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13 Powerful SEO and Content Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Blog

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We’ve heard it – content is king.

Content that is helpful to your audience and builds trust is the cornerstone of an online business. Content can be used as a medium to convert traffic to leads, build trust around your products and services. Eventually, pave the way for a business.

Since starting the LeanneWong.Co blog, blog posts have been the primary way I connect with my audience. The results have been nothing short of amazing.

A community of 3,700+ bloggers and entrepreneurs and a business built on digital courses. It all started with a single blog post.

Content does not stand alone. You need traffic coming to your content, a system to convert traffic into subscribers and a sales funnel to convert leads into sales.

What I’d like to do today is share my experience and some proven methods that have helped grow the LeanneWong.Co blog using organic traffic strategies and content marketing.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I will make a commission at no extra cost to you should you click through and make a purchase.

Here are the strategies you’ll learn today:

Tip #1: Work on organic traffic early

As a blogger or small business, we need to deliberately put our content in front of people for it to be seen.

There are a number of ways to drive traffic to a website. Let’s start with the two main traffic sources for a business.

Paid traffic

Paid traffic comes from advertising. Such as Facebook Ads, Google Ads, and Promoted Pins.

Online advertising campaigns require an advertising spend over an extended period of time to see results. Such as $10/day over a 30-day period or a total campaign budget of $100 and higher.

No budget, no traffic.

Organic Traffic

Unlike paid traffic, you don’t need to pay to drive traffic from organic sources. Organic traffic comes from Google.

Organic traffic drives the most traffic and is the most sustainable.

  • Organic traffic is free, which means you don’t pay to rank on Google organic search results.
  • Organic traffic is huge. There are 5 billion search queries made on Google every day, and there are 400 million active monthly Pinterest users.

SEO

This is why I always recommend my audience to start optimizing for SEO early.

Especially for SEO because it takes a while for Google to rank your content on search results and if you’ve just bought a brand new domain, it could take up to a year to climb the ranks of Google.

Want to learn SEO and grow your blog? Check out these SEO guides and free courses:

Pinterest

Another great source of free traffic is Pinterest.

Pinterest is a visual search engine and is much easier than Google, and it has massive traffic potential as well. Here are a few awesome guides on Pinterest traffic:

Pinterest Case Study: How I got 459% Increase in Organic Views in 1 Week

10 Ways to Drive Massive Pinterest Traffic to Your Business

Keyword Strategy for Pinterest SEO: The Definitive Guide (2021)

Next, let’s talk about content creation.

Tip #2: Create extremely, extremely helpful content.

There should be a clear purpose for every piece of content you publish.

So the reader walks away with a tangible benefit after spending time reading your article. This is the best way to create helpful content. The best types of content that can help your audience:

  • Tutorials
  • How-to blog posts
  • Step-by-step guides
  • Practical case studies
  • Ultimate guides

I find that tutorials and how-to blog posts are easy wins because they are easy to create and immediately solves a pain point.

They could be between 800 – 1000 words. Target a focus keyword and serve one objective.

Case studies and ultimate guides are my favorite. They are also called cornerstone content or pillar pages.

Because they are so meaty and lengthy (3,000 words or more), they rank for a lot of keywords and long-tails. These articles tend to have a good ranking ability because of dense keyword targeting.

Highly quality backlinks are important to boost keyword rankings and traffic from Google. Link building is often a resource-intensive and potentially expensive task.

A better way?

Write good content that gets your brand featured naturally. I’ve found that useful and results-driven case studies are the most effective at attracting backlinks.

I use SEMrush to assess the authority of backlinks. High-quality backlinks come from websites with an authority score of 50 or higher.

Backlink from Spyfu.com

Spyfu.com is an authoritative company in the SEO industry with a pretty high authority score (64/100). I was quite happy to get featured in their blog because not only did it provide a high quality backlink to my website, but qualified referral traffic too.

spyfu domain authority

In Spyfu’s article on ‘5 of the Best SEO Case Studies to Get You Pumped’, they featured my SEO case study:

case study seo backlink

Backlink from Nichehacks.com

nichehacks domain authority

Nichehacks.com is an authoritative blog about digital marketing and affiliate marketing. In their article, they showcased my case study about Pinterest Traffic:

nichehacks-feature

Backlink from Mailpoet

mailpoet domain authority

More recently, an article from Mailpoet featured my email course:

case study seo email

There was no manual outreach done to get my articles featured on these authoritative websites at all. I noticed these new backlinks from the backlink alerts from Ahrefs.

