SEO And Content Marketing

The 1 Line Description

A step by step guide on sound Search Engine Optimization practices.

When to use it

When creating content online.

Key Ideas

* This article is a summary of Founders Factory Africa (FFA) content & delivered by Steve Waidelich. [ Summarized by Ighlaas Carlie ]

* A big thanks to FFA for allowing us access to their content!

SEO And Content Marketing

SEO is one of the hardest in terms of experimenting to see if it is a good traction channel for your business, so most startups utilize other channels that are quicker to see the result. We propose using a content marketing hack where you run a Minimum Viable Test (MVT) to validate if content marketing is a good channel for you. 

Validation questions 
  • Who are my target audiences?
  • Are they aware of the need?
  • Do they search on Google for solutions to their needs?
  • Where do they search to get information/solutions for their needs?
  • Do they read articles?

You need those validation questions to confirm if content marketing (blog) is a good way of getting customers.

Keyword Research

Once you highlight that content marketing is a good channel, the next thing to do is to perform keyword research. 

Finding low-hanging Keywords

Low-hanging Keywords are keywords that have low difficulty but your users are searching for them. 

Low hanging keywords can be:

  • Top of the funnel keywords, 
  • Long-tail keywords, 
  • Low volume keywords, 
  • or Non-transactional keywords. 

The best thing to do is to find keywords that you can easily rank for, especially low-difficulty keywords with a medium-size volume. You know the people searching for this kind of keyword have the potential of actually buying from you.

Next Steps

  • Write 5–10 low hanging fruits keywords (That fall in any or all categories).
  • Add those keywords to the Google Keyword planner.
  • Sort keywords by volume, difficulty, and relevance.
  • Note down similar keywords.
  • Make a list on a sheet of all keywords prioritized by volume, difficulty, and relevance.

(Note; Keyword planner estimates the monthly traffic for a keyword, the volume might be low for most low hanging fruits but can be more than what is shown when combined with other keywords).

You find those keywords and highlight 5–10 keywords/topics to write on.

Creating content for those keywords/topics

Creating content for people is quite different from creating content for search engines. What most businesses do is try creating the content for search engines - adding the right keywords, headlines, and image text, but without any good motivation and without any product-led storytelling approach. 

So what we advise is when writing and creating your content, write first for people before optimizing for search engines. 

See content marketing as a means to an end and not the end in itself.

First of all, what you need to do is to highlight your company goal, for example, if you have Saas software and you want people to subscribe to a premium solution, your short-term goal can be to “get 10 customers in 2 months”

When finding low-hanging keywords, make sure it is relevant to what you are selling. The goal of creating content is to give out value using the inbound approach, give out enough value and position your software as one of the solutions needed. 

In the long run, once you start getting traction from SEO and getting people to read your article, it's basically a waste of time if they still don't make conversions via the article. 

Make sure you are writing for people, the content is valuable and the content will most likely lead to conversion. 

On-page optimization for web and blog

Once you've optimized for humans, the next step is to optimize for search engines and make sure your article is easy for bots to scan.

Optimize your website. Ensure you have submitted your site map, and that it has a potential for ranking for its branded keyword and other keywords.

Then you optimize for SEO using the SEO checklist.

SEO checklist

  • Internal linking guidelines: Linking to pages on the same level, supporting above and below.
  • Page titles: Measuring Click-Through Rate (CTR); Are they better than competitors? Do they speak to your customer personas?
  • Descriptions: Measuring CTR; Are they better than competitors? Do they speak to persona?
  • H1: Does it contain keywords and help with conversions?
  • H2: Number used; Do they contain keywords? Do they help readers?
  • Copy: Is it 100% unique, high quality, and does it speak to the user?
  • Image alt: Does it help the visually impaired? Does it contain keywords?
  • Image descriptions: Does it contain keywords and help users?
  • Videos: Are they fully optimized?
  • Schema markup: Logo, reviews, local, etc.
  • Related keywords: Are they used throughout the page? Are they correct?
  • Answer questions on the topic: Are the most important questions addressed on the page?
  • Links to blog posts and articles on the topic on the same website
  • Add URL to sitemap

Adding CTA

Remember content is a means to an end and not the end in itself. Make sure every content has 2 forms of CTA (Call to Action).

  1. Conversion - sign up, book a call, free demo; 

       2. Read further - Including related or follow-on articles. 

This will help you to increase your potential of ranking in SERP and keep users engaged in your platform. The more value they get the more likely they will utilize your solution in the long run.


Distribution is the core of SEO and content. We advise using the 80/20 rule when it comes to content creation and distribution. Spend 20% of time and effort spent on creating the content and 80% of time and effort spent on distribution.

You can create good content and not be seen by your target market because of poor distribution. 

