Results generated from SEO campaigns are not out of fluke. Success in SEO is the byproduct of a well-thought-out strategy that includes all aspects of optimization – on-page, off-page, technical, and above all, content.
What you are about to read is a strategy that no business will reveal for fear of adaptation. However, we believe the way forward for SEOs is to facilitate each other within the industry with the knowledge that one possesses.
Here is the strategy we follow to consistently outrank industry leaders such as Moz and Search Engine Land with our content.
Content Strategy Based on Quality and not Quantity
When your content is as informative as it can be, both users and search engines will love it. This is why our content department zeroed-down on a three-step content strategy.
Step 1: Find Content Ideas that Interests the Audience
This is the most important step that can determine whether or you will earn organic traction. Be it the most prolific writer in your bag, if the content is about a subject that your target audience cares the least, expecting traffic would be like “Waiting for Godot”.
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If you want the next two steps to work in tandem to drive more organic traction, you have to ensure that the topic ideas that you select are based on the interest of the target audience. You can use tools such as Ask the Public, Ahrefs and SEMrush to filter ideas that are worth writing on.
Step 2: Segment the Content into Cluster and Pillar
If you want to rank in the industry as an expert, it’s vital to ensure that your website has content that talks about the most basic to the most advanced techniques within the industry. In addition to that, not all content will drive you thousands of organic users monthly, which means the amount of effort required to build the content must be adjusted accordingly.
Pillar Content: Pillar articles are generated based on the traffic potential of the topic idea. If a topic has the potential to drive 10,000 organic users per month, then ranking for it requires better and extensive content than what is already available on the internet.
You have to focus on addressing the topic holistically. This means the content must include details about what is happening around it currently, what has happened in the past, and what may happen in the future. A pillar content has no word-limit; however, if you fail to structure its subtopics, it becomes hard for users to skim through what they are looking for.
The best example for a pillar content is the Google Algorithm Update post that we have on the Stan Ventures website. The content is currently ranking on the featured snippet for one of the most competitive keywords in the SEO fraternity.
Cluster Content: It’s impossible to include all the details within a pillar content. However, missing these important aspects can draw the difference between you and your competitors. To ensure that there are supporting content to help your pillar to rank on top of Google, you must also have a series of clusters content.
Consider clusters as branches of the pillar. The more branches you have, the more authority your pillar will have. Internal linking the pillar and cluster content strategically will help in passing the link juice, helping both contents to rank.
Step 3: Revisit Content by Optimizing it for Striking Distance Keywords
Once you get the content written and published on your website, make a comparison of the number of backlinks that the competitors have created. Even though it’s impossible to create a lot of backlinks in a limited period of time, try to build substantial backlinks naturally through manual outreach to influencers.
There is a very small chance that the content you publish ranks immediately on Google’s first page. That’s why you should keep a tab on the keyword movements for a month using Ahrefs or SEMrush. Once you get the average position of the traffic driving keywords, filter the ones that are on the second and third page of Google SERP.
Improve the information provided in your existing content (both pillar and cluster) either by adding a new subtopic or by adding an FAQ section. Use the striking distance keywords strategically within the content to increase the relevancy.
Continue doing this process for two to three months and you can ensure that the pillar and the corresponding cluster content rank high on the search engines.