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Get a Content Strategy or Disappear
Written by Brian Harnish
Monday, 12 November 2012 06:10

Content is not the only way to successful SEO, but it IS a very powerful way to successful SEO and obliterating your competitors.

Content strategy

But you have to ask yourself, where are you now and where do you want to go in your SEO? There are ways to perform SEO without content to be sure, but many people are looking for one thing when they type that keyword into Google: is this website going to help me by answering my question(s)? Or, is this website going to help me find what I am looking for?

Different industries require different approaches, yes, but there is usually only one strategy to create effective content for your website, regardless of industry.


Know Thy Customer

This shouldn’t be much of a surprise. If you don’t know your customer, how else are you going to deliver a solution that is right for them?

No doubt that consumer research is at the forefront of developing a solid content strategy. It’s more important now than ever before to know your customer.

know your customer

You should be able to answer these:

  • What are their likes and dislikes?
  • What are their demographics? What kind of sites do they visit?
  • What browsers are they most likely to use?
  • What sites are most likely to impress them?

All of this and more will need to go into your customer research.


Know Thy Keywords

Part of the customer research process is also good keyword research. Good keyword research uncovers what your converting customers use to search for keywords related to your products and services.

It is important to go after keywords that have significant search volume, and that are not too competitive. Remember, more competitive keywords will need a more competitive SEO strategy to get websites great rankings, and will end up costing you more in the long run.

So instead, find keywords that are searched often by your customers, and that are not overly saturated in the marketplace. This is how you will build a good content strategy.


Organizing a Content Schedule

Now that you know your customers and their keywords, you can go after them with a solid content schedule.

Whether you are doing the content yourself, or managing a team of writers, a content schedule will help keep you organized and is an essential part of the process. It will tell you where you are now, and where you will be in the future once the content has been completed.

You can then proceed to build on this and add even more content.


Do I need to hire more Writers? Or do I need to write more Content?

Depending on the size of your website, and if you employ a team of writers, you may need to hire more writers.

The content schedule will help keep you abreast of everything going on on your website from a content perspective. Keeping an ongoing tally of content vs. results will enable you to determine whether or not you want to stay on this path, or pursue a different one.

In addition, it will be able to tell you if you are currently meeting demands, or if you need to hire more writers to keep up with the demand of more content to keep and increase your rankings.


The new evolution of the Content Process

Building your own content strategy will likely entail many of these steps regardless of your industry. The important piece of the puzzle is that you are delivering valuable, high quality information to the readers who are going to be accessing your website via the search engines.

There are ways to perform SEO without building content strategies, however. You do want to be mindful of these depending on your industry vertical, your competition, and whether or not your current industry is completely saturated by one vs. the other.

It’s quite possible that building a content strategy will not work well for your industry. How do you determine this, though?

It’s through looking at the various factors involved in website SEO:

  • content
  • on site SEO
  • off site SEO
  • social media
  • video SEO
  • building your community
  • and other factors.

You want to look at your competition and see what they’re doing, sure – but you also want to innovate, create, and beat them at their own game. Just doing what they are doing will probably get you the same result and may even rank you lower in the SERPs because you are pursuing a duplicate strategy.

Find that one thing that will make your SEO stand out and be unique – and SEO the hell out of it. That is how you will beat your competition.

Brian Harnish -

Building websites his Brian Harnish's passion. He's been building websites since he taught himself HTML and took a college Photoshop class to create the graphics in the summer of 1998 when he built his first real website. He thoroughly enjoys reading almost anything and everything he can get his hands on regarding SEO, search marketing, as well as web design & development.

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