In the era of social media, is blogging dead? I would disagree.
Not only does blogging provide relevant content to your audience, but it helps index your website, or add pages to Google. And there's a way to strategize blogging that increases the likelihood of your audience seeing your content through SEO, or search engine optimization.
After listening to episode #221 of Amy Portfield's The Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast where she interviews Neil Petal, master of SEO, I realized this information was too good not to share.
In this article, I'm going to walk you through the process of developing a detailed 3-month SEO plan to optimize your website, create evergreen content, and attract your target audience, as divulged by Neil Patel.
We can undergo the process to create killer SEO-optimized content together.
What is SEO and how does it increase web traffic?
SEO helps make your website compatible for both users and search engines.
And if you are an SEO novice like me, you're probably wondering, 'why is SEO important?'
I see many solopreneurs and businesses alike make the mistake of fully investing in social media without giving thought of social media being borrowed land.
In other words, social media should be your handshake -- your first impression with your audience. It should not be your end game.
You don't own Instagram, Mark Zuckerberg does. And it's the same concept with any other social media platform.
*Think about it: if Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube or any other of the big players were to shut down tomorrow, how would you get a hold of your audience?*
Simply put, the ultimate goal of your social media accounts should be driving your audience back to your website or onto your email list. However, email lists are the best method for converting sales.
In fact, Jenna Kutcher, (my online marketing queen), confirms in a blog post titled, 'What you really need to know about email lists':
"Did you know: 72% of people prefer to receive promotional content through emails than social media? And 66% of consumers have purchased something directly from an email. Why? Think about your mindset when you’re scrolling social media: you’re there to be entertained, inspired or to catch up on what friends and family are doing. You are not shopping and in fact, seeing something for sale there can often be a turnoff. It just doesn’t always feel right.
"People expect sales type messages more via email and therefore are more open to them. And being more open to them means being more likely to actually click through and purchase."
So, how do you build a profitable audience off of social media exactly?
This is where Neil's 3-month plan steps in.
Month 1 – Keyword and Market Research
Conduct market research to ensure your content has profitable potential, has demand, and gather an idea of how the content will perform. Look what shows up on YouTube, Pinterest, Google, etc., to see what exactly your people are struggling with.
Doing market research helps you to understand what types of content performs well, and what content is going to sink to the bottom. Remember to record your findings. These are the keywords you want to optimize first.
"In this phase, you want to put your competitors website url into SEMrush's search bar," instructs Neil. Or you can use other SEO tools as well. "Then, you'll see what ads your competitors are running, the keywords they are ranking for, and the pages on their website are generating the highest traffic."
Ideally, you're looking for the holy trinity, or keywords with a high CPC (cost per click), low competition, and high search volume.
According to Neil, it may take up to 6 months to see results from implementing a strategic SEO plan, so you want to ensure you are targeting the right keywords from the start.
It is also important to note that the older the website, the easier it is to build traction with a strategic SEO plan.
Tools for conducting your keyword research:
Month 2 – Content Creation
Consistency is key. You wouldn't go to the gym once a month and expect to get a six pack. It's the same concept with blogging or any other form of content creation.
Once you gathered your research, it's time to put your plan into action and create content that your audience actually wants.
Here are a few pointers Neil suggests to implement when writing your blog posts/articles. I have also added some tips and tricks I picked up along the way from professionally writing for the past 5 years:
Month 3 - Building clout (backlinks)
Once you've created your extra ordinary content that surpasses your competitor's, it's time for some outreach. You can use BuzzSumo, a content marketing research tool, to discover who shared your competitor's content.
Then, reach out to those folx with your new, refurbished piece of content and ask if they would be willing to share it on social media or on their website.
Having backlinks, or social clout, signals to Google that your content is popular, and increases the likelihood of your content being pushed.
When someone finishes reading your blog post, what do you want them to do? What action do you want them to take? Whether that's to follow you on social, join your email list, or sign up for a discovery call, be clear about the next step at the end of the post.
Now that you (and I) have a basis for creating high-performing SEO content, we can create our own 3-month SEO plan. I'm sketching mine out, and will update you with how it goes!
Have any questions? Feel free to reach out. I would love to help!
See what I did there? ;)