You need a content marketing plan! This little post is going to show you exactly how to do this yourself or get my team to help produce a HIGHLY actionable content marketing plan to get your started with content creation! PLUS I will reveal one of my sites and the exact plan I created for it.
This short tutorial on creating a content marketing plan if followed will provide you with the foundation for a successful site. What this post doesn't cover in detail is the next parts of your content marketing strategy including social media, editorial calendar and setting up an email opt-in with follwo up email.
Included will be the exact Google Document Template we use and one of my money sites revealed including the new blog posts I will be getting created as a result of this effort!
If you follow this process (or get us to help you) you will end up with a great content strategy!
By leveraging world class tools my team can dig in and develop a quick start action guide that digs DEEP into the industry!
If you don’t want to buy these tools you can either have my team execute this plan for a fraction of the cost or complete the majority of these steps using the free but limited SEMRush account. If you are just starting out then the SEMRush solution may be enough!
Here is a live example of what I recommend someone do to create a quick start content marketing plan!
Here I will be revealing one of my sites and applying the exact process I recommend to it.
As always you can follow along and do this yourself or if interested have me, Maddie and her team execute this.
In this step we want to see what kind of content the top competitors have on their site that is driving traffic to their site and see if we have it covered on our site as well.
First use SEMRush to see the competitors.
Then check each in SEMRush on their own to see what pages/keywords are driving most of the traffic.
Finally compare what keywords/posts are driving the traffic for your competitors and see if you have covered that topic.
Based on the analysis of the main competitors and your own site enter some potential keywords into SECockpit to identify keywords to go after.
What you are looking for are keywords that have search volume of greater then 500/month and competition under 30% with confirmation that similar sites to your own are ranking on the first page.
Start adding the potential keywords to a Google Document for tracking purposes.
Here is an example of the spreadsheet we like to use...
Free Template - Do It Yourself...
Done For You - Keyword Research Service
The goal of this step is to assess both the competition of the keywords as well as the quality of that competitions content. We don't want to go up against all top 10 results that have 4,000 word posts that deeply cover the topic. We want low competition both in terms of the SECockpit scoring as well as low competition when it comes to content quality.
In this example it shows that if we are wanting to go after the keyword "Ice Crusher" which has a great competition score in SECockpit we are going up against some quality articles according to MarketMuse. So although this still looks beatable we should be prepared to create an article with over 3,000 words and make sure it covers the topic better then the 2 main competitors that are similar to us.
Additionally at this step we want to arm up the writer with the related topic keywords that MarketMuse (which is intended to act a little like Googles search algorithm Hummingbird) thinks a good article covering "ice crushers" would be covering.
We copy these keywords into either a spreadsheet or document to help the writer. See the example in the template below...
Free Template - Do It Yourself...
Done For You - Keyword Research Service
Again using the spreadsheet template shared above you can create an engaging Title...
We now want to review the overall plan to see that we have a reasonable split of very low competition, higher traffic potential, review and informational articles.
As Ewen from an earlier post on the topic of keywords specified it is important to also ensure we have some buyer intent keywords into our article titles.
It is a good idea depending on your business goal for your marketing campaign to not just have high-quality content but also come up with additional plans for your content marketing plan. If your plan is to be a content marketer who attracts your ideal customer through great content it is a good idea to think about this marketing effort more holistically and include additional promotion steps in your content marketing program.
The plan outlines above gets you some GREAT keywords which you can use to create long-form content / blog posts and attract search engine traffic. But, you need to consider more in your successful content marketing strategy. Not just content creation but also content promotion through social media marketing, what your editorial calendar/content calendar will be, what is your overall marketing goals, are you going to use an email opt-in with follow-up emails, who your target audience is,
Starting with good keyword research is foundational to the success of any content.
Keyword research now needs to go beyond simply a “keyword” and dig deeper into covering both the related content to feed Googles Humminbird algorithm and deeper into the competition analyzing how well they are covering the topic. The strategy above with the use of advanced (and expensive) tools achieves this.
