Content is at the heart of every digital marketing strategy. It’s how we communicate ideas, build connections, and persuade people to consider our products and services. Some content is more experiential, such as what you might find in the Metaverse or other experiential environments. Other content comes in audio, video formats. But it all begins with an understanding of the basics of communication and storytelling. With that in mind, this expert roundup focuses on articles, landing pages, and other forms of content that tend to be more text-oriented.
Whether you’re a small business or a large enterprise, content is key to building a successful online presence. To help you select the best topics and keywords for your new website, we asked marketing and growth leaders for their insights.
From using Google’s Keyword Planner to mapping out a customer journey, there are many great tips to drive a content strategy that will help you reach your target audience.
Try these content strategy tips from experts to level up your marketing:
- Use Google’s Keyword Planner
- Think Like Your Customer
- Consider Topic Saturation
- Set Objectives for Every Piece of Material
- Find Topics that Answer Your Audience’s Questions
- Target Long Tail Keywords
- Focus On Your Landing Page
- Review Engagement On Past Content
- Include One Keyword In Your Headline
- Look at Specific Keywords that Are Easy to Improve
- Understand Keyword Intent (Informational, Commercial, and Transactional)
- Research Your Competitors
- Trust Your Gut
- Think About Where the Topic Lies in the Revenue Funnel
- Satisfy The Needs of The Customer Journey
Use Google’s Keyword Planner
The use of keywords is not a static practice as they are constantly changing, and this makes it critical to use Google’s Keyword Planner Tools to make sure that you are staying on top of the trends. The use of keywords can rise and wane depending on several factors, so knowing what is being used at the current time is important when developing content to ensure that you don’t fill your articles with irrelevant terms.
Google’s Keyword Planner is a useful and free-to-use tool that can be accessed through the Google Ads platform and provides vital information such as the number of people who searched a keyword over time. In addition, you can also track long-tail phrases. In using Google’s Keyword Planner Tool, you will be certain to always be up to date, and make use of the keywords that will better boost your SEO.
Think Like Your Customer
Although keyword planning can be an extensive process involving research and data, one of the most simple ways to begin planning new content for a website is simple: think like your customer.
Initially, it is important to put yourself in the shoes of your target audience and think about what they might search for when to find your product, website, or new content. This will give you a general idea of the types of searches and keywords that will be important to target. After that, it will be easier to narrow down topics and keywords to be relevant to your target. This will save time in the long run and help you get into the mindset of thinking like your customer to better serve them and help them find what they are looking for!
Consider Topic Saturation
Consider how frequently you’re seeing a topic on the internet. Depending on how relevant your topic is, you may choose a few options when picking your keywords. If a topic is currently seeing a lot of traction, you’ll want to use derivatives that are among the most frequently used keywords. If the topic is older, you can be a bit more inventive with your keywords. You won’t want to go too far off the beaten trail but you’ll have a bit more flexibility while being less likely to lose out on SEO.
Boye Fajinmi, Co-Founder and President, TheFutureParty
Set Objectives for Every Piece of Material
An effective content piece begins with the end in mind. You can achieve this by outlining your expectations. You can determine if you’re producing the correct content at the right time by listing the objectives for a certain piece of content. It’s crucial to divide lengthy pieces of content into manageable “chunks.” You should look at your organization’s content marketing goals and determine how a possible content piece maps to them when determining goals for your blog posts, videos, infographics, and other types of content.
Find Topics that Answer Your Audience’s Questions
When conducting keyword research for new topics and content, it is important to consider not only the metrics of the keywords but also their intent. It is essential to create content for the keyword that corresponds to the search intent of that keyword. Also, make sure that the keyword and topic are something that your target audience is looking for, and, more importantly, that the topic is answering useful questions for your audience.
Target Long Tail Keywords
Considering keyword difficulty and choosing long tail keywords is often an effective strategy when doing content research. Newer websites especially should heed this advice, since younger sites are unlikely to have the domain authority necessary to rank for highly competitive terms. Targeting niche keywords can be a good way to gain traffic as well as content authority and backlinks. Over time, ranking for these more specific terms may even help you eventually appear in SERPs for more general and more commonly searched terms in your industry.
