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How to Strategically Build Content for the Best Search ROI

March 24, 2012 · 9 comments

in Business, Internet Marketing

Content DevelopmentIn today’s marketing world, creating content is a necessity. Yet, content creation always seems to be the one thing companies struggle with the most.

In today’s small businesses, we work lean and mean. All of our marketing efforts must be efficient and strategically developed, ensuring every action produces a positive and effective result on your bottom line.

Since having or improving content on your site can be difficult to tie back to ROI, it always seems to be the piece of the puzzle that takes the longest, gets pushed aside or is going to happen “one day, when we get the bandwidth.”

In this post we will cover a strategy that I have always used to help divide and conquer this beast and ensure that each bit of content you produce is directly connected to your bottom line.

  • Make a Product or Service List: Start by making a list of the products and/or services your company offers, then prioritize them by their profit margin.
  • Understand Your Website’s Search Engine Activity: Using your website analytic tracking software (i.e. Google Analytics) pull the following metrics and organize them into specific categories:
    • Top Pages Viewed by Organic Search user – This dataset will give you insight into “How Organic Search Users are Utilizing Your Website.”
    • Top Keywords driving organic search users – This dataset will give you insight into “How Organic Search Users are Finding Your Website.”  Although this metric has changed some since Google started cloaking keywords from logged in Google users, it should still give you an accurate reading of about 60-70% of the organic (non-paid) keywords driving traffic to your site.
    • Categorize your top pages and top keywords into categories that best represent your business and find the percentage of each category in relation to the whole dataset to give you an accurate reading of your site’s organic search activity.
    • See Data Sets Labeled 1.1 & 1.2 for examples
Data Sets for SEO Development
  • Compare Your Website Traffic with Your Product List: Run a comparison analysis on the organic search activity you just collected and your product/service prioritization list by answering the following questions:
  • Do the products or services that have the best ROI represent the largest percentage of keywords that are driving visitors to your site?
    • What about the organic search users top pages?
    • If you are seeing a large or even small disconnect between these datasets, this would be the first place to start.
    • Let’s continue to use the affiliate marketing example. Say that fax services provide the best ROI for ChooseWhat.com, but if you notice, only 16% of the keywords driving traffic are fax-related, and only 13% of the page views are fax-related. This would be the first place to start. I would create content around fax services, then see if there are places that I could link to this content on my home page and/or social profiles. Strategically move down your product and/or service prioritization list and compare those to the percentages of organic search activity. You could literally write your editorial calendar for the next quarter based off of these metrics.

There are obvious caveats to every marketing strategy, and this one is no different. Don’t forget to keep any other business metrics in mind when building your editorial calendar, like any seasonal products/services. If your business offers any products or services that are time sensitive, you should start posting content about those products about 90 days prior to its busy season. It is also important to understand that some content will need additional help getting found online, especially with any new domains, products or services.  If this is the case, start a link building campaign for that particular content or site.

In the beginning of any new strategy, I like to reevaluate what I’m doing every quarter to gauge its effectiveness. Although this strategy may take a bit of time on the front end, it will be well worth it to know that you are working towards a specific goal. The benefit of building an editorial calendar based off of tangible metrics far outweighs the hang-ups that are associated with “writer’s block”.

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Amber Hauptman is a interactive media marketer for ChooseWhat.com, a premier resource for helping guide entrepreneurs through the process of starting a business as well an in depth analysis of specific business product reviews. Amber also writes for the online guide to internet faxing, FindAFax.com. Google

Amber has written 2 awesome articles for us at Opportunities Planet

Twitter: @CW_AmberH | Facebook | | Blog → Small Business Solutions and Tips

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

executives gifts March 24, 2012 at 3:17 pm

For eBiz ROI, we use a strategy where content we create and curate (e.g. the Social Sharing Strategy Video above) lives on our blog and then is shared, typically simultaneously across Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. As Rand points out in the video, this is often acceptable as the cross over between channels is minimal, especially with the nature of Twitter feeds where a few hours can be the life of when you share might get viewed. In addition, you will note at the top of this post there are buttons for Facebook like, Google+1, Twitter and LinkedIn to make sharing content easy. eBiz ROI also uses the AddThis widget which allows for additional sharing options including a myriad of social bookmarking sites such as Digg, Reddit and many others, enabling viral sharing to increase content reach,

