Whether you’ve been using the exact same approach or you are just starting out with articles promotion, it never hurts to revisit your SEO content strategy plan — just to make sure it’s innovative up-to-date, and strong.
After all, you’ve got more competition than ever. According to the Content Marketing Institute, the most successful B2B marketers report spending 40 percent of their budget on content marketing as of 2018 — up 1 percent from 2017.
The first step to getting a leg up on the contest is to have content that is the smart marketing strategy in place. If you want some ideas to include in your plan or having difficulty planning for the upcoming year, read on.
The exact measures you’ll need to take to make your strategy, including:
How your articles can generate leads.
How (and what) to publish on social media.
What’s a Content Strategy?
Content strategy refers to the direction of pretty much any tangible media that you make and own: written, visual or downloadable – you name it.
It’s the experience you bring to your business and the part of your marketing program that demonstrates who you are.
You must have heard how important content production is to your business’ development. But as you’ll see throughout this post, it ought to have a certain intent.
Before we go any further, there are some things to think about when you create a content strategy:
Who Are You Creating Content For?
Who are you targetting your content for? Are you creating your content for your current viewers or for a new audience?
As your company may have more than 1 client, you need to create a proper content strategy that can cater to more than 1 group of readers or audiences.
Thus, using a variety of channels and content types can help you deliver content that is different from each type and engage everyone.
The Problem It Is Going to Solve For Your Audience
Ideally, your product or service solves a problem you know your audience has. Therefore, your articles should be able to educate and coach your readers.
A solid content strategy supports people on either side of your product: those that are still figuring out exactly what their challenges are. Your articles strengthen the solution(s) you’re offering and make your clients more qualified customers of your product.
What Makes You Unique
As your competitors have a similar product as yours, this means your potential customers will need to know what makes yours better — or, at least, different.
So, this is where your content comes in. To show why you’re worth purchasing from, you also want to prove why you’re worth listening to.
The Content Formats You’ll Focus On
What forms will your articles take? Infographics? Videos? Blog posts? Having identified the topics that you want to take a position on, you’ll need to ascertain which formats to budget for so you can best convey that position.
The Channels Where It Will Be Published
Just as you develop contents of various formats, you’ll also need different channels that you can publish to.
Comprising of four concentric halos, each of them correlates to one another. As social media activities and digital marketing have become the front runners of the business world, the latest Conversation Prism 5.0 showcases the expanding shifts in the social media landscape.
We’ll talk more about the social networking content strategy from the step-by-step guide later in this article.
How You’ll Manage Creation and Publication
Figuring out how you’ll make and publish all your content can be a daunting task. This includes who’s creating what, where it’s being published, and when it’s going live.
Nowaday’s content strategies avoid clutter by managing content from a topic standpoint. When drafting a content calendar about topics, you assert yourself as an authority in your market with time and can visualize the message of your company.
Learn more about topic clusters in content strategy in the video below.
Why Do Marketers Need to Create a Content Marketing Strategy?
Marketing helps companies plan and prepare for dependable and cost-effective sources of site traffic and leads. Think about it — if you can create 1 blog post that gets a steady amount of traffic, a link to an ebook or free tool will continue generating leads for you as time goes on.
The number of leads and traffic will provide you the flexibility to study your content marketing strategies to create revenue, such as content, networking advertisements that are sociable, and content.
Plus, your content won’t just help attract prospects — it will help create awareness and educate your target prospects.
Let’s dive in to find out the specifics of how to develop a content marketing strategy for your business.
1. Define Your Objective.
What’s your aim for creating a content marketing program? Why do you need to produce content and make a content marketing plan?
Know your goals before you begin planning, and you’ll have an easier time determining what is best for your own strategy. That way, you’ll get a clearer grasp of your content objectives and who’s your right person to receive your content.
To plan a successful strategy, you need to clearly define your content’s target audience — also known as your buyer persona. This is especially important for those people who are starting out or are new to marketing.
By understanding your target audience, you can create more valuable and relevant content that they’ll want to read and convert on. Google Demographics and Interests can help ease your buyer persona research to find out the types of sites that your audience frequently engages with.
However, if you’re an experienced marketer, your goal may have changed. Do you need to target a group of people or expand your current target market? Do you wish to keep the exact same target audience?
So, revisiting your audience parameters by conducting market research each year is crucial to increase the chances of growing your audience.
3. Run a Content Audit.
Most people start out with blog posts, but if you want to venture out and try generating other content pieces, consider which ones you want to make.
For instance, if you’ve been doing weekly blog posts for the past year, creating an ebook that combines all your blog posts into one ultimate guide would be one way to provide information in another format. We’ll go over unique kinds of content you can use further down on the list.
