Content marketing is one of the most important elements of running an online business today. It can help you showcase your industry knowledge, earn your audience’s trust, and even boost your search engine optimization, or SEO. This will then give you a better chance of showing up at the top of Google’s search results whenever someone is looking to learn more about your industry or invest in the products or services that you offer.
In this article, we’re going to outline eight different content strategies that you can use to improve your SEO. Let’s get started.
Boost your E-A-T with content that shows you’re an expert
E-A-T stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. The phrase comes from Google Search’s quality rater guidelines, and it’s something they’ve been paying more attention to in recent years. Essentially, search engines only want to point their users in the direction of trustworthy and accurate content to ensure that people find the information that they are looking for. This means that website owners need to create content that shows they are knowledgeable sources of high-quality information.
When deciding what types of expert content you should be creating, think about what it is that people come to you, your website, or your business for. What topics do you know inside and out, better than any of your competitors? This is what you’ll want to cover in your content marketing to show off your expertise and boost your SEO in the process.
Let’s take a look at a few examples of high-quality content that helps to position certain businesses as authorities in their fields. These are sure to give you some inspiration for your own website.
Reid Supply, an industrial components manufacturer, shows off their E-A-T on their web page outlining what industries they work with. If you click through to the automation and medical services pages, for instance, you can get a lot of information about these industries in general, as well as how Reid Supply is able to assist them. By offering extensive information on the industries they serve, Reid Supply shows that they are an expert in their field, boosting their E-A-T and SEO as a result.
On your website, consider writing content that shows you know your industry inside and out. Doing so will show your website visitors that you’re an expert in your field, which will improve your site’s authoritativeness and search engine rankings.
Southern Cross University, an online education institution based in Australia, also has expert content on their SCU Master of Project Management online program page.
Here, they outline why it’s worth studying project management, what career pathways there are for graduates, and more. This page shows that they know the field of project management inside and out and, as a result, are able to give their students the education they need to secure jobs. The article showcases their expertise in the field and boosts their SEO as a result.
On your website, consider writing expert content that relates to the products or services you offer. Doing so will show search engines that you really know what you’re talking about, which will help the likes of Google to feel more comfortable about ranking your website for relevant queries.
Fill content gaps that your competitors have left
It’s a good idea to take a look at the content your competitors are publishing and see what you can learn. Are there topics in your industry that no one is covering yet? If so, write about them! Doing so will help fill existing content gaps and boost your SEO.
Additionally, even if a competitor has covered a topic, think about how you can cover it in a better or more detailed way. You might be able to better optimize an article with relevant keywords or address more customer questions, for instance. This can help boost your SEO and hopefully send you soaring above your competitors on the SERPs.
To analyze your competitors’ content, start with a competitor keyword analysis. This will help you identify valuable keywords that your competitors rank for that you do not. One great tool to help you do this is the Moz Keyword Explorer. Head to the tool with a list of your competitors and enter one of their domains into the tool, along with your own website.
You can then see what keywords your competitors are ranking for and look for new content opportunities. Keep an eye out for valuable keywords that you aren’t ranking for, as well as high-volume keywords you think you could rank higher for. Once you identify the keywords you want to target, you can start creating content based on them, or develop any relevant content you already have to incorporate them. Doing this can give you a boost on the SERPs and improve your SEO!
Publish content that’s bound to earn backlinks
Acquiring backlinks, also known as link building, is the process of getting other high-quality and authoritative websites to link back to yours. When this happens, Google takes it as a vote of confidence in your authority and should give you an SEO boost as a result.
Publishing great content on your website can help you to attract more high-quality links. Let’s look at a few different types of content that tend to get a lot of links, with some examples for inspiration.
Conducting original research and publishing the results on your website can help you in two ways: first, it can show your target audience and search engines that you’re a source of expert information. Second, if you’re the one conducting the research, people will link back to your website as the original source when they’re writing about a similar topic and want to use your findings to back up their own point. This is what makes original research such a natural magnet for links. Now, let’s take a look at an effective example.
