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Building a successful content strategy requires a combination of market research, data collection, and intuition. While intuition is not exactly a science, the other two, thankfully, provide a predictable and methodic means of achieving results. Before jumping into the mechanics of building a successful content strategy, we need first to define what a successful content strategy looks like.

In a nutshell, a content strategy is considered successful if users can find your content and in extension, your business, easily and with a minimal amount of search (possibly with the first search.) If you run a blogger outreach business, this success would translate into more targeted inquiries to your business seeking the specific services you offer. With that in mind, how does a search engine define a successful search?

Search Intent

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When a person performs a search using a search engine, the search algorithm must calculate what the person’s search intent is. In other words, what they are searching for as defined by whatever it is they typed in. For instance, a person may type in “concert tickets Chicago.” This search could mean the person wants to buy tickets, sell tickets, find out how much tickets are, find out what bands are in town, etc.

The challenge here is deducing which of these outcomes match the real intent of the person searching. While search engines work hard to create smart algorithms, content marketers can make this process more accurate by encoding search intent into the content they create. This codification is achieved through a keyword strategy.

Keyword Strategy

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Functionally, a keyword strategy is geared towards making a website more findable on the web. Also, the strategy is focused on improving the position of the website in search results. Generally, most people think of keywords as magical words or phrases that will bring them more traffic. However, understanding keywords from a search intent perspective gives more context to how and why to pick certain keywords.

Going with our previous example, “concert tickets Chicago,” the first two words “concert + tickets” represent the primary search intent while “Chicago” is the secondary search intent. Now because search engines parse this information this way, your keyword strategy should follow the same model. When doing keyword research, you should be thinking about what the primary and secondary search intent of your target audience is.

If you sell concert tickets, then this informs the content you need to create. This content must serve this specific primary search intent. You must also consider the secondary intent as this builds context into the primary search intent.

Applying Algorithmic Techniques


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Now that you have this perspective, you can use a spreadsheet to calculate the weighted intent of all the keywords you pick. You can follow the instructions found here to calculate these values. The values you derive will create a hierarchy for your content, giving you an idea of what content will have the highest probability of meeting searcher’s intent. By doing this, you can focus on what works best in your content marketing strategy.