Skip to main content
Explore URMC
menu

SEO Part 1: Content Strategy

It is not easy, nor recommended, to build a large content hub for every target keyword or topic. A basic SEO strategy can be implemented, though, by modifying content that you've already created and by developing a prioritized list of new content that needs to be written.

Content Strategy Process

[1] Prioritize your topics based on department or organization goals.

There are going to be limited resources available to implement an SEO strategy, so focus on the most important topics first. Every group/department will have its own priorities, and it's helpful to have a single, ranked list of topics to address. Consider a hypothetical, prioritized topic list and content strategy (Figure 1):

Priority Topic Content Strategy
1 Knee care Large content area
2 Hip care Medium content area
3 Shoulder & elbow care Single, long-read page
4 Rehabilitation Single, long-read page

Figure 1: Prioritized Topic List

[2] Use keyword tools to help guide your content development efforts.

We may have the tendency to write using internal or precise medical terminology rather than the general language that searchers use. Fortunately, there are free tools and resources available to help with keyword discovery, including user-centric search terms.

The easiest and most readily available is Google Auto-Suggest, which appears in the Google search box. Figure 2 shows Google's suggestions as I type my topic's main keyword (“knee replacement”). Based on the auto-suggest results, it will be beneficial for my “knee replacement page(s) to address, “surgery,” “options,“ and “recovery time.” It will also help to have local (“Rochester”) references in the content.

Google auto-suggest results

Figure 2: Google Auto-Suggest

Additional helpful information may appear in the middle of the search results page. For my “knee replacement” query, Google placed a “People also ask” callout on the page. (Figure 3).

People also ask callout in the middle of the search results

Figure 3: Mid-Page Callout in the Google Search Results Page

At the bottom of the same search results page, an expanded version of the auto-suggest results also appeared (Figure 4).

status auto-suggest results at bottom of search results

Figure 4: Additional Auto-Suggest Data at the Bottom of the Search Results

Consider the keyword phrases cultivated from these sources, as well as your own internal lists, to develop a target set. For deeper keyword research, consider using the Moz Keyword Explorer tool.

[3] Create a content map.

After you've prioritized your topics and have completed some basic keyword research, create a content map, like the one shown in Figure 5.

content mapping spreadsheet

Figure 5: Example Content Mapping

List the priority topics on the left, and map those topics to pages on your site. You can have multiple topics mapped to the same page, just be careful not to overload a single page with too many topics. For any topic that does not have corresponding content, label the page as a “Gap.” Your gap list tells you what additional content must be written. There can be so much more involved in developing a comprehensive SEO strategy, but by following these basic steps you'll have a solid foundation. You'll have topics derived from your own, internal lists as well as from real user query data. You will also have a gap list to guide your content development efforts.