SEO must be part of your strategy, but not just any optimized content is guaranteed to rank well. Even if a page is ranking well for a keyword, this doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed to convert visitors into buyers. With this in mind, let’s explore exactly how to craft an SEO and content strategy that’s guaranteed to bring in more of the right traffic to your website.
Authority-First Content Strategy
Nowadays, the key to SEO is to optimize for Google’s AI-powered search engine. The most effective way to do this is by building website authority. This strategy considers all of the factors that search engines are using to rank pages on the SERPs. Once the search engine deems your site as trustworthy, it will rank you higher as a result.
Boost your website authority by:
- Regularly publishing high-quality content
- Invest in strategies that will increase engagement (i.e. forums)
- Be featured in or mentioned by authoritative sources
- Gain numerous positive customer reviews
- Generate backlinks from websites with a high domain authority
- Create helpful content to maintain high CTRs and low bounce rates to your site in the SERPs
- Invest in Authority First SEO
Brands who utilize an Authority First SEO strategy are more likely to increase customer engagement and boost conversions. This strategy leverages your brand purpose to resonate with online consumers and search engines. Your purpose could be a social mission, something distinctive about your product or your service, or it could be story driven, like your founder’s backstory. Whichever angle you choose has to be authentic to your brand and compelling to your audience.
Why Authority First SEO?
Leveraging a purpose, like a social mission, product differentiator, or personal story, in your marketing will help you establish website authority. Building authority proves to search engines like Google that your site can be trusted.
Most importantly, though, Authority First SEO allows you to easily build targeted content in your space. This targeted content is what we call “citable” content. For example, if I create an interview, data driven content piece, or a survey, there are people who will link to it because they want to use it for their own advocacy; they’re linking to it as evidence for the message that they’re trying to get out there. So, you’re not only building a community around this topic, but also building partnerships with other companies who support it as well. This purpose-driven SEO strategy will lead to an increase in organic traffic, engagement, and conversions as a result of customers and other organizations in your space engaging with your relevant content.
Authority First SEO™ Process:
- Build the Right Content – Generate content focused on your customer’s pain points and reuse it across multiple channels.
- Technical SEO – Minimum viable technical work, including structured data, to ensure that Google crawls and indexes the entire site.
- Authority and Reputation – Build authority with search engines like Google by optimizing reputation signals such as positive mentions and reviews, and backlinks.
- Promotion and Partnerships – Connect with influences, bloggers, and industry publications to generate syndication, linking, and content development opportunities.
When done right, the powerful combination of content marketing and SEO can generate some amazing results. For example, Fire&Spark was approached by a cybersecurity company who needed help relaunching their site and creating new content. Our Authority First SEO™ content strategy resulted in 2x the number of ranked keywords in only 8 months! Read more about these results here.
Now that you know how powerful this approach to content marketing and SEO can be, let’s dive into some of the details.
Content Creation Tips
- Content Ideas
You will need multiple types of content to target customers at different stages of the buying funnel. Some examples include:
- Comparison content
- Case studies
- Research reports
- Q&As or FAQs
- Product reviews
- Videos, Webinars, or Podcasts
- Email nurtures
- PDF reports
- How-to articles
- Opinion pieces
- Industry articles for syndication
To effectively create high-quality content in a timely manner, you may have to hire an external writer. Here are our top tips for working with content creators outside of your team:
- Set clear expectations upfront
- This is the most important step. Your expectations can set the tone for the entire partnership, so the more clear and specific you can be, the better.
- Hire more than one
- This is especially necessary if you’re planning to publish a lot of content in a short period of time, but can also be helpful if one of the writers gets sick or has difficulty writing about your concepts.
- Build training materials
- We suggest creating one document for both you and the writer. It’s easiest to manage, locate, and update as needed.
- Ask for ideas
- Content creators can quickly catch on to what messaging, types of content, and other details are most effective. Don’t be afraid to ask them for their ideas as well.
- Write detailed content briefs
- This is crucial if you’re expecting the writer to implement certain messaging, formatting, or any other specific information. If you don’t ask for it, you probably won’t get it!
- Set strict deadlines
- If you’re managing the relationship with the writer, it’s up to you to hold them accountable if work is completed poorly or late.
- Interview SMEs
- This strategy is great for building authority; it demonstrates trust and expertise.
- Your content must be useful, valuable, or helpful to your audience
- You must promote your content to guarantee results
- Document your strategy and improve/update it as needed
- All of your content should complement each other to amplify results
- Create content that your customers already consume
- What is your audience’s favorite type of content?
- Where are they currently spending their time online?
How SEO and Content Marketing Work Together
When creating content, you ultimately want people to buy something or to start a sales conversation. SEO is actually strategized around content marketing since every website needs words, articles, substance, keywords, etc.
SEO should work alongside your content marketing because it’s a discovery mechanism. For example, if someone is searching in Google and finds your content, they are going to discover your website and hopefully convert. So, SEO is the key to generating more website visitors, conversions, and buyers. And the content you create is what generates those results. Hence, the better the content, the more Google trusts your site, the higher you are ranked on the SERPs!
Learn more about how Google’s ranks websites in the video below:
Generating and Converting Customers
Let’s start with where website traffic can come from:
- Search engines
- Online ads
- Cold outreach
- Social media
Once you get traffic to your website, it’s critical that your website, both its content and navigation, can guide visitors through the sales funnel with ease:
Awareness → Consideration → Conversion
It’s important to know what type of conversion is appropriate for your audience. For example:
- Direct conversion
- Contact Us form
- Email marketing
- We suggest implementing an email sign-up on your website
- Retargeting ads
- Downloadable content
- Videos, guides, white papers, etc. hidden behind a form
- Internal linking
- Link to your product/service pages within your other site content
- Implement conversion-intent keywords
- Keywords that are extremely relevant to your product/service and target users who are in the last phase of the journey before conversion
Successful Content Campaigns Should:
- Raise awareness
- Start conversations
- Build trust
- Generate organic search traffic
- Unlock more channels