Once your first blog post is out you need to have a distribution checklist in place and start checking up all the boxes. Once Search engines see that you are getting traffic and engagement then you are more likely to rank quicker on the top page.

Early distribution is also good to validate and make sure that your content, when viewed, will bring in conversion, which is the core of what we are trying to achieve. 

Content promotion strategies

Promotion prep work (pre-publishing)
  • Align the post with a keyphrase
  • Work on the semantically-related phrases
  • Include contributor quotes from experts and influencers
  • Add diagrams and original graphics
  • Link to the new post from older posts
  • Add Click to Tweet buttons
  • Add anchor links to subsections if the article is long

Launch day promotion
  • Tweet it
  • Post on LinkedIn
  • Post on Facebook
  • Social media video: the one-minute commercial for your content
  • Ask for quick engagement on these social posts
  • Leverage employee advocacy
  • Help the sales team share it with prospects
  • Share again, with mentions
  • Cross the streams, showing gratitude across networks
  • Targeted sharing: mention people who will love the article
  • Schedule near future tweets at high traffic times
  • Post it again at low traffic times
  • Social media automation
  • Mention it on a Twitter Chat
  • Pin it to the top of your Twitter feed
  • Now follow a few people who are interested in the topic
  • Pin it on Pinterest
  • Feature it on your LinkedIn profile
  • Share it in LinkedIn groups
  • Share it in Facebook Groups
  • Try older networks
  • Submit your content to news aggregators
  • Post a summary on niche social sites
  • Answer a related question on Quora
  • Post on Reddit
  • Email Marketing: Use social media to find the best subject line
  • Email the article to your list
  • Send a second “In case you missed it” email

Post-launch promotion
  • Attend conferences
  • Schedule post snippets for 3 months
  • Turn post to slides and upload on slideshare

Signal Mapping: Select channels holistically based on their likelihood of reaching your target audience. What are they searching for? What do they read? What events do they attend?

Channels & Tactics

Organic Social
  • Maintain lists of relevant Facebook and LinkedIn groups. Pay Upwork freelancers or use an intern to post new content in these. Alternatively, you can invest in building your own communities.
  • Schedule posts to LinkedIn/Fb/Twitter.
  • Coordinate the team and your network to engage with and share content. 
  • Use to put CTAs within the content you share and also retarget people with ads.
  • Join relevant communication on different social media and share the link to your article.
  • Add click to tweet button on the article.

  • Use Sigstr or another tool to feature content in employee email signatures.
  • Send a monthly email newsletter to engage your contacts. 
  • Send content directly at relevant stages of the sales process. 

  • Build and maintain lists of relevant publishers - both large and long-tail - and pitch your content to them. Use offshore freelancers or to discover email addresses.  

  • Invite writers to contribute content (or interview them or mention them in articles); they’ll be motivated to promote it to their networks. 
  • Pay targeted influencers to promote your content.
  • Discover influencers using FollowerWonk or build lists via Upwork. 
  • Mention your expert sources when sharing and also email them so that they can read, share and link to your content.

  • Maintain a list - or segmented lists -  of all partners and individuals friendly to the business and request they read and share all content. Also, use these lists for advertising to custom audiences. 
  • Partner with event organizers to email relevant content to their community members.
  • Make deals with niche publishers to host or syndicate content on their site.
  • Email popular content curators to include content in their newsletter roundups.
  • Co-create content with partners / repurpose for advertorials, in order to access the organic and paid reach of their networks.
  • Consider the content required to support a channel sales strategy.

Existing platforms
  • Answer questions on Reddit and Quora related to your article and share the link.
  • Join Subreddits where your target market is and give value.
  • Write a short snippet on LinkedIn Newsletter.
  • Turn the blog to a slide and upload it on Slideshare.
  • Guest post a similar topic and link back to your article.
  • Send to your previous customers.
  • Reach out to industry experts to help you promote on their social media channels (most likely incentivize them to share).

  • Supporting sales reps by ensuring they’re equipped with the content (print & digital) they require to educate and persuade prospects throughout the purchase cycle. 

Putting it all together

This experiment is a one-month experiment to validate SEO and content marketing as a good channel to bring in your first users. 

In 30 days, you should be able to have content on your website well pushed out via distribution, using our 80/20 percent rule. Include the CTA and start weekly/daily tracking to see how many users are coming in. 

Setting goals can help make your distribution more strategic, for example setting a daily goal of 100 views and increasing to 200, 300 article views as your distribution campaigns increases.

Metrics to Measure

  • How many blogs visit
  • New users/All users
  • See how users are interacting via Hotjar
  • Time spent on the blog/bounce rate
  • Signup conversion rate 


  • Use 2–3 days for keyword research; 
  • Use 2 weeks for creating content (10 articles)
  • Use 3 weeks for distribution