How to Use SEO Keyword Trends to Increase Revenue

Corey Grigg

November 28, 2022

With over 200 ranking factors Google uses to assess and position a webpage in search engine results, keywords are still a crucial aspect to any SEO strategy. Relevant keywords need to be placed across many elements of the page, from the title tag and H1 to on-page copy to help search engines understand the intent of the page.

However, if a brand is looking to accelerate its SEO success, you need to look beyond the monthly average search volume SEO tools provide. Diving deeper to understand that keyword search volumes actually change on a monthly basis—they rise and fall based on many factors—is key to elevating your strategy, increasing revenue and targeting users when they are actually searching online.

How to Use Keyword Trend Data?

Having seasonal keyword trends data can be incredibly powerful for your brand. Being able to understand what your users are searching for and when can influence many aspects of your business, from when to launch products, to selecting the most seasonally relevant terms to include in your on-page copy.

1. Better Plan Product Launches & Drops

How to Use SEO Keyword Trends to Increase Revenue - 1

After creating numerous iterations of keyword projects for a wide range of clients, the most consistent feedback we are given on how keyword documents are used is for helping plan product launches aligned with when users are searching for them.

A real-life example of this is a client choosing to bring forward the launch of their puffer jacket product collection to meet consumer search interest, rather than following previous fashion cycle patterns.

Looking at the keyword seasonality trends, puffer jacket keywords begin to increase in volume in February each year, hitting their peak in June. This is not a once-off trend and has been repeated in past years. Previously, the brand was launching their puffer jacket range in May, which from a weather perspective is ideal, with the temperature cooling down ahead of winter—perfect for wearing puffer jackets.

However, after analysing SEO trends, having puffer jackets available from February onwards, when users are starting to search for these products, would potentially lead to an increase in revenue and traffic to the site. This tactic of aligning keyword trends with user behaviour and product launches can also be applied to almost every industry and product category, from FMCG items to clothing collections.

2. Optimisation of Landing Pages & Product Pages

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Keyword seasonality data can also be used to plan optimisations of landing and product pages. This is, in particular, extremely effective for seasonal products, or evergreen landing pages that are used across multiple campaigns throughout the year.

Looking at the fashion ecommerce industry, seasonal products such as coats and jackets to shorts and tank tops, can all benefit from an injection of seasonally relevant keywords. For coats and jackets, focusing on keywords to do with layering and transeasonal dressing should be implemented in autumn, which can then be switched out with keywords concentrating on warmth and comfort in winter. This strategy can be implemented on a range of pages, including individual product pages and product category pages.

Likewise, evergreen and core products or categories that see multiple seasonal campaigns should also be optimised using seasonal keyword data. Gift cards and gifting pages are a common example of this, where gift cards and other gifting product sales spike before the event and quickly die down afterwards. By optimising these pages ahead of the gifting holiday (e.g. Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, etc.), you’ll be increasing the likelihood of these pages ranking—and therefore increasing revenue—for those specific event terms (e.g. father’s day gift ideas).

3. Understanding Store Visitation Seasonality

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With more and more people returning to in-store shopping in this post-pandemic landscape, understanding seasonal shopping trends by assessing a brand's store-based keywords (e.g. brand name + location, such as Coles Moonee Ponds) can give a brand a glimpse into current in-store shopping trends. 

The correlation we can make between keywords and store visitation is that the higher the search volume for a particular store keyword, the more people searching for it and therefore the more people are likely to visit in-store. This data can be used for planning in-store promotions, understanding the busiest times of year for the store which helps with rostering staff, and ensuring stores have enough stock to meet customer demand.

This seasonality data can be then overlaid with store foot traffic analytics to create an omnichannel view of store performance and how users online are converting or shopping in-store vs online.

4. Planning Seasonally Relevant Content

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If a user is searching for a particular keyword or product to purchase, there is a likelihood that the same person will be looking for additional information on that topic. For example, assessing the keyword trends around Spring Racing Carnival dresses and Melbourne Cup dresses (an annual thoroughbred horse race in Victoria, Australia), these keywords see their peak in October each year, before the event at the start of November.

