Starting newly with your SEO content strategy, and confused about where to start and how to create a content strategy? What is content strategy and why do you need it?
Put your confusion aside and start reading my blog to get your answers.
A step by step guide to Craft Your Content Plan
Here is the list of things that you need to study closely to achieve your desired goal while crafting your content plan. Planning a content strategy is a crucial part of the SEO strategy plan as it needs a lot of research. Spending some extra amount on the great content is always a great idea to get the ranks. Remember, Google is meant to collect the right data for its query. This can be possible only with great optimized content with proper keywords. If not done well content plan Google Algorithm can easily catch your site.
My guide will provide you the step by step guide to educate you before starting your content plan.10 x formula which will sure-shot rank your blog post. In this particular blog, I will tell you in this blog about how to make good content that will be effective and raise your site’s traffic.
Before starting with your content strategy outline you have to ask a few questions to yourself.
- What type of business you have?
- What type of people prefers your service?
- What’s making them search for your services?
- Which language are they comfortable with ( Technical or conversational)?
- Do they engage with the content? (That decides the content type on which you need to work)
- Does your business need a content plan that will generate the revenue out of that (Sales or leads)?
- Which type of content do you need to select to target the right demographics?
- How is your audience engaging with the content?
- What is the best time they are engaging with the content?
You may not need to think about all the above questions but surely thinking about it wisely will give you a thorough insight for planning your best content strategy as per your requirement.
Once you have all the answers to your above questions, it’s easy to select the type of content for your marketing strategy that suits best for your business.
Before starting a content strategy, you need to select the right content type that fits for your business. Especially the type of content that is effective in terms of SEO. This is important to understand because google understands the content-type based on the search for the keywords. And you need to plan your content accordingly. You will get a clear idea about this in my “Why Content Marketing is the New SEO- The complete Guide blog.” This blog also explains how the rank brain algorithm works to get the ranking for certain keywords.
Here is the list of types of content
- Blog posts: This is usually required when the user is trying to search for some information about particular topics, which may be the research-based information.
For example – A travel blog that gives information about the place and how to reach the place, etc. A food/health blog which gives the importance of the particular food with the dietary information and health benefits.
- Videos/GIF: This is one of the most effective ways to engage with the audience. If you strongly believe that your product or service can be explained in a better way then you should go with this kind of content. Creating a nice video of your product with the information about the same will engage the audience and boost traffic to your site and ultimately get the rank.
- Infographics: This is yet again the nice way to explain your thoughts with the pictorial formats.An easy way to explain the story and the short format to relate the idea quickly.
- Social media content: Social media has quite a high impact on our society. This can be also a good platform to create effective content to reach the target audience.
- Reviews: Any product review comes under this category. If your site is the roof for the reviews of products or services across the vendors, then this type of content is suitable for you.
- Comparisons: If you are comparing two products or services, then your site content will come under this category.
- List posts: If the user is searching for the top 10 sites to visit in India then the list post is great. List-post gives a quick idea with the images of the sites. So if you are running a travel business, then you have to consider something like this as the content for your site.
- How to: If the keywords are “loose wait”, “assemble cupboard”, “prepare masala” then the content should start with the “How to”. You need to select the appropriate type for your niche.
- Case study: If there is an article on “how to boost the web site traffic from 0 to 10000” then it must be a case study.
Apart from that, there are other content types like Guides, Demos, Webinars, DIY (DO it yourself) published on various websites. Read more about ranking your content on Google in my blog.
Choose appropriate content for your site which will work best for you.
2.Understanding the Competitive Landscape:
Yet again, the competitor comes into the picture at this stage. Once you have done with selecting the content type, deciding the structure of your website with the topics and the content division is made, you have to see,
- How the competitor has written the contents?
- What subtopics have been covered in their blogs or articles?
- Measure the length of the articles they have written
- Observe Points did they miss to describe.
- What makes them different from you?
After this research, you can plan your content more effectively as there is a huge competition ahead.
To achieve this, you have to maintain an excel sheet with the competitor’s names. Mention topic wise details in the sheet-like word count, traffic, audience reach, etc.
Categorize the competitor’s topics explanation wise. E.g 7 ways to gain weight, 10 ways to gain weight, 5 home remedies for glowing skin, 10 home remedies for glowing skin, etc.
You have to analyze all the factors in-depth by asking questions like,
which keywords they are ranking for?
what is the keyword density?
word count for the keyword?
Stay ahead of your competitors by writing effective, informative and relevant content on your web pages. Plan your content accordingly.
Try to give more and different from your competitor. This will automatically boost your traffic and will help you to rank well enough soon. Read more about competitor strengths and weaknesses in my blog: 7 ways to know your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses.
Once you are done with finalizing the type of content you have to show on your website, then you have to categorize them on the basis of their use. Dividing the content into the clusters has a huge impact on the traffic. Instead of lengthy content on the same page divide your content into two parts like Pillar content and Cluster content for higher ROI.
Pillar content is the topic that highlights the main services for your niche.
Cluster content is a topic that comes under pillar content.
Divide your content in such a way that users will get engaged for more time on your site.