However, if you have been in business for some time, it’s best to review your article marketing campaigns and the results. This is done by running a content audit to determine what goals you aim to reach and can accomplish in your current campaign.
(Pro tip: This method will be the ideal time to align your team’s goals with the rest of your business’s goals.)
4. Pick a Content Management System.
Decide on which content management system that you can use to easily manage all of your contents. A few crucial elements of content management include content creation, content publication, and content analytics.
If you are a HubSpot customer, you are able to plan, create, publish, and quantify your results all in one place utilizing HubSpot’s own blogging application. Another content management system is a WordPress site hosted on WP Engine.
5. Brainstorm Content Ideas.
It’s time to begin thinking up ideas for your next content project. Here are some tools to get the wheels turning:
This tool can send you a detailed report that will help you enhance and optimize each area and grade areas that need improvement from your content marketing to your social media marketing efforts.
By using this tool, you are able to figure out new content ideas and how to make your website more SEO-friendly.
Get your mind gears going with IMPACT’s unique content generator, BlogAbout. This tool works a bit like Mad Libs, but rather than creating joke sentences, it provides you simple headline formats using blanks where you can fill in.
This brainstorming technique can help you put ideas in contexts that would be appealing to your target audience. As soon as you have a headline you like, BlogAbout enables you to add it to your”Notebook” so you can save your best ideas.
HubSpot’s Blog Ideas Generator
Get blog post suggestions for an entire year with HubSpot’s Blog Ideas Generator. All you need to do is enter general subjects or terms you want to write about, and this content generator does all the job for you.
Feedly is a popular RSS feed that provides a way to keep track of topics that are trending while finding article ideas simultaneously.
Discover popular content and content ideas at BuzzSumo. This company offers a number of market research tools, one of which utilizes media shares to decide whether a piece of content is well-liked and popular.
Subsequently, this information helps you see if you were to create content about them which content ideas would do well.
Blog Post Headline Analyzer
CoSchedule‘s tool analyzes titles and headlines and provides opinions on search volume, word choice, grammar, and length. Run a title options through the Headline Analyzer to move your idea along, and to see how to make it stronger if you have an idea in mind.
6. Determine which kinds of content you would like to produce.
There is an assortment of content options out there. Here are some of the most popular content formats marketers are currently creating, and resources and templates to get you started:
Types of Content Marketing
If you haven’t already noticed, you’re currently skimming through a blog article. Blog posts live on web site and must be published in order to attract visitors.
Posts should offer content to your audience which makes them prone to share posts on networking and across websites. We recommend that blog articles be 2,000 and between 1,000 words in length, but experiment to determine whether your audience prefers shorter or longer reads.
Take a look at HubSpot’s free blog post templates for writing great how-to, listicle, curation, SlideShare presentation, and newsjacking articles on your personal blog.
Ebooks are tools that potential customers can download after submitting a form with their contact details. They’re published less often than blog articles, which can be written to entice visitors to a site, and typically more comprehensive.
Ebooks are another step from the inbound marketing process: After reading a blog post (such as this one), visitors might want more information.
This is where calls-to-action (CTAs) come into play, directing people to a landing page where they can submit their contact info and download an ebook to find out more precious information for their business.
Subsequently, the company has a new lead for the sales staff.
Case studies, also known as testimonials, are your opportunity to tell the story of a client who succeeded in solving a problem by working with you.
A case study is possibly your type of content marketing because it can take many different forms. Some of the common forms are blog article, ebook, podcast or even an infographic.
Your goal in a case study is to show the people that are considering your product the evidence is in the pudding. You should determine also the area of your business to which you are trying to drive value and which form the testimonial will take, before choosing a customer for a case study.
Templates are a useful content format to try since they generate leads for you while providing tremendous value to your audience. When you give your audience with tools that are the template to save them time and help them succeed, they are more likely to keep engaging with your content in the future.
Infographics visualize and can organize information in a way that is more compelling than words alone. These are content formats if you are trying to share plenty of data to use.
Videos are an extremely engaging content medium that is shareable across multiple sites and networking platforms.
Videos require a larger investment of time and resources than written articles, but as visual advertising increases in popularity — after all, it is 40X more likely to receive shared on social networking than other forms of content — it is a medium worth experimenting with.
Starting a podcast will help audiences find your brand if they don’t have time or interest in reading articles every day.
The number of podcast listeners is growing — in 2018, nearly one-third of the U.S. population has listened to a podcast in the last month. If you have interesting people to conversations or interview to host, think about podcasting as another content format with.
As soon as you’ve been publishing content on your own site for some time, it might be time to start thinking about distributing your articles on other websites.