As part of the Spring Racing Carnival, there are themed days for different events, including Derby Day, Melbourne Cup, Oaks Day and Stakes Day, and for each of those, different dress codes are required. Using the broad keyword seasonality trends can help inform brands when to produce long-form blog content in the lead-up to the event.

If Spring Racing keywords peak in October, then blog content that talks to the dress codes, what to wear, how to make a fascinator, etc. needs to be created and launched ahead of the October peak, ideally a month or two before so the article begins gaining authority and traffic. Users looking to purchase these products will be also searching for information on what the dress codes are, style advice, etc.

If content is being produced and launched during the time the keyword is peaking, you are missing out on potential traffic, brand awareness and revenue that could be captured in the lead-up to it.

Why Do Keyword Search Volumes Change?

There are multiple reasons why keyword search volumes change and that they’re not consistent each month:

Seasonal Events 

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The most significant factor that affects keyword search volume trends are seasonal events. Any of the major gifting or sale periods such as Black Friday, Boxing Day, Mother’s Day, Christmas or Easter is the best example of this. 

Consider Father’s Day, which is held on the first Sunday of September every year. In the lead-up to that, searches for keywords such as [fathers day gifts] and [best gifts for dad] are going to be at their highest before the event. However, once Father’s Day is over, it is extremely unlikely that people will be searching for those terms again until next year.

However, if you only look at the average monthly search volume for these terms, it would suggest that users are still using these keywords consistently around the year.

Virality of Topic

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Topics that become newsworthy, whether that's through social media, celebrities or mainstream media, are likely to see huge seasonal keyword shifts. A key example of a viral product that surged in popularity was fidget spinners in 2017. After quickly becoming a smash hit on Instagram, Snapchat and the newly-launched TikTok, interest in the topic skyrocketed from its first viral posts in early 2017 until its peak in May 2017. The interest in the product then rapidly declined, falling into the pop-culture history books a few months later.

But what does this mean for SEO? With the increasing interest in the product on social media, keyword search volumes naturally grew. Users were searching for products, how to do tricks, how to clean their products and more. Brands that were able to leverage these viral keyword trends were able to target these users and increase their revenue in line with the trend.

Consumer Trends

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Overarching consumer trends, whether it’s due to economic, environmental or social factors can also impact keyword search volumes. During the COVID-19 pandemic, in the first wave of the restrictions in 2020, a number of casual clothing keyword terms saw large search volume increases. 

Why? With a large portion of Australia’s population being restricted to their homes, trackpants, hoodies, t-shirts and sports leggings became our go-to day-to-day outfits. Conversely, clothing categories such as suits and event dresses (e.g. cocktail dresses), saw large search volume declines due to not needing them for work and not being able to participate in these events.

How Do I Get Keyword Trend Data?

There are multiple ways to quickly capture keyword trend data, with the easiest being Google Trends. Simply put in the topic or keyword and it will display an aggregate interest metric which is a culmination of search volume and other factors. That being said, Google Trends doesn’t offer month-by-month breakdowns in search volume—that needs to be calculated from other tools.

Alongside Google Trends, specialised SEO tools such as SEMRush, Moz, Ahrefs and BrightEdge can also provide trends data for selected keywords.

However, for the best results, the Pattern SEO team uses a combination of SEO and SEM tools to capture granular, month-by-month keyword data so you can identify trends, grow revenue and better target users when they're searching for your products—all of which is presented in an easy-to-use, interactive spreadsheet.

For more information on how Pattern can accelerate your SEO strategy, contact us now.

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Why Content Calendars Need to Be Part of Your SEO Strategy
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How to Use ChatGPT Effectively for Content Marketing

Over the past few weeks, it is no question that ChatGPT has taken the world by storm. This AI chatbot is increasingly permeating the conversations of digital marketers, content creators, translators and even developers, offering a wide range of capabilities, including natural language processing, text generation, and language translation. 

For digital marketers, content creation is one of the most time-intensive tasks. This tool presents the opportunity to reduce the time and effort that tasks such as SEO copywriting take. In order to accurately assess how to use ChatGPT effectively for SEO, we will cover the benefits of this tool and its limitations. With our expertise, we will also recommend how this tool can be used responsibly without resulting in penalties on your site from search engines like Google.

Before we dive into the various uses of this tool for SEO, it is important to first understand the fundamental nature of this platform.