I believe my articles were found on Google and Pinterest, and then picked up as a case study. That’s the power of content marketing, it has legs way beyond its publication date.

Tip #4: Content that convince and convert

There is no lack of content on the Internet. To make content stand out is no easy feat either.

There is usually a lot of effort and money invested to promote content. So we have to make every piece of content we publish count.

Also, it is hard work to create content.

It takes a few days for me to publish an article and sometimes a week to write a lengthy guide. Content marketing pays off when your audience becomes your customer.

seo client enquiry feedback

seo enquiry client feedback

Content should pay off in the form of conversions.

  • Cold traffic comes to your website and your content should convince that stranger to become a lead.
  • Consistently good content converts new leads into sales.

By publishing free content on the blog, I get a steady stream of new client inquiries organically. No cold calls or outreach. People come to you naturally – create content that convinces and converts.

Tip #5: Find content topics that your audience already cares about

A common frustration with content creation is finding ideas.

  • What blog post topic should I write about today?
  • Where do I find blog post ideas?
  • How do I plan content topics for a whole year?

An effective way to find content topics to write about is to talk to your audience. Some things I’ve tried:

  • Sending a broadcast email to your subscribers asking what topics they would want to learn.
  • Use a poll on your Facebook group to ask your audience what topics they are interested in.
  • Spy on other Facebook groups in your niche to see what questions people are asking.

facebook poll seo topics

These methods are reliable because they are coming from real people with real interests. I already know that there are people interested in these topics and would be receptive if I created a new blog post / training / course about them.

Tip #6: Use your blog content to bring about a transformative change

LEANNE WONG BLOGGING KEYWORDS CONTENT SRATEGY

The end goal of any reader is to improve their current situation. Your blog should help to enable this change.

A search query on Google is someone trying to solve a problem. This person is definitely looking for more information and that’s the reason for “Googl-ing”.

How your blog content can solve their search query will be key to converting that audience.  Think about a ‘Before’ and ‘After’ situation that your audience may be facing. 

For example, my audience are small businesses with lean budgets, and they’re struggling with low rankings on search engines. My content focus on how they can improve their organic visibility without increasing marketing spend.

Your target audience’s ‘before’ position is the current struggle they are facing.

This is where you’ll build the foundation of your content strategy:

  • seed keywords
  • queries of problem statements

Your target audience’s ‘after’ position is the goal of your readers.

It’s why they’ve been scouring the internet for. These are positive outcomes such as:

  • happiness / joy / confidence
  • solutions, easy fixes to a frustrating problem

Your blog is the bridge to bring your readers from their current state to a better one.

Tip #7: Find the best performing content in your niche

A smart way to create content is to replicate what already works. We can easily find the best performing content in any niche by using tools like Buzzsumo, Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Google Keyword Planner.

No need to start from scratch. Find a well performing article and replicate the same success.

Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo: the best free tool to find the most shared content.

  • Type in your topic and use a handy tool like Linkclump to copy all the URLs from those articles into a spreadsheet.
  • These articles have proven to work and should have a similar success pattern. Dissect their structure and create content that further adds to the conversation.
  • Take note of the title, meta description and sub-headings.

Ahrefs

Ahrefs Content Explorer: a premium tool by Ahrefs to discover the most popular content in any topic, by organic traffic, backlinks and social shares.

  • It’s practically an all-in-one suite for content research. You can try signing up for their 7 day trial for $7 just to see the comprehensive results for your research.

Google Keyword Planner

You can also use Google Keyword Planner to find keywords that a page is ranking for.

Here’s an example to create epic content using Google Keyword Planner.

Tip #8: Create content buckets for your reader’s journey

Your blog is a network of content pieces in a niche that targets a specific audience.

Content buckets help you organize your content pieces to get your readers from one point to another. It’s a journey you craft for your audience.

content buckets for SEO writing

No one can become an expert in a particular topic after reading 1 article.

You need different types of content mapped to different search intents. A person visiting your site for more information might be looking for a resource article or tutorial post, whereas someone searching for a solution is more ready to convert into a lead.

Having content buckets enables your blog to act as a sales funnel that turns visitors into leads and into paying customers.

But your reader gets there step by step. Through multiple blog posts and content formats, at different touchpoints with your blog. Some examples of content buckets:

  • Awareness: to attract visitors and cold traffic
    • ‘How to’ articles
    • List posts
    • Guides
    • Roundup articles
  • Consideration: to attract leads
    • Case studies
    • Tutorials
    • Free resources
  • Purchase: to convert into sales
    • Webinar
    • Free trial
    • Demo

Tip #9: Target keywords with high traffic potential

Keywords with high traffic potential have high search volume. You can easily gauge the search volume of a keyword with tools like Moz, Ahrefs, SEMrush, Ubersuggest, and Google Keyword Planner.