Whether you are looking to create your plan yourself or get some expert help with it I hope this post has provided a lot of value! If you have any questions please let me know!
Now go... create content!
Free Template - Do It Yourself...
Done For You - Keyword Research Service
Keyword Research is incredibly important for the creation of a profitable website. It is a fundamental skill that the better you are at it the more success you will have.
To that end I have pulled on every resource/connection I have to create the best guide on Advanced Keyword Research.
What You Will Learn in This Post:
Learn more from Ewen by signing up for his list here!
One Big Takeaway Not Talked About Before - Keyword Competition / Keyword Difficulty is still measured by metrics such as Keyword in Title/URL and Backlink Metrics but now with tools such as MarketMuse you can analytically measure competition by the competitions content score! (I will review this in more detail below)
Ewen is the source of a LOT of the information in this post and is an absolute expert when it comes to keyword research for content sites and his Q4 earnings reflect that!
This post allows you to go beyond the Google keyword planner and dig deep to find the long-tail keyword that will help you find your target audience and win in the search engines
The SEO chat with Ewen also helps reveal how to use the best keyword research tool to develop your SEO strategy.
If you are following along on the Mortgage Crushing Competition to learn How to Make a Website that makes money in 2017 then by the end of this module you should...
Take the top 1-3 ideas you identified using the Blue Ocean strategy in Module 1 and complete keyword research on them to validate if there are keywords that meet the metrics listed in this section
Below is the keyword process and procedure used for the content marketing service ContentRefined.com. As always you can do the exact same process yourself and I share EVERYTHING but if you want to save time/money and not buy the expensive tools you can have Content Refined create content for your site following these keyword research guidelines.
Solid and concise Keyword research is likely the most important and crucial process for Content Refined. It’s the second point of contact that we have with our clients, and if we don’t nail it, the whole Content Refined order can feel like an uphill battle.
This is why we’ve spent a lot of time and resources trying to execute the best procedure possible to ensure that we equip our client’s with the best keywords out there for the content they’ve hired us to write for their sites. Although we are always seeking to improve this keyword research process is delivering a lot of high ranking content. Keep reading for details on how to do this yourself using our Content Refined Process!
Thanks to Ewan, we started using a great tool called SECockpit.
There are quite few things that make SEcockpit different (and in my opinion better) than competing tools.
The core of what I like is that because of the ability to slice into one keyword theme deeper it provides the ability to complete deeper market research and doesn't simply focus on finding 1 great keyword.
How SEcockpit fits into our Content Refined Procedure
To get into the nitty gritty of how Secockpit works, and how we’ve used it to systematize our keyword research, check out step by step procedure how SEcockpit works
Login to SEcockpit and go to the dashboard and click on the Key symbol to search for your first keyword.
This is where it gets interesting. Type in a Keyword of your choice and look at your options.
I instruct my team to select the Google Adwords ideas that are closely related and to select Append Prepend, and Add Words in Between. This increases our chances of coming across a great related keyword
Then, you’ll want to figure out who your audience is. Is your client or audience based in North America? We have quite a few clients in the UK and in Europe who aren’t looking for North American Keywords because they aren’t relevant the their market. It’s really important to select the right location that will be relevant for their rankings.
Then we have a couple of more search options that we generally don’t use too much unless we’re looking for a keyword to rank in Youtube which hasn’t happened yet for Content Refined
Make sure you’ve inputted your keyword and that you’ve selected your search criteria and then click on Save and Close for the search to begin!
This is where my team sort of customizes things. Our metrics are pretty specific and they are based off of experience. We go after keywords that have 1000+ Monthly Searches and that are under 30% competition. SEcockpit is great for this because they have a filtering tool that will eliminate anything that doesn’t meet our metric.
This metric is simply used because we’ve seen the most success with keywords that fit within these parameters. If client’s prefer to use their own metrics, we will of course abide by that.
