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SEO and Content Strategy

SEO and Content Strategy

A robust SEO content strategy drives organic traffic and achieves business goals. An effective SEO content strategy involves planning and executing high-quality, search-focused content. This guide will explore the key steps in developing a successful SEO content strategy, focusing on Google's ranking factors and creating topical authority.

Understanding Topical Authority in SEO

Topical authority is an SEO concept where a website becomes the go-to resource on one or more specific topics. It involves covering a topic comprehensively to help search engines understand your site’s expertise. By building topical authority, you improve your chances of ranking for related keywords, even if your domain doesn’t have a high authority score.

Why is Topical Authority Important?

Google uses semantic associations to understand and rank content. When your site covers an in-depth topic, it signals to Google that you are an authority. This helps improve your rankings for related keywords, drives more organic traffic, and increases the likelihood of earning natural backlinks.

Steps to Building Topical Authority

Let's go through this concept step by step.

1. Conduct Comprehensive Keyword Research

Identifying the right keywords is the foundation of building topical authority. Start by finding keywords with high search traffic potential.

Steps to Find Keywords:

  1. Brainstorm Seed Keywords: Begin with broad keywords related to your niche. For example, if your site focuses on "project management software," your seed keywords might be "project management," "project software," and "team collaboration tools."
  2. Use Keyword Research Tools: Tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or Ubersuggest can help expand your list. Enter your seed keywords to find related terms.
  3. Evaluate Traffic Potential: Look for keywords with significant search volume. For instance, “best project management software” might have 10,000 searches per month, making it a high-potential keyword.


If your site focuses on "project management software," you might find keywords such as “best project management software,” “project management software for small businesses,” and “how to choose project management software.”

2. Check the Business Value of Keywords

Evaluate how well a keyword aligns with your business goals. Prioritize keywords that make it easy to pitch your product or service.

Scoring Business Potential:

  • High (3): Directly related to your product and easy to pitch.
  • Medium (2): Related but requires more effort to pitch.
  • Low (1): Indirectly related and challenging to pitch.

Example Calculation:

For "best project management software," if you sell such software, the business potential is high (3). For "history of project management," the business potential might be low (1).

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3. Analyze Ranking Potential

Assess the ranking potential of your chosen keywords by examining factors like backlinks, authority, search intent, and content quality.

Key Factors:

  • Backlinks: Check the number and quality of backlinks to competing pages. Tools like Moz's Link Explorer can help here. For instance, you must build a comparable link profile if the top-ranking page has 100 high-quality backlinks.
  • Authority: Compare Domain Ratings (DR) or Domain Authority (DA) of top-ranking pages using tools like Moz or Ahrefs. Consider the effort needed to compete if your DA is 30 and the competitors are around 50.
  • Search Intent: Ensure the content matches what searchers are looking for. For example, for the keyword “how to manage projects,” users expect a detailed guide, not a product page.
  • Quality: Evaluate the effort needed to create superior content. If the top page reviews 50 project management tools in detail, you must do at least that or offer additional insights.

4. Create High-Quality, Search-Focused Content

Develop content that matches the search intent of your target keywords and provides value to your audience.

Characteristics of High-Quality Content:

  • Real: Authentic and original, bringing new insights.
  • Experienced: Written by experts with deep knowledge.
  • Accurate: Backed by reliable sources.
  • Clear: Well-explained without jargon.
  • Helpful: Solves the reader’s problem effectively.

5. Create Topic Clusters

Organize your content into topic clusters to group related content together, making it easier for both users and Google to find.

Steps to Create Topic Clusters:

  1. Identify Core Topics: Choose broad topics relevant to your niche with substantial search volume.
  2. Subtopics: Break down each core topic into more specific subtopics.
  3. Interlinking: Link your core topic pages with related subtopic pages.

Example Calculation:

For "project management software," a core topic might be "Ultimate Guide to Project Management Software," with subtopics like "best free project management software," "features of project management software," and "how to implement project management software."

6. Write Authority Content

Focus on creating in-depth content that thoroughly covers each topic. Start with pillar pages that serve as comprehensive guides, then create supporting content to dive deeper into subtopics.


For "project management software," a pillar page could be “The Ultimate Guide to Project Management Software,” with supporting articles on specific features, benefits, and comparisons of different tools.

7. Build Relevant Links

Build high-quality backlinks from authoritative and relevant websites to enhance your site’s credibility.

Link Building Strategies:

  • Guest Blogging: Write valuable content for topically related websites.
  • Skyscraper Technique: Create comprehensive content that surpasses existing top-ranking articles.
  • Ego Bait: Mention influencers and key players in your niche and reach out to them.
  • PR: Provide expert quotes for journalists.

8. Maintain High-Quality, Search-Focused Content

Regularly update your content to keep it relevant and maintain your rankings.

Maintenance Tips:

  • Update Content: Refresh outdated information.
  • Monitor Rankings: Use tools to track performance and identify declines.
  • Improve Quality: Continuously enhance content based on feedback and new insights.

Want a deeper dive? Check out the Mega Guide to Content Strategy.

Measuring Topical Authority

While there is no direct metric for topical authority, you can use tools like SEMrush to gauge your progress. Monitor your traffic share, keyword rankings, and backlink profile to assess your topical authority.

Traffic Share by Domains

Use the Traffic Share by Domains report in SEMrush to see how much organic traffic you capture for your target keywords. This can help you identify your major competitors and understand your position in the market.

SEO and Content Strategy FTW

Building topical authority is crucial for a successful SEO content strategy. You can establish your site as an authority in your niche by conducting comprehensive keyword research, creating high-quality content, organizing it into topic clusters, and building relevant links. Regularly update and maintain your content to ensure it remains relevant and valuable to your audience. Follow these steps, and you’ll be well on your way to achieving higher rankings and driving more organic traffic.

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