If you’re looking to grow your SEO visibility, traffic and revenue as quickly as possible then you’ll need to optimise every page of your content. The major challenge, however, is optimising every page of your content – especially when you have a whole team of people working on your site with different goals, skills, responsibilities and opinions.
So with hundreds if not thousands, or even tens of thousands of pages to wade through and so many conflicting views, how do you approach best practice SEO for all those existing pages and every new page?
From honing advanced SEO content marketing strategies from more than 100,000 hours of SEO and generating millions in revenue, our approach would be to follow our 3 step multi-award winning ThoughtShift Digital Marketing Strategy Methodology and start with the data:
1: Advanced SEO Content Marketing Data Insight
To get the advanced SEO content marketing data insight, we first need to start with understanding what is the current situation, challenges and goals:
How many existing pages does you site have indexed in Google?
You can try entering your domain into Google prefixed with site: e.g. search for “site:yourdomain.com” to get the number.
What is the number of existing indexed pages that require advanced content optimisation?
If you’ve not done any advanced content optimisation, the answer is all of them. Although, you’ll need to prioritise the approach in the strategy depending on your available resources and the types of pages you have.
What type of pages are already indexed?
If you have an ecommerce website your page types are going to include:
- Home page
- Category pages
- Product pages
- Blog pages
- Information pages – your About, Delivery and buying guides pages for example
- Services pages – Non ecommerce pages for corporates or bespoke orders that require contacting you by phone or email and could result in a large order that wouldn’t be measured through the ecommerce revenue on the website for example
Non ecommerce websites will typically have all the page types ecommerce sites have except category and product pages.
Although there are many other external PESTLE (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal, Environmental) and competitor forces at work and post-lockdown year on year search behaviour is going to be very different for online brands where customers now have the choice to buy instore again.
2: Advanced SEO Content Marketing Strategy
Once you’ve gathered all your current situation and performance insights, it’s time to formulate a plan for approaching your Advanced SEO Content Marketing Strategy.
Onsite Content Optimisation Strategy
Prioritise your Onsite Content Optimisation Strategy of your existing content by page type that is going to yield the most revenue growth.
For each page type, determine the target keyword strategy for each of the current key optimisable content elements such as navigation, meta data, main content headers, body content, images, videos and internal links.
Remember search engines rank pages not websites so the aim is to target one main keyword (or search query made up of several words) per page and not to target another page for that same exact keyword. That same page can then be optimised for similar keywords and variations. However if another page is using an exact match target keyword mentioned within the content then that keyword should link to the other page. That in turn will avoid duplicate content and help the page being linked to, to rank for it’s target keyword.
For all websites, your home page contains the most authority because it is at the top of your architecture. Optimising your home page content will have the biggest impact. Although proceed with extreme caution in making changes to your home page if it is already performing well as you could inadvertently de-optimise the page by switching in a new keyword in place of one that is already ranking on page one of Google and sending you lots of traffic and revenue.
Category and Services Pages
Your category, services and information pages are the second highest in your site architecture and represent customers who are at the consideration stage of the buying journey. Search volumes for keywords you’d want to target for these pages are typically highest after your home page target keywords. Services and information pages are likely to already address a very specific audience with a selling offer or information that helps people to buy so optimising these pages next will deliver the biggest impact as fast as possible.
For ecommerce websites, product pages are a lower priority to optimise after the category pages and that’s because by optimising the category pages which already link to your product pages you will improve the optimisation of every product page.
That being said your product pages present the biggest opportunity to drive revenue through advanced SEO optimisation on a page by page basis. That’s because product pages are at the end of the buying funnel and may likely target lower search volume keywords, however product pages will likely have the highest conversion rates of any of your page content. Many ecommerce sites only need a handful of organic search visits per product page to get a sale and multiple that by all of your optimised product pages and that’s how collectively your product pages can deliver significant SEO revenue over time.
Create a strategy that sets expectations for your product pages to be optimised after all your category and services pages have been optimised.