This could indicate publishing website content on various social networks — or repurposing content and publishing them creating original content for sites that are external — such as Medium.
Posting on social networking is pivotal to delivering your content to your clients where you know they spend their time and amplifying the reach of your brand.
Common social networks that businesses usually use to post include:
You can also interact with other businesses that have a similar audience as your own. That your followers expect to see when launching a company account on any of the social networks above, it’s important to post the sort of content.
On Instagram, for instance, users want photographs, videos, and images that reflect current events, show off user-generated content or even go behind the scenes of your organization.
On Facebook, for what to article, your choices open up a bit: Not only can you share blog content and your blog posts, but you can post product promotions, native Facebook videos, and first memes that resonate with your customers.
While the aim of media sites like Instagram or Snapchat is to connect more intimately with your audience, your goal on platforms like Facebook and Twitter would be to expand that audience, drive traffic toward your site, and begin conversations.
Do some market research to discover which platforms your buyers are on, and mold your articles to their expectations. There are a plethora of content types to diversify your site when you are ready for ideas. Check them out below:
7. Publish and manage your content.
Your marketing plan should go beyond the types of content you will create — it should also cover you will organize your content. With the help of an editorial calendar, you will be on the right path for publishing a well-balanced and varied content library on your site.
Lots of the ideas you think about will be evergreen — as they are now, they are just as important months from now. That being said, timely topics shouldn’t be ignored by you either. They can help you create spikes of traffic while they may not be the majority of your calendar.
You don’t have to limit yourself, although people today count on integrating holidays like Thanksgiving and New Year’s in their marketing efforts. If there are it could be worth publishing articles in social networking or on your blog.
We know this is lots of information, but the job has just begun. It takes time, organization, and creativity to cultivate a marketing strategy that is content that is successful.
Setting up your plan for the new year won’t be a hassle if you follow the steps and explore the resources here to incorporating tools to better manage your content from building the base of your content marketing plan.
Keyword research is just as useful as other components in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) when it comes to enhancing more growth in your business especially when you want to get ranked on top positions in SERP (Search Engine Results Pages).
The underlying power of keyword research is that it provides you better insights on understanding your target audience. This can be in terms of how are they searching for your content, services, or products offered on your site.
In addition to that, doing keyword research also shows you a complete search analysis for questions like:
What is your target audience wanting to find out?
How many people are looking for the same information?
What type of content do they want for that information?
In this article, you’ll get to know how to do proper keyword research using the right keyword research tools and tips to get your site ranked faster on search engines.
Before going any further, let’s take a look at the definition of keyword research below.
What is Keyword Research?
Keyword Research is the core SEO step that involves identifying and analyzing certain phrases and terms that people are looking for in the search engines.
Why Keyword Research Matters?
By doing keyword research, it allows you to know what to rank for in the search engines as well as give you a strong insight on how high or low the search volume is for those keywords.
The keyword research also enlightens you on how competitive certain keywords are. Consequently, this will tell you how easy or difficult it will be to rank for that particular keyword on organic search results.
For your information, doing keyword research isn’t just about finding out how many searches have been made for that particular keyword – it’s also about finding out what are the topics and queries that people are interested to know.
Thus, from doing keyword research based on popular topics, high search volume, and general search intent, you’re able to create content that can solve the questions that your audience wants to find out.
Now that you have grasped the idea behind keyword research, it’s important for you to target the right types of keywords. This is because a successful keyword research strategy begins from finding out the best keyword opportunities that can increase traffic, qualified leads, and conversions for your site.
Types of Keywords
Before you do proper keyword research, you first should know what are the available types of keywords for your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) strategies.
When it comes to targeting the market segment keywords, the key questions that you first need to think of are like:
“What are the terms or phrases that my market uses to define itself?”
“What are the phrases that my target market uses to describe my brand or business?”
In addition to that, market segment keywords are extremely important for your SEO on-page optimization. By following the best SEO practices, adding market segment keywords will help boost in content creation for your site or blog.
Also, using market segment keywords are very helpful when you want to seek for link building opportunities. Every marketer should know that getting other websites to link back to your website can drive referral traffic and increase your website’s authority.
For more information on the basics of link building in SEO, you can check out the article here.
The customer-defining keywords are the specific search phrases that are focused on your target customers. If your business is customer-oriented, this type of keyword should be your main target.
In order for you to know what phrases or terms that your customers use to describe themselves, you may ask yourself these questions first:
“What do my target customers define themselves?”
“How do my target customers refer themselves in their group?”
These questions will help your research in finding the right keywords for your target customers. Besides that, the importance of choosing the right customer-defining keywords is that it will guide you in discovering other customer groups that may relate to your target audience.
