How To Create a Content Plan to Improve Your SEO Efforts

Making your website SEO-friendly isn’t as easy as plugging in a few keywords and calling it a day. If you want to maximize your rankings on a search engine, continually boost your traffic, and find new readers or customers, you need to create a content plan. 

Content, not keywords, is at the heart of SEO, and building your rankings requires finding the questions people are asking, filling a niche, and meeting demand. These are some pretty open-ended concepts, and it’s worth making a plan in advance.

If you’re completely new to SEO, EngineScout has a great guide to crafting the perfect strategy that will walk you through the basics. 

In this article, we’ll outline how to make a great content plan for your website using keywords, links, and more. Let’s roll up our sleeves and get started.

Decide which types of content you’ll focus on

There are lots of different types of content you can use to market your website and improve your overall SEO rankings. But have you ever heard the phrase “jack of all trades, master of none”? You might be better off focusing on a handful of different types of content appropriate for your niche, rather than overextending if you don’t have the resources. 

Like with anything, you don’t want to spread yourself too thin. Besides, depending on the type of website you have, some of these forms of content might not even be practical or necessary for your purposes. And, when it comes to boosting your rankings with content, it’s better to prioritize quality over quantity.

Let’s break down some of the most popular types of content that can help improve a site’s SEO and figure out what’s right for you.

Case studies

People are drawn to stories. At their heart, that’s all a case study is — a story with explanations and data points that show a business’s success in a particular area. EngineScout’s link building case study is a fantastic example. In it, Jonathan Gorham outlines his 10-minute backlink formula, taking the reader through it step by step. 

Case studies with multi-step processes are perfect for building your authority within your niche. Outlining your processes and explaining your research is a great way to bring great content onto your website, and makes for quality backlinks because people will want to share your expertise.

Infographics

They’re bright, colorful, eye-catching, and easy to understand. If you have a lot of data that can be visualized, infographics are a no-brainer. They’re great if your information is extensive or needs summarization. If you’re not sure how to get started making infographics, no worries. Check out Venngage’s step-by-step guide on how to make an infographic. It covers outlines, data collection, visualization methods, layouts and templates, and style. Bonus: they have free templates and design guides to get you started.

Round-ups

Round-up articles are summaries or listicles that address a particular question or problem people might have. Sometimes round-ups occur on a yearly, monthly, or weekly basis. For instance, take Pixpa’s guide to the six top website builders for 2021. This caters to a particular pain point their readers might have, it’s timely, and it’s very informative. These are easy pieces of content to create, and it’s likely blogs or websites in your niche are already making them. Plus, they’re great for building links and attracting more traffic. Think about it: if you provide links to 10 different experts in your niche, they’re going to be incentivized to link back to your post on their own website. It’s self-promotion, for one. These backlinks will help boost your SEO rankings. Plus, these types of articles are easy to repeat. The Pixpa article above, for instance, is likely to be reproduced for 2022. When thinking of ideas, keep in mind that monthly, weekly, or annual round-ups could be great pieces of recurring content for you.

Videos

Not everyone wants to read a 2000-word article. Depending on your field and audience, you might be better off making a video. But you need to make sure that the subject matter works well in video, and the final product is of a high quality. If you aren’t sure how to do it on your own, reach out to a specialist who can help ensure you produce great content. Again, quality is always better than quantity. 

One simple way to incorporate videos into your content is by repurposing old articles or blogs. Maybe a few years back you wrote an article before you had video capabilities, but now you think it could also work well in a more visual medium. Take your blog post and restructure the content into a video! You’ll save yourself some time by not having to start from scratch.

How-to guides

How-to guides offer another great way to get quality content on your website. Not only are they very easy to share in your field, but they can help you build your brand voice and authority. If you’re not sure what a how-to article should look like or cover, check out Nick Leroy Consulting’s guide to building a newsletter audience. It provides the reader with actionable tips that they’ll be able to put into practice and even covers mistakes the writer has made in the past. This makes for a very informative article that will give the reader a lot of value. Think about what kinds of topics you could cover in this way for your audience.

Buying guides

Buying guides are like round-ups, but strictly for those looking to make a purchase. Say you have a website that sells outdoor sporting gear. One way to create content would be to make a buying guide of the best fly fishing rods to purchase in 2021. These also help build your brand’s authority — people take to search engines all the time if they need recommendations. 

