I'm not usually one for clickbait titles, but I'm ignoring that rule on this occasion. I really think this SEO tactic deserves some attention. Of all the content methods I've used over the past few years, this has been the most successful by far.
SEO can seem overwhelming, with so many self-pronounced ‘gurus' spouting all sorts of advice, or selling some training course or other. But, in truth, you can safely ignore much of what's written. The bulk of it is just rehashed or scraped nonsense from other sites anyway.
I'm not suggesting that technical SEO stuff, like optimised meta titles & descriptions or properly configured schema, aren't important. I'm just conscious you want to get the best SEO results possible with the limited time and resources you have available.
Hands-down, this method really delivers the best bang for your buck!
The smart way to think about content.
Content comes in all shapes and sizes, be it a blog post, Youtube video, Instagram story, e-book or whatever. Each piece of content could potentially rank for a keyword or topic within Google's search results, so each page of your website is potentially a doorway into the rest of your site.
But ranking a single page in isolation is hard, unless it's focusing on a completely unique niche with no competitors, for example:
In reality, there's no such thing as uncompetitive niche. There always seems to be some other website targeting the same keywords and search terms as you.
So what you have to do is to outsmart them. Give Google no choice but to rank your website ahead of all the competition.
SEO isn't the only reason to publish great content.
The purpose of SEO-focused content is to ‘get your website found' when someone searches for a particular keyword or topic. To do this, your content needs to signal to Google and other search engines that it offers the best possible result for that search.
But, critically, it must also satisfy the searcher's intent when they land on the page, otherwise your efforts will be wasted. I've argued this before, but there's no point bringing people to your site if they're going to be disappointed when they get there!
So, in deciding your content strategy, you need to strike a balance between:
a) delivering content that will engage, enlighten and satisfy your reader,
b) being rated by search engines as worthy of appearing in their SERPs (search engine results pages) for a target search term.
A content strategy that delivers great results.
Over the last few years, I've been refining a technique that's helped a lot of my clients rank top in Google for keywords that were previously thought unattainable.
The basic theory is that the deeper the coverage you can give to a particular topic, the more chance you have of being viewed as a subject authority. That's not to say you can write any old crap. The tricky bit is knowing what areas to cover, what to write and how to connect the various pieces of content.
Essentially, you have a central “pillar” or “hub” piece of content that links out to sub-pages known as “cluster” or “spoke” pages. This creates a ‘semantic‘ relationship between your content pages, amplifying their strength and making it easy for search engines to understand what your content is about.
Step 1: Build out your “pillar” page first.
Here's how I would do this for a hair restoration clinic offering ‘hair transplant' services.
First I'd plan out a detailed pillar page focusing on the general topic of hair transplants. This would be a lengthy, well-researched content piece covering a broad range of areas around hair loss in general and the transplant procedure, such as:
- What causes natural hair loss, and any medical conditions that might be a trigger.
- The mental stigma of hair loss and how to overcome it.
- A comparison of different hair transplant techniques.
- The success / failure rate of the hair transplant procedure.
- How best to prepare in advance to ensure a successful outcome.
- The cost of hair transplant procedures and factors that will influence price.
- Are any hair loss treatments covered by health insurance, or available via Treatment Purchase Fund?
- How long does the hair transplant procedure take.
- Factors that will affect the post-procedure recovery time.
- How to ensure the hair transplants remain undamaged after the procedure.
- Things you can / cannot do for a certain period after having a hair transplant.
- Famous celebrities who have had a hair transplant procedure.
Where to get ideas for topics to include in your pillar post?
Aim to get an exhaustive list of search topics that revolve around your main ‘pillar' theme, so try to cover as many angles as possible.
Step 2: Expand on the key areas by writing separate blog posts.
Next, I'd write a series of blog posts expanding in more detail on the various topic areas covered within the hub page. These are going to be the “spoke” pages and they should comprehensively cover whatever the title suggests.
So if I have a post titled, “are hair transplants always successful?” I'd need to go into detail about the factors that could influence a successful or unsucessful outcome, such as the original cause of hair loss, choice of practitioner, type of procedure undertaken, post-procedure care etc.
Step 3: Add links between your ‘hub' and ‘spoke' pages.
When SEO professionals talk of “backlinks”, typically what we're referring to is a hyperlink from a page on a 3rd party website to a page or piece of content on your own site. But in the context of the hub and spoke content model, the hyperlinks are internal, pointing between the hub and spoke pages.
The purpose of linking in this way is to boost the authority of both the hub and spoke posts. The anchor text (i.e. the actual text that the link is added to) from the hub to the spoke will be very specific to the post's subject area, e.g. “what is the best age to have a hair transplant”. The links pointing back from the spoke post to the hub should be more high-level keywords, such as “hair transplant ireland”, “hair transplant surgery” etc.
Not only will linking between the ‘hub' and its spoke pages improve the usability of the content (by helping visitors find answers to their questions), it also creates a network of highly optimised content that sends a strong SEO signal to Google and other search engines.
Once the content pieces are in place, you can further boost their search visibility by sharing links to the hub page and spoke posts on your social media accounts and your Google Business Profile.
Publish regularly and consistently.
If you can find time to write (or outsource) a well-researched post every week or two, or make a short video, Google will reward you healthily. Websites that consistently release good content, covering a range of topics, will have a much wider search visibility than those that publish amazing content every 6 months or so.
It doesn't have to be a “hub and spoke” post. Just choose something that will be of particular value to your target audience, written in your unique voice.
Whatever you create, try pretending it's aimed at someone you know (who's clever, but knows little about the topic). You'll get much better results that way than trying to appeal to an ethereal bunch of faceless people.
Get an expert to do it for you.
Effective SEO content planning and execution is hard. It's a skill very few SEO agencies or consultants do well.
I've seen which methods work and which ones don't. I've done all of the testing for you (lots of successes, along with many failures), so you won't have to go through the failing part.
Believe me, if done correctly, this content-coverage technique will get you Google rankings for keywords that really matter to your business. The results have even surprised me on many occasions.
If you don't have the skills in-house to execute it properly, or feel your current content marketing and SEO attempts have gone a bit ‘stale', I can help.
Call me on 087 6150581 for a chat, or head over here and tell me what help you need.