The Big Top: A New Model for SEO-Driven Content

By Joshua Nite

For over a decade now, the fundamental unit of content marketing has been the blog post. Your post may be a block of text, an infographic, or a listicle about memes, but the underlying structure is the same. A regular cadence of posts to the company blog is the foundation of most content marketing strategies.

The problem is, each individual blog post has only a small window of effectiveness for SEO. A post might go viral, get hundreds of shares, and then sit in your archives for eternity. Identifying and promoting evergreen content can get more mileage out of a good post. But by nature and design, these posts aren’t built to be an enduring SEO resource. Think about it: When was the last time you clicked through on a blog post that was over a year old?

That’s not to say you should stop blogging altogether, of course. Blogs generate subscribers, help promote gated assets, contribute to thought leadership—all worthwhile goals for content marketers. But as SEO continues to evolve, it’s time for new models of SEO-driven content.

At TopRank Marketing, we’ve been working on a new way to integrate SEO and content to build longer-lasting, more valuable resources. Essentially, it’s reverse-engineering evergreen content, purposefully building well-supported “tentpole” content with SEO baked in.

Here’s how to design a content strategy I’m calling the “Big Top” model.

#1: Create Your Tentpole(s)

The tentpole content is the big asset that the rest of your strategy will be supporting. It should be a comprehensive take on a single topic relevant to your business and your audience, one with plenty of opportunities to crosslink with supporting content.

Research topics and keywords for your tentpole the way you would any best answer content: listen to customers, evaluate competing content, and use tools like Bloomberry and UberSuggest.

What will make your content into a tentpole instead of a blog post are a few distinguishing features:

  • A tentpole should be between 1500 and 3000 words.
  • Your tentpole will cover multiple aspects of your topic, divided into 250-300 word sections, each section based on long-tail keywords.
  • This last one is key. Your tentpole will not live on your blog. It should have a permanent place of pride, preferably not more than two clicks deep into your site, with a short URL. A “Resources” section is the ideal place.

You can break up the sections in your tentpole with eye-catching visuals, embedded SlideShare or video content, even CTAs to gated content.

Your tentpole is a prime location or influencer engagement as well. Curate quotes from influencers to highlight in the text—or, better yet, reach out to influencers to co-create and cross-promote the content.

Here’s a good example of a tentpole piece our client LinkedIn Marketing Solutions published earlier this year: How to Advertise on LinkedIn. Notice it’s not a post on their blog; it’s a standalone resource. This piece is currently ranking at the top of the SERP for “How to advertise on LinkedIn.”

You don’t have to limit Go to the full article.

Source:: Toprank Blog

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