Create an SEO content calendar

Manage SEO content better with a calendar

An SEO content calendar combines all your digital marketing activities into a single dashboard. Creating and maintaining a content calendar is essential for any business that wants to effectively manage its content and maximise the impact of its digital marketing activity.

Do you ever struggle to find content ideas to power your SEO? You’re not alone. Even the more experienced writers can lack inspiration. The solution? A strategically-led SEO content calendar created in partnership with your digital marketing team.

In this article, we will guide you through creating an awesome content calendar that will drive results for your business and power your SEO efforts.

Why you need a content calendar

We’re writers and love words, but a bold and colourful content calendar is beautiful. A content calendar provides a clear overview of your content schedule. It provides a snapshot of all planned activities across all content channels (your blog, social channels, and external publications). 

A social calendar enables you to plan and use content strategically. You can ensure a broad range of content aligned with your digital marketing objectives. A content calendar can also give critical stakeholders oversight, giving them a clear picture of all content activity.

Creating a content calendar also helps every team to stay organised. Large teams will find that a content calendar can save time and ensure you don’t miss any important dates or events relevant to your business. 

The content calendars we will discuss later in this article all have a visual interface, making it easy to see a snapshot of all content activity. This can increase collaboration among team members and facilitate closer working between your content production team and SEO experts. As well as being highly visible, the best content calendars are accessible, enabling anyone in the digital marketing team to add content ideas and update on progress on a computer, tablet, or phone.

Ten reasons why your business needs a content calendar

If you already have a content calendar in your business, move on to the next section. If you’re still not convinced about having a content calendar (or have to convince internal stakeholders why you need one), here are ten reasons.

  1. A content calendar can help you stay organised and maintain consistency in your content marketing approach.
  2. You can plan your content, giving your content team enough time to research, create, and promote all content.
  3. Visually laying out content helps you strategically use content and ensure that it aligns with your content marketing objectives and target audience.
  4. You can spot gaps in content and channel opportunities much more manageable when things are planned on a visual grid.
  5. Content calendars can be incorporated into your analytics process, enabling you to track the performance of your content and make more informed and data-driven decisions.
  6. Over time, you can build a content library that can be repurposed, reused, and refined for future use.
  7. Collaborate more effectively with your team members and stakeholders;
  8. Content calendars are an easy-to-use and simple-to-understand way to capture your digital marketing activity. It can be shared with key stakeholders, who will appreciate its simplicity.
  9. If you use content calendar software (like Asana or Monday, for example), your digital marketing team can access it 24/7, powering greater communication and collaboration.
  10. Content calendars can make your digital marketing team and content producers work more efficiently, saving time and money – big selling points as budgets get tighter.

A content calendar isn’t just a calendar; it can become a vital resource that powers your entire digital marketing strategy. Bold claims, but a good content calendar can boost your business and bring clarity to SEO efforts. How? Let’s take a deeper look into the role of a calendar in content marketing and SEO.

The role of a calendar in content marketing and SEO

A content calendar is a vital tool for marketers to plan, execute, analyse and refine all content activity. 

Most people think of a content calendar as a list of blogs, but it should incorporate much more information than that. At 42group, our content calendar includes details of all content we publish on behalf of our clients, including online articles, social posts, content on external sites (to generate backlinks) and (if it’s part of our offer) press releases and PR activity.

Try collating all that on paper, and you’ll quickly encounter problems. Instead, we use software to help us manage it (something we’ll explore later in this blog).

Here are some of the benefits that the team at 42group get from using a content calendar:

  • We can ensure each client has a balanced mix of content types and formats, such as blog posts, videos, infographics, and social media updates. We can see if some areas are missing content and fill those gaps quickly.
  • We can ensure all content channels work together. If we publish a blog, we can plan out a short campaign of social promotion.
  • A calendar enables the use of all client content. We can reheat older posts and promote them when relevant and useful. It’s a strategic approach to content management.
  • Our clients want consistency in their content output. A calendar enables us to establish a consistent posting schedule, which helps build an audience.
  • As well as scheduling existing content, a content calendar helps us to identify content gaps and opportunities. We work with SEO specialists who contribute to our calendar, providing new post ideas and opportunities for keywords. It’s a collaborative process that powers our content production activities. 
  • We can work with all aspects of a business, including in-house teams and other contractors, to coordinate content releases. This ensures a cohesive and integrated approach, which our clients benefit from.
  • We find that a calendar helps us to streamline the content creation process, enabling our team to work more efficiently and produce higher-quality content. 
  • Our content calendar acts as a single point of truth for our clients, enabling them to see what we deliver. We link our content calendar to Google Docs, which enables easy collaboration and keeps our clients in control.
  • All the points above help us to cut down on client meetings. A visual interface can be shared with stakeholders to demonstrate our activity and, when integrated with analytics, show our impact. It’s an all-in-one solution for powering our content and supercharging SEO.

Choosing the right content calendar

Search online, and you’ll see a huge range of digital calendars available. Do you have time to assess each one? No – so we’ve done it for you. 

Our advice is to sit down with your team and sketch out the functionalities that you feel are most important. It’s also worth crowdsourcing opinions from the team on content calendars they’ve used before and are familiar with. If there’s a tool most of you are familiar with, it can 

  • Trello: Trello is a user-friendly tool that allows you to create boards, lists, and cards to organise your content calendar. We like its simple visual interface, which enables you to drag and drop tasks, set due dates, and assign team members jobs. Trello also integrates with other popular tools like Slack and Google Drive, which is a plus. 
  • Asana: Asana is a powerful project management tool that can be used to create and manage your content calendar (as well as lots more). In fact, many agencies use Asana to manage their entire operations. Asana has standard features you’d expect, like task assignment, due date tracking, and progress monitoring. Asana enables greater collaboration than Trello, but it can take longer to adopt as part of your agency (or organisational) workflow.
  • CoSchedule: CoSchedule is a comprehensive content marketing platform that (as you’d expect) includes impressive content calendar features. Naturally, you can plan, create, and publish your content all from the platform. We like the fact that CoSchedule offers advanced features like social media scheduling, content optimisation, and performance analytics. If you’re only looking for a content calendar, it’s a great choice.

These are just a few of the hundreds (thousands?) of content calendars available. Check out the market, read some reviews, talk to colleagues and friends, or take advantage of the free trial offers and give it a go yourself!

How do I create a content calendar in Excel?

We work with several external clients who cannot use the software above, but we need a shared content calendar. We have used Excel and Google Sheets to create content calendars that provide a visual breakdown of activity. OK, so it’s not as effective or easy-to-use as the content calendars above, but it works.

We’re going to create a blog on how to create an Excel content calendar with a free template, which we’ll link to here. (So watch this space!)

SEO content with impact

That’s what we do – and it’s all powered from our SEO content calendar. We hope this article has helped you understand the impact that an SEO calendar can have on your business and your search engine performance.  Want more SEO tips? Check out our answers page.

Searching for an SEO content agency? Get in touch today. The answer is 42.

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