If you have tens of thousands of product pages, approaching optimisation one page at a time may mean tens of thousands of hours of manual work which your team or budget just cannot fit in realistically. If that’s the case, then prioritise your top selling product pages and then the product gaps that you’d like to grow next.
Alternatively allocate yourself or your team a block of time per month for product page optimisation and start working your way through systematically through your category pages – categories positioned to the left of your navigation will carry more authority through to the product pages being linked to as they are first in the list compared to categories at the right-hand side of your menu which will be listed last.
If you have web development resources at your disposal then you may be able to apply product page optimisation at a template level to thousands of pages in one go through a one off development project. For example adding categories, sub categories, colours or sizes keywords, delivery information or reviews via dynamic rules to place the content automatically on to the placement of the page content or meta data that you want.
Existing Blog Pages
Blog pages are brilliant at driving visibility and traffic, however it’s important to keep in mind that blog pages are all about telling and not designed for selling. Yes you want to link through to your wonderfully optimised category pages and product pages from your blog post if you refer to them and you’re not already linking to them but that shouldn’t be the only consideration for an existing blog.
The most important strategy you can employ for existing blog pages is to not change the URL. Redirecting URLs creates extra server resources and potentially slows down your website impacting your SEO, so if you can choose the URL you want first time that’s ideal. If you haven’t, don’t worry and don’t go trying to shoe-horn in a keyword to an existing blog post. It’s much easier to just create a brand new blog on the keyword subject gap you’ve identified in the next phase of the strategy.
Optimising all your existing blog pages page by page is not typically worth doing and is the lowest priority activity in our Advanced SEO Content Marketing Strategy. You can use your data insights to pick out the choicest existing blogs that are already your top landing pages by traffic and revenue generation and add internal links to these as the priority.
If you’re a very advanced SEO then to further increase reach for a keyword you already have page 1 visibility for you can add a keyword into a blog post heading, title tag within your meta data, page headers and body content. Although do proceed with extreme caution as adding a keyword could de-optimise the existing rankings so hence, unless you’re really confident in doing this and fixing any negative impacts caused it might be best to avoid changing existing blog post titles.
Onsite Content Creation Strategy
If you have a large scale website and a big team of contributing writers, you will likely need to brief out your new content before you’ve optimised your existing content.
New Blog Pages Strategy
The main advantage of a blog page is that it can target topics that are much broader than your category, services, information and product pages. Looking at your target audiences and target keyword gaps leftover from your Onsite Content Optimisation Strategy are both great priorities to start your blog strategy plans with. If you find yourself out of target direction, it’s time to dip back into previous keyword research or run some new research with the latest data.
What you never want to do is target a buying keyword within your blog post title or URL as that will create a conflict with your selling pages and can potentially cut off your SEO revenue overnight if a blog page starts outranking an established category or product page.
You can also change your blog post title and content after publication, although to provide a good user experience you ideally want your URL and title to remain very similar.
If you have a team of contributors writing content for your blog, do save time and keep blog optimisation methods simple. The first priority should be to recommend the blog title for a main target keyword with matching URL and meta data. Depending on the search volumes of the main target keyword topics in your content plans this may be sufficient.
As a general guide, if the blog page titles proposed will contain a main target keywords that have monthly search volumes of 10-99 searches per month or below then no advanced optimisation would be required and your resources are better spent elsewhere.
For advanced SEO content optimisation advice on a page by page basis, typically for new blog pages with main target keyword search volumes of 100s-1000s or more per month and if you have the resources, then there are two strategies you can choose to pursue:
- Provide advanced SEO optimisation guidelines for your writers to follow so they can incorporate the advanced optimisation techniques into their drafts
- Optimise each blog page after the draft stage on a page by page basis
New Category, Services & Information Pages Strategy
Adding these important selling pages are critical for growth. The pages required will be identified from new product development, marketing and business strategies. Along with keyword and audience gaps such as:
- Seasonal pages such as Black Friday
- Gift pages
- New sub category pages
- Buying guides and advice pages
- New services pages
Authority SEO Content Strategy
Google and other search engines rank millions of web pages that contain the search query in order of authority.
