In 2016 SEO is alive and well; regardless of Google’s quirks, updates and time it takes to recognize white hat strategies your SEO marketing firm is using to help build your online visibility. Years ago the phrase ‘content is king’ was coined, and the growth of content marketing and all the associated strategies has burgeoned into something that is nearly cliche. What you want from your SEO marketing company is a systematic content creation and distribution strategy that builds your authority over time. Let’s look at content-focused SEO tips that can push you to new heights before year’s end:

1) Your content strategy starts with keyword themes. Have your SEO marketing firm take its keyword tool of choice and build a set of themes upon which you will base your content creation. It’s preferable if you don’t base your entire strategy on your mission critical keywords. Work to include long-tail keywords that have low to medium competition. You can even use these as subsidiary keywords under your main keyword themes. Get your themes identified in a list and this list will become the meat of your editorial calendar.

2) Still haven’t found an editorial calendar format you like? Make it easy on yourself with a Google Doc. Here’s a great editorial calendar template that works with Google Docs and when you use it you’ll be able to access your calendar from anywhere.

3) Now that you have your themes and your editorial calendar filled out (Don’t worry about filling it out months in advance; try first to fill out one week, then move to another, and when you feel comfortable, plan your content at least one month in advance. Some people think that editorial calendars mean you have to be rigid with content scheduling. That’s not true – feel free to move things around, but keep to a regular schedule.) it’s time to get writing. All of the steps above and this one can be shared with or delegated to your SEO marketing firm. Many firms like to work with clients that do produce some of their own content, so if you have the resources to do so, you’re encouraged to do some of the writing in-house. Your agency can help edit and optimize it. Your marketing company can also distribute it for you over multiple social and organic channels.

4) You’ve heard of re-purposing content; there’s another purpose for your editorial calendar! Not only can it help you plan your content, it is an excellent tool to use to review what you’ve done in previous weeks and months. If your analytics has shown that your audience loves interviews with your staff shared by you on Sunday nights, then by all means mine that content topic for more gold – create short staff interview videos, share interview podcasts – discover new ways to deliver what your fans want. Your agency can recommend new ways to distribute the content, too.

5) Don’t forget internal linking. Your agency is likely keeping an eye on this for you. Discuss their approach to this important SEO tactic. Discover your highest ranking pages and connect them to some of your new content. Do this in a relevant way so the pages link naturally together. Don’t focus on linking to keyword-rich anchor text like ‘weight loss’ – concentrate on variations and long-tail phrases like ‘see our weight loss e-book’ or ‘view our weight loss infographic’. As you continue to develop content think of ways to logically link it together and watch your rankings for your keyword themes soar.

Need some help building a content strategy? There’s still plenty of time left in 2016 to get a great return on your SEO investment. Organically can devise and manage a powerful content marketing campaign that leads your audience to conversion.