Your Content Marketing Doesn’t Start with the Content
Content is the marketer’s most powerful tool, but if you are creating it without data in mind, you might as well use your time doing something else.
Let’s take a look at the supply and demand model in the web economics. The users’ searches in google represent the demand. The results in the first few pages represent the supply. This means that more than 4 billion web pages are competing for the first 10 to 50 positions for the keyword “content marketing”.
Why are we competing for the first few pages only?
Users Click Rate Falls off a Cliff after the First Google Page
Studies on users click behavior (organic click through rate) show that the top three google search results get 75% of all clicks and few searchers go beyond page two.
The harsh reality is that the competition for the users’ attention on the web is fierce. If your content can’t rank for the first 10 to 50 positions, very few people will see it. The good news is that writing high ranking content is possible if you follow the right process. First of all you need to know how your users search vs. what your assumptions are.
How the users search online?
I’ll show you how to perform a basic keywords and content SEO analysis using Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest SEO tool, which is currently free.
Let’s say you need to write a blog post about content marketing. The subject is so broad that you probably don’t know where to start from. It’s also very competitive. The keywords and content SEO analysis will help us optimize the article for the search engines, so that users can see it. It will also provide ideas for different angles, which will make the writing easier. We’re looking to find out:
- which keywords the prospects use when they search for our topic?
- which keyword should we choose, so that the content has a chance to rank in the first few google result pages?
The volume column shows the number of searches for this keyword for a month in the selected geography. It tells us which keywords have the biggest demand. It’s extremely helpful when the search volume for the topic is low and we need to find the keyword with the largest volume. We don’t want to spend time and efforts creating content that nobody searches for.
However, the search volume by itself doesn’t mean anything if we can’t rank for this keyword. If it is super competitive (60 and above) and the first 20 positions are dominated by media and huge websites, then our chances are pretty slim. So what do we do?
We look for keywords with decent traffic and lower difficulty to rank. The SD (search difficulty, also known as keywords difficulty) column gives us the estimated competition in organic search – the higher the number, the more competitive the keyword. Search difficulty of 31 is not too bad, but “content marketing what is” has a difficulty of 8 and relatively high search volume. “Content marketing examples” has a search volume of 1000 and 17 for difficulty – another good candidate.
Additionally when we click on the word we see the websites that rank high for it. This shows who we’re competing against. I would dissect these pages and try to understand their approach.
So, if I need to write a blog post on the topic of content marketing, I’ll choose something like “The best content marketing examples of 2020”. I’ve done my data homework—I know that the search volume is large enough, the competition is pretty low therefore my article stands a chance to rank in the first few pages. The article is about content marketing, but also has an angle, which makes it easier to write.
Of course there are many other factors that influence the ranking such as: the domain authority of your website, the number of links to your blog post and the authority of the linking websites, the overall technical SEO of your website, the quality of writing and observation of the major SEO rules. Content and SEO are big intermingled subjects. My goal here was to show you a practical approach to integrating SEO in your content marketing process.
This was step 1 of the keywords and content SEO analysis – finding out how users search and picking up the right keyword and angle for your blog post. I’ve broken the keywords and content SEO analysis in 10 steps. We study them in depth in the Content SEO class in the Digital Marketing Upskill program at Telerik Academy. You can start applying the 10 steps strategy directly in your work regardless of the industry you’re in.
Yoanna Antova, a student in the 2019 edition of the program at Telerik Academy, shares that learning to work with data unlocked the full potential of her ideas.
“I wrote the top 4 most read blog posts for one of our clients. The most popular one has over 5,000 views, compared to ~600 on average before I started writing for the blog. The second most-read blog post gained 900 views in less than 40 minutes after publishing”.
Relying on creativity in content marketing is not enough. Using data to plan it is what makes it effective.
Image credits: Franki Chamaki on Unsplash