Defining a Content Led SEO Strategy
Content-led SEO strategies will usually involve the creation of carefully-worded blog posts, articles, white papers, and anything else that could help to improve backlinks and boost the perceived authority of your B2B technology or software company.
If you publish enough content containing the right keywords, it is possible to ensure your businesses website ranks in reasonable positions within Google search results. However, for those just starting out with this practice, developing the correct approach to content is often challenging.
Use the advice below to make sure your marketing and web teams leave no stone unturned when developing the perfect content-led SEO strategy this year.
Understand Your Audience
Before you do anything else, it is vital that you spend time identifying your audience and learning more about their pain points. When you know the areas in which the audience struggles, it is possible to tailor your content to ensure it deals with those issues. User personas are a key step in successful marketing - we love this tool from HubSpot if you're looking for some help.
It makes sense to speak with your sales team during the process as they are usually the people most likely to know about any problems or queries clients raise during their buyer cycles. You can also conduct some research using surveys, or a larger process using a marketing research agency.
Find out the most common reason for people choosing not to close on a sale, and attempt to design your content in a way that will convince those buyers to keep moving forward.
Conduct Keyword Research
It’s difficult to create content that will reach the right people if you don’t conduct lots of keyword research. All technology and software companies will need to learn about the terms and phrases their target market types into Google when looking for the types of products and services they supply. Sometimes the keywords might not be as obvious as you may think, or you may uncover some hidden gem long tail opportunities.
Use the keyword research as a brief for the content your team needs to create. Be sure to use the keywords throughout your content in a natural manner, and always avoid stuffing because that can ruin your articles. Google is becoming more intelligent than ever, and whilst having keywords present in your content is important, don’t force them in otherwise you could do more harm than good.
Determine The Best Content Types
Most technology companies find that blogging tends to work well when attempting to boost SEO with content-led strategies. However, using more creative and innovative content formats can be a great way of achieving strong backlinks and building value amongst your target audience.
Test out a few different ideas and use Google Analytics to determine which works best with your audience. Once strategy can be to start with a blog post, and if you see it gains some success you can double down and invest in some other formats on the same theme - for example a video interview with one of your team talking about the same topic as the blog post.
Build out Topic Clusters and Pillar Pages
Just when you think you know B2B SEO, it changes again. Google's algorithm is always on the move, and over time the behaviour of searchers has changed too.
What is a pillar page?
A pillar page is the foundation around which a topic cluster is built. It is usually a fairly comprehensive piece of content that covers a general topic (sometimes pillar pages are referred to as Skyscraper content). Pillar pages are usually fairly length in terms of word count too. Your pillar pages answer all of the key questions that your buyer personas might have around the subject you are writing about.
You can then build out topic clusters of relevant related keywords around each pillar page, and link the cluster content you produce back to the pillar page.
This approach to structuring content has seen great results recently, and as a content led approach to SEO seems to be an approach Google is a fan of when it comes to ranking sites on the results pages.
Explore ‘tools’, not just ‘words’
Writing words is great and Google will look kindly on rich, helpful and well written blog content. But think a bit more creatively, and you may find some great opportunities to invest in creating innovative and interactive pieces of content.
Remember, successful inbound marketing is about being useful and helpful. If you can provide a tool or piece of functionality that your customers might find useful, this is a step in the right direction.
It might be a handy spreadsheet you make available as a download, it might be an interactive page that provides insights or research in an innovative format, or it might be a calculator tool that allows users to receive some useful insights.
Unique, engaging and genuinely useful content is far more likely to get people talking and generating links back to your site.
Work Out How To Measure Success
It’s hard to know if you’re making headway if you don’t work out how to measure the success of your efforts. Being as we’re talking about SEO in this article, it makes sense that your team should continually check how the website ranks for each of the keywords you aim to target.
If the ranking of your pages improves, there is a reasonable chance the content you published is having a positive effect. Some SEO tools will allow you to monitor the number of backlinks to your content, so you can see who is talking about you.
It’s also possible to determine success by the number of shares and interactions you get from each content piece you publish. Taking a look at both of those metrics should assist your team in refining their efforts and improving results for the future.
Now you know a little more about content-led SEO strategies and how to put them in place, it’s time to show this article to members of your team and ask them to begin working towards improving your website’s search engine rankings.
Don’t expect to see amazing results overnight, but if you use this concept as part of your wider SEO approach, it should help to give your tech company an advantage over at least some of your competition.
Want to know more? Read more: Guide to SEO for B2B Tech Companies