Carry out a content audit

Now that you’ve considered the types of content you want to put on your site, it’s time to take a look at what you already have. This allows you to see which pieces of content are already performing well, and identify anything that you shouldn’t replicate in the future. At this point, you can also decide whether you want to repurpose or update any of your existing content. 

When conducting your content audit, you should also consider doing a keyword gap analysis. This allows you to spot gaps in your content that your competitors may be filling, or that nobody is currently covering. You can research different keywords that your target audience are searching for, and this will give you ideas for producing new content.

Plan to create both evergreen and timely content

When making a content plan, keep in mind that you need a variety of types of content, including evergreen and timely content. Both have a place on your website, as they can both boost your SEO rankings. Make a plan to include both types in your strategy. As the name suggests, evergreen content, such as EngineScout’s guide to SEO for dentists, stays “fresh” for long periods of time. It also covers topics that people are going to search for, no matter the time of year or what’s happening in the news.
SocialPilot’s round-up of social media analytics tools is another example of great evergreen content. People will always be looking for ways to get more out of their social media profiles, and this article will provide them with all of the tools they need to do that. This is what makes it evergreen. Timely content, on the other hand, is precisely what it sounds like. It’s based on trends, current affairs, and the like. For example, when the coronavirus pandemic first hit, we saw a lot of companies rushing to share their expertise on the matter.
Take Roadside Dental Marketing’s guide to dental marketing strategies that will work during COVID-19 and beyond, for instance. While this won’t always be relevant, it addresses a lot of questions marketers will have been asking at the time it was published. Content like this can really help to boost your search engine rankings for timely queries.

Research which keywords you should be targeting

Targeting the right keywords is an incredibly important element of creating content for SEO purposes. It’s the baseline of getting your website noticed on a search engine results page. When making a content plan, you need to consider what keywords you should be targeting. Think about how you can fill in the content gaps that your competitors haven’t addressed, or answer questions your audience often asks. If you’re not sure where to begin with this, Loganix has a keyword gap analysis tool that will provide you with a lot of the information you’re looking for. This can really help you to decide what direction to take your content in and will ensure that you’re putting out information that your target audience is actually interested in.

Consider what kinds of content will earn you links

If you’re not familiar with backlinks, it cannot be overstated how important they are for SEO. Backlinks build brand authority, raise your search engine rankings, help you get organic search traffic, and open your website to a new audience that may have not stumbled upon your website otherwise. Produce the right quality content and leaders in your niche will link back to your webpage. Consider different reasons a website might want to link to your content. Do you have a new strategy, concept, or explanation for something in your field? Or have you produced a high-quality infographic or easy to understand video? Think about your strengths and what makes your brand unique. If you need more suggestions as to how you can make your content linkable, check out EngineScout’s link building tips. In this piece, 21 SEO experts talk about their tips for link building for new websites. You can’t beat learning from the best.

Create a content calendar

You’ve done it! You’ve chosen what quality content you are going to produce, you’ve found new keywords, you’ve decided what different parts of your website need to be improved or revamped, and you have a strategy for link building. Now what? Now it’s time to put your plan into action by creating a content calendar.

A content calendar is a great organizational tool you can use to mark down important dates and outline when specific pieces of content should be published on your website. You should be deciding how and when to publish pieces of content based on your users’ needs, business priorities, the time of year, industry events, and more.

A content calendar offers an easy way to ensure you’re publishing fresh content on a regular basis. Not only will this boost your SEO, but it will help keep you on track and make sure you’re not being repetitive in your content. You might not want to post several articles or videos in a row about different web building tools, for instance.

There’s a lot of different ways you can put together a content calendar, and the best solution for you is going to depend on your business needs and the field you work in. That being said, there are several things you need to be considering when making a content calendar. Do your research!

Choosing your target keywords, researching the seasonality of terms using Google Trends, looking at customer data, and working with people in your niche can all help to inform your content calendar. Planning ahead and doing your due diligence now will not only save you time and energy, but will also help you to see what strategies work, what needs to change, and how you can be more successful with your content planning in the future.

Summary

Creating a strong content plan is one of the most important things you can do when you’re working on your SEO. If you’re trying to become one of the best in your field, you have to have a strategy in mind. Analyze different types of content, conduct an audit of your website, research your keywords, and then make a calendar that puts your plan altogether.

Roll up your sleeves — you (and your work!) will be better for it.

Author Bio

Author Bio

Adam Steele is the Founder and COO at Loganix, an SEO fulfillment partner for agencies and marketers. We build easy to use SEO services that help businesses scale. If you liked this article, please check out our SEO guides and templates on the blog.

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