SEO and Content: Inbound Marketing’s Perfect Marriage
We’ve said it before that successful inbound marketing relies upon how thoroughly you understand your ideal customers’ needs. After all, if you can’t reach prospects with content that addresses their pain points, then you probably can’t convert them. And, if you can’t convert prospects into leads, then your inbound marketing efforts are obviously not working.
So how do you go about reaching your audience with content they care about? Yes, it needs to be relevant, and yes, it needs to be easily searchable. But what comes first in the development process — content idea generation or keyword research? The answer isn’t as simple as it may seem. Let us give you some insight into one of most modern marketing concepts out there: the marriage of SEO and content.
All About the Relationship
A Think Intuitive blog post about 2015 SEO statistics states, “Based on a study on Google by Slingshot SEO, the #1 (1st) position receives 18% of organic clicks followed by 10% for the #2 (2nd) position, and 7% going to the #3 (3rd) position.” What are searchers looking for? Easily accessible, relevant content that fits their search terms. We’ve all used Google before — you only go to the subsequent results pages if you’re desperate. If you don’t find what you need in the first few results, you probably enter another search query until you discover what you need. So how do you get your awesome content right in front of the prospects that are searching for it? You marry your SEO and content strategies.
First things first, you need to get to know your potential customers inside and out. Develop buyer personas and learn what their challenges are. What would they type into Google to help solve some of their biggest problems? This is where your content and SEO strategies begin to work together. You come up with content topics that help solve your prospects’ problems, and then you include relevant keywords they use to search for solutions. Let us break down the concepts of modern content marketing:
The Content Side
Google has recently put an emphasis on steering away from packing your content with SEO keywords for the sake of increasing your ranking. Now, they prefer that you serve up content that is relevant to what searchers want. The key to reaching your audience is delivering content that they care about and want to read. So how does SEO fit into this new search engine landscape?
The SEO Side
Inbound marketing relies upon bolstering engagement and reaching your ideal customers. It’s important to remember that effective SEO doesn’t mean using all the keywords you can think of. Instead, focus on learning the keywords that your buyer personas use to find content that solves their problems and then think about how to integrate them naturally into your content.
Making the Relationship Possible
Now that you understand why the marriage of SEO and content is so important, let’s delve into how you can use this relationship in your overall inbound marketing strategy to give your prospects the content they want.
Step One: Streamline Targeting
In the past, ‘keyword stuffing’ made the SEO process simple. These days, however, dynamic content is needed to reach users. Here’s how to mesh your keywords and your content:
- Use a natural voice
- Jumble the order of keyword phrases
- Build keywords into your content
Step Two: Have a Steady Flow of New Content
Building up an arsenal of relevant, keyword-rich content is a great way to drive traffic to your website and show up on Google’s results pages. Not only will your old posts make their way up the rankings, but your new posts will make your blog as a whole more visible to Google’s content-crawling robots, too. Plus, you can be sure to use relevant keywords in your social media posts, especially on Twitter and Google+, so they also pop up in search queries.
Step Three: Get Inbound Links
Getting inbound links is one of the best ways to show Google that other websites think your content is valuable to increase your search rankings. What’s an inbound link? Here’s an example: when another company thinks your blog post is worthy of linking to in their own blog post. Whoever links to your post most likely found your content in a Google search, so in order to get inbound links you must have a great SEO and content strategy to begin with.
Reach and Impact: The Perfect Partnership
Your ability to impact search results while also delivering relevant, fresh and concise content determines the success of your inbound efforts. You can’t climb to the top by stuffing your website and content with keywords. Now you have to think about the content surrounding those keywords and make sure both match up with what your audience expects to find. This is one of those concepts that might seem daunting at first, but really it’s the meat of modern marketing. Consumers don’t like disruptive, traditional marketing methods. The best way to reach them is by meeting in the middle and giving them what they want. When you start to look at content and SEO as an unbreakable bond, you’ll understand how to climb up in Google’s rankings.