all contribute to traffic -- not just keywords in articles. Visibility also builds over time -- even with the best optimization plan, it can take months to see results.
SEO research is a great tool for helping understand the market, the product landscape, similar language that means different things, and how people are phrasing their searches. But when it comes to creating a great content strategy, looking to your audience first is a better bet for creating content that attracts the right people and encourages action.
Need help effectively incorporating SEO research into your overall content strategy? We're here for you.
Shelly Bowen, MFA, is a content writer, content strategist, and founder of Pybop.
For decades, Shelly has written for businesses on complex topics from disease prevention and medical devices to alternative energy and leveraging data. Today, she's hyper-focused on supporting B-B technology businesses. In her spare time, she hikes, kayaks, draws, and works on her T-Bird.
A wide variety of brands rely on Shelly as an essential freelance writer and content strategy resource.