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December 02, 2020 4 SEO Tips to Increase Member Engagement with Career Advice Content Sergio Garcia - Marketing Manager

4 SEO Tips to Increase Member Engagement with Career Advice Content

Since the beginning of the pandemic we've seen a sharp increase in article views across our niche career sites. 

With so many professionals searching for resources to help them navigate their industry during a global crisis, career advice content is a powerful tool for associations to drive engagement and conversions.

Content marketing for associations doesn’t have to be a complex labyrinth. You may be thinking, I don't have the time or resources to create a bunch of new content for our career center and update our SEO strategy. However, the reality is you don't need to reinvent the wheel to make the most of this opportunity:

●  According to Brian Dean of Backlinko, the act of simply refreshing old content with new content and new images can increase traffic by up to 112%.

●      Neil Patel cracked Google’s Hummingbird Algorithm and realized that user intent matters more than keyword selection and backlinks.

So, what does this mean for your association?

How can you build a strong SEO profile that will attract leads?

It turns out there is some good news for niche sites looking to build traction.

Currently, Google uses 200 ranking factors for SERPS, yet major brands use about 40 of them. That means SEO has never been more critical for niche sites than right now.

Let’s dive into some SEO tips that can help you with increasing your association’s membership.  

1. Focus on User Search Intent

If you want to increase your organic search results for career advice, you need to spend a significant amount of time knowing your targeted audience. What is their search intent? 

Search intent answers the why behind a specific search query. Basically, why did the person search for this? What do they want to learn? Are they looking for a particular website/resource?

Chances are it’s more than how to find a job.

An example of search intent is the keyword query "best remote jobs in finance". If you're an association in the finance sector it should be clear why someone is searching for this online. They're looking for the best positions in finance that can be done remotely. 

Thanks to updates in Natural Language Processing (NLP), particularly with Google and their BERT update, ranking specifically for keywords isn’t as important before.

This change in SEO strategy means you can focus on getting specific about what your targeted customer’s search intent is when they search for career advice. In the past, SEO was all about writing for the intersection where keywords with high volume and low competition align.

So rather than writing out a long-form article with 20 of the best remote jobs in finance, you can now think about categorizing your list for a more niche approach to writing content. According to Brian Dean, Google now places greater importance on going more in-depth about a topic.

That means you can instead list the 5 best remote jobs in finance and provide more insight into each role and why it can be worked remotely. Google will put more value into your content sharing valuable, comprehensive information and it will boost your ranking. 

While you shouldn’t abandon keyword research entirely, your primary focus should be creating topics focused on search intent.

2. Create Topic Clusters

SEO for associations focusing on career advice should center around creating topic clusters.

Topic clusters start with a topic based on a keyword. It starts from what’s known as a pillar page, a birds-eye view of the topic. After that, clusters or sub-topics branch off from the pillar page and lead to more granular content. That is done through internal linking.

HubSpot used this strategy to increase their traffic and rankings year-over-year by 25% for over 2 million keywords!

Here is a diagram that illustrates the strategy:


By bridging content together into a core topic and sub-topics, you can see how this strategy would really boost SEO around user search intent. The internal links provide a strong index as well, which creates a better user experience.

While your pillar page introduces the core topic, it is the internally linked sub-topics, that granular content that adds more indexing and provides the added user search intent Google is looking for.

So how can you build topic clusters for your association's career advice content?

3. Go Granular

The SEO game has changed!

Instead of being all about search volume, it’s moving towards search intent, thanks to Natural Language Processing. Search engines are no longer looking for broad content on a particular topic anymore. 

Search intent is now driving SEO results.

Therefore, content with in-depth knowledge about a specific result will be a better match than the long-form guide of the past. That offers a distinct advantage for associations looking to boost their SEO rankings.

Creating a solid content schedule is paramount to strong SEO based on search intent. If you’re looking to reach people looking for career advice, it’s important to see what’s trending.

Based on our current economic climate, COVID-19 and Unemployment would be popular areas. Still, we need to niche down to think about specific content within those broader concepts that would provide actionable career advice.

As Americans brace for the second wave of COVID-19 and the possibility of a second lockdown, one area that could be broken down into granular articles is the topic of remote work:

Remote work can be broken down into many different granular articles: 

●  How to set up a work-from-home office during COVID

●  How to find remote work during COVID-19

●  Managing work-life balance as a remote worker

●  Connecting with your remote team

●  Establishing boundaries with your family around your remote job

●  Dealing with the stress of remote work during COVID-19

You can see how these topics go into granular detail about the broader topic of remote work during COVID-19. You can get even more granular once you tie the above themes to specific attributes of your specific industry or region. These used together could help drive traffic to your site from relevant user search intent around the topic of remote work within your niche.

4. Build Those Backlinks

So, you've got your content focused on user search intent, created cluster topics, and have gone granular, now it’s time to build on your success by building those backlinks.

If you’ve designed content clusters correctly, then you should be set up to build your backlinks. The easiest way to build backlinks is by reaching out to sites that are backlinking content that closely matches yours and asking for a backlink since your content also adds more value (due to your content clusters).

Why you need backlinks:

●  According to Ahrefs, 55% of pages have zero backlinks pointing to them.

●  A study published by Backlinko stated that the number of domains linking to a was the factor that had the highest correlation to ranking in Google.

Simply having one backlink to different pages in your content cluster could significantly increase your chances of driving more traffic to your site and increasing association member engagement through organic traffic.

Not only that, you’d likely perform better than half your competition!

Increasing Association Member Engagement Through SEO

You can increase your SEO ranking and member engagement around career advice in 2020 and beyond. It just takes a targeted SEO approach. 

Follow these top four tips to boost your association’s SEO ranking. Looking for a service to help you increase your member engagement, build your professional audience, and more? Contact Madgex to see how we can help your association.