Monthly Search Volume Filter: > 1000
Competition Score: < 30%
Then, as you can see here below, we have our comprehensive list of keywords that meet our metrics:
So this is where you need to do some more digging. With this view, it looks like all of these keywords are great, but you need to click on the keyword to view a full keyword analysis which will give you more information to help you determine if it’s a viable keyword for your article.
Let’s look at the Keyword “Charcoal Pills” which has 40,500 monthly searches and only 17.25% competition score. This generally looks like a pretty golden keyword and at first glance it looks like a no-brainer to go after it.
With this comprehensive Keyword Analysis, the top 2 things that we look at is the DA ( Domain Authority and the Top 10 websites. As you can see below, the DA is really high, which means that the competing websites are ranking very well and getting a ton of traffic according to google.
If our client’s site or your site you are building is not already an authority site in it’s space (which in general, most are not ), then it would be a bad idea to go after this keyword for them because their domain will not be able to compete with the authority domain in that space. For example in this case WebMD and other very well known sites in the space
We don't know the secret sauce in the Algorithm that SECockpit uses but I believe they under-value DA and you need to do a manual check on the competition to see that a site like yours can compete in the top 10 (more on that in the next step).
What we do is take a look at the two lower DA’s and have a look at their site to see if we can outrank them for this keyword.
To do this we generally use the tool MarketMuse to analyze the content score of the URL and top 10 pages we want to beat to see if its a soft market.
In general we would like to see a keyword with...
Based on this analysis there are only 2 URLs in the top 10 with DA scores below 70 and they are both reasonably high at approximately 50. In addition the Market Muse content quality score is definitely beatable but isn't wide open.
Let’s try another keyword on the list, here I’ve chosen a Keyword that was provided to us by the tool based off of the “closely related words” function of the search criteria.
Keyword: Activated Carbon Filter- which has 5400 Monthly Searches and has a competition score of 27.39
When we click on it for the Analysis, we can see right away that this will be a more viable option to go after than the last keyword as the DA for the competing sites are lower in general.
Here, I have checked a couple of the Domains and I have determined that I can definitely compete with a few of these sites as their DA is low and ContentScore according to MarketMuse is below 20. This isn’t to say that they won’t be hard to beat, but they are not out of our reach and they are a similar site as the one we have. I’m confident that with the use of SEcockpit, I’m able to find the best keyword using its rankings, but also it’s analysis on who/how other’s are using this keyword in their niche.
Now that we have our Keyword (Activated Carbon Filter), we want to make sure that we create great content that is rich with other related keywords and Content Depth. The higher we can rank for related keywords and the more relevant topics we cover, the better our article is going to rank on google.
For this, we’ve invested in a tool called Marketmuse. What I like to do before I assign my content to my writers is do a Marketmuse Analysis on the Keyword and Topic.
Here, I’ve created an Article title using my Keyword - How an Activated Carbon Filter Works
Next, I’m going to take my Post Title and I’m going to plug it into Marketmuse like this
Now we have our full analysis which will give us a good indication of what the “Market Value” of this keyword is in terms of online content. See below for the breakdown
In the screenshot:
Step 1: If you look at the circled section, these are some key indicators of what your content should be scoring. Personally, I find the “Best Content Score Target” Is pretty inaccurate because I feel as though the “Best Content” is often manipulated. This is why we try and aim above average. In this case, we want to be above 18 ( so generally between 20-25) for our content score with this article.
Step 2: Average word count target is a good indication of how long an article should be.
There are times that I will get back to a Content Refined client who has ordered 8 articles ( who by rule of thumb are 1000 words each article) and I’ve asked if they would rather make their articles longer and fewer ( for example 2 articles at 2000 words and then 4 articles at 1000 words). This is for this exact purpose - to optimize their marketmuse score so that their articles are more valuable in the eyes of google. The longer the article is, the better your article’s market value is going to be on the internet.
