Blog Content SEO Strategy


In this tutorial, we will dig into the strategy behind creating blog content for SEO and generating leads for your business.

You can execute this strategy manually by writing and publishing blog posts as described below, or use Carrot’s Niche Authority Builder if you have our Content Tools add-on.

This training is only relevant as a part of the overall Lead Generation Hub strategy, so dive into that training first to have full context on where blog posts fit into building online traffic, leads, and authority.

Over recent months/years, Google has changed how it looks at websites and tends to look for the “topics” the website is an expert in. A properly executed blog strategy will “cluster” your topics so Google can see what your site is about more easily, avoid cannibalizing your primary keywords on your location/niche pages, and increase your overall rankings. Let’s dive in!

The Purpose of a Blog

Regardless of the industry you’re in or the audience you’re targeting, the purpose of a blog post is two-fold:

  • To attract new site visitors through long-tail keywords
  • To build up the overall credibility & authority of your site.

Having a mix of blog posts aimed to rank well in Google for niche phrases and blog posts aimed at building credibility and trust to your website visitors is ideal.

Ideal Blog Structure

Niche Topic Page (aka Pillar Pages)

The first component of an ideal blog structure is a Niche Topic Page, aka a Pillar Page.

Your niche topic page (which can be formatted as a page or a post) is the foundation on which a topic cluster of supporting posts is built.

A niche topic page covers all the major aspects of the topic at hand in one central location. These pages should cover a specific topic broadly, while leaving room for supporting posts (aka topic clusters) to go more in-depth about the nuances of specific keywords related to that topic.

Niche topic pages should always go after “long-tail keywords” and never compete for the same keywords as your location pages or home page. If your location page is optimized for “sell my house fast in [location],” none of your niche/pillar posts or blog posts should be optimized for the same phrase, as it’ll confuse Google and hold back both pages from ranking well. (This is known as keyword cannibalization.)

The ideal length of a pillar page is anywhere from 1,500 – 2,000 words.

This is more of a general rule than a hard and fast rule.

For competitive keywords with high-quality content already appearing in the search results, the more high quality and robust your own content will need to be. If all of the other articles going after “selling my flood-damaged house in Houston” are 500 words and not very useful… you can likely beat them with an 800-1k word article.

Quality, relevant content is always more important than quantity. Google has confirmed that the number of words in an article is not a ranking factor.

Supporting blog posts that are part of a topic cluster should be optimized for specific long-tail keywords as part of your strategic content pillar. These posts should always link back to the niche topic page.

Members with the Content Tools Add-On have access to our Niche Authority Builder tool, which helps you quickly execute this blog content strategy.

To learn more about the ideal blog structure, check out this post by Hubspot:

ℹ️ Via Hubspot: What Is a Pillar Page? (And Why It Matters For Your SEO Strategy)

Long-Tail Keyword

Long-tail keywords are search phrases that are very specific and have a relatively low search volume. These keyword phrases usually contain 4-5 words or more.

Although less people are searching for long-tail keyword phrases, these keywords are often less competitive and can be easier and quicker to rank for. They tend to attract more qualified traffic that is more likely to convert into leads.

With real estate, pillars tend to be the “niches” you do business in.

As an investor going after motivated house sellers, the niches you’d want to create “pillar” pages/posts on may be the situations sellers are going through:

  • Selling in divorce
  • Selling a flood-damaged house
  • Selling a hoarder house
  • Selling an inherited house (probate)
  • Selling a house that is in a trust
  • Selling fire-damaged property
  • Selling without a real estate agent/realtor
  • Selling a house that needs repairs
  • Selling a house in foreclosure

As a real estate agent going after retail buyers, the niches you’d want to create “pillar” pages/posts on may be situations OR locations your clients want to buy in:

  • Luxury homes for sale in [location]
  • New construction homes or sale in [location]
  • Duplex (or any multi-family) properties for sale in [location]
  • Golf course homes for sale in [location]
  • Bare land for sale in [location]
  • [specific neighborhood] homes for sale in [location]

Supporting Posts (aka Topic Clusters)

A “topic cluster” is a collection of supporting blog posts focusing on specific long-tail keywords related to your primary “pillar” topic.

People are submitting longer, more conversational Google searches. Topic clusters are a way of organizing your blog content so that more of your pages rank well with Google. Following the topic cluster model allows you to rank for these new types of search queries that leads are submitting.

These supporting blog posts help “support” a niche topic page by offering more in-depth information about the nuances of specific keywords related to the main niche topic. The content you create or optimize for these supporting posts should dive deeper into just one area mentioned on the pillar page.

The ideal length for these supporting blog posts is ~ 800 – 1,500 words.