Focus On Your Landing Page
Link keywords to landing pages. If you don’t, the landing pages simply won’t work! Additionally, Google ranks pages higher when your keywords connect to your landing page. Remember, keywords go in titles, image tags, and other headings. Everything in these spots should relate to words you want to affect your rank. If you’re struggling to decide what keywords to use, take a look at your landing page!
Review Engagement On Past Content
Review previous social media posts to see which topics received the most engagement and use this as inspiration for website content. For example, if a piece of UGC content was successful, consider asking a customer to write an in-depth review for your blog.
You need to do some digging and AB testing to determine which topics your target audience is most interested in and then incorporate them into your content strategy.
Include One Keyword In Your Headline
The one thing that translated well from the printed page to the digital format is the effectiveness of a headline. Your website should include headlines above every significant section of content because that is what effectively induces the reader to read more. While doing so, be sure to include at least one keyword in that headline. You don’t want your content to be overly stuffed with keywords or key phrases because that could disrupt the flow.
So take one keyword (two, if possible) and insert it in your headline. The sooner you can use a keyword, the better. It isn’t so much the number of keywords you use, it’s the strategic placement of them that matters. Always try to put at least one in your headline.
Look at Specific Keywords that Are Easy to Improve
It is important to understand your current ranking for keywords, and which ones will be the easiest to improve. To do this, first select search words where you see your business as a leader. Next, evaluate the current search volume and the difficulty for you to improve on each of those keywords. For example, if you are a healthy foods brand it could be difficult to rank for “healthy snacks.” However, look at more specific words that may be easier for you to rank for, such as “granola clusters” or “chia-based snack.” Once you select your target keywords, start creating content, updating your website, and securing relevant backlinks to ensure that keyword is present in multiple places.
Understand Keyword Intent (Informational, Commercial, and Transactional)
The most important part of selecting a keyword to focus on is understanding the intent behind the search. Google always looks to provide users with the most relevant result, so understanding and matching the intent behind a keyword will go a long way to helping your content rank.
Search intent can be broken down into three types – informational, commercial, and transactional. Informational searches are when a user is looking for an answer or learn more about a topic. Think of keywords with questions in them or specific resources. These queries will often return guides, tutorials, tip articles, etc. Commercial searches are when a user is in the decision-making stage. These keywords might contain words like best, recommended, top, etc, and will often return reviews or listicles.
Finally you transactional keywords – this is where the user is actively looking to make a purchase. These contain words like sale, near me, pricing etc. These searches will usually return product or service pages.
Research Your Competitors
Researching your competitors can be a great way of finding topics and keywords that you should be targeting for your own website. There are many keyword research software out there that will allow you to see which pages are driving the most traffic and what keywords your competitors are ranking highly for along with the estimated search volume each keyword has. This can help you to focus on what topics to target but it’s also important to examine the pages of content they’ve created. Do they include videos, multiple images, infographics, statistics, or other assets that could help to keep users on-site longer? By assessing the competitor’s content, you could also discover some new topics they might not necessarily have covered themselves!
Trust Your Gut
When it comes to selecting keywords and topics for new website content, one of my top tips is to use a combination of research and intuition. Start by conducting thorough keyword research to find out what potential customers are searching for in your industry. Tailor your content around popular search terms, but also trust your gut – think about the unique value that your business can offer, and what sets you apart from competitors.
It’s important not to chase after every trending topic or highly searched keyword; instead, focus on creating quality content that will truly resonate with your target audience. And don’t forget about long-tail keywords – these may have lower search volumes, but they often lead to higher conversion rates as they tend to be more specific and targeted.
Think About Where the Topic Lies in the Revenue Funnel
I think about the revenue funnel in 4 stages – problem-unaware (TOFU), problem-aware (MOFU), solution-aware (MOFU), and product-aware (BOFU). Does your topic lie in any of these stages for your target buyer? If yes, add it to your content strategy. If not, skip it. Remember the content funds the revenue of the business.
Satisfy The Needs of The Customer Journey
The number one tip I have for planning out a content strategy for a new website is to write down what resource your target customer will need at every step of their decision-making process (customer journey) and make a plan to create the right content to satisfy those needs.
From there, you can perform the necessary keyword research to ensure there is enough search volume justification or analyze the competitive landscape to determine opportunity.
However, all of the keyword research and new website traffic in the world won’t help (convert into more sales) if you’re not aligned with the customer journey.