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How to Plan a better SEO Content Marketing Strategy!

Posted 30th March 2023
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Content Marketing Strategy

Do you find that creating your content marketing strategy is often a reactive process? How do we ensure that our content marketing efforts are not just an afterthought, but a key driver of success? The trick is to align it with marketing budget discussions, planning, and organisational goals for better results.

Often search engine optimisation (SEO) isn’t even considered but without it, your content is unlikely to be found in searches. In today’s digital world, an SEO-focused content marketing strategy gets your content onto page 1 of the search engine results. This ensures it is found and read by your target audience. After all, what is the point of creating quality content if it remains unseen? In an earlier blog, we discussed why your content marketing should be SEO-friendly. Today we are discussing how to plan your SEO-focused content marketing strategy.

Let’s break down the steps:

Understand your Target Audience

Any marketer will tell you that your audience is broken down into personas. These personas are created by identifying the needs, wants and behaviours of your audience. Allowing you to determine the messaging that will resonate with them.

To do this you need to understand:

  • What your target audience is searching for!
  • What keywords or phrases they are using in their search.
  • What challenges they are looking to solve!
  • What solutions they are looking for – This is key!
  • When they might be looking for it.

Remember: to be successful you need to deliver the right message, at the right time, to the right person!

Define Your Goals

Your digital goals should align with your business goals.

For example, it is easy to say you want more leads, but how will your content deliver these?  You need to create content designed to help you achieve your goals. Whether it’s to drive more traffic, generate leads or increase your brand awareness.

Utilise PR

If you want your audience to take notice of your content, then it’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and issues in your industry. One way to do this is to follow the key industry media outlets. They’re the ones who have their finger on the pulse and can help you identify these trends.

By doing your research, you’ll be able to identify the topics and issues that are resonating with your target audience. This means that you can craft your content in a way that speaks directly to their needs and interests. Positioning yourself as a go-to expert in your field.

Keyword Research is Crucial

There is a process we undertake here at Essential when we do keyword research for our clients.  

  1. Identify the key topic from your products/services on your website and start brainstorming related keywords and phrases. 
  2. Determine what words and phrases people already use to find products and solutions similar to yours.
  3. Use keyword research tools to generate a list of related keywords and phrases. We use SE Ranking, Google Search Console and Google Keyword Planner.
  4. Review the search volume, competition, and ease of ranking for each of the keywords. Don’t simply focus on keywords with a lot of competition or a high cost-per-click.  Instead, look for longer or more precise terms (long-tail keywords).

Use your target keywords to create optimised content that addresses the search intent behind each keyword. The process of keyword research is ongoing and should be regularly reviewed and updated. this will ensure that you are targeting the most relevant and profitable keywords for your website.

Plan your Topic Cluster

Topic clusters are an incredibly powerful content marketing strategy that can help businesses improve their SEO and provide a more valuable experience for the user. To make the most of this strategy, keyword research is crucial in identifying topics your audience is interested in and any challenges your customer may face that your business can address.

PIllar Pages

The central topic is a pillar page that serves as the hub for a particular topic with links to related subtopics. This pillar page provides a comprehensive overview of the topic; from this, you create additional content for the subtopics that link back to the pillar page. It involves creating 3 or more pieces of content around a central topic. This establishes the business as an authoritative source, while also creating a variety of linked content that improves user experience.

The Buyers Journey

In the tech sector, it is especially important to build pieces of content to support the different stages of the buyer’s journey.  Buyers go through different stages of decision-making before making a purchase, these are awareness, consideration and decision/evidence.

Technology vendors need to effectively guide potential customers towards purchasing and establish themselves as thought leaders in their respective specialisms because their market is typically highly competitive and constantly evolving.

