For over a decade, I've often been asked, "what is it that you do exactly?" and this usually requires a few minutes to answer. Creating an optimized online environment involves research and strategically developing the right content across various digital touchpoints.
This topic is beyond a simple explanation, so I'll just be focusing on principal first-steps. To assist the algorithm in indexing your business accurately, you need to understand your company deeply and be able to look at it from different points of view.
And to do this, you need to have an in-depth, creative discussion about your organization. These meetings should ideally generate a list of concepts, phrases/keywords, value props, possibly even new verticals to explore; it just depends on the type of business you are.
Once these findings are in place and agreed upon, the research aims to identify your online opportunities. The process can be chaotic and take one down the proverbial rabbit hole. But at the end of the day, you need to hone in on what content will inform, delight, and answer your audience's questions. Long gone are the days of baiting the search engine with technical SEO tricks.
I'll use a simple example; you are a non-toxic cleaning supply company. You discover from your research, based on your brainstorming, that there's a lack of quality content (articles, videos, guides, etc.) around various relevant search queries. Finding these opportunities, if it makes sense to do so, can be the start of your content libraries.
The research for an example like this can be the long term effects of harsh chemicals on the respiratory system. Is there support on how non-toxic products can benefit your newborn, protect your pets? Is there an opportunity to introduce tips, tricks/hacks, where else can your product line be used? Is there search volume for non-toxic cleaning queries around boats? Cars?
Essentially come at your research and business from various angles, build knowledge libraries around subjects you feel confident writing about, and make sure you have something of value to say. It's quite a bit of work, but unlike short term paid solutions, these organic efforts begin to foster and grow your E-A-T (Expertise, Authority Trustworthiness) score. Especially if your business is entering a competitive market, building out your content becomes vital to penetrating through the noise.
Once you have segmented your various content topics, don't forget to provide links/CTA's (Call To Action) so that visitors can continue their research on your Pillar Pages. Your content should strive not only to answer questions but organically incite interest in your services/products.
Construct Pillar pages in a way that doesn't make your visitors feel like they just walked into a timeshare pitch but rather stumbled across a reputable, qualified problem-solving company. If available, provide testimonials, relevant storytelling imagery, content that again fuels answers, and demonstrates solutions. Visitors should feel like their online research has paid off, and they have found the right place.
Ideally, you will be tracking the performance of the individual pages and the content library as a whole. Applying metrics will help you identify your most influential players, as well as your weakest links. Pillar page should also be monitored so to assure performance is optimal. A/B testing is always a worthwhile exercise. If you have ungated downloadable content, make sure you apply tracking URLs, to get an accurate performance grade.
Identifying what your organization can become subject matter experts on paves the way for the future. Utilize your social media to build your authority by broadcasting your latest research, how-to videos, industry reports/guides, etc. Get the attention of reporters by continually showing up on first-page results. Backlinks from reputable publications are still golden links in the optimization battle.
Craft content that can provoke discussions or encourage visitors to leave feedback. I know it can quickly become a double-edged sword, but having a healthy dose of customer engagement can become its form of research.