How to Create a SEO Content Strategy for 2024

SEO content strategy

When you’re trying to boost your website’s prominence in search engine rankings, it’s good to aim high. But getting to those prized top spots takes work. You need a comprehensive SEO content strategy built around audience, keywords, and user intent, as well as a pulse on the ever-changing search landscape.

In this article, we look at how high-quality, SEO-driven content fits into your overall search visibility efforts. We also show you how to build an effective SEO campaign in 2024, taking into account Google’s helpful content update, the growing popularity of AI, voice search, and search generative experience.

4 Elements of an Effective SEO Strategy

Before we dive in, let’s look at the big picture. It’s said that more than 200 Google ranking factors impact where pages fall in the SERPs. SEO content writing is an important part of it — but it’s only one component. 

A comprehensive SEO strategy has four parts:

  • On-page SEO helps search engines understand the meaning of a page so it can be matched to relevant search queries. These tasks include writing meta titles and descriptions, using headers, optimizing images, creating descriptive URLs, and adding internal links. 
  • Off-page SEO involves building backlinks from external sites to demonstrate your content is trustworthy and valuable. A link-building strategy can involve creating guest posts, partnering with influencers, and requesting links in resource directories.
  • Technical SEO helps search bots crawl your site easily and addresses elements such as site speed, loading times, mobile responsiveness, security, and site errors.
  • Content SEO, the focus of our article, is the creation of content that readers want to consume. The content should answer the search query and be easy to read and insightful.

If your business caters to audiences in a specific region or has multiple locations, you should also complement your strategy with a local SEO component to reach customers in those areas.

How does search engine ranking work?

When your site is optimized using the above tactics, search engines can more effectively crawl, index, and rank your pages. 

  • Crawling: Google uses software called crawlers to gather and store information from every web page it can access. 
  • Indexing: The information gathered by search bots is organized and indexed according to SEO elements, such as keywords and metadata. When a user performs a query, search engines pull the relevant page. 
  • Ranking: Search engines weigh factors such as relevance, quality, and user experience to determine how useful the page is and where it should surface in the SERPs.

Google’s Emphasis on Content Quality

Google’s objective is to provide users with the best, most reliable information for their searches. Pages that say the same thing as a dozen other sites? They’re not nabbing that top spot in the SERPs. Blog posts written to hit certain keyword densities with little value? They’re not on Google’s wish list, either.

Instead, create original content for human readers that inspires them to say, “I learned something new!” Google consistently refines search algorithms to find and prominently display these in-depth pages. 

E-E-A-T

Google introduced E-A-T principles in 2014 to ensure the content it promotes is expert, authoritative, and trustworthy. A couple of years ago, an extra “E” was added to these guidelines to emphasize experience or first-hand knowledge.

Search algorithms look for signs of E-E-A-T on your website through backlinks from other sites, traffic and engagement metrics, and topical authority. Consider establishing your credentials in online bios or on an “About” page and leveraging the knowledge of subject matter experts to show your content is credible. 

Helpful content system

Designed to distinguish between high-quality and low-value content, Google’s helpful content system rolled out in 2022. Soon after a 2023 update, pages that didn’t meet the criteria for useful content tumbled in the SERPs.

Google has a checklist to assess the helpfulness of your content. Essentially, you should offer in-depth analyses and comprehensively answer a reader’s questions on a topic. Aim to produce a piece that’s so original and perceptive that a reader would recommend or bookmark it.

These standards also apply if you’re experimenting with AI content creation. Search engines don’t care who (or what) wrote the content as long as it’s meaningful. But you’ll likely find AI-generated content needs some human involvement to deliver the firsthand experience and personalization Google prioritizes.

Building the Foundation of Your SEO Content Strategy

For your content to rank well, it should meet or surpass reader expectations and outdo the pages already occupying the top spots in the search results. Build your strategy around the following components to tailor content to user queries and drive traffic to your site.

Target audience

The first step of SEO content writing is to know who you’re writing for. What are their pain points? Where do they look for information? Do they prefer short-form videos or in-depth articles? Align your content to your customers, and deliver your message in a tone that resonates. 