So once you’ve exhausted every potential way of optimising your onsite content you will also need a plan for increasing your authority.
Internal Link Strategy
Funnelling your existing authority through the careful placement of your internal links is key for advanced SEO success. Every link out on a page shares the authority across all the pages being linked to. So fewer carefully placed links are more powerful in spreading the authority through your site.
Your home page should typically link to your top category pages and best selling products.
Your category, services or information pages should link to your product pages or calls to action pages such as your Contact or Register pages.
Your product pages shouldn’t link anywhere, all you want your visitors to do at that point is buy – don’t distract them!
Your blog pages should link when relevant to other blog posts, your selling pages such as product, category, services and information pages and external sites such as partner sites.
External Link Strategy
Increasing your links from external sites is how you can build up your domain authority so all your pages rank higher in the organic search results.
By creating link worthy and shareable content, you can get your audience to share your pages through social media and email, building brand awareness and inbound links on your behalf.
Creating competitions, special offers, promotions, guides, case studies, reports, videos, photography and programmes is another great way to attract links.
Researching and outreaching to relevant audiences such as partners, bloggers and influencers or running PR campaigns with unique offers and news is a strategy that requires the most resources. So whilst the wins for SEO gained from securing the third party coverage can be the greatest, the cost may be too much at this stage and therefore the lowest priority depending on your current situation and existing relationships that you can leverage.
3: Advanced SEO Content Marketing Performance Impact
So now you’ve planned out your SEO content marketing strategy, it’s finally time to get tactical and make an impact in your performance as soon as you implement your optimisations live on your website.
With our ultimate advanced SEO content marketing checklist you can use this for every single page of content on your site to ensure you’ve included your main target keyword in all the right places:
Advanced SEO Content Marketing Checklist
1: Title Tag
The most important place to include your main target keyword to gain the highest chance of ranking and with room for up to 55-60 characters. Place your target keyword as close to the start as possible and this title tag is displayed within your page metadata that appears in search results. If there’s room include your keyword variations here too.
2: Meta Description Tag
Include your main target keyword and close variations you can’t fit in the title tag and with room for up to 150 characters. The meta description tag appears below your title tag in search results and drives click throughs to your page.
3: Main Heading
Include your main target keyword within your on page content heading that should be in the HTML code as a H1 Tag.
4: Sub Headings
Include your main target keyword within on page content sub headings that should be in the HTML code as H2, H3, & H4 Tags. Keyword variations can also be added.
5: Body Copy
Include your main target keyword within on page body copy content that should be in the HTML code as Paragraph tags. Keyword variations can also be added.
Include your main target keyword within .jpg or .png file names if relevant to be found in Google image search results.
Include your main target keyword within .mp4 or .mov file names hosted on YouTube/Vimeo and in embedded headings/descriptions on YouTube/Vimeo to be found in video search results on Google and in YouTube/Vimeo.
Include your main target keyword within .mp3 or .wav file names hosted on Soundcloud/Spotify and in embedded headings/descriptions on Soundcloud/Spotify to be found in audio search results on Google and in Soundcloud/Spotify.
Include your main target keyword within .pdf file names if relevant and with PDF footer links to the main website domain to enable the PDFs to be crawled by search engines.
10: Internal Links
Include your main target keyword within hyperlink copy or contained near to the link from other pages on site.
11: External Links
Include your main target keyword within hyperlink copy or contained near to the link from other pages off site.
12: Schema Markup
Include your main target keyword within relevant microdata for the page of structured data content such as reviews, review rating, price, date information.
13: Social Media Meta Tags
Include your main target keyword within social media tags relevant to each social network such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest so that the title, description and image is displayed in the correct format.
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