When we partnered with the folks at ProSource, a home remodeling company that serves trade professionals and their homeowner clients, there was something major missing: a content strategy rooted in SEO. They were publishing content on a regular basis on their blog, but their content was lacking a purpose, and they weren't ranking in the way they had hoped.
Together we decided that, based on their past content marketing efforts, goals, and customer journey, a strategy focused on improving their website's rankings on search engines and increasing their organic search traffic would deliver them the content marketing ROI they were after.
With the amount of content out there, the competition for ranking is higher than ever. Now that everyone is a content creator, the process behind why you are creating content and what you want it to do for you is more important than just creating content for the sake of it and hoping to see results. We used this mentality when working with ProSource to create a content strategy.
Since ProSource came to us with published content in place, we didn't need to start their content strategy from scratch. Instead, we decided to start by looking for opportunities to optimize their existing content. We did this by performing keyword research to identify opportunities to optimize their existing content for search and build topic clusters.
SEO is a long-term play, but we knew that this approach would lead to quick wins and help pave the way for a longer-term strategy down the line.
In order to set up ProSource's content marketing strategy for success, we used keyword research to lay the foundation for our future content strategy.
While conducting our keyword research, we discovered an opportunity to connect with people searching for information about how to start their own interior design company or general contracting business. We also noticed an opportunity for ProSource to rank for keywords related to their core offerings of bath, flooring, and kitchen. These discoveries aligned with their desire to create content that appeals to their existing customer base while also catering to future customers.
We used the knowledge from our keyword research to create the SEO strategy behind our first pillar page, the existing content that we optimized on their site, and the future content that we created together.
We used our keyword research to get started on the company's very first pillar post and topic cluster for their blog.
Pillar posts are long-form blog posts that serve as a one-stop shop for everything a reader might need to know about a particular subject. They essentially sit in the center of a "topic cluster," which is a series of articles about a particular subject that all link back to your in-depth pillar post. This cluster of related content is a signal to search engines that you are truly an authority on a subject.
Image courtesy of HubSpot.
We used our keyword research from step one to determine that our first pillar would be about how to grow a trade pro business and would include a robust breakdown of the different marketing strategies and channels that are available.
We also took notice of additional clusters of keywords that people were searching for:
Then we used that information to build our strategy for ProSource's future pillar pages and topic clusters.
Because we knew it would take time to see immediate results from new content that we published together, we first focused on optimizing ProSource's existing content to ensure it was set up for success and had a solid chance of being discovered by search engines. This meant utilizing our keyword research to identify opportunities to optimize their existing blog content in order to maximize its potential and bring eyes to the website.
In order to do this, we pulled performance analytics and keyword data for ProSource's articles and identified eight blog posts that had the most potential to increase the company's visibility on search. From there, we looked at the existing keywords that these articles were already ranking for and utilized our fresh keyword research to identify new ranking opportunities that would be relevant to those articles. We also built internal links from these articles back to our pillar page, creating "topic clusters" of related articles on the ProSource blog.
For example, for their blog article "Timeless Flooring Choices Transcend Trends," we naturally incorporated various keywords this page was already ranking for, such as:
After our change, this page now ranks on the first page for these queries. This strategy not only helped ProSource improve their position for keywords they were already ranking for, but it also helped them start ranking for new keywords like:
After implementing phase one of ProSource's content strategy, we tracked progress for four months. The content that was optimized saw a:
Also, ProSource went from a 44/100 to a 51/100 domain authority and increased the number of domains linking to their site by 285 percent.
SEO is a long-term strategy. However, by conducting keyword research and using that information to optimize existing ProSource content that wasn't created with SEO in mind, we both laid the foundation for a future strategy and started to move the needle right away.
Natalie Slyman is a content marketing and social media professional. She enjoys reading her favorite blogs, perusing Instagram, and talking about her cats (even when no one is listening).