In simpler words, you may be able to develop a connection with potential customers that want or need your products or services.
So, by having a strong understanding of how to use customer-defining keywords, you are able to create powerful content for your site, develop strong link-building opportunities and create new connections with potential customers online.
Product keywords define what you sell in your business. They are the specific terms that your target audience uses to search for your brand offerings in the search engine.
The main importance of product keywords is that they are very detailed and straightforward. Your target audience will know what exactly they are looking for in their search queries and this will bring them closer to know more about your products or services offered.
In addition to that, product keywords allow you to narrow down your market segments that are loyal and devoted to your brand, product type or style. By finding out these segments, you’ll be able to acknowledge product enthusiasts that you can approach for linking and brand building.
Thus, it’s been proven that product keywords can be a great starting point for your keyword research strategy as well as to build your site and blogs for content creation.
In comparison with other targeting keywords types, branded keywords are search terms or phrases that you include your brand’s name or variations of the brand name.
These variations can be your brand name along with your product type, product name, or any other elaborative phrase. For example, Nike running shoes, Adidas sportswear, etc.
The main usage of branded keywords is to increase your consumer traffic to your site that may haven’t heard of your brand or your company while improving your marketing strategies for consumers that are familiar with your brand who look for information on your website.
However, it is crucial to always monitor what your audience searches for your brand including the brand names of your competitors. Doing clear research on your brand keywords will allow you to:
Identify any faulty error or unclear parts on your website in order for you to serve your audience better and have a smooth website experience.
Plan a strategic company’s content strategy that can help your customers understand your site’s features seamlessly.
Acknowledge any weaknesses of your products or services that your customers experience
Just like how it sounds, geo-targeted keywords are the keywords that are targeted based on location. It is the keyword type that directs your audience to a certain set of localized results that are close to them, or in any other region, they are interested in.
How does it work? Well, formerly known as AdWords, Google Ads provides a feature for search advertisers to set certain locations for their ad to be shown.
This tactic is usually common for businesses that rely on foot traffic and/or home-specific deliveries like restaurants, brick-and-mortar stores, and E-commerce sites.
If you need further information on geo-targeted keywords, you can have a read through the article here on geo-targeting.
2. Keywords by Length
Another method that you can use to optimize your keyword research is by their length. There are three types of keywords by length which they are:
Let’s take a look at each of them below.
1. Short-tail keywords
Short-tail keywords or also known as generic keywords are search phrases that are usually made up of one or two words. Sometimes, short-tail keywords are also called as head keywords.
The characteristics of short-tail keywords that you should know are:
High search volume
High competitive rate
Generic search intent
Low conversion rate
It can be used as a theme keyword that constantly appears on your site page
2. Mid-tail keywords
As for mid-tail keywords, they fall in between short-tail keywords and long-tail keywords as shown in the table below.
Usually, the search phrases for mid-tail keywords are made up of two to three words and they are a little bit descriptive compared to short-tail keywords.
3. Long-tail keywords
In comparison to short-tail and mid-tail keywords, the long-tail keywords are search phrases that are very specific and mainly targeted to your focus topic or audience.
The main characteristics of the long-tail keywords that you need to know are:
Have a low volume of search traffic
Low competition rate
Users use long-tail keywords for a more specific search intent
It can be used on targeted pages like your company’s product page or blog posts.
3. On-Site Keywords
As forOn-site keywords, this refers to the types of keywords that you’ll use for content creation like new blog posts or landing pages.
These types of keywords consist of:
Related or LSI keywords
A primary keyword refers to the principal keywords on your webpage that you want to rank. Every page of your SEO content should have one primary keyword that you are targeting.
In addition to that, you should always optimize the keywords you’re targeting for using the designated keywords optimization tools. This method is to help the search engines, as well as your readers, understand the content of your page and promote the chances of ranking.
If you need further understanding of how to pick the best primary keyword for your page, you can check out this article here on The Essential Keyword Optimization Cheat Sheet for Better SEO.
Related or LSI Keywords
Related or LSI keywords (latent semantic keywords) are the conceptually related phrases or terms that search engines use to understand the content on your webpage.
Do take note that LSI keywords are not literally synonyms of your primary keyword. Instead, they are the phrases that closely linked to your target keyword.
For example, say your primary keyword is ‘running‘. The synonym for running is sprinting. However, that’s not an LSI keyword. If your primary keyword is ‘running‘, your LSI keywords are probably things like “running shoes“, “running benefits“, etc.
These keywords are used to support the primary keyword in your page content. Each page of your SEO content should have one primary keyword and three to four LSI keywords that would provide extra context to your page.