  • Educating your audience is key at the awareness stage, this involves using the terminology of the user, not your business. Company brand champions are often too close to the product or service to communicate the unique benefits without getting lost in the ‘internal language’ barrier. Showing empathy in your marketing is key at this stage. Being customer-centric involves highlighting the challenges or issues that your users may experience and demonstrating that you understand their situation.
  • At the consideration stage, it’s vital to comprehend the problem the user is facing and present them with solutions to the identified challenge (from the awareness stage). Ensure that your content details the benefit of your solution and how it solves their challenges.
  • Once a user has passed the awareness and consideration stages, they move to the decision stage and, it’s essential now to provide more in-depth content, such as case studies, whitepapers, and comparison articles and other benefit-related content.  Providing evidence that a solution works, nudges the prospect closer to making a purchase that solves the problem of keeping them awake at night! They may need more evidence at this point to build their business case, so be sure to provide them with testimonials and reviews that can help provide the necessary evidence to support their decision.

Optimisation of Live Pages

Your SEO content marketing strategy should include new content you intend to create as well as optimising the pages you have already published. To stay ahead of your competition, you should review your pages, and the keywords related to them and optimise them regularly (We recommend as a minimum that you review this quarterly).  

Optimise Your Content

Ensure that your content is optimised for search engines by using keywords in the metadata. Unsure how to go about this? Here we have broken down the process for you.


Our experience has proven that headlines with 60 characters or less perform better than longer headlines. Headlines should include your keyword or phrase and should be unique.

Meta Descriptions

The meta description is the text that will be seen in the search engine rankings page (SERP) so, it’s important to optimise this. Your meta description needs to be less than 150 characters long or it will get truncated when showing in the SERP. The meta description should also include your focus keyword or phrase and should be unique and natural. Do not write the meta description for the search engines, write it for the audience that you want to see it, and don’t simply copy and paste from the blog – ensure it is unique!

Remember: Keyword stuffing is an outdated practice, it is not a natural way to write and in today’s digital world, search engines will penalise you for it.

H1 Tag

You should ALWAYS include an H1 Tag. It should include your focus keyword and should be less than 70 characters long. There should only be one H1 tag per page, which needs to differ from your title/headline. H1 tags are one of the most important elements as they help search engines understand the structure and content of a web page.

H2 Tag

You should try to ensure that you use H2 tags on all pages of your website and that it includes your focus keyword. Comparatively, the H2 tag can be used more than once. The purpose of the H2 tag is to help structure the content for both the user and search engines.

Backlinking is an important element of SEO and refers to the process of having links from external websites to your own website. Backlinking, also known as inbound links, determines your site’s relevance and authority to search engines. With high-quality backlinks, you leverage the website’s domain authority linking to yours.  The higher the authority, the higher influence the backlink has on the content on your website. Gaining quality backlinks improves the chance of moving up the ranks in SERP.

Anchor Text

Anchor text is the clickable text that is used in a hyperlink. The text should be descriptive and should hint at the purpose of the hyperlink.

Example: If you need more information on how to boost your SEO, you should read our top tips for improving your SEO blog.

It is essential to use relevant and descriptive anchor text that accurately reflects the content of the linked page to ensure that users and search engines understand the context of the link.  However, it is crucial that your anchor text is used in a natural and relevant way.

Remove the Lag Effect

Website lag can negatively impact your users’ web experience, engagement, and SEO. Here are our top tips for countering lag.

  • Optimise your website media. This is a topic we have covered before and discussed in depth on how images can ruin your website experience
  • Optimise your website code – remove unnecessary code and minimise data queries. This will improve website speed.
  • Use a caching plugin. This can help improve website speed by caching frequently accessed content and reducing the load on the server.

Boost with PPC

SEO is a long-term strategy, and it can take time to see significant results, especially for high traffic volumes, and new leads. With PPC advertising you can accelerate the process and drive traffic to your website almost immediately.

The data gathered for your SEO strategy can be used to build a PPC campaign. The results of your PPC campaigns, and the optimisations you undertake, can then be used to optimise your SEO further.

Combining both strategies can create a powerful digital marketing campaign that delivers the best results for your business and your company’s bottom line.


Planning your SEO content marketing strategy is integral to the online success of your business. By identifying the elements detailed above you can improve your website search engine rankings, attract more traffic, and ultimately generate more enquiries.

With continued optimisation, and by staying up to date with the latest SEO trends and best practices, you can set yourself apart from your competitors and drive the continued growth of your business.

Remember, SEO content marketing is a long-term strategy that requires consistent effort and (lots of) patience, but the results are well worth it!

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