What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is a chatbot system developed by OpenAI, a research institute that is expanding the capabilities of artificial intelligence technology. This AI platform understands even complex human requests and provides relevant output instantly. 

While versions of ChatGPT have been around for a while, this widely talked about chatbot version was officially launched on November 30, 2022. It gained over one million users in its first week of public operation and has already made big waves in the digital space. 

How does ChatGPT work?

The chatbot is based on an AI text creator system known as GPT-3, which uses natural language processing (NPL) to understand and then respond to customer queries in a personalised and relevant manner to the user. This functionality is possible as the language analysis model is trained on a vast array of data that includes anything ranging from online content to texts, reports or even code. Additionally, much like a normal human-to-human conversation, the bot is able to remember the entire sequence of the conversation. It hence provides responses that flow well, consecutively producing helpful responses for the user.

The Benefits and Limitations of Using ChatGPT for SEO Content 

With ChatGPT's impressive language processing capability that continues to expand the boundaries of AI, it is important to understand how the platform can assist digital marketers and the factors to be aware of when using the platform to produce site content.

Benefits of Using ChatGPT for Content Marketing

1. Quick & Relevant Chatbot Responses

First and foremost, ChatGPT is great at understanding the user's request, even when it is not written in the most coherent way. It then provides a highly relevant response nearly instantly.

For instance, if the user's query was for the platform to write a blog in a specific language, ChatGPT can deliver relevant content to the query and in the requested language. The content this AI bot spits out reads fluently and is grammatically correct. 

2. Responsive to Human Feedback

The platform has the ability to successfully take into account instructions and directive feedback from humans and provide content within the requested parameters. This makes ChatGPT a powerful tool for content creation and hence SEO. This is likely the reason why ChatGPT has been so widely talked about, as it has notably pushed the needle when it comes to human-machine hybrid work.

3. Increases Efficiency & Productivity 

Another benefit of ChatGPt is that, similarly to other AI systems, it can analyse and process large amounts of data much faster than humans can. ChatGPT can do the tedious work that is usually the most time-intensive. Examples of this include researching, summarising or producing content. Therefore, this tool makes workers more productive and efficient in the completion of these lengthy yet crucial tasks, such as writing high-quality and optimised content.

Limitations of ChatGPT Uses for Content Marketing

Now that we have covered the key benefits of this tool, it is important to acknowledge some of the disadvantages when employing this type of AI to complete SEO work. 

1. Unaware of Current Events & Inaccuracy 

One of the most obvious disadvantages of ChatGPT is that it is not completely up-to-date with current events. The platform has limited knowledge of what has occurred after 2021, and it is unaware of content created after that period. As ChatGPT is not linked to the internet, it can occasionally provide wrong answers.

Numerous brands need to add new information to their blogs to keep their articles relevant, informative and engaging for their audience. For example, if you run a sports brand focusing on soccer, your blog strategy will likely include covering key moments in events like the FIFA 2022 cup. For this blog, you could not rely on ChatGPT to do the research for key information to be mentioned in the article.

2. Maintains Built-in Biases 

An important limitation to be aware of is that this chatbot is trained to be helpful, truthful, and "harmless". This means that the output the platform provides avoids writing negative information. Therefore, if your brand needs to communicate certain intricacies about a particular product in a blog, such as uses of the item to avoid, a human would be best suited to write this content.

3. Requires Highly Detailed Instructions for Originality

ChatGPT requires detailed instructions in order to output content that has a greater chance of being original or taking a specific point of view while not compromising on the quality of the content piece.

In order to put this limitation to the test, we ran an experiment, inputting the same prompt for ChatGPT on two different accounts to test to see how similar the output would be.

When running this text through another AI software that identifies similarities between different texts, the results indicated that the output was similar. 

Here’s another example of a ChatGPT output that two different users got from the same prompt, tested for similarity. The prompt was: "Produce a 250-word category description for a site's "Dresses" landing page. Talk about the various types of dresses the brand offers such as midi, mini and maxi dresses and popular colours such as black and white. Use a semi-formal tone".

4. AI-Written Content is Detectable

With the rapid growth of AI, researchers at Google and other organisations have been working for years on algorithms that successfully detect AI-generated content. 

