1. Ideas and Keyword Research
To create an SEO friendly content piece, you need to start thinking of SEO processes right from the offset. If you are working from a blog content plan, then you don’t need to worry too much about this initial stage. Usually, the initial idea generation and keyword research will have already been done for you when working with a content plan.
If you are stuck for inspiration on what to base your blog around, we recommend using tools such as Answer The Public. This tool allows you to enter a word or phrase that’s relevant to the blog or website you are working on. Once you’ve hit search, lots of different ideas based around search habits are generated for you to choose from.
If you have a topic or phrase you want to explore ideas around, try putting these into Google to see what other blog posts/pages come up in the search to give you inspiration and an idea of what people are already searching for. Looking at Google’s related questions for inspiration is a great way to help you angle and shape your content and, if included in your content, could result in you capturing this SERP feature. If you are unfamiliar with the term, ‘SERP feature’, then check out our post dedicated to answering the question, what does SERP mean?
Once you have a rough idea of what you are hoping to write your blog about, you need to check that there are search terms that support your idea. SEO and content writing wouldn’t be possible without search terms. So, using Google Keyword Planner, Moz or whatever software you prefer, you need to conduct some keyword research around your ideas. We recommended choosing three to four search terms to target in your post.
Be sure to check that the website or blog you are working on isn’t already targeting your chosen search terms in another piece of content. You don’t want to be competing with or duplicating any content already on the website. Based on these search terms, you can now come up with an optimised title for your content piece, meaning a title that includes one of your search terms in some capacity. Ideally, the search terms should feature towards the start of the title for extra SEO value!
Tip: Write down any ideas that come up when researching different angles, or that can be featured in sections, during this whole process. Doing this could really help shape the different -sections of your piece and make things easier for you during the next research and planning stage.
2. Contextual Research and Planning
Now you’ve chosen the search terms you want to target, and have a few ideas jotted down to include as sections and sub-titles, you can conduct your contextual research.
Start by researching some of the sections/sub-titles you have already highlighted from your search terms and notes. If you are unsure where to begin with this, start by putting your chosen search terms into Google and seeing what information comes up. Any points or information that are relevant to your piece you can start to add in bullet point form and start to form sub-sections you want to cover.
Creating a skeleton of a post, which includes bullet-pointed information from your research and any notes you have surrounding this or want to include, is a great way to start planning your piece. Doing this means that all you need to do when writing is develop, optimise and put all of your points together, creating relevant and well-structured foundations for your content.