Step 3: Marketmuse give us a list of related topics and Keywords which will really help when it comes to assigning articles to a writer. What I do, is just click on the copy button and you can paste the related keywords into the article brief you send to your writer. I generally like to instruct my writers to use as many of the related keywords and topics as possible.
This not only increases it’s chances of getting high scores, but it also makes the article more interesting and broad. With this keyword topic for example, the writer might choose to talk about adsorption capacity as a topic in their article, which they might not have thought of by themselves. It’s just a really good way to make sure the topic is being fully covered in the article to make it a useful article.
That’s pretty much it! You’re done!
Now this wouldn’t be a good blog post without mentioning some of the downsides to our tools:
|Provides niche validation||I can't copy/paste from the interface... very minor but drives me nuts!|
|Appending, prepending and in between words Search||It seems to be down for maintenance quite a bit|
|Amazon and Youtube search||It’s relatively expensive ( This tool costs us about 80 dollars a month to use)|
|Comprehensive keyword analysis|
|Insight on competition factors|
|Identifies low quality content opportunities||It’s REALLY expensive ( costs up to $495/MONTH and you have to sign up for 6 months)|
|Identifies High Quality content in a quantifiable way|
|Provides relevant keywords and topics to help guide your writers|
|Provides insight on how to improve existing content|
|Helps standardize quality|
|Helps you rank based on relevancy which is compatible with google’s Hummingbird algorithms|
In conclusion, with the help of these tools, we’ve essentially been able to create a process that allows us to find the Best Keywords to go after, understand who our competition is, and equip our writers with an analysis of their topic that will allow them to create and submit useful, top quality content better then the page 1 competition.
Hopefully you feel like you understand the process and have access to the same tools that we have to crush out amazing content for your site. If the price tag of these tools looks a little scary to you, you can always save money/time with testing out our Content Refined Service!
For a very reasonable cost/article ratio while reaping the benefits of the tools we use, you won’t be losing! Check out our page here for more details or reach out to maddie@contentrefined for additional information.
If the price point of the previously mentioned tools or ContentRefined makes this process a little out of reach there is an alternative that is free!
SEMRush's "SEO Keyword Magic" tool can be used with a free account and produces some solid results!
The challenge is SEMRush will only generate closely related keywords with the main keyword in it. However, with the filtering options available for Search Volume and KD (keyword difficulty) it can produce some great results.
Other quality tools include Long Tail Pro, Market Samurai (not recommended) and Keyword Snatcher, both can be great but I find SECockpit is the best advanced tool.
See the 2 step process below to get some solid keywords.
Here are the key takeaways from this training...
Tools mentioned (not all are affiliate links)...
Special thanks to Ewen for both his help and taking the time to share his expertise in the video above. You can learn more from him by signing up to his list here.
If we have a TON of interest and questions asked in the comments below we will setup a free webinar to answer the questions live.
From feedback in the great Facebook Group here there have been questions around the topic of what timeline should people be following if they are joining us on the Mortgage Crushing Competition or the How to Make to Make a Website that makes money in 2017 challenge.
This post attempts to layout the modules we will be covering them and where in the process I suggest you be.
One important clarification is that we will be sharing our journey and documenting the steps/providing training to follow along but there is no reason you can’t work ahead or if you come late you should still be able to cover everything.Continue reading
Want to build a site in 2017 that pays your mortgage/rent…
When I was starting out building my portfolio I liked to think about income from my sites in terms of the freedom it would provide… what was on the monthly budget that a sites earnings would pay for!
I would think along the lines of…
In this post I am going to share several strategies I have been deploying on my sites over the last few months and the results these tests/case-studies/strategies have been able to achieve.
All of the strategies listed below are being discussed from experience and not theory. Each of the example sites are from my portfolio. For the four strategies below I highlight 5 sites that are in my portfolio that represent what these strategies are capable of.
I am certain there are many many other strategies that work but these are the 5 I have been having the most success with lately…Continue reading