This is likely one of the biggest limitations for marketers looking to use ChatGPT for blog content, as Google explicitly specifies that auto-generated content violates its guidelines.

In April 2022, Google's search advocate, John Mueller, said that AI-generated content violates Google's guidelines. Google states this clearly about "auto-generated" in their developer guideline pages that talk about spam, explaining:

"Spammy automatically generated (or "auto-generated") content is content that's been generated programmatically without producing anything original or adding sufficient value".

A tool you can use to check AI-generated text is called Hugging Face. After generating text using ChatGPT, I put it through this AI text detection tool, and sure enough, it flagged that the auto-generated text was 99.98% fake.

Therefore, for marketers intending to use ChatGPT to produce blogs they wish to publish on their website, this is a key limitation. Instead of directly publishing the AI-generated text, it is important to edit the content to add a human touch and ensure the sequence of the words is not 100% identical to what the AI platform produced. 

5. Less Nuanced than Human-Written Text

While content written by ChatGPT and other AI tools might be readable, coherent and grammatically correct, it may not be as engaging or original as content that would be written by a human writer. As it's hard for AI to capture the nuances of human writing and the creativity a writer may infuse in their text, this is another reason why we don't recommend directly publishing something ChatGPT has produced without editing it first. 

Google emphasises the importance of E-E-A-T when writing content and will assess it based on the levels of Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. Hence, it is important to add your own touch to a content piece to ensure that it showcases these qualities to Google's algorithm. In turn, Google will give more visibility to your blog in SERPs.

How Can Businesses Use ChatGPT for SEO Effectively

Taking into account all of the above benefits and limitations of ChatGPT, here are a few ways your business can responsibly and effectively use this too within your own marketing activity.

1. Conduct Initial Research for Content Marketing

While we don't recommend relying fully on ChatGPT to conduct research, you can definitely use this tool to gather some top-level information about topics that don't require information or news that occurred past 2021. For instance, if you are writing a travel blog, you can ask it to give you the top places to visit in Paris, France, and it will provide a useful list:

2. Generate a Top-Level Framework for Blogs

Another way businesses can use ChatGPT would be to get assistance with building a base-level content brief for a blog topic. However, as the responses provided may be quite generic, we recommend you still frame the article with ideas that fit your brand's tone of voice and relevant information to the brand as well.

3. Gather Inspiration for Article Writing

Similarly, ChatGPT can also be used for SEO content writing to generate new ideas for the blog. If you are stuck and don't know what to write about, this is a good tool to use to get some initial ideas that could be useful for your business to write about. Though, it is important to also conduct keyword research and look at keyword seasonality trends to ensure the content your brand is providing is timely and relevant to your audience at a particular period.

4. Produce a First Draft of an Article

Businesses can use ChatGPT to produce a first iteration of a content piece. As highlighted above, it is imperative to tweak the output's tone of voice to match that of the brand and to make the article overall more engaging and human-like.

Overall, ChatGPT is a powerful artificial intelligence tool that is rapidly transforming the digital landscape we know today. It is strongly paving the way for technological advancements in the future relating to human-machine hybrid work. This language-processing chatbot offers numerous benefits, with the primary one relevant to marketers being its ability to instantly generate coherent and relevant content based on a user's request. 

However, this tool also comes with a few limitations for copywriting. Two of the most significant are the generic and similar nature of the content it produces for different users and the detectability of its output by search engines, which can lead to site penalties. Therefore, based on our expertise, the most effective way to use ChatGPT is to create the framework for a particular content piece rather than to use it as the end-to-end tool that produces the final content output.

To know more about building a detailed SEO content strategy for your business, contact us now to speak with one of our consultants.

10 ways to improve your popup and increase conversions
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10 ways to improve your popup and increase conversions

A popup form is an effective CRM strategy that allows website visitors to join an email list by submitting their email or phone number. They are an essential way to generate leads and build a base of engaged subscribers. Popups in particular can be one of your best converting opt-in sources. A good popup should convert at least 1-3% of your visitors, but the best popups can convert up to 6.5% of your website visitors. In this article, we’re sharing 10 ways to build the most effective popup to get the best results for your ecommerce site.

