Content marketing is no easy feat for any business, and since the industry was created several years ago, content has exploded onto the internet, and it’s now one of the most competitive industries that have ever existed.

Nowadays, you can’t just stuff keywords into your content or forget about the user’s reading experience; everything has got to be near enough perfect, for both your readers and the search engines.

This is a difficult process to master but, if implemented properly, it can be highly successful for your business. If you’re struggling for ideas on how to get organised and make the most of your opportunities when it comes to content, here are five key steps you need to take to achieve an integrated approach that covers all the bases.

Defining Your Target Audience

The first thing you’ll want to do before you even set about writing a word of content is to define your audience. “You need to ask yourself questions like what does your reader want from your content, why are they coming to you and what the end game is for these users” – says Hannah Sams, a Content Marketer and Huffingtonpost contributor.

This will help you dramatically when it comes to research keywords and aiming your content during the writing stage into the direction you want it to go for the desired outcome that you want. Consider how nowadays, people don’t just use keywords, they use key phrases, for example, when they are using voice search services.

When it comes to research, you can make things much easier by using tools like Moz and SEMRush that have built-in keyword research features.

Write to SEO Guidelines

As a content writer, you should already be aware of certain practices, such as keyword density and the use of headlines in your content. However, in most businesses, the SEO teams and the writing teams work separately from one another, but this doesn’t have to be the case.

“If you can organise your departments in such a way that the SEO team works alongside the writers, then you can start implementing your SEO techniques, such as keywords and headers etc., into while you’re writing” – explains Terri Fuqua, a Marketing Strategist at Resumention.

This is a much more effective way to create content as the keywords and phrases will sound so much more naturally within the content. Additionally, SEO will no longer seem like a task that needs to be carried out afterwards, but more of a process to create amazing content.

Additionally, you can use tools like SEO Spider to help you carry out all your SEO-related tasks.

Optimising Your Elements

If you can train your writers in such a way, or at least give them the resources to implement some of the more technical elements in their writing, you can save yourself a lot more time and create much higher quality content.

However, there will be some things that the writers will have no control over so it’s time for your SEO team to step up to the mark. This means optimising the pages that your content is uploaded to, making sure the images are properly formatted and optimised and that page loading times are as quick as possible.

With both the last two steps in mind, communicate is the key to success. Be sure to monitor what’s happening within both departments and that both teams have the right information to come together and create content together, rather than working separately, increasing the risk for problems to develop.

To make this process easier, you can also use tools like Academadvisor and Writingpopulist to simplify your tasks so you can focus on other aspects of the campaign.

Publishing & Promoting Your Content

There are two main concepts to consider when you’re releasing and publishing your content. Firstly, you need to think about linking. “This means your content should include internal links in your content to other pages of your website or other pieces of content, such as a related content section” – explains James Shane, a Content Marketer at Revieweal.

You always to make sure that you’re linking out to high authority websites and publications and they are linking back to you. This is a sure-fire way to increase your online visibility.

In terms of promotion, you can measure the success of your content based on your social media engagement rates. The higher these rates, the better your content has been received by your audience and readers.

Analyse & Optimise

Now that everything has been uploaded and the views and engagements are coming in, it’s time to start analysing the performance of that piece of content. How well is it being received by your readers? Are they engaging with it? Is it gaining the visibility that you hoped it would?

Using the channels that you posted on, you’ll be able to easily track the performance of the post and know whether or not it was successful. If it was, you need to take the keywords and structure of the content and replicate it into future pieces. If it wasn’t, you need to find out what went wrong.

Tools like MyWritingWay and Grammarix are ideal for helping you manage your results so you can accurately enhance your content marketing projects.

As you can see, the process of writing content and then optimising it for the search engines is gone. Nowadays, it’s so much more effective to bring your teams together to create stellar pieces of content that get results for your business.