How to Prioritize SEO Content Topics

Re-Evaluate Your SEO Content Prioritization Methods

Have you done the research and found new content for your website? Well done, that’s half the battle. However, when you’re strapped for time and resources, how do you prioritize which content to create and post? If you don’t have projected revenue data, here are 9 elements to consider when prioritizing content:

  1. Converting Keywords
  2. Direct Competitors Ranking
  3. Likelihood of Ranking
  4. Quantity of Content Needed to Rank
  5. Audience Research
  6. Seasonality, Time-Sensitive or Evergreen Content
  7. Average Time It Takes to Rank on Page 1
  8. SERP Crowding
  9. Bonus: Outreach + Backlinking Opportunities

💡 Have other items to consider when deciding on content to post? Let us know your thoughts below!

1. Converting Keywords

As you may have heard Seer discuss previously, it’s better to look at keywords where you know you convert vs. looking at keywords that get no conversions at all. If you know what your audience is interested in first and foremost, use PPC to your advantage.

2. Direct Competitors Ranking

If you notice that direct competitors are able to rank on page 1 of the SERPs, the chances are that your site may also be able to rank. However, if you observe that 60% of page 1 is all third party aggregators (e.g. 6 out of 10 results), that content piece might be one to push to the back of the priority queue.

3. Likelihood of Ranking

Google has a fairly decent understanding of what your site is about, so when your site focuses on content that doesn’t relate to what Google thinks you’re about, this can sometimes make it more difficult to rank for that particular topic.

For example, if your website is all about food recipes and you suddenly want to rank for topics around fashion or travel, Google is less likely to rank your site as high on page 1 if your site isn’t known for being focused on those topics over time.

4. Quantity of Content Needed to Rank

In a similar stretch to priority #3 above, if Google doesn’t see you as an authority on a certain topic, your content will be less likely to rank. However, let’s say you have a new product or offering, and this is the content direction you really want to go towards.

In continuation of the example above, let’s say your website provides food recipes, but you’re branching into a new travel section. In order to rank, it will be crucial to identify exactly how many unique pieces of content you’ll have to create so that your site resonantes with Google.

5. Audience Research

There will also be situations where your audience research data shows content topics needed to create but there may not be PPC data to support it. Regardless, if there is a consumer need, you should prioritize this content over keywords with high monthly search volume.

6. Seasonality, Time-Sensitive or Evergreen Content

What is evergreen content?

  • Content that is always considered relevant and doesn’t need constant updates

What is time-sensitive content?

  • Content with short-term importance, with interest that lessens quickly

As you’ve probably heard before, certain content is better suited for certain times of the year, or will tend to get traffic in certain months due to holidays, events, etc due to the nature of interest around those time periods. For example, posting about “perfect stocking stuffers for foodies” in February vs posting that content during October-December is not ideal for time-sensitive needs.

As you can see in the image below, this keyword typically gains search interest between October-December, but remains mostly dormant for the rest of the year.

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(Alt text: “Google trends content seasonality example”)

Free Resources for Staying on Top of Seasonality-Affected & Time-Sensitive Content Topics:

7. Average Time It Takes to Rank on Page 1

Take a look at your content over time and check your daily rankings to see how long it takes, on average, for your content to begin ranking on page 1- or in general (e.g. one site we looked at took an average of 7 weeks for new content to begin ranking). If you’re aware of how long it typically takes your new content to rank, keep this concept in mind when trying to determine the priority of what comes first in the content pipeline.

8. SERP Crowding

Take a look at the keywords you’re trying to rank for and observe the SERPs. Do you see PAAs, Answer Boxes, Google Ads on top and bottom, Knowledge Graphs, Images, Related Search carousel and a Local Pack all in the same SERP where 10 other unique URLs are trying to rank? If you see that many rich snippets packed into a SERP for one keyword consistently and this looks similar to most of the priority keywords in your list, consider this factor when discussing internal resources. SERPs can change over time or in a day, but with that many rich snippets, you can suspect your URL’s CTR would still be impacted even if you do rank on page 1.

9. Bonus: Outreach + Backlinking Opportunities

Not all content is going to naturally, or through outreach, gain a ton of relevant backlinks. However, if your content is a tool, a useful resource, or a piece that can naturally gain traction based on your website’s popularity, these are all reasons to prioritize content creation and publication. Establishing “trust” to your site in the eyes of Google with purposeful content is more valuable than churning out articles for the sake of hitting an internal quota.

Try out the SEO Content Priority Scorecard Method

If you can’t directly tie revenue to your content with closed-loop or projections (or even if you do have revenue projections), ask yourself the questions in the scorecard to help truly figure out what is going to be worth the resources.

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(Alt text: Content priority scorecard)

Example questions that would speed up content priority:

  • Does this content convert for my paid keywords?
  • Did this content come from audience research?
  • Is this a seasonal piece of content or one brought about by a one-time event?
  • Does my direct competition have content on this topic and rank on page 1?
  • Am I likely to rank for this content?
  • Does it take me 30+ days on average to rank for new content?

If you know it’s going to take a while for net new content to rank, especially if a seasonal topic is coming up and your site does well with seasonal pieces, it’s better to push resources to a seasonal piece well ahead of time vs. waiting until the month prior.

Example questions that would slow down content priority:

  • Will I need 6+ pieces of content in this topic I’ve targeted to rank?
  • Is this SERP crowded with 3+ rich snippets consistently? (i.e. rich snippets or ads crowding the page)

At the end of the day, you know your site the best, and certain questions might seem more important than others (i.e. seasonal content may be less of a priority for certain websites compared to audience research). Tweak the numbers in the scorecard based on site performance, need and overall goals for your content, or add/take away questions that make more sense. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, but hopefully, these questions can help narrow down what content is best for you and when.

How are you prioritizing your content? Let us know!

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