Introducing SEO Story Ideas: Your New Favorite Content Strategy Tool

Company News

Around this time last year, there was a stat circulating around Slack that had the Contently fam absolutely abuzz: as an aggregate, two-thirds of our customers’ traffic came from search—significantly higher than industry benchmarks.

I wasn’t entirely surprised by this finding; I’d recognized this as a pattern when examining the analytics of individual accounts. But now I wondered: were our customers secret SEO wizards?

When I started digging deeper through interviews with the content marketing teams that use our platform, I came to a surprising realization. They were not. And most were nowhere near reaching their full potential.

Our customers’ SEO performance was primarily attributable to the high-quality, well-reported, original stories they were producing through Contently, which Google loves and naturally garners backlinks. But from a strategic perspective, there was so much room for improvement.

The main culprit? A flawed process that might look familiar to you:

1. The content team would create a story without an SEO strategy in mind.

2. The SEO team would come in at the end, cram in keywords, and make the writing worse.

3. The story wouldn’t rank for the keywords that got crammed in anyway.

Keyword stuffing may have worked a decade ago, but modern search engines are so sophisticated in interpreting language that pieces edited after-the-fact for SEO don’t often drive results.

In 2021, SEO is most powerful when used to give insight into your audience. The questions they’re asking. The topics they’re researching. SEO insights should spark your ideation—providing the creative constraints to inspire your team and spark story ideas that answer your audience’s biggest questions. When we examined our most successful and sophisticated customers, this was the approach they took.

And so, we decided to build the latest and greatest feature on the Contently platform: SEO Story Ideas.

SEO Story Ideas is the newest addition to the Ideation section of our platform. It uses a purpose-built algorithm to instantly recommend story concepts likely to rank well in search, based on your content strategy and existing target keyword list.

SEO Story Ideas

Our algorithm searches through billions of keyword options in order to deliver the target phrases that make sense for individual brands, and have the strongest implications for content pieces. Each idea comes complete with critical organic search data, so it’s easy to determine which have the most potential to drive organic search traffic.

With this feature, we’re excited to continue to boost our customers’ content performance, while taking another big step in our mission to fuse the art and science of storytelling together.

By automating the keywords research process, SEO Story Ideas frees up time for SEO strategists by allowing their content partners to find data-driven story ideas easily and independently, while giving editors and writers inspiration for high-impact content.

SEO Story Ideas is the newest addition to the Ideation section of our platform. It uses a purpose-built algorithm to instantly recommend story concepts likely to rank well in search, based on your content strategy and existing target keyword list.

In just a couple clicks, our customers can turn a story concept into a pre-filled pitch request and ask their freelance team to come up with unique angles on the story. Or they can assign the story and put it into production. This ensures our customers are creating content that’s not only high-quality and well-reported, but also likely to perform well in search.

SEO Story Ideas

Optimizing ideas and proving ROI

Of course, this wouldn’t be a Contently post if we didn’t also talk about content measurement and optimization. We’ve also built on our industry-leading Content Value analytics which now show how much the organic search traffic to each story you create is worth, based on how much it would cost a competitor to replicate that success. (Some of our best-in-class customers are able to demonstrate over $50 million in content ROI using this method.)

Content Value Stories

When combined with our in-depth story-level engagement insights, these new analytics provide a comprehensive view of the performance and ROI of every story you tell, so you can make smarter decisions through each round of publishing.

Some of our customers have already been using this feature in beta for months, to tell incredible, high-performing customers, and we’re so excited to see everyone combine the art and science of storytelling—with a little dash of improved process to make everything hit just right.

Watch a demo to explore these new features now!

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