How to Use Content to Boost Your SEO Strategy
There are a variety of actions businesses can take in order to boost their SEO strategy. Some of them are relatively straightforward. If your website is outdated and difficult to navigate, of course a redesign can boost your rankings and traffic.
But when it comes to long-term SEO results, content is where strategy really comes into play. It’s how you get your information, products, and services in front of the people who need it, so it’s crucial. But what type of content will give you the best results?
Just releasing a blast of random blog posts or press releases isn’t likely to give you impressive SERP gains. While overall content volume certainly makes a difference in your SEO journey, it’s important to get a plan together that prioritizes creating content with a goal in mind. Once your plan is in place, it’s time to get working on your content. Here are a few areas to focus on as you do so.
Vary Your Content Types for Specific SEO Strategy Goals
It can be both a benefit and a detriment to get a good flow going when it comes to content. You definitely want quality content publishing at a good pace, but you need to have the right strategy in place to ensure it’s accomplishing the right goals. Relevance, a growth marketing agency, recommends creating an SEO strategy based on research and intent. If your content isn’t based on data and has no clear purpose, your results will suffer.
If your system for cranking out blog posts is very fast, you can end up with an efficient — but one-dimensional — SEO strategy. While blog posts serve an important SEO function, you need a more multifaceted approach so your content can synergistically benefit your organization.
To explain how this works, consider the benefits of blog posts. They’re a great way to show that your website is active and can also establish you as a knowledgeable source of information. In addition, they can be a very useful source when it comes time to create content for backlinks.
When you create content for backlinks, you’re placing links in places outside your website. Those links refer back to your website, therefore telling the search engine that outside sources consider your site worthy of referencing. That can enforce the authority of your site and business as a whole.
One of the best things about varying your content is that the different types can build on each other. Press releases, blog posts, and backlinks all serve different purposes in building authority, credibility, and visibility. For potential customers, that can paint the picture of a reliable company to do business with.
It’s not just customers who notice how well-rounded your online presence is, either. Search engines tend to think of a large chunk of a single content type as an artificial SEO injection. Basically, they’re onto us and we need to vary content to appear more natural.
Use Modern SEO Strategies for Modern Search Engines
SEO strategies of the past could be somewhat tricky, nebulous things. There were all sorts of techniques where a business could put a link in a high-traffic article completely unrelated to their overall function. Even though the link had nothing to do with the content, search engines would be tricked into the link’s value.
Individuals and businesses that had been using some sneaky SEO techniques suddenly saw their search values plummet. Even those who had been doing their best to put out thoughtful content in good faith may have taken some hits. The update changed how many businesses and SEO agencies define and prioritize high-quality, helpful content.
One content strategy that has been effective through the helpful content update is the pillar method. This involves creating a solid, high-quality piece of content that covers an important topic your business should be known for.
After you create and post your pillar content, you can create smaller content pieces that are all topically related to your pillar, therefore establishing you as an authority on the topic. In the book Pillar-Based Marketing, Ryan Brock and Christopher Day suggest taking that one step further and make sure your pillar and supporting content is based on what users are actually searching for, and not simply high volume keywords you think are important. With that extra level of data, you can ensure you’re showing up for your customers search needs while also ranking well in the SERPs.
Update Your Content As Needed
Creating and posting content is a lot of work. Because of that, it seems like it would obviously be detrimental to ever remove that hard-won content.
Though it might hurt your heart, there are times when the most useful thing you can do is remove or change your content. As mentioned previously, SEO tactics that were very effective in the past can prove to be harmful from a single algorithm update.
So make sure you don’t fall victim to the cost sunk fallacy when it comes to content. If a cluster of backlinks from three years ago is dragging down your rankings, try to get them removed. The dollar amount you invested in them doesn’t determine their current effectiveness, so base your decisions on the end results.
And if something is no longer working, you don’t necessarily need to scrap it entirely. If your business is changing direction and has a new pillar piece, update your backlinks accordingly. Optimizing content can save you the time of creating new pieces from scratch and eliminating original aspects that were detrimental or ineffective.
When a Plan Comes Together
In some ways SEO strategy is an art as well as a science. All the numerous components of technical work and content creation need to work together to signal your value to search engines. Before you start diving into SEO work, figure out where you want to go and craft your content to take you there.