For example, if you have a niche topic page (pillar page) on “Luxury homes for sale in Chicago”, some of your supporting blog posts might be about:

  • The 5 best neighborhoods to buy luxury homes in Chicago
  • How to finance a luxury home in Chicago
  • Famous mansions in Chicago seen in movies
  • Chicago’s richest neighborhoods: Where the Windy City’s millionaires live
  • The best wealthy suburbs of Chicago

ℹ️ Via Hubspot: Learn more about Topic Clusters: The Next Evolution of SEO

Using the Topic Cluster Model

Step #1: Choose the broad topics that you want to rank for

  • As we mentioned earlier, these are the specific niches you are an expert in or the ways you primarily help your clients.

Step #2: Create blog content based on the specific keywords related to those topics

  • One Niche Topic Page (Pillar Page) that is 1k-2k words that broadly covers all the major aspects of the main niche topic
    • “Selling a flood-damaged house in Houston”
      • Briefly discusses the topics below + a great intro and summary/conclusion
      • Each section should link to its related supporting blog post
      • Add the keyword you’re going after into Carrot’s SEO Keyword Rank Tracking tool
  • 3-6 supporting topic blog posts that are 800-1,500 words that dig into each element of the topic deeply
    • “When is a house considered flood-damaged?”
    • “Do I need to fix up a flood-damaged house before I sell it”
    • “Will insurance cover a flood-damaged house in [location]”
    • “Can I still live in a flood-damaged house”

Note: these are examples above. They may or may not be actual articles you’d want to write.

Step #3: Link all of your supporting blog content back up to the main Niche Topic Page

  • …and to each other to create a more robust internal linking strategy that Google will love.
Each color/node represents a separate topic cluster. At the center is a Niche Topic Page (pillar page) + a handful of supporting pages/posts linking to it.

Topic Cluster Example #1: Investor who only operates in Denver, CO

Niche Subject: The niche of selling in foreclosure in Denver

Niche Topic Page (pillar page): “How To Sell Your House In Foreclosure In Denver, CO” (1,500 – 2,000 words).

The pillar page/post should link to each article in the topic cluster.

Supporting Posts Topic Cluster: A collection of blog posts, each 800-1,000 words, each linking to the pillar page.

  • Blog Post #1: “What Are Your Options When Facing Foreclosure in Denver, CO?”
  • Blog Post #2: “How Does The Foreclosure Process Work in Denver, CO?”
  • Blog Post #3: “Can I Sell My Foreclosed Home in Denver, CO?”
  • Blog Post #4: “How Does Foreclosure Affect My Credit?

Topic Cluster Example #2: Investor who operates in multiple states

Niche Subject: The niche of selling in foreclosure

Niche Topic Page (pillar page): “How To Sell Your House In Foreclosure” (1,000 – 2,00 words).

The pillar page/post should link to each article in the topic cluster.

Supporting Posts Topic Cluster: A collection of blog posts, each 800-1,000 words, each linking to the pillar page.

  • Blog Post #1: “What Are Your Options When Facing Foreclosure?”
  • Blog Post #2: “How Does The Foreclosure Process Work?” (could do state-specific ones if foreclosure laws are different in each state)
  • Blog Post #3: “Can I Sell My Foreclosed Home?”
  • Blog Post #4: “How Does Foreclosure Affect My Credit?”

Internal Linking

Internal linking between content on a website is important. This has been true for many years.

Internal links between related pages and posts on your own website helps Google crawl your website more easily. Linking internally helps Google find all of the posts and pages on your site and helps Google understand what content is related to other content on your site.

Just like backlinks from other websites to your site are important for SEO, internal links between high value pages/posts can also make a substantial difference in search engine rankings. Wikipedia is a great example of the power and importance of internal linking within a website.

In the Hubspot study illustrated below, they showed an average higher ranking in search engines based on the number of internal links in their content.

Best Practices For Internal Linking In A Blog Post

Position your internal link to your niche authority page within the first two paragraphs of your supporting blog post. The higher it is on the page, the more value Google will deem it to be (and ensure readers see the link prior to clicking away).

As a best practice, your internal links should be well integrated into the content rather than presented as spammy phrasing such as “Click HERE to sell your house NOW”.

For example, if you were publishing a supporting blog post about the topic “Is there a time limit on selling inherited property?” and your niche topic page was targeting the keyword phrase “selling an inherited house in Orlando FL” – you might include the following sentence in the introduction to your supporting blog post, linking the words bolded below to your niche topic page:

“We hear from a lot of people stuck with an inherited home in Orlando, FL, including folks worried about running out of time to sell their inherited property. Here’s what you should know if you’re in this situation…”

ℹ️ Via Search Engine Land: Learn more about internal link building for an E-E-A-T-focused content strategy

External Linking

Know of a trusted authority or local resource that can be used to supplement your blog post content? Localize your post and link out to their website!

Whenever your content links out to relevant organizations, government entities, resources, services, or established companies outside of your Carrot site, it adds credibility to the post for site visitors as well as search engines.

This can also be a good opportunity to establish backlinks with other businesses or simply highlight your knowledge of the market.