1. Write a Short and Sweet Copy 

Engaging copy makes all the difference in a popup. Your customer will only engage or respond when they see the value in your product - and you only have a few seconds of their time to delight them before they close the window. Make sure your copy is short, clear, and benefit-driven - being sure to use your brand’s voice and personality.

Make sure to stay away from outdated words like ‘database’ and ‘newsletter’, and use copy to create a sense of community and exclusivity.

As an example, Go-to skincare uses their unique tone of voice to create playful, straight-to-the-point copy.

2. Use Clear and Compelling CTAs

The call to action on your popup is critical to conversions. Popups are a fleeting chance, so the customer needs to know instantly where to click, and feel compelled to do so. 

We would suggest designing with a contrasting color and using action-driven text in the first person.

Get clever with your CTA language as well. What would your audience prefer to click on? A standard ‘Submit’ button, or perhaps a more friendly ‘Count me in’ or ‘Yes please!’

As seen above, St. Ali makes clicking on the CTA a no-brainer.

3. Give Your Popup Value

Customers are getting more data savvy, and unless actively engaged with your brand, will not be willing to exchange their personal information for no return. 

Depending on your product or offering, here are some ideas for what to offer a lead to join your database.

  • % or $ off

  • Gift with purchase 

  • Free shipping / Free express shipping

  • Downloadable content (eg. a recipe book, style guide)

Here, VRG Girls gives the website visitor a deal they can’t turn down - a chance to win a $500 voucher and 10% off their first purchase. Double value = double the acquisition!

4. Request the Bare Minimum

More fields = more drop offs.

Think of a form field as a hurdle for a potential customer. How many hurdles do you want them to jump over? Consider what you REALLY need to get a new contact into your database, and only request absolutely critical data fields in the popup. 

  1. Is the first name field business critical for you? If not, consider dropping it from the popup. Remember, you can always collect zero-party data in the future through update your detail flows, or integrations with ERP or ecommerce platforms. 

  2. Do you need to know the gender of your lead? If you’re selling a product like coffee or electronics, the answer is probably no, and you don’t need to collect it in your popup.

However, if you’re selling both menswear and womenswear, it is likely critical that you find out what gender your potential customer is so that you can market to them appropriately. In this case, you can class ‘gender’ as critical, and include it in your popup. 

Here’s an example of how you can map out what data fields you may need, and decide what to include in your popup.

Ginger and Smart keeps it simple - asking for just your email address. This makes the barrier to entry very low and accessible.

5. If You Require Additional fields, Use a Multi-Step

If you need more than 1 or 2 fields, consider using a multi-step form instead. This breaks up the popup into two steps, so the form looks easy and digestible first. 

Put business critical fields on step one so they are captured and entered into your database, before showing step 2 with secondary fields. If visitors drop off at step two, at least you’ve already collected business critical information and inducted them into your database.

Graza uses a multistep form to collect email address first, and then phone number secondary. This approach means the popup looks easy to fill out from the customer’s point of view.

6. Optimise for Mobile

Chances are most of your website traffic comes from mobile, so it’s important that your popup looks great on mobile to capture this segment of visitors. Consider creating two bespoke popups, one for desktop and one for mobile, and adjust proportions, placement, and creative. Consider making the closing button for the popup slightly larger and more visible in the mobile version. This is to account for clumsy fingers and a smaller screen.

7. Use Targeting Behavior

Consider this scenario.

A customer who has purchased from your website twice before and has been subscribed for over a year to your database navigates to your home page, and is served a popup form. “Sign up now to receive 10% off your first order and an exclusive gift.”

This could be a totally different offer to what they signed up for 1 year ago, and they have not received this gift with purchase before. They could easily feel their loyalty to your brand is not rewarded compared to new customers, and this will leave a bad taste in their mouths about your brand. 

This is why it’s important to use targeting behavior rules for your popups. Only serve first purchase offer to visitors who have not purchased from you before, or are not part of your database. 

What about repeat purchase visitors, whose email you already have? Consider what data fields you need from this segment, and target with popups asking for different information - eg. date of birth or mobile number.

MANNING CARTELL specifically targets existing contacts who have submitted their email but not their phone number with this popup.

