Marketers are continuously creating content they believe has the potential to go viral, only to watch it die quickly. We watch as content marketers create content for SEO or content for social media, but we rarely see content being created that can benefit both. Why? The answer is simple: many content marketers are not doing their research, or do not have the tools to effectively perform the research needed for better content.
If we want content that can perform well in search, is relevant in social media, and can speak to our target audience, then we need to narrow down the focus of our content and target all of those options at once. This can be done a few different ways, but having appropriate tools to help organize your strategy is key.
There are also several other tactical SEO tips for increasing organic traffic and building content, but here we will focus on the content ideation and research.
Start With Competitor Research
One of the first things you should do in when researching content is to identify the most relevant competitors to your website. One of my favorite tools for this is Serpstat. Serpstat allows you to enter your website into their search box and then takes you to a list of all of your competitors.
The list of competitors that they give you will have their relevancy score, common keywords, missing keywords, and visibility score. They also allow you easily export the entire list. From the left-hand navigation bar, you will be able to click “Domain vs. Domain” and Serpstat will give you a list of your competitors and allow you to compare up to three websites at one time.
Once you have chosen your three to compare, you are sent to a page that will show you the common keywords between all three sites.
If you scroll down the page you will be able to see each website’s position for the various keywords, the volume, and you can easily export this as well.
Once you have all of this information for the various competing sites, you will want to find the keywords you want to focus your content piece on.
Use Your Keywords to Find Topics
Knowing which keywords you want to target for your site is great, but as we all know, it is no longer about using keywords in SEO and all about using topics. One of my favorite tools for this is Nuvi. Nuvi allows you to use the keywords you are using to find topics for your content to find the most shared relevant content, trending concepts, trending categories, trending positive terms, trending negative terms, and emotional categories.
Nuvi uses their access to Facebook and Twitter’s fire hose to gather the data in one place.
Nuvi also allows you to easily export the various topics surrounding your keywords. Once you have your topics you can sort through them to find a few potential topics for your content.
Test Your Topic for Relevancy
Now that you have your topics in mind, use a tool like Buzzsumo to test the relevancy of your topic. Buzzsumo allows you to search by topic, date range, article type, shares, and even content type.
You can search each of the topics that you are choosing from for your content. Sort the relevant content by shares, view the backlinks, and even view who shared the content. Once you know who shared the content, you can export that information as well and save it for when you begin to create your content.
The reason you want to keep this list of “sharers” is so you can reach out and get quotes from some of the more influential people on the list for your own content. This will ensure these people also share your content when it is published and helps to build a relationship between you and the influencer.
Build Great Content and Track Its Success
Once you have built your content, quoted your influencers, and promoted it to your audience, you need to track its success. Tools like Cyfe are great for tracking keyword rankings, backlinks, social shares and all in one place. Cyfe allows you to build your own dashboards and a minimal cost. If you aren’t tracking the success of your content, then there isn’t much point in wasting time and resources to create it in the first place.
Remember, as you create content, it is imperative that you have a goal and a strategy for achieving those goals. Focus on your purpose, and then create the plan. As long as you do that and remember to think topics and not keywords around your content, you are headed for success.
Featured Image: garagestock.com/depositphotos.com
All Screenshots by Cynthia Johnson. Taken June 2016.