We are looking for the average monthly search volume of a keyword.

Screenshot from Google Keyword Planner:

google-keyword-planner-skincare

I trust Google Keyword Planner over other tools because it comes directly from the source itself – Google.

Only Google knows how many searches are made on its search engine. Checking the search volume of keywords is important because you want to rank for keywords that can bring your website traffic.

Ideally, every blog post / page on your website should have a focus keyword. This is the main keyword topic you are trying to rank for. The main keyword focus should be a seed keyword.

Aim for seed keywords with at least 1K-10K avg. monthly search volume.

#10. Check for search intent of keywords

Search Intent is the purpose behind a person’s search.

Somebody searching for “cheap coffee machines” is likely looking to take action to make a purchase.

You’ll notice Shopping Ads on the search results –

search intent shopping seo

You might also see Local Maps on the search results –

search intent local maps seo

This indicates that the intent for “cheap coffee machines” is transactional in nature. Google is giving us valuable hints on its search engine results page (SERPs) already:

  • Shopping Ads
  • Local Maps
  • Google My Business Listings
  • Google Ads

Search intent is key to creating the right content type to rank on Google.

If we want to rank for “cheap coffee machines”, informational content like blog posts would NOT satisfy this purchase intent and that’s why blog posts are not dominating search results for this keyword.

The right content type would be product pages. In this case, a cafe or commercial website where people can actually purchase a coffee machine. That’s why we see Google ranking e-commerce websites and coffee brands ranking high on SERPs.

Creating the right content that is aligned with search intent is as crucial as that content ever ranking on search results at all.

Read more: What is Search Intent in SEO? A Guide to Writing Content that People Love

Tip #11: Optimize your article for on-page SEO

After figuring out keyword strategy and search intent, on-page SEO is next.

Optimizing your blog post is more than just adding keywords to your article.

  • What part of my article has the most impact on rankings?
  • How can I improve the SEO-friendliness of my article?
  • How can I create SEO-optimized articles that have the best chance possible to rank on search results?

On-Page SEO is all about making optimizations on the page to improve rankings. These are factors you can control.

In terms of keyword targeting:

  • Keyword targeted in the title, meta description, and URL.
  • Content should be sufficient and target a variety of long-tails and keyword variants.
  • Images have alt text and contain relevant keywords.
  • Internal and external links are on the page, with keyword-optimized anchor text.

In terms of user experience:

  • Compress your images and ensure that each image size is not more than 200KB, the smaller the better as it reduces the time needed to load your page.
  • Use Google Analytics to check the bounce rate of your website and key pages.
  • Check the page speed of your website and blog posts. Ideally, it should load under 3 seconds.

Read more: 7 Elements of a Perfectly SEO Optimized Blog Post (+Checklist)

Tip #12: Build backlinks to improve page authority

Link building is an essential part of SEO.

Like it or not, we need backlinks to rank on Google. Don’t just build backlinks to your homepage though, because you want to distribute link value from backlinks throughout your website.

Most importantly, you want to improve the page authority of key pages on your website. 

  • Domain authority = overall authority of your entire root domain (website)
  • Page authority = individual authority of a single page (URL)

Different pages on your website will have different page authority. The most common case is that your homepage has the highest page authority because it attracts the most number of backlinks.

Part of your link building strategy should be to build authoritative backlinks to individual, specific pages on your website. Such as:

  • Pillar pages
  • Cornerstone blog posts
  • Evergreen product / service pages
  • Opt-in landing pages

Higher page authority increases the trustworthiness of that page and thus, increases its ability to rank higher on Google.

Tip #13: Use traffic strategies to amplify your content reach

Content needs to have legs. It can’t be hiding in an obscure corner of the web.

Start with building organic traffic first – Google SEO and Pinterest. I would suggest focusing on mastering these two sources of traffic in the first year of blogging.

Organic traffic should be an ‘always-on’ traffic acquisition strategy for your website. These are regular optimization tasks you do to maintain this passive influx of traffic.

SEO

  • Targeting keywords in your content.
  • Optimizing for on-page SEO
  • Building new backlinks to your website and key pages
  • Creating new content and updating old content
  • Improving site speed

Pinterest

  • Creating fresh, new pins daily or weekly
  • Optimizing your pin title and description for keywords
  • Targeting keywords in your Pinterest boards
  • Using analytics and a scheduler like Tailwind to maximize your reach

Paid traffic – Facebook Ads

Once you’ve mastered organic traffic and have an email list, you can consider amplification with Facebook Ads.