Industry niche

SEO content strategies vary depending on the industry. Research the keywords customers use when searching for products and services, along with the keywords your competitors target. Landscapers, event planners, plumbers, realtors, and automobile mechanics need to focus on local SEO. Businesses in the health and finance sectors that publish YMYL, or “your money, your life,” topics need to be attentive to quality and subject matter expertise, due to the impact their advice can have.  

Search intent

A good SEO content strategy focuses on keywords and the meaning behind them. Understanding search intent ensures you shape content to answer a user’s questions. For example, a cosmetics company targeting the keyword “moisturizer with retinol” should determine if someone using this phrase wants general information about the product’s benefits or already knows they want the product and are evaluating brands. A look at top-ranking pages or assistance from keyword research tools can help you determine search intent.

SEO specialist Lily Ray notes that search intent can shift, using the example of Barbie. Recently, movie reviews replaced general information about the toy at the top of the SERPs. 

The Doll movie

“A key strategy for handling intense shifts in search intent is to build content that serves every possible intent for your important keywords,” Ray says. “This may require different site sections, articles, videos, images, etc., that each serve a unique purpose for searchers.” 

Content clusters

Sites Google considers reliable sources of content tend to rank better. Build your site’s topical authority to establish expertise. Instead of targeting random keywords, build purposeful content clusters and explore topics in-depth. 

topic cluster example

Image Source: Semrush 

These content clusters serve as your website’s core and help you grow an inventory of content that continually demonstrates knowledge about a specific topic. 

Exceptional content

We’ve talked a lot about optimizing your website for Google, but it’s just as important to remember your content will be read by potential customers, business partners, and stakeholders. As mentioned earlier, focus your SEO content writing on original pieces that provide value to readers. Align your content with E-E-A-T guidelines and the objectives of the helpful content system.

Semrush’s 2024 Ranking Factors Study looked at the content of top-performing pages and found relevancy and quality correlated most strongly with higher rankings. On average, the top 10 ranked pages have 90.6% text relevance and a 76.9% content quality score. Keyword coverage came third at 67.8%. “Don’t waste your time obsessing over keyword count or updating content dates for the sake of making your content appear fresher,” the report advises. “Focus on the things that matter, which is creating content that covers its topic in a way that meets readers’ needs.”

ranking factor study

Key performance indicators

Set goals so you can track the impact of your SEO content strategy and refine your tactics to improve performance. Choose KPIs that reflect what you want to achieve — for example, the number of impressions can be a measure of brand awareness. Common metrics include traffic, keyword rankings, click-through rates, session duration, and conversions. Determine your benchmarks, and measure progress regularly. 

10 Steps to Create a Top SEO Content Strategy

Now that you know the ingredients of an impactful strategy, you’re ready to put the pieces together. Here’s how to create an effective SEO content strategy to land higher in search engine rankings and hit your business goals.

1. Understand your customers

The more precisely you know your target audience, the better you can tailor your campaign to meet their needs. This means understanding their needs, concerns, and motivations at each stage of the buyer’s journey. 

buyer's journey

Image Source: Ahrefs

For example, if you sell baked goods, determine if your audience is most interested in quality (organic), cost (affordability), or a solution to a problem (gluten-free). Create content to capture them at the awareness, consideration, and decision stages. 

2. Research keywords 

Once you identify who you’re writing for, perform keyword research to find the search terms they’re most likely to use. Sort the keywords into topic clusters and begin building an SEO content strategy.  

You’ll want a mix of head and long-tail keywords. For example, “artificial grass” is a head keyword that generates a high search volume, but it’s tough to rank for. You can aim for more precise long-tail keywords with lower search volumes. These keywords make it easier to gain visibility, such as “What are the benefits of artificial grass?”

Long-tail keywords also help you optimize for voice searches. People tend to be conversational when speaking to a voice assistant, saying, “What trees are native to Maryland?” instead of typing “Maryland trees” into a search engine. Similarly, while SGE is still at an early stage, the preciseness of long-tail keywords may improve your chances of surfacing in AI-driven searches.

research keywords

3. Plan your content

Look at your chosen keywords and choose the best format for each piece of content. 

