For a long time, content has reigned supreme, but just because you wrote something doesn’t imply it will bring qualified traffic to your website. It doesn’t even ensure that your material will be found in search results. According to August 2021 data from Ahrefs’ Tim Soulo, 90 percent of web content receives no traffic from Google. The key to creating good SEO content is to plan ahead. I’m sure there are some authors that just type out bangers from their heads. But they’re few and far between. The rest of us rely on careful planning and execution. So, how can you create SEO material that gets results?
At this year’s SMX Create, Aja Frost, HubSpot’s head of English SEO, discussed exactly that. Her top tips for getting your content higher in search engine results are addressed in this session, which was one of the most popular during the event.
How to come up with measurable metrics for your SEO content objectives?
“What do I want to see on the Y-axis?” says Frost, who suggests visualizing a chart like the one below:
“On the Y-axis, figure out what would make your employer [or] your client ecstatic,” she stated. It’s more than likely not traffic, but rather leads, appointments, and purchases – all of which should be your ultimate goal. Those final goals will be reached thanks to the traffic goals. “This is why we start with demand targets and then [divide] by your past or predicted conversion rates to get our traffic goals.”
Demand Goals ÷ historical (expected) conversion rates = Traffic Goals
You could be thinking to yourself at this point, “That’s fantastic, but I have no idea what my expected conversion rates are.” Here’s how you can find out: Frost advised, “Take your demand actuals over the last 12 to 24 months… and compare them to your traffic actuals from the same time period.” “Sum up your preferred demand measure divided by your organic traffic, and there you have it. You have your CVR.”
If you don’t have this information, you’ll have to go outside the box to come up with a comparable conversion rate. You can leverage comparable CVRs from other assets you’ve been working on if you’re producing a new product or service, for example.
Next, calculate the demand you wish to generate over the next 12 months and divide it by your current or predicted CVR. This provides you with traffic targets.
Once you’ve established these objectives, you should determine where you’d end up if you did nothing. “Unless you have no content right now,” Frost warned, “your traffic will grow regardless of what you do.” “So you can figure out how much additional traffic and conversions you need to generate by figuring out where you’d land if you did nothing and the gap between that and what you need to grow.”
Next, figure out how much monthly search traffic you’ll need to make up the gap between your forecasts and how your content would increase if nothing was done. Frost suggests analyzing the CTR curve and estimating SERP positions 1-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10 on the first page of search results. “You can calculate your MSV [monthly search volume] predictions by positions by multiplying your weighted CVR by the traffic you need to generate,” added Frost.
How to conduct persona-based keyword research?
Create or modify your personas first. “When I speak with advanced SEOs, this is frequently a phase they skip,” Frost added. She does, however, advise SEOs of all ability levels not to skip this stage. “The more detailed your insights and the more fully you understand your personas, the more extensive and accurate your list of seed keywords will be.” These personas are the source of all of your target keywords in the research process.
What industry they work in, how big their department is inside their firm, and what equipment they require to complete their duties. Some of the basic persona questions you’ll need to answer. So, if you discover that your target persona works in the hospitality business and has a two-person team. Also, a 24-person firm that they frequently use tools for hotel reservations and accounting. You’ll know that “hotel management software” is a seed term.
Develop your seed keyword list from there, expanding it to include relevant short-tail keywords and then down to long-tail keywords. Frost provides a few alternative keyword research tools. That SEOs may not be aware of, in addition to the traditional tools (Ahrefs, Moz, and Semrush). Using several tools also means you’ll gain information that other SEOs exploring this area may lack. Keyword Keg, Bing’s keyword research tool, and seed keyword, which allows you to ask your target audience. Also, how they would search for a specific topic, are two of her recommended resources.
After that, sort through the list based on what you know about each persona and decide what’s important and what’s not. “Filter, categorize, and arrange your keywords together. So, you can create SEO content quickly,” Frost suggested.
After you’ve compiled your list of seed keywords. Enter them into your preferred tool and download search suggestions.
Frost then divides searches into three categories based on their purpose: informative, transactional, and navigational. “Modifiers like ‘who, what, where, when, and why are used in informational queries.” “Transactional searches include pricing, cost, and promotion questions. While navigational queries are particular to the brand or product you’re researching,” Frost said.
SMX can provide you with more information on On-demand creation
This is only a sample of what’s available from the wildly successful SMX Create event on demand. Check out the remainder of Aja Frost’s presentation, as well as the rest of the SEO content development journey, which includes…
- The Motley Fool’s Alli Berry discusses how to create captivating content for SEO.
- Niki Mosier of AgentSync discusses how to improve the findability of your content.
- Maria Amelie White of Floristpro and John Shehata of Conde Nast discuss alternative content tactics for increasing organic traffic and tracking progress in 2021.
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