Quality content is squarely at the heart of effective search engine optimization. It’s something search marketers say a lot, but putting it into action takes experience and process.

Before we start researching keywords and optimizing a website, the Traffic team works with clients to define an effective content strategy that not only garners visibility in the search results, but real interest and engagement from users.

While many marketers have gotten Google’s message that good content is essential for rankings, creating content for the sake of creating content doesn’t work. The search engines, especially Google, continue to innovate and train their algorithms to find the very best content that users will find useful.

In other words, content must be relevant, and well written, to win attention.

The Right Approach to Content Strategy

TrafficPRM takes a unique approach to content strategy for SEO. We focus on these key principles in creating websites that gain visibility:

Content Categories Precede Keywords. Simply put, what area or industry are you an expert in? What questions do you field most frequently from customers, and how can you use that to develop subject matter to bring you more customers? By virtue of the nature of your work, whether you are a manufacturer with thousands of employees or a startup with only a handful, you have a body of knowledge that people will find useful. A cohesive and effective content strategy positions you as an authority in your corner of the market. Creating a lot of content is good, but that content must be in agreement, or fall into related categories, to truly exert the pull needed for organic search success.

Think Like a Publisher – Ongoing Content is Key. Traditionally, most companies work hard to set up a website — then often leave it alone. “Set it and forget it” won’t work if you want to compete for visibility. Developing a cohesive content strategy means going above and beyond, and finding a pathway to consistently blog and publish various types of content such as video, eBooks, presentations and more.

Core Content is Still Important. Websites still need to offer up good, quality content that describe their business. In other words, the background about your company (i.e., “About Us”) and your products and services that any site should offer. We call this “core” content, and ensure it is as fully developed as it can be.

How important is content strategy for SEO? In the new and ever-evolving world of SEO, it helps to stick to a theme: content comes before keywords.

We advise clients not to worry or obsess on specific keywords for which they want to be “number one.”

A content strategy, with agreed upon content categories, is necessary to help define and organize keyword themes. By pursuing keyword themes, which support multiple variations on any given keyword phrase, we help businesses compete for much greater traffic. For more about this topic of long-tail keyword development, see our thoughts on keyword research and discovery.

Yes, content is king, but in the words of one of our admired colleagues, content is more like gravity. The more your site has, and the better it is, the more traffic, visitors — and business — your company will attract.