Here we will take an example of bookthesurprise.com which is an event organizing e-commerce based site. In this site, the owner has categorized the plans and services they are providing neatly into the Pillar and Clusters so that the user will get what he/she exactly wants.
The categories are clearly defined in Party surprises, premium surprises, balloon surprises, and others, which can be considered as pillar content. Again the party surprises are subcategorized into different service plans like birthday surprises, Love you, miss you, get well soon, etc i.e. known as clusters on the site.
Mapping the content is nothing but drafting the flow of information from pillar to cluster which is very much significant and essential. Consider that you are planning to send a surprise gift for your friend on his birthday who is living in another city. You are searching for the right surprise gifting sites. In this case, you want a quick search with an exact match for your query.
So if the site has organized its content well, then it will be easy to get exactly what you want.
Here you can select the category “Surprise Gifts” and under that, you can select your choice of occasion like birthday, anniversary, friendship day and many more.
While writing category wise, the content writer must be very cautious about the flow of content, the link between the content and the relevancy of the content. Writing content in the Pillar and providing the appropriate interlinking to the clusters is important. It shows the relevancy of the topic in detail.
5.Structuring Your Content:
Planning the content strategy and structuring it in the proper way matters a lot for Google. Structure your content in different categories like Awareness, engagement, and conversion. If your site is trying to generate leads or sales from the content, then they are considered as conversion articles. Getting a higher ROI (return over investment) on conversion type of article means your article has to be well structured so that the users will tend to buy or subscribe to your service.
Awareness: When the user finds your site with the search query and lands on the page and spends some time on the site that means the user is now aware of your site.
At this stage, the user must understand about your services and products in the first go, so that he will remember about your site.
To make the user aware of your brand, you must make it impressive at a very first glance which means that the Pillar content must be attractive enough to think over your brand.
Engagement: As he remembers your site at the awareness stage, he will think to opt for your service. So that he will dig down more on the site for more details. This is the engagement stage.
Again on this type of page, the content writer has to be very clever while writing the information about the product so that the user will spend more and more time to explore your site. And by this stage, he must have planned to buy your service.
Conversion: This is the last page where the user is sure about buying the service and he bought the service/product and the conversion happened successfully.
Here in this stage, you have to distribute your content into the
- Top funnel where the user will be aware of your presence.
- Middle funnel where the user is engaging with your content.
- Bottom funnel where the user tends to buy or subscribe to your service.
6. Writing Effective Content:
Ranking the content includes so many factors. Writing effective content is not enough.
Planning effectively to write engaging content based on the understanding of the competitor landscape is more important.
The above example is from stylecraze.com. It shows that the site had less traffic when the content was an old version and after updating the content by comparing it with the competitor, the new version has been included with many quality points in the content. Though the content is a bit lengthy, it is meaningful and informative which boosts the traffic by 100%.
Remember that the large chunk of content should not be meaningless and repetitive.
The content should be concise and relevant to the search query.
7. Following UX Best practices:
Writing content also has a few rules to follow. There are the UX best practices that explain how the content should be.
Following are the best UX practices:
- AIDA ( Attention / Interest/ Desire/ Action)
- Four C’s
- Inverted Pyramid Technique
- Capture the attention of the user in the first paragraph
- Keep them engaged in the second paragraph
- Inspire your reader by projecting how better the service or product is best for them in the third paragraph.
- Describe in the fourth paragraph – how they can purchase this product or subscribe to the service.
With this technique, you can catch the attention of the reader in the first few seconds.
- Clear: Don’t stuff your content with unnecessary data. Be clear on your point and describe relevant examples and provide related resources.
- Concise: The content must be comprehensive. Don’t drag the content and make it pointless which may not be useful to the reader. Add information with the proper outline.
- Compelling: Make it compelling with the relative examples and data related to the subject in terms of statistics or percentage-wise.It is always helpful for the reader if you add proper images that will relate the content. Images and videos are a prominent part of the content to make it attractive.
- Credible: Adding your experience using certain methods in the field gives weightage to the content. It helps you to gain the trust of the user. Same way. if the health blog is reviewed by an authoritative person it adds quality to the site.
E.g. “This diet plan helped 100 people till now”
This kind of sentence increases the credibility of the product.
- Inverted Pyramid Technique:
Inverted Pyramid technique is also one of the important factors we need to consider while content mapping.
Always Provide the best information on the top-level followed by the next best information and then the next best. As this structure looks like an inverted pyramid it is called an inverted pyramid structure.
The above figure shows clearly how you plan your content mapping levels.
8.Work on the low traffic generating pages:
After analyzing your competitor’s pages, you must work on the low-quality content first.
Comparing and working on those content will surely help you achieve your ranking steps. Plan your content strategy outline in such a way that surely it will rank.
If you read the above content, it gives precise information about the blood pressure and its effects. Everything related to blood pressure is well explained in the form of statistical data.
If you compare this content with the old version, you will find that the old version lacks clarity.
The content looks more generic than the previous one.
So, keeping all these tips in mind will help you plan your content much effectively. You have to compare your content with the competitors and check out what more you can add and how you can dominate ranking on the SERP page.
These effective methods are worked well in the case of all the businesses.
Don’t wait! Craft your content plan today !!