The Evolution of SEO Content in 8 Practical Steps
How do you go from the smallest seed of an idea to an impactful piece of content that can be repurposed for many marketing needs? Content creators use many different methods.
In this article, I’ll share a process for creating SEO content that you can use for your SEO program and beyond.
Here are the steps we’ll cover:
- Competition analysis
- Content creation
- Expert review
The idea for a piece of content usually sparks from a problem that your target audience is facing or a topic that you want to educate them on.
Ideas for content can come from anywhere. They may come from the marketing team that is working on driving conversions, the customer service rep who is intimately familiar with your customer base, or the thoughts that pop up as you live and breathe your business and your subject matter every day.
So as you are fishing for content topics, always be listening. Cast a wide net and invite all types of people across the company to contribute.
For more on where to get ideas for you content, read:
You can think of the work you did in the last step as the basis for a new keyword seed list. A “seed list” is basically just a list of topics and keywords you want to write about.
Once you have this list, you can use keyword research tools to refine what keywords you should target for the subject matter. These are the words, phrases and questions you will optimize the webpage content for.
For details on how to find and choose keywords, check out:
- What Is a Seed Keyword and How Can I Use It in My Research?
- 7 Keyword Suggestion and Research Tools to Figure Out the Right Keywords for Your SEO Strategy
- What Are Keywords? Why Are Keywords Important to SEO? And How Do You Do Keyword Research?
- How to Do Keyword Research for SEO
This step is all about planning where the content will go on the website.
Specifically, what topic silo will it be part of? And will the page live within a product or informational section on the site or on the blog? It will probably be fairly intuitive where it belongs.
Once you know how the new page will fit within your site structure, you’ll get a better sense of how you should write the content — will it be sales copy or educational content? You’ll also know what related pages on your site should be linked to in the body text.
To learn more about organizing your site content, read:
You might be surprised that we’re halfway through the evolution of content and haven’t even started writing yet!
But there’s one more preparation step that we recommend performing before you start drafting a new page — analyzing the top-ranked competitors.
Once you have your target keywords, you can use those to analyze the competition in the search results for those key terms. Why is this important? You want to know what search engines like Google think is relevant and quality content for that keyword.
You can figure this out by seeing who ranks on page one for your target keyword and what they are saying about the topic and how they are saying it.
But it doesn’t stop there. Using the right SEO tools, you can dig deeper into the factors for the top-ranked webpages.
For example, using the Bruce Clay SEO WP™ plugin tells you the target word count range that you need to meet based on real-time search engine results for the top-ranked webpages.
This way, you won’t waste time writing 3,000 words when 800 will do — or you’ll know if you need to spend more time writing a piece than you had planned if the top-ranked pages are long form.
You can also get target word counts for the meta information on the page, and a readability score target, so you can ensure your content is written around the same grade level as the competition.
For more on analyzing keyword competitors, read:
- Want Customized SEO Advice per Keyword? There’s a Plugin for That!
- How to Do Competitor Research for SEO
- Competitor Research for SEO: What, Why, How
Now that you have the appropriate targets for the content, including the angle, keywords and grade level, you can get going.
Some like to start with an outline that organizes all the thoughts they’ve come up with during the initial research in the previous steps. Others like to just dive in and start writing.
Every content creator has their own process, so how this step is executed is largely up to the content creators themselves or the company’s procedures.
For instance, one team might create the content outline first, have it signed off then send it to the writer to get going. Another team might just give the writer the keywords and word count and call it a day.
Make sure you are taking into consideration things like Google’s E-E-A-T and its guidance on making content helpful (see links below).
For more on this topic, see:
- What Makes a Webpage Quality?
- The Complete Guide to the Basics of Google’s E-E-A-T
- What to Know About the Helpful Content Update (video)
- Google Search’s Helpful Content System
- Creating Helpful, Reliable, People-First Content
Once the content creator has completed a first draft of a webpage, it should go through at least one round of edits. It’s preferable that the editor is the same person (or people) that proofread all the company or department materials. This ensures consistency.
It may also go through an expert review (possibly before the editor sees it) with a subject matter expert at the company. This is especially important if you are producing content on topics that Google deems “your money or your life.”
Don’t skimp on this step or you risk not being able to rank. Expertness and experience in content is one way Google measures quality, as outlined in its Search Quality Rater Guidelines.