Facebook is extremely powerful because of its unparalleled audience network. You can very easily tap into a new audience that shares similar interests to your business and capture new leads at a low cost.

Learn more about my experience with Facebook Ads: How to Run Profitable Lead Generation Campaigns for $1.26 Per Lead

Phew, that was a LOT to cover!! You did well, buddy.

Did you enjoy this guide? Want more content like this? Let me know which tip was your favorite in the comments below!

Resources to continue learning:

Free Course: 4-Day SEO for Beginners Bootcamp

Free Resource Library

How I Used Convertkit to Grow My Email List to 1,000 Subscribers

SEO Made Simple: A Step-By-Step Guide to Rank on Google

SEO Case Study: How to Rank in the First 2 Results on Google

What is Search Intent in SEO? A Guide to Writing Content that People Love

Keyword Strategy for Pinterest SEO: The Definitive Guide (2020)

10 Ways to Drive Massive Pinterest Traffic to Your Business

leannewong-profile-2018

Author: Leanne Wong

Leanne Wong has taught over 5,600+ entrepreneurs and bloggers how to successfully market and grow their business online. 

Join 5,600+ others and receive full access to:

Leanne’s free digital marketing resource library: A growing collection of ebooks, checklists, strategy workbooks to accelerate your blog’s growth.

44 People reacted on this

  1. Thank you so much, I definitely need this! I just got my blog to the point where I consider it ready for people to see–but I have no idea what to do next! There’s so much to learn about blogging and I appreciate how you’ve broken it down so there’s a roadmap to follow.

  2. SEO is so intimidating to me, I find myself trying to learn all I can from it. However, there is just SO much information about this topic. You’re ties are truly helpful!

  3. Wow, another thing I’m bookmarking because this is so helpful! I totally believe that content needs to help someone. Will be digging into this more later!

  4. Such a great in-depth blog post. I always tell people just starting out to make helping people and answering their questions your main priority!

  5. Another well researched and wonderfully written article Leanne! Your knowledge and fluency with this subject shine through without being intimidating or overpowering. Well done and extremely helpful for new bloggers like myself. Thanks

  6. Such a great article, thank you for sharing these tips and helpful tools to use to grow as a content creator. I’ve actually stumbled on this post before and am happy with my growth!

  7. Leanne, this is such awesome SEO advice! Right now my goal for 2019 is to work on SEO: refurbishing old content and reposting, and creating new content that is SEO strong! Thank you so much for breaking down the strategy into small bite-size pieces that are easy to understand.

  8. The advice in this blog post was absolutely phenomenal! I actually spent time jotting down major takeaways and notes in a notebook, which I rarely do! But you made content marketing so easy to understand. Thank you so much for writing this valuable piece of content!!

  9. Wow, I love the level of detail and the specific examples! So many posts on this topic say “create great content,” but you break down what that actually means. I also like your tips about targeting reader’s pain points and understanding your reader on an intimate level. There’s one person I follow who makes YouTube videos and it’s amazing because I always feel like his videos are reading my mind!

    1. Thank you, Kate! Soooo happy you enjoyed the article (took me almost 2 weeks to write this massive piece), but it’s so worth it 🙂 Let me know if you have any questions along the way, would love to hear how the strategies have worked for you.

  10. Wow I am still so lost on SEO after 4 years of blogging..it is so so much to understand and study…It seems by the time you write, take photos, edit, promote , site maintenance etc…there is hardly time to dive into this stuff…I know this is why my page views still suck after 4 years- even though my content is good… I need to spend some time on your site!

    Thank you for sharing!

    1. Hi Valerie! I feel you, SEO is not an easy topic to grasp – so many components and technicalities make it incredibly overwhelming. But patience is key! I also have an SEO course that puts together the fundamentals of SEO and how to increase traffic in 90 days, if you’d like to check it out: https://leannewong.teachable.com/p/seo-demystified/ Keep me updated on your progress and if you have any questions please feel free to drop me a note.

    1. So glad to hear that, Olle! Please keep me updated on your results, would love to hear how the strategies have worked for you 🙂

  11. Hello there.
    Good to read. In my own opinion, guest post on sites like HBR, Killer Startups or Blogr can bring lots of benefits to your name as an author and boost up your online presence.
    Kindest Regards: Chris

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