SEO has evolved dramatically over the past five years or so.

Today, the quality of your website content is key and definitely more important than the quantity. ‘Content marketing’ is a bit of a buzzword in the world of digital marketing and Google continues to encourage the mantra of “content is king”.

With the arrival of Google Panda and Penguin, quality content has never been more important. But creating high quality content is not enough, you will need a plan.

Lead by keywords

Regular keyword research is always important. The list of keywords you target needs to reflect the services or product areas of your business, and therefore relevant pages of your website.

Consider variations of target keywords, long tail keyword opportunities, and look out for opportunities to piggyback off of other events .e.g. Christmas + keyword.

Many search engine marketers make the mistake of trying to target the biggest audience, which sometimes isn’t the most relevant. It’s not about being found by everyone in your market, but about being found by the right people in your target market.

Set yourself goals

You have your extensive list of keywords and you’re hopefully tracking the rankings of key terms in your chosen search engines. Next is to map out your goals. I divide my keyword targets into short term goals or ‘quick wins’, medium term goals and long term goals. These should be based on the current rank of keywords and the feasibility that you can indeed rank for these after analysing the competition.

Have a content calendar

Just creating content as and when you please is not the most effective approach to content marketing. Of course you need to react to changes in your keyword goals, new content opportunities etc. but it is also good to have a rough plan in place to keep you on track.

With your content calendar, start with your keywords and think about how you can create content around them. This could be in the form of a title for an article, a video, blog post or infographic. Prioritise your keyword targets and set yourself achievable dates in which to complete them.

Consider your distribution channels

Content sitting dormant on a web page or blog isn’t always effective. Consider using social channels such as Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest to help boost views and shares.

Final words

Drive your content strategy from the ground upwards, starting with your keywords. A solid content-led SEO strategy takes planning, but more than anything it requires “great content” ;)