8. Allow Users To Close Your Popup Easily 

Signing up for your CRM database should be an option, not a requirement. If a visitor doesn't want to give you their email address, you need to respect that decision. Allow visitors to easily close the popup. They might need more time on your site before they trust you enough to exchange their data. 

If you purposely make it difficult for a customer to close a popup, they will not only see it as bad CX but also as sneaky behavior from your brand. This will hurt your conversion rate and you might have a visitor bounce or even worse, close the web browser page altogether!

Here, Maison Balzac does not try to hide the close button on their popup - allowing the customer to feel like it is totally their choice if they sign up or not.

9. A/B Test

Unsure of anything? AB test it! Here are some suggestions of what you can AB test to help find your ultimate popup form for your specific audience.

  • Creative

  • CTAs 

  • Timing of when the popup is displayed

  • Copy

  • Offer

10. Create a Success Page 

Imagine if you were giving your email address and name to a concierge at a hotel. Once you finish spelling it out - they disappear. Weird right? That’s how it feels when a customer clicks submit in your form and it simply closes. Did it work? What happened to their data? What do they do now? Make sure to complete the customer experience by displaying a success page after submission, with a ‘thank you’ and instructions on what to do next. E.g, Check your email for the discount code.

A great example of a popup that ticks all the boxes is Who Gives a Crap! Offers value, keeps it simple, and has a success page after submission.

The use of successful popups is one of many strategies to employ in your own CRM strategy. To find out more about how Pattern Australia can support the growth and success of your CRM channel, contact us now to speak with our dedicated team.

Why Your SEO Strategy Needs Content Calendars
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Why Content Calendars Need to Be Part of Your SEO Strategy

Having a strong SEO strategy for your brand or business is an important aspect of doing well on Google. There’s no doubt that SEO is a long-term game, which usually means it can take a back seat to more direct channels, like Paid Search, when trying to lift a brand’s overall presence and increase traffic. However, with recent changes in the Google algorithm that have a higher focus on quality, user-first content, it’s now more important than ever to ensure your team is equipped with a dynamic SEO content strategy that will assist in building traffic, conversions, and awareness for your brand in the long run.

In this article, we’re sharing the importance of having content calendars as part of your SEO strategy, and how to use one to structure content and blend it with your brand’s overall marketing strategy.

What is a Content Calendar?

When we talk about content calendars and the importance of having one, there can be confusion about what a content calendar is and where it sits within the marketing funnel. Basically, a content calendar is a document utilised by an agency or brand that helps to strategically track and monitor the ideation of content ideas, whether that’s social media posts, blog articles, landing pages, or customer care pages. A content calendar is not, and should not be used as an endless stream of ideas or concepts – like a communal One Note document. This is fine in the beginning stages. However, a strategic content calendar needs to be actively and meticulously maintained to ensure that all SEO elements are met and best practice methods continue to be implemented across the site.

What’s the Difference between a Content Calendar and a Marketing Calendar?

You might be asking, “Our team has a marketing calendar, why do we need an SEO content calendar?”

Comparing a content calendar with a marketing calendar is like comparing apples and oranges – similar in their form but different in their purpose. A marketing calendar is usually used to inform overall brand strategy and positioning, no matter the channel. For instance, your brand might have marketing activity assigned to each month of the year, however, this will include promotions, sale periods, new launches, seasonal activity, etc. It can be overwhelming for SEOs or even marketing coordinators to extract the finer details they need from a marketing calendar when it looks at the big picture.

On the other hand, a content calendar is better suited to extracting the information of a marketing calendar and expanding on the information in a much more granular way, calling out the relevant details and assisting with bridging the gap between the broad marketing strategy and SEO-led content ideation.

How Are Content Calendars Used?

While understanding what a content calendar is is important, knowing what they do and what it can be used to achieve is the real gold. As we mentioned above, a content calendar is a great tool to help extract the broad information in a marketing calendar and translate it in a way that’s easy to digest and write about. But that’s not all it can be used for:

1. Brief in Writers

For many brands, writing content on the regular is a time-consuming task that often gets pushed down the line of priorities. Unfortunately, this can have detrimental effects on not only your keyword rankings but overall organic performance, traffic and brand awareness. Many brands will outsource their content to freelancers and agencies like Pattern or may even fall to someone within the team. 

