Blog Content Strategy

Overview

In this tutorial, we will dig into the strategy behind creating blog content and how to best utilize Carrot’s automated content library feature. This training is only relevant as a part of the overall Lead Generation Hub strategy, so dive into that training first [link] 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 keyword
  • 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

Pillar Pages

The first component of an ideal blog structure is a Pillar Page.

Your Pillar Content (which can be formatted as a page or a post) is the foundation on which a topic cluster is built. Pillar pages cover all the aspects of the topic at hand in one central location but take a broader approach. These pages should cover a specific topic broadly, while the cluster content should dig into the specific keywords related to that topic. They 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.

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. The more competitive and the better content you’re competing for w/ for those phrases, the more high quality and robust the 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 great… you can likely beat them with an 800-1k word article. But to be sure, aim at 1,500 – 2,000 words.

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 pillar page.

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

Long-Tail Keyword

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]

Topic Clusters

A Topic Cluster is a collection of blog posts focusing on specific keywords related to your “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.

The ideal length for a blog post is ~ 800 – 1,500 words.

Cluster content you create or optimize should go into depth on just one area mentioned on the pillar page.

For example, if you have a pillar page on “Luxury homes for sale in Roseburg, Oregon”, a cluster content page could detail the 5 best neighborhoods to buy luxury homes in Roseburg. Another cluster content (blog) could be how to finance a luxury home in Roseburg, etc.

Using the Topic Cluster Model

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

  • As we mentioned earlier, these are the niches you help your client in.

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

  • One Pillar Page that is 1k-2k words that cover the topic broadly optimized for the overall topic
    • “Selling a flood-damaged house in Houston”
      • Briefly discusses the topics below + a great into and summary/conslusion
      • Each section should link to it’s corresponding cluster blog post below
      • Add the keyword you’re going after into the Carrot SEO Ranking Tracker
  • 3-6 “cluster” topic blog posts that are 800-1,500 words that dig into each element of the topic deeply (these are examples below. They may or may not be actual articles you’d want to write)
    • “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”
      • Add the keyword for each topic blog post you’re going after into the Carrot SEO Ranking Tracker

Step #3: Link all of your blog content back up to the pillar content

  • …and to each other to create a more robust internal linking strategy that Google will love.
Each color/node represents a separate topic cluster. Each has a long 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

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.

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

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.

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 8+ years. It helps Google spider your website more easily and tell the topic of each post/page and what content is tied to other content. Just like backlinks from one site to your site are important, internal links between high value pages/posts makes a substantial difference in search engine rankings. In the study illustrated below, it 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 authority link within the first two paragraphs of your blog–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, the authority link should be well integrated into the content rather than presented as spammy phrasing such as “Click HERE to sell your house NOW”. As an example: “We hear from a lot of people stuck with an inherited home in Orlando, FL” 

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 is linked to an organization, 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.