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5 Steps to an SEO-Driven Content Calendar

While content creation and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) are not always the responsibility of the same person(s), it is extremely important to have them working off one another in order to ensure the content you publish to the web is going to be relevant in the eyes of search engines.

This probably sounds logical, but the truth is that compelling content is not always constructed in a way that makes it SEO-friendly, and vice versa. A video, for instance, is not, by itself, SEO-friendly even if it is compelling; but on a properly constructed page with relevant keywords/tags, that compelling video begins to lend itself to SEO strategy.

By applying a few SEO-driven techniques into your content marketing strategy, you can make sure these two important marketing initiatives are working together.

1. Do Your Keyword Research

Keyword research is a large task on its own, but knowing the popularity of specific search terms on some of the most-used search engines like Google® and Bing® will give you a great idea of what types of topics, solutions, and questions people are searching for on a regular basis.

Before you start your research, think about the overall goals your content is looking to achieve and whom you are speaking to. Think about how people are searching. A mother of three in the suburbs might use local based keywords to find what she is looking for. But, a downtown businessman might focus on broader topics to achieve his search goals.

2. Focus On Creating Quality Content

At one point, search engines determined the significance of a website’s content on the amount of relevant keywords within a given space. As brands began to fill their web pages with keywords (writing for search engines rather than writing for human readers), search engines began to look for higher-quality content based around specific keywords rather than simply the amount of keyword mentions.

Now, content needs to helpful, educational and useful based on the audience you are trying to speak to. Consumers are so quick to judge if a website has the information they are looking for that it could be only seconds before that person chooses to leave your site. Most importantly, be sure whatever message you are trying to send works for your business.

3. Use Other Platforms and Outlets to Distribute Your Content

Once you have quality content written, it’s not always enough to just post it on your website or on your company’s blog. There are a variety of different outlets that should be considered, ranging from social media channels to other relevant blogs and company/sponsored newsletters.

The information you create might be really valuable, but it won’t help you if no one reads it. By sharing the content on other platforms, this opens up the possibility of generating shares and potential linking opportunities, which leads to a higher brand awareness.

4. Evaluate The Effectiveness Of The Content With Metrics

When creating your content marketing strategy, make sure to establish the right amount of measurable goals. This is a good way to find out what content is valuable to readers, helps drive traffic to your website and/or influences a purchase. If the content is helpful and relevant, there is a better chance it will be shared, liked and linked to, which is something that can be measured using analytics tools. You can then use these metrics to adjust your content accordingly and learn a great deal about what types of information are working for your website visitors.

5. Redo Your Keyword Research

It’s always a good idea to reevaluate your keyword research regularly as trends and search habits change. Nothing is ever set in stone. So, as you create new, helpful content, make sure the keywords and key phrases you use are going to be beneficial.

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Harland Clarke Corp. is a leading provider of best-in-class integrated payment solutions and marketing services, serving multiple industries including financial services, retail, healthcare, insurance, and telecommunications.

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