Content marketing is where a business uses video, copy (text), audio or any type of content to generate interest. Good content marketing aims to engage an audience in a wider subject area and provide valuable information, rather than purely sell a product or service. For content marketing to be effective, it is a good idea to create a strategy. Our guide outlines how to create a content strategy for your equine business.
How to Create a Content Strategy
How do Blogs Help SEO?
Blogging is the main form of content used by many businesses. Not only do blogs help educate, engage and build trust for your audience, they are also good for your website SEO. Blogs help your SEO in three main ways.
Firstly, you can use blogs to help your website rank for your focus keywords. These keywords should already be covered by your main website pages, but using them in your blogs can help improve those rankings further.
Secondly, your blog is a useful way of getting your website to rank for a wider set of keywords. These keywords may not directly relate to your core products or services. Instead, they will be questions, “how to” search terms and other keywords relating to your wider subject area. For example, an equine vet may blog about wider veterinary-related topics (e.g. colic, mud fever, first aid and biosecurity). These keywords are unlikely to be the core focus of their main website pages, which should be reserved for their products or services (e.g. vaccinations, emergency call-out services, lameness investigations and pre-purchase examinations).
Finally, by engaging with your wider audience, you are building trust, authority and awareness. Many people reading your blog may not immediately require or be in the position to purchase your product or service. However, they are part of a wider group of interested people who may one day become customers or who may share your content or recommend your business to someone else. By capturing people’s attention and building that trust early, you are helping to secure their custom further down the line.
How Often Should I Blog for SEO?
Blogging does take time to do properly. If you are a small business or one-man-band (as many equestrian business are) then you will need to be realistic about how many articles you can write, optimise and publish each month.
As a rule, we always recommend one well-written, properly optimised article over four short, poorly thought out articles that aren’t optimised. Think quality over quantity.
However, four really strong blog articles every month would be the ideal situation and this is what we recommend for most of our equestrian SEO clients. Google likes to see high-quality, engaging and useful content being published at regular intervals. It does not like stale, outdated content that isn’t optimised and does not provide value.
Step 1: Keyword Research
The first step in creating your content strategy is to carry out keyword research. I won’t go into great detail here but you can find out all about how to find keywords for SEO in our other guide.
When it comes to finding keywords for your blogs, remember to include keywords that relate directly to your products and / or services, and expand outwards to include search terms that are indirectly relevant to your business.
The keywords you choose to focus on for your blog strategy should include:
“How to” search terms (e.g. how to tack up a horse, how to sit the canter, etc)
Keywords that are relevant to your area of expertise (e.g. for a vet, these may include keywords such as “mud fever symptoms”, “colic symptoms”, “equine leg anatomy”)
Keywords that you directly relate to your products / services
Each blog article needs one focus keyword. Your focus keyword should be different for every blog article and page on your website. Ideally, you should also include a secondary and reserve keyword for each article, but these can overlap. The keywords you choose to focus on for each article should be relevant to the article itself.
Step 2: Plan Your Blog Topics
Once you have your keywords, you will need to plan your blog topics. This part can take a few adjustments as you work out which keywords to allocate to which article, as well as when to publish each article.
It’s helpful to create a spreadsheet showing which topics will be covered in each month.
Remember that it can take a couple of weeks for Google to “index” your blog articles, and around six months for an SEO strategy to begin working properly. Remember to factor this in when writing seasonal articles.
Step 3: Write Your Meta Titles & Meta Descriptions
Meta titles and meta descriptions are what you will usually see displayed in the search engine results. They are a fundamental aspect of SEO, so they need to be written properly. Your meta titles should be around 55 characters long, and your meta descriptions around 150 characters long. Both should include your focus keyword and ideally your secondary and / or reserve keyword if possible.
Your meta titles and descriptions should form readable sentences. Do not just stuff your keywords in! Again, it may be useful to create a spreadsheet.
Step 4: Write & Optimise Your Blog Content
When it comes to writing and optimising your blogs, this can either be done in batches or as you go along. Consider what would work best for you - some people prefer to dedicate an entire day to writing a batch of blog articles, whilst others prefer to take an hour a week to write their content as they go along.
I will go into more detail about how to write and optimise blog articles in a future article, but for now I have a few tips for you:
Keep your paragraphs short (5-6 sentences)
Read and re-read your content. Make edits as required. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but try to avoid typos and errors.
Each article should be at least 300 words long (ideally 500-1,000 words)
Each article will need one H1 (the title) and multiple H2 sub-headings
Remember who your audience is - they need to be able to understand your article, but may not necessarily need every single thing explained to them.
Each article should contain at least one image
Remember to include a brief introductory paragraph (include your focus keyword here) and a concluding paragraph with a call-to-action (CTA) or link back to your business.
You should aim to mention your focus keyword 2-3 times and your other keywords 1-2 times throughout the article.
Purple Horse Marketing | Equine Marketing Consultants
We are equine marketing consultants specialising in SEO. As part of our complete SEO service, we can create your blog content strategy for you. Many of our clients also benefit from our SEO blog writing and optimisation services, which saves them time and allows them to get the best results from content marketing for their equine businesses. Book your free consultation or contact us today to enquire.