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s March 25, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Excellent strategy sharing through this post! From now on I will try to use this strategy in all my next coming post. Thanks for sharing such an effective strategy.
s recently posted..ARTICLE SUBMISSION DIRECTORIESMy Profile

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Mike Sherratt March 26, 2012 at 2:37 am

Hey Amber,

Conversion is a topic of little attention among some SEOs, who are sometimes concerned more with getting people to the figurative front door than inviting them inside for a cup of tea. At this point, one simply needs measure the activity on a web site which most readily leads to a dollar bill. Ask yourself what key performance indicators (KPIs) indicate success with your objectives. If its sales, then track goals using analytics to measure sales directly. If it’s lead generation, set your funnels to measure the stages at which potential customers or donors can enter their information to be contacted by you.

In the end, ROI using organic search can be calculated when all of these elements are known entities: (Estimated Keyword Traffic) x (Estimated SERP Clickthrough %) x (On-Page Conversion %) x (AVG $ Sale) = Organic Search ROI

Mike
Mike Sherratt recently posted..Master Sales Closer The Way To Become OneMy Profile

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techne March 26, 2012 at 1:43 pm

It’s true. Creating unique, informative and quality content is necessity. Thanks for this insightful information.
techne recently posted..Five best SEO keywords selector toolsMy Profile

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Christi Johnson March 26, 2012 at 5:27 pm

This article is SUPER important for those who are finding themselves terrified by the recent changes that were announced by Google. For whatever reason, we always scramble to make massive changes to our blogs each time there is an algorithm update. The truth of the matter, however, is that great content will never take a hit.

That written, it’s ALWAYS helpful to know your numbers. If certain keywords work for us, we need to know which ones…and we need to use the SEO to help us to wrote better you can’t get around that. I am not so much of a numbers person, but I try to stick to the basics and lower my bounce rate, write more on what drives the most traffic, and make sure my site is well-prepared for traffic. This is good advice, and I’m going to share it with others who might need to learn what I just did.
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Clint Butler March 28, 2012 at 8:52 pm

Wow you really got down in the weeds with this one. There are not that many people willing or able to teach how to identify traffic trends to help steer their content creation. Thanks for the excellent post.
Clint Butler recently posted..Kyani Scam ReviewMy Profile

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Dee Bauer March 31, 2012 at 3:00 pm

This really well put! I see so many new bloggers that do not put effort into content. Content is key, that’s what brings people back and want to see a site. Very well put!
Dee Bauer recently posted..Issue 4, Simple Pleasures, Simple IndulgencesMy Profile

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Michael March 31, 2012 at 6:25 pm

Thank you Amber, this article makes a lot of sense. To use the words and phrases that people are already using to find your site is a really good way to get more of those visits from other people searching for the same thing..

I really like the way you show us how to use analytics in a way that works. Sometimes I see explanations of this and i ma so confused by the time I am done reading them that I don’t take any action. But your simple way of deciding which topics to write more about on our sites is pretty simple and works well. That really helps. :-)

This is a nice explanation of easy it can be to produce good content that serves the people looking for it even more. Thank you.
Michael recently posted..Are We There Yet?My Profile

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AHauptman April 9, 2012 at 6:11 pm

Thanks for all of your wonderful feedback, I am so glad that some of you all found this strategy to be useful with your SEO or content development strategy!
Mike, I totally agree with your statement and that is a great formula to compliment the strategy identified in this article. I would ask though, how are you getting your “Estimated SERP Clickthrough %”? There are many factors that would change this number drastically, like: where are you ranking on these SERPs?, or the subject matter of the keyword. Also, depending on how many different products you have, I am sure the On-Page Coversion % changes a bit…. All factors vary greatly for each product or assumed consumer behavior. I think it is a great formula, maybe just not as scalable for companies with many different products or audiences.
Clint and Michael, I am glad that you found the post useful, are there other areas within content development or SEO strategy that you would be interested in? Always looking for ideas that are useful to small business or startups trying not to get bogged down with all of these new interactive marketing strategies!

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