The review process itself may involve more than one person, or it may only involve the content creator and the editor.
Either way, and depending on the process outlined by the content creator or the company, the rounds of edits will continue back and forth until the content is deemed “final.”
To learn more:
The content creator may have already included the target keywords throughout the content, and in that case, this is really an SEO review of that optimization.
But, in some cases, optimization doesn’t happen until after the content is final.
It is useful to have a professional SEO do this part — unless, of course, the content creator is well versed in SEO best practices when it comes to optimization (or at least the company’s guidelines on it so long as they are good guidelines).
The thing you want to avoid here is having it be over-optimized or include keywords in a way that doesn’t seem natural.
In absence of an SEO professional doing the final optimization piece, using SEO tools can help. For example, our WordPress SEO plugin can help anyone — even content creators with no SEO experience — learn how to properly optimize the content the right way.
For more, see:
- What is Content Optimization?
- How a WordPress SEO Plugin Can Help You Optimize Your Content with Keywords
After this step, the content is ready to be published. What comes next is how you can repurpose the content and leverage the work you’ve already done.
Once you have published a webpage, you can start thinking about how that topic can be repurposed into other content for marketing purposes.
Repurposing content takes advantage of all the hard work you’ve put into it ahead of time. Turning that webpage into another form of content is much easier once you’ve done the initial legwork.
Here’s a scenario of how you might repurpose a webpage:
You just published an article to your blog and there are four others already published on the blog around the same topic or theme. You decide to take those five blog posts and turn them into an informative e-book on a topic.
You then think about how that e-book can be used for various marketing or sales purposes. You decide to create a landing page where the e-book can be downloaded, then drive traffic to it through your blog and social media.
When people get to the landing page, they give you their email address in exchange for the download — and voila! You are growing your email list. Then you start to brainstorm all the other ways you can leverage that content …
You give it away to prospective customers after a phone call, you use it as the basis for a webinar presentation, you create a series of videos on your YouTube channel from it, and later down the road, you use it to create an online course.
With a little creativity, there is no limit to how you can make that one optimized webpage work for you in different ways.
Content Is a Process
Creating quality content that will perform takes time and processes. Using the steps outlined in this article can jump-start your content creation process from idea to publication and beyond.
Our team of SEO experts can help you transform your content creation process and take your online presence to new heights. Schedule a free consultation with us.
Crafting SEO content that resonates and remains versatile is a crucial skill for online success. To embark on this journey, it’s essential to understand the intricacies involved in transforming an idea into impactful, repurposable content.
Generating impactful content starts with understanding your audience’s needs. Dive into conversations with your customer service team, engage with market trends and explore industry forums to gather diverse ideas.
Once you have an idea, dive into keyword research. Explore buyer intent search terms related to your idea. Utilize tools to refine your keywords, ensuring they align with your content’s focus.
Plan the structure of your content within your website. Consider the relevance of your topic within different sections. A well-organized site aids in effective content placement and user navigation.
Prior to content creation, analyze competitor strategies. Identify their approaches to similar content. Evaluate their strengths and weaknesses to tailor a unique angle for your content.
Start creating your content while keeping Google’s E-E-A-T principles in mind. Focus on crafting comprehensive, informative and engaging content that fulfills user needs.
Engage subject matter experts to review your content. Their insights ensure accuracy, authority and reliability, crucial for content that falls under “Your Money or Your Life” categories.
Seamlessly integrate researched keywords throughout your content. Strike a balance between optimization and natural flow. Leverage SEO tools for guidance if needed.
Post-publication, explore repurposing options. Convert your content into formats like e-books, webinars, or video series, maximizing its reach and utility.
- Understand your audience’s needs by engaging with customer service teams and industry forums.
- Conduct comprehensive keyword research focusing on buyer intent terms.
- Organize content structure within your website for easy navigation and relevance.
- Analyze competitor strategies to craft a unique angle for your content.
- Create informative content adhering to Google’s E-E-A-T principles.
- Engage subject matter experts for content review, ensuring accuracy and authority.
- Seamlessly integrate optimized keywords for effective SEO.
- Explore diverse repurposing strategies post-publication to maximize content utility.
Transforming an idea into impactful, repurposable SEO content requires a meticulous approach. By understanding audience needs, employing effective keyword strategies and optimizing content, you can create versatile and engaging material that stands the test of digital evolution.