HubSpot, a digital marketing company, conducts original research each year in order to produce their annual State of Marketing report. This report is extremely thorough — HubSpot surveyed more than 1,500 marketers in order to find information on SEO trends, new digital marketing strategies, and more. Because this is an original study, people wanting to reference it in their own content will typically link back to HubSpot, making it a great link-building tool that can greatly boost the site’s SEO.
On your website, consider what types of original research you could conduct that will be relevant to your field of work. Survey your peers, interview colleagues, or conduct experiments and publish the results — doing so will help you build your backlinks and boost your SEO.
Ultimate guides outline everything someone might need to know about a topic. Both experts and beginners alike should be able to learn something from this kind of content! These guides are great at attracting backlinks because, if they’re put together well, people will want to link to them as a source of high-quality information.
For instance, Lawsuit Legal, a personal injury law firm based out of Florida, has created an ultimate guide to whistleblower laws that serves as a great link building magnet. The article is extensive and covers what whistleblowing is, talks about what federal and state laws govern it, and answers common questions.
This guide shows that the firm knows everything there is to know about these laws, showcasing their authority. And, people who want to share this information with their own audiences could link back to this article as a source of information, making it great for building backlinks and improving the company’s SEO.
On your website, think about what topics you know about extensively. Creating ultimate guides on them will showcase your expertise and serve as a great backlink-building magnet.
Infographics offer a great way to help you build backlinks. These are collections of charts, imagery, and data that give an overview of a topic. They’re engaging, easy-to-read, and can help the reader quickly learn about a subject.
Infographics are great for building backlinks because they’re so easy to digest. They can make a topic easier to understand, so they’re great for sharing. And, people who incorporate your infographics into their own content should provide you with a link, which can do wonders for your SEO.
For example, IvyPanda, a student success and education resource, has a great infographic that teaches the reader how to enjoy studying. The infographic tells the reader how they can improve their study space, how to make the experience fun, how to track their study progress, and more.
It’s a helpful infographic that is sure to attract a lot of backlinks from other educational institutions and organizations that specifically offer services for students. This infographic is well-designed and informational, making it likely to be shared, boosting IvyPanda’s backlink profile and increasing their SEO as a result.
On your website, think about what you could outline in an infographic. It’s a great way to make your information more engaging and shareable, boosting your backlink profile and SEO.
Create content that answers common customers questions
If you receive a lot of the same questions from your customers, consider whether you could create content that addresses them. Doing so can help boost your SEO!
Start by conducting some question keyword research. Head to a tool like Answer the Public with a list of words and phrases related to your business. The tool will then provide you with a list of questions that people are searching for on relevant topics. If you address these questions accurately and expertly in your content, Google will take note and give you a boost on the SERPs for these queries. This means that it can help you boost your SEO!
Additionally, addressing these questions in your content can help to save your customer service team time, as they won’t have to answer the same questions as much.
Let’s take a look at a few strong examples of content that answers common questions for inspiration.
For instance, RMIT Online, an online university based in Australia, has used a piece of content to answer the question, “are we facing an oversupply of data scientists?”.
The article addresses this question and discusses the demand for these roles in their country, why these jobs are in demand, and more. This article reassures prospective students that their chosen field of study can get them jobs. People searching for the answer to this question will come across this article and see that they don’t have anything to worry about when it comes to the job market. So, the article builds trust and attracts searchers looking for these topics. If someone is looking for this information, they’re likely to be interested in RMIT’s data science courses, meaning it’s great for reaching the university’s ideal audience.
Because it can attract these people, the article is great for SEO and can encourage these searchers to study at RMIT Online.
On your website, consider addressing questions that your ideal customers are asking. This will help ensure that you reach them on the SERPs, build trust with them, and help encourage them to use your products or services.
Musician Authority, a website that teaches beginners how to play different instruments, uses this strategy throughout their website to educate their ideal customers. Their content that answers the question, “can piano be self taught?” is just one example of how they do this.
