June 21, 2021

Creating Effective Content Strategies Based in SEO

Insights from Content Marketing Expert Josh Spilker of Friday.App

Gone are the days when a 300-word blog with 1 percent keyword density drove traffic and boosted engagement. Today, low-quality content can actually drive site traffic down. Josh Spilker, content strategy expert and Head of Marketing at Friday App, joined host Kriste Goad on How It’s Done to talk about the important difference between search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing, how to drive organic search traffic with quality content and how to leverage such knowledge to develop a successful content strategy.

What is SEO?

According to Moz, “SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.”

SEO caters to the technical side of marketing, making sure your website architecture is in good standing and drives search traffic naturally. It helps find keywords to generate website traffic for your business. Bearpaw Partners says, “Skilled implementation of SEO builds brand awareness and gives websites more authority on certain topics and keywords.” Optimizing for SEO helps search engines highlight your unique services, values or thought leadership content to increase visibility and ranking for relevant searches. The more relevant the content, the higher your content ranks on search engines.

"Your email newsletter audience is going to be a little bit more engaged, probably a little bit more knowledgeable…so what you send to them...should be different than your top-of-the-funnel or even middle-of-the-funnel [content]" – Josh Spilker

What is Content Marketing?

According to the Content Marketing Institute, “Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

The content you create should become a “product” of your brand, meant to drive awareness, nurture leads and engage your target audience. Strong original content establishes your brand with an identifiable voice to share your value proposition with personality.

By establishing consistent, engaging and original content, your brand has the potential to develop a tight-knit relationship with your customers and provide interactive information regarding your market. Whether it’s a blog, social media post, email newsletter or even a podcast (wink), creating content is the best way to get your business in the spotlight. The most successful businesses are able to establish a regular cadence of original content and leverage storytelling and thought leadership to drive traffic and, ultimately, success.

Fire Tip: If you’d like to dive deep into all things content, check out one of Josh Spilker’s favorite blogs, Animalz.co.

How do SEO and content come together for an effective marketing strategy?

According to Spilker, the “golden rule” of content marketing is knowing the purpose of your content and establishing goals based on that purpose. Whether you’re looking to improve site traffic, raise awareness or highlight a service offering – knowing the why behind a piece of content and who it is meant for is imperative to driving traffic.

Regardless of your content goals, applying specific strategies for different funnel level audiences is imperative to your content’s ability to ignite engagement.

“Your email newsletter audience is going to be a little bit more engaged, probably a little bit more knowledgeable… so what you send to them…should be different than your top-of-the-funnel or even middle-of-the-funnel [content],” says Spilker. Pushing content for the sake of keyword stuffing is a recipe for disaster, but catering your content to specific needs of your target audience will give you the right ingredients for an effective content marketing strategy.

To cater your content for specific audiences, you need data. Data may initially sound like numbers and spreadsheets that require a tedious attention to detail. However, it doesn’t always or even necessarily mean that. Even the slightest bit of SEO research on the type of content that is ranking in your market can allow you to better understand the keywords and language to implement into your content so that you, too, will eventually rank.

According to St8mnt, content is an easy way to recognize trends and gauge how the target audience feels and thinks. With content marketing, you can learn to connect and engage in ways your audience cares about. If you want a more in-depth look at ranking data, do a few search analyses and collect data on trending engagement, topics or communication and use this new knowledge to your advantage while building content. To track data involving keywords, SEO, competitors and everything in between, try Keywords Everywhere and MarketMuse. Both of these tools are Spilker-approved!

No content marketing strategy looks the same for every brand, but there is one common denominator: consistency.

When it comes to creating, the devil is in the details and yet, perfection is the enemy of progress. Instead of focusing on perfection, focus on regularly pushing thoughtful content driven by an editorial calendar. Spilker explains that “some content should require more polishing than others, sometimes it is good just to make progress.”

Whether it be two, three, four or even 10 times a week, be sure to engage with your audience in some fashion as conversations in your industry evolve. Timely content is just as important as evergreen content, so it helps to have a healthy mix within your realm of publications. The more meaningful content you have, the more interaction you’ll receive within your community, and the more likely you will be to rank within your market.

While methods to igniting a spark in your content marketing strategy are constantly changing, the core principles remain the same – base your strategy on data, use data to cater content to specific audiences and, of course, be consistent. As you progress in your content marketing efforts, you’ll find that our conversation with Josh Spilker offers a plethora of useful tools, tips and tricks to driving engagement and making top-notch content.

Still curious about how to create an effective content marketing strategy? Subscribe to our YouTube channel and our podcast, How It’s Done, for more!

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