Consequently, the search engines will be able to understand your content page and this will increase your chances to rank consistently.
You may check out this article here for more information on LSI Keywords.
4. Google Ads Keywords
Google Ads or formerly known as Google AdWords, are the specific keywords that you will use for targeted advertising campaigns. There are certain types of Google Ads keywords that you need to know which they are:
Broad match keywords
Phrase match keywords
Exact match keywords
Before we go any further on these types of Google Ads keywords, you can refer to the infographic below for a more understanding of how does Google Ads works including some important factors like cost-per-click and quality score.
When your search phrase is set as a broad match keyword, Google Ads system will automatically run your ad for any search that has relevant variations of it which include synonyms, possible misspellings, or other related topics.
For example, look at the table below.
2. Phrase Match Keywords
A phrase match keyword is a specific search term that you target in Google Ads. In comparison to broad match keywords, phrase match keywords are more specific but more flexible than exact match keywords.
When your search term is set as a phrase match keyword, Google Ads will show your ad to the audience who are looking for the exact keyword or the closest similarity of the exact keyword, with additional words before or after.
Take a look at the example in the table below:
When using phrase match keywords, you can reach out to more audience while targeting your ad to your focused customers that are searching for your products or services.
3. Exact Match Keywords
As for exact match keywords, it is the specific keywords where you can display your ad to the audience who are looking for the exact keyword, or closely relevant to your exact keyword.
For instance, whether your audience is looking for “running shoes” or “shoes for running“, both remain the same which they’re looking for running shoes.
Having close variants of exact match keywords allows you to build connections with potential customers that are looking for your business though they may be some disparities in the keywords they search for.
These close variants include misspellings, singular or plural forms, abbreviations, etc. Let’s take a look at the example shown in the table below:
Among the four Google Ads keywords types, exact match keywords provide you full control over who can see your ad and potentially result in high clickthrough-rate (CTR).
4. Negative Keywords
Negative keywords are the phrases that you exclude from your ad campaigns and allow you to only target for the right keywords that matter to your audience.
In other words, using negative keywords is to prevent your ad from being shown to irrelevant search queries that may appear to be similar.
For example, let’s say you’re an optometrist selling eyeglasses, you may want to add negative keywords for search phrases like “wine glasses” or “drinking glasses”.
In addition to that, there are a few key points that you need to keep in mind when using negative keywords for your search campaign which they are:
[Brackets] represents a keyword in exact match
“Quotations” refer to a keyword in phrase match
(+) Pluses refer to keyword in a modified broad match
No notation at all means standard broad match
(-) Minuses represent a negative keyword before a keyword
For more information on negative keywords, check out the post here on The Beginner’s Guide to Using Negative Keywords. You can watch the video below to have a clear clarification on using negative keywords.
5. Buyer Keywords
The buyer keywords are the phrases or terms that your audience uses to purchase your products or services. There are three types of buyer keywords which each of them refers to a different type of search intent.
These types of buyer keywords are as follows:
1. Informational Keywords
Informational keywords or “know” keywords are search phrases that your audience uses when they want to look for general information about a particular topic.
The audience typically uses informational keywords when they’re at the awareness phase of the purchase funnel. In this phase, they know they have a problem or a need but they aren’t sure how to solve it or fulfill the need.
Therefore, they use informational keywords to look for solutions and answers. For example, “what’s the best running shoes”.
2. Navigational Keywords
Navigational keywords or “go” keywords are search terms that your audience keys in when they want to visit a webpage for a specific brand, product or services.
Searchers usually use the navigational keywords when they’re at the consideration phase of the purchase funnel. In this phase, they are doing researches on different brands that can provide them the best solution to their problems.
For example, “Nike running shoes”.
3 Transactional Keywords
Transactional keywords or also known as “do” keywords are phrases that your audience uses when they’re ready to make purchases and they use this keyword when they’re in conversion phase.
This means they have made their decision on the products or services they’re ready to purchase. So, they use specific buying keywords to help them find the right place to make their purchases.
For example, “best deals on Nike running shoes”, “Nike shoe A vs shoe B”, “Nike vs Puma”
Now that you’ve identified the importance of choosing and understanding the right types of keyword, it is also important to know how can you effectively plan them out?
Let’s take a look at the keyword research strategies below.
Keyword Research Strategies
The idea of doing keyword research is more than just increasing traffic to your website from the organic search results. Digital marketing has now evolved tremendously and most everything is done online now.
The main goal of doing keyword research is to understand how your target audience looks for information in the search engines.
While there are several types of keywords available, the concept of planning a keyword research strategy is essential in order for you to know how you can provide your audience as well as the search engines with the utmost value.