A content calendar is a fantastic way to brief writers on articles in a concise and detailed way that highlights the different topics and sub-topics, keyword focuses and relevant information to talk about. It also allows writers who are not part of the everyday brand activity (like a freelancer) to come in and write without needing to be completely integrated with the brand.

2. Schedule Content in Advance

We all know how the world of ecommerce retail can get, even at the quietest of times. An up-to-date content calendar will help you keep on top of what needs to be written and when. Instead of a long list of content ideas that get updated every once and a while, keeping your content in monthly chunks helps you to get content uploaded on time, especially when dealing with timely posts like seasonal gift guides.

3. Aligns Channels

While a content calendar should be positioned as an SEO strategy tool, it is also useful to align with the brand’s other digital channels. For instance, writing seasonally relevant content for a site’s blog is a strategic SEO method for increasing keyword rankings and speaking to your wider audience, however, this seasonally relevant content should also be shared across Social, CRM, Paid Search, and affiliate networks. A shared content calendar between channels will help bridge any silo’s between teams, helping to align content amplification and provide ideas and inspiration for future content and posts. 

How to Build an SEO Content Calendar?

When looking to create your own content calendars, there are a few aspects to include that will make it much easier to write and present content ideas, especially when sharing across other channels or with internal stakeholders.

1. Provide In-Depth Keyword Research

We all know why blog content is recommended for SEO but when forming the idea for a new article, it’s important to structure your idea on the basis of strong keyword research. In your content calendar, it’s best to provide a space where all keywords that should be targeted when writing the article can be clearly seen and understood. Depending upon your team and objectives, you may want to also provide monthly search volume.

From keywords, you can look to expand to include competition and difficulty, keyword intent and if they rank for rich snippets. Having these elements stored within the calendar will not only inform the current planned content but allow for much easier future planning as you build a bank of SEO-friendly keywords from past calendars.

2. Detailed Explanation

Like with any task, the more information provided, the easier it will be for your writers to understand the brief. Outline the core objectives of the article, what topics they should talk about, questions that should be answered and particular aspects to go into more depth on. Giving as much detail as possible, and even providing an example article to reference, will help you get your vision for the piece across and means that anyone else from another team can jump into the document and understand what you're talking about.

3. Seasonal and Evergreen

Throughout the year, your published content will differ between evergreen topics (articles that are relevant all year round) and season topics (articles that are only relevant for a particular time or occasion eg, Christmas). While it’s crucial to have a healthy mix of both evergreen and seasonal content, your content calendars should provide a distinction between the two. 

You can do this by creating a spreadsheet that has two distinct rows for evergreen and seasonal topics or by having them completely separate. This will also make it easier to prioritise content when it becomes busy and people have less time to write – through the distinction between both, you can evaluate which ideas will be the most time effective for the team vs, which will be the most timely and relevant.

4. Month Chunks

It’s easier to look at content from the perspective of month chunks when scheduling content in advance. Depending upon your marketing calendar and how frequently that is updated by the marketing team, try and include around three months in advance. This will also help you look to the year ahead and understand what other seasonally relevant events are coming up that you can create content for. 

For example, content directed at gifting periods, like Mother’s Day or key celebratory moments, like International Women’s Day, will need to be published in advance prior to the event due to the sheer search volume of seasonally relevant keywords. So, having these laid out in scheduled, monthly chunks will allow your team to see what’s coming up and plan content hours accordingly.

5. Track Uploads

Content calendars should also be used to monitor when the planned content is being written and uploaded. When building your content calendar, it’s important to include a section where article ideas are collated and specified if they have been uploaded, by who, the date of publication and a URL link. This will help to keep you, your writers and the marketing team accountable for written content and its publication status and whether it has been uploaded and why or why not. It helps everyone see the bigger picture of productivity, and whether there needs to be further action to solidify the importance of SEO content.

Understanding the role of content calendars within your SEO strategy is crucial to creating good content that hits relevant keywords and answers users' questions. Content calendars help to streamline your brand's marketing and digital channels, purposefully anchoring SEO content as a must-have rather than a nice-to-do, improving keyword rankings and overall brand awareness for clients and customers.

To understand how Pattern’s own SEO team can support your brand’s content strategy, contact us now to find out more.