The article covers what resources you can use to teach yourself the instrument, including online resources, books, and more. It’s a very helpful piece for boosting Musician Authority’s SEO, as it shows they’re a trustworthy expert on the topic — plus, not only will people who are asking this question find the answer, but they will also discover a litany of resources for teaching themselves piano!
On your website, consider answering questions that newcomers to your field are asking. This will boost your ranking on the SERPs for these queries and draw the right people to your website, showing that you’re a helpful resource in your field and boosting your SEO.
Use keyword research to plan and write your content
Using the right target keywords in your website content is a huge part of boosting your SEO. Target keywords are words or phrases that are relevant to your audience that you’ll want to weave into your website content so you can reach your ideal customers on relevant SERPs.
When deciding which results to provide for a particular query, search engines like Google will seek out web pages that include a lot of related keywords. This means that, when you incorporate relevant keywords into your content, you’ll find it much easier to reach the people you want to speak to.
So, you’ll need to conduct some keyword research. Head to a tool like Google Keyword Planner with a list of words or phrases related to your field of work. After you plug the words into the tool, Google can provide you with a list of keywords based on their competitiveness, or how hard they are to rank for, and their average monthly search volumes. When choosing keywords to target in your next piece of content, try to find a balance between these two metrics; you don’t want your keywords to be so competitive that you don’t stand a chance of ranking, but you want to choose those with decent search volumes so you can reach enough people.
Choose the phrases that you want to target carefully — you don’t want to risk optimizing your content with the wrong keywords. There are three types of keywords:
- Informational keywords: these help searchers find information and often include the words “how” or “why”
- Transactional keywords: These help searchers find a product or service to buy
- Navigational keywords: These help searchers find a specific brand or website
When selecting keywords to base a guide or blog post on, you want to target informational keywords, rather than transactional or navigational ones. Helping your customers learn something gives you an opportunity to show off your E-A-T and target keywords at the same time — this will help you boost your SEO.
Create free tools that your audience will find helpful
Offering free tools and templates can be a very effective content marketing tactic, but it’s often one that gets overlooked. Any free resources you create should be designed to address a problem you know your customers have. If they’re searching for the answers to their pain points on the SERPs, this means that your tools and templates can help you rank higher for these queries and attract your ideal customers.
There are so many different types of tools and templates that you can offer, depending on the type of business you run. Here are a few examples:
- Compile blog articles into an eBook
- Design a financial calculator
- Create a virtual try-on service for accessories or cosmetics
- Implement a test or a quiz that will help your customers determine whether or not they need your services
Let’s take a look at a few examples of free tools for inspiration.
For instance, Helix Hearing Care, a supplier of hearing aids, offers a free online hearing test. A user simply takes the test using their computer and a pair of headphones, and then Helix Hearing Care can help their customers determine whether they need hearing aids.
It’s a great way to boost their SEO and attract the right customers, as people who are searching for an online hearing test very well might need hearing aids. And, if they do, they’ll be more likely to buy from Helix Hearing Care after having a positive experience using this free tool.
On your website, consider whether you could attract the right people to your website using a tool or test that helps visitors determine whether or not they need your services. Doing so is sure to send more of your ideal customers to your website.
On the other hand, TurboTax, an online tax preparation software, has a stimulus check calculator that helps website visitors determine how much of a stimulus check they will get, if any, based on their income.
This tool is great at boosting TurboTax’s SEO — right now, a lot of people are searching for information surrounding whether or not they’re going to get COVID assistance from the government. These people might be interested in TurboTax’s other services, as well!
On your website, think about what types of questions people are asking relative to current events. What calculators or tools could you provide to help answer these questions? Creating tools or offering templates to solve these problems can help boost your SEO!
Publish content for each stage of the customer journey
People at different stages of the buying journey will have different needs, and they’ll be typing different queries into the search engines, so you need to create content with this in mind. For instance, some people might not even know that your services exist (and that they need them) while others might be weighing their options before making a decision.
The stages of the buyer journey are awareness, consideration, and decision making. Let’s look at examples of businesses that target them in their content.