Listed below are 4 essential practices that you can begin with for an effective keyword strategy planning.
Establish Objectives & Key Results
Target Audience Behaviour
Identify Opportunities & Priorities Through Strong Data
Pillar Content & Topic Cluster Approach
1. Set Objectives & Key Results
Before performing an effective keyword research strategy planning, it is important for you to set clear objectives and key results that you aim to achieve in your content strategy.
The common keyword research metrics that you need to keep track of are:
Position on SERPs
Keyword search volume
Keyword competition score
There are plenty of keyword research tools like Moz Keyword Explorer, SEMrush, etc. that can help you keep track and review your keyword performance. These tools provide you clear query data that your audience has been searching for and from this data, you can know what keywords you can target.
2. Target Audience Behaviour
Once you have figured out the objectives and key results that you plan to achieve to determine the effectiveness of your keyword research strategy, the next step is to target your audience’s behavior.
You can determine this by identifying the topics that your audience is interested in your industry through a list of questions that your customers and prospects are wanting to know.
You can look into forums, social groups, review sites, etc. where your audience usually goes to get solutions for their queries.
In addition to that, you can also look for information through surveying and researching your target audiences such as analyzing the report in Google Search Console and Google Analytics.
By doing this, you’re able to know what are the keywords you’ll be considering using for your keyword research strategy. You may consider using Keywords Everywhere to get estimations on search volume, competition, and cost-per-click (CPC) for the keywords you’re targeting for in search engines.
3. Identify Opportunities & Priorities Through Strong Data
The next thing you can do for an effective keyword research strategy planning is to identify your keyword opportunities and priorities by analyzing your current keyword performance and competition.
You can try using software like Google Analytics and SEMRush to analyze your keyword metrics like its current ranking position, search volume, and competition rate.
Once the metrics have been analyzed, it is important for you to record these metrics in a keyword research template to track your keyword performance.
Also, you may use color-coding criteria for red=high, yellow=medium, and green=low to organize your keywords according to its priorities. These priorities are following based on your target keywords search volume and competition score as well as the ranking on SERPs.
The description of the mentioned color-coding criteria are as follows:
At this phase, you should have understood your key objectives and results, your target audience’s behavior as well as understanding your keywords opportunities according to its performance on SERPs.
After getting these steps done, you need to make sure how it all combines together. This is the part where you’ll use the pillar content and topic cluster approach. Let’s take a look at it below.
4. Pillar Content & Topic Cluster Approach
So, what is the pillar content & topic cluster approach?
The pillar content and topic cluster approach is a search engine optimization strategy that was created to respond to the changes that search engines are making and also one of the most efficient ways to get your target keywords ranked.
What is Pillar Content?
Pillar content is known as an extensive resource page or long article that encompasses a specific topic in detail and links to high-quality content on the same webpage that discusses on the subtopic keywords.
For more information, you can check out an article here on the 5 Steps to Developing Successful Pillar Content.
What are Topic Clusters?
Topic clusters are 6 to 8 articles that link to your supporting topics and subtopic keywords that are related to your pillar. These topic clusters are usually in the form of a blog post and landing pages that are connected to your pillar content.
When forming a keyword research strategy for pillar content and topic clusters, you have to scout for opportunities to classify the keywords that you are targeting, including synonyms and the variations of keywords being used, and find ways to add the existing content into your strategy.
This article has entailed how can you do proper keyword research for your website beginning from the types of keywords
Search Engine Optimization or in a shorter term, SEO, is a method to increase the quality and quantity of your website traffic through organic search results in search engines. Along with that, this will also increase the audience engagement on your web-page.
Search engines are web-based tools that allow users to discover information on the World Wide Web. Popular search engine platforms are like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.
You may probably have heard or glanced through this term before, but not many marketers could grasp the ideas of SEO due to its complexities and broad functionalities that it holds.
Let’s take a look at the basic knowledge of SEO deeper.
Basic Knowledge of SEO
To fully understand what goes into SEO, we have broken down the basic definition of it into parts:
Quality of traffic: The term ‘quality‘ here means you’re not only trying to attract the audience to your website, but you’re also trying to get them genuinely interested in the products and services that you offer.
Quantity of traffic: ‘Quantity‘ here refers to the amount of engagement your web page is receiving when you have the right target audience clicking through the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Organic results: When you search for something in Google, it gives you two types of search results – paid and organic.
In this case, organic results refer to Web page search results that nearly match your search query based on relevance. Also known as “natural” search results, getting high ranking in organic results is what SEO all about. Take a look at the figure below for your guidance.
