Optimize Your Content Marketing Strategy in the New Year and Stand Up to Your Competition
As 2019 wraps up, you’re probably doing a year-end review of your website traffic and other content marketing metrics. Maybe the other reports you’ve generated during the year are showing the same dismal results; your website and content just aren’t getting found online.
Instead of blindly moving into 2020 with a promise to write more blog posts and post more often on social media, we have another idea: take a look at your search engine optimization (SEO) and see how it can be improved.
SEO is Critical for All Content Marketing
A solid content marketing strategy is important for any brand, but it takes purposeful SEO implementation to really hit a home run.
Your audience is conducting web searches, voice searches, and reading related information that could direct them to your content through backlinks.
Even if you’re diligently writing and publishing content, you’re likely handing top search results to your competition if SEO isn’t part of your strategy. And if it’s not, don’t worry! SEO implementation does take some dedicated work, and many companies face time and bandwidth challenges not just with implementation, but with knowing where to begin.
That’s why a digital marketing agency can be your new best friend.
Simple SEO Tactics to Boost Your Content Marketing Strategy
SEO is a natural next step after the creation of any digital content, whether it be on your website, blog, or resource library. It plays a huge factor in driving traffic to your content and helping deliver on the performance metrics you’re after, like lead generation and conversions.
It’s important to note that simply being a digital marketing agency doesn’t automatically mean SEO fluency. At Fishnet, we diligently keep up with any changes to Google’s ranking criteria, and we leverage SEO tools that provide deeper insights into critical aspects of SEO strategy.
There are a few critical steps that will jump-start any SEO implementation. These include:
- conducting keyword research
- tracking the competition to see what keywords they’re using (and how they’re using them)
- identifying new content opportunities to improve SEO.
With those baseline steps in mind, here are 5 easy ways to up your SEO game in 2020.
1. Take stock of your website’s current performance.
Like anything, it’s important to know where you are before you can know where you need to go. Conduct an SEO audit of your website to see how much traffic you’re getting and to which pages, and where those users are coming from. Google has many rules in place for how it ranks content, so you should constantly monitor your ranking to be sure you’re continuing to show up on Google’s search results pages (SERPs).
2. Conduct keyword research to identify the keywords and phrases you should be using, and uncover new keywords to add to your content.
Your SEO strategy is rooted in keywords, and when you know which keywords will be most effective in driving traffic to a specific piece of content (whether it be a webpage or a blog post), you can optimize everything you produce.
There are a few tools you can use that provide keyword analyses, such as Google’s Adwords platform. For the purposes of this example, we’re going to use our favorite SEO tool, SEMrush.
Let’s say, for example, your business provides health care coverage for individuals and corporations. You may pepper your website with the keyword “health care provider”; but keyword research uncovers different ideas.
The most commonly-searched queries are featured in the left column, while the “volume” column shows how often they have been searched within a 12 month period. The “KD” column displays the percentage difficulty to rank for that keyword against your competitors. The idea combination is a highly-searched keyword with low difficulty.
3. Analyze your competitors’ activity – which keywords are driving traffic to their content?
The keyword difficulty percentage is important for amplifying your search performance, but you can go a step further and view the keywords your competition is using and the level of traffic those keywords are generating.
4. Discover topics for your blog that your audience actually wants to read, because they’re already searching for them.
We’ve all found ourselves staring at the computer screen, knowing we have to write a blog post but blanking on a good topic. You can use keywords to come up with a topic, and because it’s a keyword-driven idea, you know it’s something your audience is already searching for online.
To use the health insurance company example again, if you were to enter the keyword “health insurance coverage”, for example, you’ll get a host of common, related search queries to fuel your content ideas. Here’s a sample content search using SEMrush:
You’ll want to choose topics with higher search volume as those are the most commonly-searched.
It has never been easier to come up with content ideas, and the bonus is that they’re all proven to be highly-searched topics.
5. Increase backlinks to your content to increase inbound links to your content.
A backlink strategy is an important part of any marketer’s overall content marketing strategy. Part of this effort includes gaining unique insight into where your competitors are getting their backlinks from.
Once you’ve identified the websites that are linking to your competitors’ sites, you can incorporate those or similar sites into your own content strategy through tactics like guest blogging or offering your content as a resource for their website. You’ll be seeing more inbound traffic in no time.
The end of the year is a perfect time to take stock of how your content marketing strategy has been performing and identify ways to improve it.
Creating or boosting your SEO strategy doesn’t have to be a daunting task – with a digital marketing agency that knows its way around SEO, it’s easy to make the necessary improvements and begin reaping the rewards.
Want help with your SEO efforts? Contact us to get pricing on an SEO audit and recommendations for improving your content marketing strategy in the new year.