Creating a data-driven content strategy

Date
9 September 2022

With a content strategy, several goals are within reach: you serve your target group, you get to put your (sectorial) knowledge on an appropriate digital stage and bring structure to your content marketing. However, doing so successfully requires thorough preparation and that can feel overwhelming at first, especially when starting from scratch. Thanks to our experts, you’re never on your own - starting with a step-by-step plan.

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By default, a content approach entails researching your target audience, as well as the needs and interests of your target group. This will aid you in picking the proper tone of voice for your material while also keeping your audience in mind.

Of course, you’ll want to verify these hypotheses with hard data and obtain insights into your keywords, current website usage, and the content of your rivals in order to produce relevant, high-quality content.

In a data-driven content strategy, you'll bring together several data sources and use them to discover hidden insights. This will ensure that there is adequate interest in the areas of your to-be-written content.

data driven content strategy | iO

Dashboards play a crucial role in a data-driven content strategy. They are important for better decision-making because they allow you to examine data about your content and keywords in different ways. They may be dynamic and interactive, allowing you to filter the data to meet your needs. Dashboards combine data from numerous sources and systems into a single user interface. Today, our experts will show you three types of dashboards that can help you to create a data-driven content strategy.

Keyword research

Keyword research is the process of finding and analysing search terms that people enter into search engines with the goal of using that data for a specific purpose — often for SEO.

Keyword research is not just listing some keywords you want to rank for on a spreadsheet. Keyword research may be done for a variety of reasons:

  • You’re optimising your website or certain pages for SEO;

  • You’re setting up advertising campaigns in Google Ads;

  • You’re making a content plan, and you need fresh content ideas based on data;

  • You’re restructuring your website, moving your old website to a new one, or launching a new website;

  • You’re looking for insight into user and market needs to communicate effectively in the language of your consumer.

Keyword research and keyword analysis should not only consist of a list of keywords. By adding a lot of data to your keywords — like result types, ranking, ranking URL, and competitors rankings — you will get the most out of your keyword research.

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After you've obtained all this information, keyword research can be presented in a purposeful dashboard.

First, you’ll want to display your overall score: How many of your keywords currently score in the top 10?

Moreover — and perhaps even more importantly — you want to know the categories where your keywords are doing great, and where you can still identify opportunities to improve your ranking. In the image below, you’ll see that you outrank competitors in all content categories except category 4. In other words: potential for improvement.

data driven content strategy | iO

You can review each category to see which keywords have the most search traffic, which keywords you rank at page 2 for, and which keywords your rivals manage to achieve top rankings for.

Then, of course, you’ll display the full list of keywords from the keyword research. On top, you will find different filters. Using these filters, you may quickly discover new possibilities you hadn’t previously considered.

Content dashboard

Yes, keyword research may provide you with some ideas for how to proceed with your content planning. However, KWR alone isn't enough to create a proper content strategy. You should also evaluate your current website content to find valuable information. The key to gaining SEO visitors is maintaining high-quality website content that is highly relevant for your users.

The content dashboard will highlight how well you're doing in terms of relevance and quality. It will also offer suggestions on how to address any issues your site content may be facing.

For this content dashboard, we combine different data sources (Google Search Console, your website content, DataForSEO, and Semrush). The dashboard has four different sections.

data driven content strategy | iO

Meta tag optimisation

The meta tags dashboard will assist you in optimizing your meta tags. Meta tags are frequently too short, and are often easy to improve. We picked a meta title, and here we see the keywords that people use in Google to find your website.

data driven content strategy | iO

In another view, we compare the words people use with the keywords you use in the meta titles. Not only will your search ranking improve by using your consumers’ words — you’re also likely to see an increase in CTR%. If the queries of the user do not match your content at all, you may have discovered a possibility for new content that better answers the queries of the visitor.

data driven content strategy | iO

Google is now replacing meta titles on your website. Fortunately, the content dashboard reveals where Google is modifying your meta tags.

We also use machine learning to calculate the predicted clicks based on position and impressions to identify low-performing meta tags. It's a fantastic data-driven technique for attracting more traffic through search engines like Google.

SEO content optimisation

You want to know if your meta tags are optimised. But, more importantly, you want to know if your content as a whole is optimised. To do this, you’ll retrieve all content on your website and see if you can find the keywords in H1 and H2 tags, as well as in the body copy.

New content ideas

It may be a good idea to look at keywords your competitors are ranking well on — and compare them to your own — in order to get ideas for improving your rankings. Most of the time, these are keywords you also could rank on top with optimised content.

How do you provide value? You can find the search queries containing questions to get inspiration for FAQ pages.

Another way to get content ideas is to look at the seasonality of keywords to plan your content for the year, so you are sure your content plan is season-appropriate.

data driven content strategy | iO

Copywriting optimisation

With automated tooling we can catch spelling and grammar mistakes on your website. The dashboard also helps to detect lengthy sentences with many verbs. Customers want you to use active, short sentences free of mistakes. You can now quickly find unnecessarily long sentences and errors thanks to the content dashboard.

KPI Dashboard

After you've researched focus keywords and optimised your content, the next step is to look at how things are progressing over time. You could use a KPI dashboard to track results.

A KPI dashboard allows you to track the number of clicks, as well as how your keyword rankings change over time.

Visually, you can examine these data by category or keyword to find the progress you made.

data driven content strategy | iO

Did you create new or optimised existing content to improve your SEO performance? Then you can add these optimised web pages to a spreadsheet. The dashboard will then show your results only for the pages you added to the Google Sheet.

Conclusion

To enhance your website's content for relevance and quality, you'll need a data-driven content strategy and a creative content plan.

The SEO keyword research dashboard provides you with actionable insights into your SEO strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. A content dashboard can be used to optimise content and create a content plan. After you've finished optimising, you can use a KPI dashboard to compare performance and development over time.

Infinite possibilities are within reach when you combine data and human imagination.

Michael Van Den Reym
About the author
Michael van den Reym
Search Engine Optimisation, Innovation & Data Expert - iO

Michael considered his own website’s findability a valid reason to really learn SEO. Today, he spends his days translating complicated data into everyday language and juggling keywords, tags, and tweaks. Even live on stage, as a brightonSEO guest speaker.

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