Meanwhile, paid results mean that you, as website owners, have your web pages paid to display for certain keywords on the search engine results pages. So, the search listings will show up when your target audience runs a search query containing those keywords.
You can easily differentiate between paid and organic results based on their positionings in the search engine page results. Take a look at the figure below for your clarification on the differentiating paid results and organic results.
The Importance of SEO
In today’s era of modern business digitalization, SEO marketing is essential for companies that want to get noticed on the search engine platforms as this has become an important factor in today’s business promotion.
As of 2017, around 46.8% of the world’s population accessed the Internet and the number of Internet users has been increasing ever since.
According to the Internet Live Stats, almost 40,000 search queries are processed by Google per second on average. This translates to an average of 3.5 billion searches are made daily along with 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide.
This means that search engines like Google serve millions of users per day hoping to find answers to their questions or solutions to their problems.
Let’s say you have an online shopping website or blog, SEO will be able to help your business expand largely to new markets and achieve your business goals.
Listed below are the importance of SEO that you may not realize and how does it influence your business presence. Thus, search engine optimization is important because:
Most of the Internet users are more likely to pick the top 3 to 5 search suggestions on the search engine results pages. Thus, you should take advantage of this to attract your target audience to your website.
The ability of SEO does not only limit to increase your website ranking but good practices of SEO will allow your target audience to have a good digital experience including your web page functionalities.
Being ranked in the top positions of search results pages for the keywords that your audience is searching for will promote good user’s trust within the website.
It’s a good tool for social marketing of your website. When your website is searchable on Google or Yahoo, your target audience is more likely to ‘sell’ it on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
It is crucial to make sure the running process of your website goes smoothly. If more than one author coordinates your website, you can benefit from SEO in both direct and indirect ways.
The direct benefit of SEO is that it boosts the search engine traffic while its indirect benefit is allowing you to have a common framework to use before posting any content on your website.
Increases your website’s competitiveness. Say if there’s a website selling identical products and services like yours, your search engine optimized website will have a higher chance to attract more customers and therefore, increases your sales.
So, would you ignore these benefits of SEO to commercialize your business digitally? I bet you wouldn’t!
Now that you have known most of the basic knowledge of SEO, let’s move on to what are their approaches that you need to know.
The Approaches to SEO
There are 3 main approaches that you can implement to execute SEO for improving your website’s ranking in the search engine platforms.
These approaches are Black Hat, White Hat & Grey Hat. The main differences between these approaches are the time taken to see the results, the costs, and risks involved as well as the values it produced.
The details of these different approaches are summarized below for your clarification.
1. White Hat SEO
White Hat SEO is referring to SEO practices that are parallel to most search engines’ terms and conditions and this includes Google. This approach is basically the opposite of Black Hat SEO.
In general, White Hat SEO specifies the methods that can improve your search rankings on the search engine results page (SERP) that are within the right search engine guidelines while protecting your website’s integrity.
Using this approach, it will reduce the likeliness to get your website negatively affected by search engine algorithm updates that are consistently done 500-600 times yearly.
Recognizing the Techniques and Examples of White Hat SEO
However, though the results of using this approach may take a longer time as you are not using any cheat and shortcut for your site, the White Hat SEO approach will give your site a lasting growth in rankings.
On the contrary, Black Hat Seo opposes differently compared to White Hat SEO. Let’s take a look at the explanation below on understanding the Black Hat SEO.
2. Black Hat SEO
Black Hat SEO refers to the method of applying SEO practices that do not comply with search engine guidelines and therefore, creates dangerous risks that may result in your website to be banned from search results.
In simpler words, Black Hat SEO is a practice that contradicts to White Hat SEO, by using ways that are not allowed by search engines, such as cheating or breaking the scatter machine.
As mentioned earlier, using Black Hat SEO can get your website banned and restricted from Google or other search engine platforms.
Getting caught in using Black Hat SEO techniques nowadays are not easily avoidable. This is because the existing search engines have become more advanced than ever and one of them is detecting the Black Hat techniques applied by itsusers.
While this technique may give you faster results and temporary success, over time there will be devastating penalties by search engines if Black Hat practices are detected on your rankings and traffic.
The infographic below illustrates the differences between White Hat SEO vs Black Hat SEO that you should know before implementing the right SEO method for your site.
3. Grey Hat SEO
While there is White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO, there is another approach that lies in between these 2 approaches called Grey Hat SEO.
The practices in Grey Hat SEO are riskier than White Hat SEO, but it may or may not result in getting your site banned from search engines.
However, it is important to have a clear understanding of this approach. This is because they are slightly unethical and the tactics are not normally outlined in the webmaster guidelines. Also, its terms of service are a bit vague.
Let’s take a look at each of these techniques carefully.
