Follow these steps to develop a strategy for your SEO content that will lift your time on page, SERPS, and organic traffic. This is a strategy, not basics. This is what you learn to later direct SEO writers and developers. This is not for newbies. This is for managers whose only option is a successful SEO strategy. Note: This is a 6-month SEO strategy, which is pretty standard, so don´t expect any fast miracles. I am an authority on this.
Step 1 – Define your audience: Who are They?
Content will always be king and Google will always strive to separate quality content from fake “quality” content. But! The entire “concept” of quality is defined by your target audience. So the first thing you do define your target audience. You need to observe, study, and internalize who they are, to the point where you can feel becoming part of this target audience. Become one with your target audience.
- Age: Duh.
- Gender: Might not be important, depends on your target audience.
- Subject Matter: What are you talking about? Google is tracking authors now, so whatever you talk about, you either are an expert in the matter or you hire someone who is an expert on the matter and even better, has been published by other people.
- Slang they use: This is the best and most important ingredient, you want to communicate effectively, this means you have to understand the slang your target audience uses when they relate to your subject matter. For example, in the world dungeons and dragons, users use the term “D&D”, so that´s an important keyword.
- Wordings they use: It’s not just about specific slang technical terms, there are also key phrases and specific ways of wording things that are important for your audience.
- Motivations: What motivates them, what excites our target audience, why?
Source for this information: Facebook Groups, Customer reviews, Twitter Hash Tags, Reddit Threads, Youtubers, Your competition.
Step 2 – Find a TAP who is already creating content about the subject matter.
TAP into the collective semantics of your target audience by looking for a T.A.P. or Target Audience Peer. There are tons of people that are already talking about your products, they are customers, users, experts on the matter. Ideally, you might want a successful SEO expert to write this, but really, you are looking for what Google is looking for, valuable content as perceived by your target audience. A person that is an authority in the subject, that uses the same slang, terminology, and that is providing valuable content to their peers. A workaround would be to find YouTubers that are already talking about this and then hiring an SEO content writer to study the videos and create content using these words. Sources of content and possible writers: Podcasts, Youtube Tutorials, Vlog Casts, Iconic movie about the subject, Interviews with industry icons, webinars by industry leaders.
Step 5 – Get a list of 10 FAQs
- Take it all in: Review, read, and what as many webinars, youtube videos, tutorials, testimonials as you can.
- Make note of key insights by writing down lists of Keywords, FAQs, names, brands, synonyms, key phrases, and associated subjects. The more words, the merrier.
- Sleep: Seriously, sleep, and let your brain absorb and organize the newly acquired information. Ask me about PsychoCybernetics later ;).
- Find the most searched for words from your list: One by one, try searching for the words on google, and see what the google autocomplete is, take it into account. Then look at Google Trends, and analyze what words have the strongest trends. Make a list of the top ten keywords based on volume.
- Make a list of the top ten FAQs using the most common keywords.
Step 4 – Write and publish 10 posts As fast as you can.
If you can divide your subject matter into 10 critical different pieces, or if you can come up with 10 specific key questions your target audience is constantly looking for, based on your subject matter, then use that as a guide. Make every title be a question, and make every post be a detailed but concise answer to what they are looking for. Speed is critical because none of this will matter if you are not ready to test and get data on what worked. This is still part of your research!
Remember to use the “names” as TAGS if you are using a CMS and when you post the posts on social media. (You will, and it’s all part o the SEO strategy).
Step 5 – Make sure every post complies with SEO”best practices”
- Use SEO Yoast for inpage analytics.
- Use Google Page Speed Insights for Techincal SEO
- Be a poet: Respecting the slang, write as short, and as concise as possible. Summarize!
- Keep the read below your TAs (Target Audience´s) attention span, it’s generally 7 minutes reading or about 1,000 words. But this varies based on audiences. I usually put the gold content on top, and make the content easy to “scan”, like this post. Good content keeps the right people reading.
- Make fonts easy to read. Verdana or open sans work at 16px font size and 1.7 line-height, it needs to be readable on a mobile phone and feel comfortable.
- Create an audio version of the content and embed it below the title with the correct meta tags.
- Make sure your posts are on your google site map.
- Make sure you have Google Analytics set up. You will need the data.
Step 6 – Share your 10 posts promote them on social media.
You need to get them out there fast, ideally, you find a FB fan page with tons of target market fans (if you don´t have one yourself) and you create a post with the title (And correct UTM parameters on the link) and spend a few dollars asking the owner of the page to publish the post and promote it ( for say $14 as a trial). Each. Fan page and social media influencers will love the opportunity of getting more exposure and the possibility of creating a business relationship with you, so go ahead and negotiate. Spend your minimum budget per day and expand it for about 2 weeks. ( FB´s minimum is 1$ per day in the US but this varies based on their own testing and optimization strategies for maximizing budgets).
You are testing content, so you don´t want to spend your budget on this, you are getting fast data to optimize content. ( you can try other social media channels or other places that allow for legitimate backlinks to your site, but you are NOT faking backlinks, don´t do that. You want to learn what sticks and gets growth in itself. A good list: Reddits, other blogs, forums, Quora, FB groups, LinkedIn groups. Share the links where ever there is a legitimate space to place them. ( In other words, where ever your content is enriching the conversation, in places where your TA chats or reads).
Step 7 – Wait
Let Google index the posts, let Facebook run the ads. Wait for about 1-3 months to see what grows naturally. Silence is the first part of listening. Read some books while you wait :). (I might get a few cents if you follow and buy from the links below, so please share this post to make my time be worthwhile).
Step 8 – Iterate and expand whatever works
You will get data on demographics and top-performing posts both organically and because you paid for “Boosting” a post to specific audiences. This data will let you know which of your 10 posts really did provide “quality information”. Strip down to the 3 best posts (based on organic growth, social sharing, and real engagement on each post). Now create 10 child posts for each of the top-performing posts, subsections expanding or iterating the keywords and top-performing key contents, for example, if your key content was “Top SEO strategies for 2020”, go for: “Biggest SEO strategy mistakes in 2020” and “5 Biggest SEO differences in 2020 vs 2019”. You can brainstorm on this. But your strategy is done. Once you start seeing growth.
Create a content matrix, where the first column of your spreadsheet lists successful keywords and the names of the rest of the columns would be either spins, variations, sub-subjects of those keywords. Always go for valuable data, so use focus groups ( obviously conformed by TAs) to fill in the spreadsheet in a happy and friendly “brainstorm” as you know have a good lead to spending the money on a good focus group. Repeat Steps 4-8 but for the now 40-50 new titles. Your content will rock!!
Ok, this is a real SEO strategy. It takes 6 months and it will grow your organic traffic. Let me know if you need any help.