  • Blog posts are simple to publish and can be outsourced to an SEO content writing service to help you scale output.
  • Videos are helpful for product demonstrations, how-to guides, tutorials, presentations, and fun behind-the-scenes content.
  • Podcasts give your brand a personal touch and enable you to bring in experts and leverage their audiences.
  • Infographics are a visual way to deliver information and are easily shareable.
  • E-books share valuable expertise and can be used to generate marketing leads when gated.
  • Case studies show customers how your product or service makes a difference.
  • Interactive content, such as mortgage calculators, quizzes, games, polls, and interactive maps, encourages user engagement. 

4. Create a content calendar

Use an editorial calendar to plan the content rollout. This helps manage workflow and ensures everyone on the team works toward the same goals. It also ensures you don’t miss out on seasonal marketing opportunities in your industry. 

Build deadlines into your calendar for writing, editing, and publishing, assigning each task to a team member. Prioritize pieces that focus on important core keywords first, and grow your content clusters later. 

If you don’t have the in-house resources to devote to content writing, consider a blog writing service to implement your strategy. Freelance writers can support your team when you need extra hands on deck or ensure a continuous output of content to steadily grow your blog.   

5. Ensure content can be crawled and indexed

Optimize each piece of content according to SEO best practices before you publish. Format content with headers, use metadata, add internal links, and ensure pages load quickly for desktop and mobile devices.

Remember, search engines can’t crawl webinars, videos, images, infographics, and other visual content. You can provide transcripts or written summaries to convey the meaning of content and help with indexing.

6. Develop an off-page SEO strategy

Complement your SEO content strategy by building backlinks from third-party sites that are respected in your niche. There are a few ways to create these links:

  • Share your expertise by publishing guest posts that link back to your site.
  • Partner with influencers or businesses that may have the same target audience.
  • Add your site to directories with local chambers of commerce or business associations.
  • Make new content shareable on social media.

7. Engage users

As your pages climb the search rankings, you should see an increase in organic traffic. Make sure those who land on your site have a great user experience. The site should be easy to navigate, visually appealing, and filled with relevant, interesting information. The more you engage users and the longer they stick around, the more likely you are to establish trust and brand awareness.

I am John quote: how to engage users

8. Track performance

Set goals for your SEO content strategy and track your progress toward achieving them. You can monitor the impact of specific campaigns and compare quarterly or annual performances. Use the data to build on successes or refine your approach if performance falls short. 

For example, if a page ranks well but isn’t generating click-throughs, you might need to rewrite your meta title and description to be more compelling to readers. If a page has a high bounce rate, the content might fall short of reader expectations. 

9. Understand the search landscape

Search engines are continuously updating algorithms and ranking factors to better serve users. Read up on SEO with Crowd Content’s blog, and ensure you’re following best practices. This helps you respond to changes in the search landscape as they occur and stay ahead of your competition.

10. Update content regularly

As the bar rises on quality SEO content, readers expect timely and accurate information when clicking through to sites. Regularly review your posts to ensure you’re providing the best information possible. Remove outdated information, use current statistics, and fix broken links.

Put Your SEO Content Strategy to Work

Whether your SEO content strategy involves blog posts, e-books, case studies, or landing pages, harness the power of Crowd Content’s skilled freelance writers. Our SEO content writing services deliver high-quality, publish-ready content to help you drive traffic and conversions. Ask us about our writing and editing services, and put your SEO content strategy into action today. 

Carlos Meza

Article by

President and Chief Executive Officer at Crowd Content.

Carlos is a guiding voice in an SEO and content creation industry brimming with turbulent growth. He has leveraged his past experience as a technology executive, engineer, and corporate financier to bring innovative end-to-end content creation solutions to SMBs and enterprise clients around the globe — delivering high-quality, scalable products through the marriage of human talent, technology, automation, and artificial intelligence.

Powered by Crowd Content image

Content Creation for Your Blog

Get More Info
Content Marketing

6 Must-Know Google Algorithm Predictions for 2023

Continue reading

Content Marketing

Simplifying the Complex: Why Technical Writing Matters

Continue reading