In the awareness stage of the customer buying journey, prospective customers will have realized that they have a problem and will be looking for ways to solve it. Helpful content at this stage will educate them about solutions to the problem and subtly promote the products or services that you offer that can solve them.
Let’s look at an example of a piece of content that targets customers at the awareness stage for inspiration.
Chewy, an online pet supply retailer, targets customers at the awareness stage of the customer journey in their article on how to calm a nervous dog. People who are searching for help on this topic might not even be aware that there are products out there that can calm a nervous dog. But Chewy actually sells supplements, anxiety vests, and more. This article is a great way for the company to target customers at the awareness stage of the customer journey and secure conversions.
On your website, think about what questions people might have before they learn about your products. Targeting people at the awareness stage of the customer journey can increase your rankings on the SERPs and draw the right people to your website.
During the consideration stage, prospective customers know what their problem is — now, they’re just weighing up potential solutions. This is where a lot of compare and contrast content comes in, as potential customers begin to determine what products or services will best suit their needs.
Let’s take a look at an example of content that targets customers in the consideration stage for inspiration.
Best Value Schools, a website that outlines the top schools for different fields of study, does an excellent job of targeting customers at the consideration stage of the customer journey.
When customers are at this stage, they’re assessing all of the choices — they know what kind of product or service they want, and now they’re just trying to determine what’s the best of the best. This article by Best Value Schools, which outlines the best online Master’s of Psychology programs, does just that. For this reason, it can attract people researching these types of programs, boosting their SEO for related queries.
On your website, think about what types of articles you can write that target people at the consideration stage of the customer journey. How can you create content that will help customers come closer to making a decision? Addressing this in your content can show you’re a helpful source of information and boost your SEO.
During the decision-making stage of the buying journey, potential customers know exactly what solutions they’re looking for — now they’re just trying to determine what’s the best of the best. Now is the time to make your sales pitch — to target people at the decision-making stage of the customer buying journey, you want to show website visitors why they should choose you above anyone else.
Let’s take a look at an example of a website that targets people at this stage for inspiration.
Optinmonster, a provider of lead generation software, uses case studies to target people in the decision stage of the customer buying journey.
In their case study on PodBike, Optinmonster highlights that they were able to get their client 18.22% more email subscribers using their services. The article discusses how they increased their conversion rate and grew their email list exponentially using Optinmonster.
This article is great for targeting customers at the decision-making stage of the customer buying journey — people looking for this type of content know they want digital marketing expertise to boost their conversions and grow their email subscriber base, but now they’re just looking for who can help them. By showing off their past work, Optinmonster is able to draw in more customers.
On your website, don’t be afraid to show off the results of your work, as Optinmonster has. Doing so will show people at the decision-making stage of the customer buying process that you know your stuff and that you’re able to get results. This will help you increase your sales!
Don’t forget to promote your published content
You can’t just create content and expect the right people to find it — you need to promote it to ensure that people see it! One great strategy that businesses often use is to promote their content through social media.
Be sure to monitor your social media analytics to see how specific pieces of content perform and change your strategy accordingly. You might find that certain types of content perform better than others, or be able to determine the best time of day to post, for instance.
According to research by cognitiveSEO, there is a link between social shares and SEO — their study found that higher numbers of social media shares, likes, and comments are often correlated with higher rankings on Google. This means that you need to be constantly creating top-notch social media content in order to get more shares, as it appears it can help to boost your SEO.
Here are a few tips for sharing your published content on social media:
- Use strong calls to action that ask for shares, likes, and comments
- Look at your analytics in order to determine the best time of day to post to get the most engagement
- Use relevant and high-quality images
- Tag relevant businesses or influencers who might want to boost your posts
Follow these tips and your social media posts should get more shares — this can then help you rank higher on the SERPs.
Content marketing is one of the best tools that you have at your disposal to boost your SEO. In this article, we outlined eight different strategies you can implement to improve your SEO efforts, including conducting keyword research, addressing customer questions, boosting your E-A-T, and more.
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