Keyword Research & Content Strategy for SEO
As we explained in the previous lesson on On-Page SEO, the content and articles of your site (including page titles, h1 tags and keywords) plays a huge part in helping your website rank for keywords in search engines.
Why is It Important to Plan a Content Strategy?
The other reason why a good content strategy is so important is because long-tail keyword traffic makes up 70% of all searches on the Internet. A website with an abundance of well written content, such as a blog or news category, will help your website rank for more long-tail keywords and thus generate more traffic from SEO.
In recent years, Google has also launched new algorithms, such as Panda in 2011, that aim to promote good content on the Internet and relegate sites with poor quality, re-hashed or spun content.
It’s therefore very important to invest in high quality content that provides unique value to end-users and doesn’t just serve to help rank for long-tail keywords in the search engines.
Hint: If you want to know where to find high quality writers to publish content for your site then we recommend reading our article on hiring writers for your website.
Finding Keyword Ideas and Topical Content for your Site
Content can serve a range of purposes, as we’ve outlined below:
- Content for Users e.g. educational content, blogs, news, reviews and guides
- Creating Content for Inbound Marketing e.g. creating linkable assets as such as infographics, viral surveys and resources
- Content for SEO e.g. lengthy content designed to maximize long-tail keyword traffic and searches from the search engines
In this article, we’re mainly focused on planning content for the sake of SEO.
Tailoring your Content around Keywords for SEO
The main point of publishing content for SEO purposes is to create articles and pages that will drive maximum short-tail and long-tail keywords from search engines.
As such, you’ll want to find a list of keywords to tailor your content around. In order to help you find a list of content topics and ideas, we recommend using keyword research tools such as the Adwords keyword tool.
Run a search for your primary keywords or business (such as false eyelashes, gold bullion store, Sheffield photography) and you’ll see a list of relevant, high traffic keywords that people search for. You can then look at the high traffic keywords and use them as content ideas for your site.
For example, let’s say you run a photography business in London, UK. You can search for “photographer” and limit the geographic target to London.
The Adwords tool will then display an entire list of 100s of relevant keywords that you can tailor your content around:
We can see that terms such as “wedding photographer”, “London photographer”, “portrait photographer”, “professional photographer” and “fashion photographers” are some of the highest searched for keywords. You can then use this information to plan dedicated service pages for each of these terms.
For example, you’ll create a webpage with the title “Wedding Photographer” and add unique, helpful content that explains your services and uses those keywords. You should also do the same thing for the other keywords such as “Portrait Photographer” and “Professional Photographer”.
When writing these pages, you should follow the On-page SEO guidelines that we wrote about in the previous lesson.
Other Useful Tools for Content Planning
In addition to the Google Adwords tool above, there a number of other useful tools on the Internet for planning your content topics.
The downside to relying solely on the Adwords tool is also that it only shows information for short-tail keywords as opposed to long-tail keywords and topical ideas.
Additional tools and methods that you can use for keyword research includes:
- UberSuggest.org – Free keyword research tool that helps find additional keywords based on historical search queries
- SEMRush – This tool is great for analyzing your competitors organic keyword rankings and then copying them.
- Wordtracker – This is similar to Google Adwords keyword tool and displays relevant keywords and search volume
- Researching your Competition – Take a look at your biggest competitors sites and see which are their most popular keywords or pages and copy them.
- Buzzsumo.com – This is a social analytics tool that helps find the most widely shared articles and pages for a specific keyword. Although not built for SEO purposes, it’s a great tool for finding topical content that people find interesting.
How to Plan a Content Strategy for your Website
Depending on the size and nature of your website, you might want to plan all of your content topics in a pyramid tree structure before publishing them on the site. This will help you organize content topics into logical hierarchies and categories before publishing on your site.
For example, a large eLearning websites such as Tradimo.com will have spent months planning their content tree into articles, lessons, modules and courses before launching their site. This helps to their content more presentable and easier to navigate for users.
On the other hand, an ecommerce site will probably not have to focus on planning such an elaborate content tree for its site. Its main focus would be preparing product categories and collections with a blog to keep it updated.
When publishing your site, you should add relevant categories and tags for your articles in order to make them easier to find. You should also make sure you inter-link content for user experience and SEO, and that you structure your website’s menu so that each page can be navigated to in 3 clicks or less from the homepage.
In conclusion, this lesson has taught you the importance of keyword research and content planning, how to find keyword ideas for your content, and useful tools for keyword research.
The next article will now discuss how to hire content writers and bloggers for your site.