Use this content SEO strategy to improve organic website traffic
Are you creating great content but having trouble getting organic reach? Even after doing keyword research? Great content is only great if people see it. There is a better approach to content SEO strategy that can help improve content visibility.
The Evolution of Search Engines and Content SEO Strategy
To increase organic reach, first, let’s understand how search engines evolved. Gone are the days where we test the content performance by looking at Google rank alone. Search engines deliver personalized content based on search history and location. Depending on how and where you search, you will see different results.
Search engines have evolved ever since Google introduced RankBrain in 2016. RankBrain helps Google understand the intent behind search queries to provide more relevant search results.
Additionally, searchers have been asking more conversational queries. This is in part because of the rise in mobile and voice search. According to Ahrefs, one-word keywords account for approximately 2.8% of all keywords people search for, with 41.7% of searches being keyword phrases of five or more words. It is more common for people to ask questions, like “Alexa, where can I get the best tacos in Austin?” (the answer is Veracruz All Natural, btw) as opposed to fragmented terms like “tacos”. Because of this, search engines began analyzing phrases instead of just keywords. This propelled a marketing shift from keyword-focused to topic-focused SEO.
Successful SEO is no longer keyword-based, but rather topic-based. A great solution is a content SEO strategy, focusing on content into topic clusters, strengthening topic-level visibility. We do that through topic clusters and pillar pages.
Topic clusters are a way of organizing your content into very specific categories that are important to your business. Each topic cluster has a pillar page that links to supporting content like blog posts. The supporting content focuses on specific long-tail keywords related to the main topic. And each supporting content piece links back to the main pillar page with the same hyperlinked keyword.
Pillar pages are long-form content pages that cover core topics and serve as a resource for visitors. Your pillar pages should have an overarching keyword topic with a high monthly search volume of at least 2,500 searches.
Supporting content, like blog posts, provides more context for your pillar pages. But, supporting content doesn’t have to include the exact pillar page term.
The goal for supporting content is to rank well for a specific long-tail keyword. A good way to research potential supporting content topics is to review Google’s autocomplete and related search suggestions.
Topic Clusters in Context
For example, suppose that you are an online boutique that offers personal styling as one of your core services. One of your topic clusters may be “personal styling” which has 1K-10K monthly searches and high competition. The personal styling pillar page can include detailed information like what personal styling is, your client onboarding process, what a client can expect when they hire you as their personal assistant and pricing. The main focus of the pillar page is for the visitor to convert into a prospect. The supporting content blog posts can range in topics about the benefits of personal styling to style tips. The main goal of the blog posts is to drive traffic to your website.
This creates a web of content, and this content teamwork makes the SEO dream work. Having all of your supporting content link back to the pillar page signals to search engines that the pillar page has in-depth content, gaining a higher search placement because of the higher level of authority.
We recommend focusing your time on optimizing your pillar page with a strong call to action to increase conversions, and optimizing your supporting content pages for traffic by providing valuable and helpful answers to questions that users may be searching for. This organization model provides better user experience and improves organic search traffic.
A content pillar strategy is a win-win for you and your website visitors because it provides a better user experience, makes it easier to organically find your content, and helps guide your future content. Go forth and conquer content!