Cloaking is a technique of showing users a different result than it does the search engine. In simpler words, it is a form of 2 different pages of the same URL. It is considered to be a risky method for Google as it violates its rules.
Try to watch the video below by Matt Cutt for a clearer understanding of cloaking in practicing SEO.
It is mentioned in the video that cloaking is not a method that is approved by Google. This is because cloaking can be done through changing meta information so that it doesn’t plagiarise the original content and alter the IP address of the site.
2. Purchasing Old Domains
This method describes the purchasing of an old website that has been abandoned or the owner itself is inactive for a long time.
You can purchase the old domains as a method to create backlinks in order to increase your search rankings by using the domains with high authority, domain age, etc.
However, this method may be a bit risky as Google may detect this action and decide it doesn’t count.
Either way, it is not costly to achieve the SEO advantage. The figure below shows the screenshot from a video about buying expired domains that Brian Dean from Backlinko did for Quicksprout.
For more information on buying old domains, you can check out this article here by Neil Patel as he explained clearly on the steps to purchase the domains available.
3. Duplicating Content
Content duplication will not increase your rank on search engine results pages (SERP). This is because Google or any other search engines can easily detect the copied or dummy content on your website.
If you want to keep the duplicated content on your webpage, you can go for a canonical attribute on URLs. This attribute will notify Google that the content on your site has been duplicated. Hence, your website ranking will be the same.
You can also use plagiarism tools to produce high-quality content. Besides, content with zero plagiarism will lead to a high ranking in SERPs.
4. Fake Reviews
It is recommended by Google to not use this technique. The reason is that using reviews from fake accounts are easily detected by Google by using an IP address or cookies.
5. Social Media Profile Automation and Buying Followers
In social media profile automation, it allows you to create auto social media posts by using specific tools that will help you save time when managing multiple accounts.
Buying followers may seem like a quick idea to increase your page ranking.
However, little did you know that this method means there is no social engagement and possible risks to get your true followers affected by dangerous viruses and malware.
Now the approaches of SEO have been outlined, it is important to know that these approaches distinguish differently. This is summarised in the figure below which shows a visual comparison of the different approaches of SEO.
Though SEO changes over time and its rules are often ill-defined, it is clearly evident that you should not use Black Hat and Grey Hat techniques as it incorporates high risks and may result in dangerous consequences for your site.
Moving on to the next section, there are 2 basic types of SEO that you should acknowledge. They are known as On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO. Let’s take a look at its details below.
2 Basic Types of SEO
1. On-Page SEO
On-page SEO emphasizes on your website and its content. The purpose of using On-page SEO is to allow the search engines and your target audience can easily find, use and understand your page content.
Additionally, On-page SEO mainly helps Google and your website visitors determine whether your content is significantly relevant and potentially useful. This is outlined in the On-page SEO checklist in order to maximize the individual content of your website.
The URL (Uniform Resource Locator) element is usually known as the “website address” which specifies the location of your webpage on the Internet.
It also indicates how to look into that resource which also known as the “protocol’. For example, HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, etc.
To learn more about URLs, you can refer to this article here.
8. Internal and external links
Internal links are known as hyperlinks that lead from one page of a domain to a different page of the same domain.
They are usually on the main navigation page. Besides, internal links are helpful for 3 main reasons:
They provide navigation for users on your website
They create information hierarchy for your website
They help spread the link equity (ranking power) among other websites.
This article here will explain the latest SEO best practices in creating internal links for an SEO friendly-site building.
External links are hyperlinks that lead to (target) an external domain. In layman’s terms, if another website links to you, this considers as an external link to your site and vice versa.
This is further defined in the following details:
Top SEO experts believe that external links are considered to be the most vital element in the ranking power.
External links deliver ranking power variously compared to internal links as they are considered to be third-party votes by the search engines.
SEO experts believe otherwise that the ‘title’ link is used for ranking purposes.
For more information, you can look into the article here about the essential components of External Links in SEO.
2. Off-Page SEO
As for Off-page SEO,it is meant to enhance the influence and strengthen the relationship of your website between other websites. This includes strategies in order to build and maintain your website’s image reputation and authority.
Most Off-page SEO usually refers to high-quality backlinks. This relates to a large set of links connecting your site from trustworthy, relevant and authoritative sites that show your site is valuable and conclusively proved.
In other words, Off-page SEO becomes a center for external ranking signals like backlinks and online (unlinked) mentions of your websites/business.
Let’s say your content is relevant to the search queries, Off-page SEO usually helps Google determine to place it in the search results page.
Refer to the figure below, it will show you a clear illustration of the On-page and Off-page SEO landscape for your site.