© Digital Storyteller 2020
© Digital Storyteller 2020
As a CEO it’s your job to ensure that all operations of your company run smoothly. That being said, there’s obviously quite a bit on your plate to maintain and keep track of.
The team that reports to you is responsible for managing the details of their respective departments under your guidance and support. While it’s important to have a general idea of what’s going on within each of the departments, it’s unrealistic to fully jump into every detail yourself.
When it comes to marketing, there is a lot that goes into forming a well-rounded marketing strategy. While you may want to ensure that the strategy developed encompasses all that you want it to, you should also have a marketing pro that makes that their main focus.
Marketing strategies for all companies should be well-rounded and have a variety of aspects that help a company reach its goals. These unique aspects likely vary from one company to another but they may include things like email, content, social media, SEO, etc.
From an outside perspective, it’s easy to want to put emphasis on the things that are visible and concrete like emails, social, and content. On the other hand, sometimes it’s challenging to understand the importance of SEO in a marketing strategy when it isn’t always something that you can attach as a pdf and say ‘hey look at this.’
Let’s start at the beginning, what even is SEO? Search engine optimization (SEO) is a way that marketers tailor their content to appeal to search engines such as Google. In today’s world, search engines rule the scene.
Let’s say you’ve decided you’re in the market for a new pair of jeans. Where do you start? I’m willing to bet it’s Google … You might search for something like ‘women’s jeans’ or ‘where to buy jeans.’ The way that Google provides results based on your search is determined by SEO.
SEO is the behind-the-scenes information that tells Google ‘hey, this is what information my website has, this is what I’m talking about, and these are the types of people that would find my website interesting.’ SEO is the reason that your results page will likely populate sites like Levi’s or Nordstrom and probably won’t suggest visiting a site like BevMo.com to find a pair of jeans.
At Digital Storyteller we like to say that we write for humans and optimize for bots. Without proper search engine optimization, your content is unlikely to end up reaching the right set of eyes.
SEO helps marketers reach their organic marketing goals. While boosting a Facebook post or buying a paid ad might still help you reach your traffic goals for certain pieces of content, SEO is a more effective way to reach those audiences and more effective over time-based on organic search results.
In short, yes. The investment in a significant marketing strategy isn’t nearly as valuable if your content isn’t optimized to appeal to search engines. While nobody REQUIRES content to be optimized for search engines, as mentioned above, your content is likely to perform significantly better, particularly organically, if it is properly optimized.
So we’ve established that SEO is important and you should use it to optimize the content that your company shares as part of your marketing strategy. But how do you achieve this optimization?
SEO is based on a number of various aspects detailed below.
The best way to consider how to develop the best content possible is to consider your user’s intent. Think about your ideal audience, who do you want to see your content? What do they do for a living? What social channels do they use most frequently? Who do they follow?
These questions can help you identify your buyer personas. Once these personas are established for your company, consider how they think.
Let’s go back to our example of shopping for new jeans. The buyer’s ultimate intention and desired outcome is to find a new pair of jeans. Search engines take user intent into consideration when deciding which pages to show a user.
The pages that are shown to a searcher are determined based on their search query. Ideally, Google attempts to find the pages that any given user will find most helpful in answering their question or solving their problem.
User intent can be implemented into your content or site by making sure that you are answering the questions or problems that they’re experiencing. Identifying your buyer personas is the most helpful first step in prioritizing user intent.
Keywords come into play in multiple ways. First, they are relevant based on a user’s search query. One of the ways that search engines are able to match the appropriate pages with users’ searches is by the presence and usage of keywords.
If I were to search for ‘women’s jeans,’ there’s a high likelihood that Google will show me various web pages that include the same keyword somewhere within the content. This relates back to intent as discussed above. If Google didn’t try to link my search query to on-page keywords, I might end up on Old Navy’s page for men’s khaki pants instead.
While keyword usage is an important way for your site to communicate with search engines, you want to be sure that you’re avoiding keyword stuffing. Google defines keyword stuffing as “refers to the practice of loading a webpage with keywords or numbers in an attempt to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google search results.”
In short, you’ve gone too far. There is such a thing as over-optimizing, and keyword stuffing is exactly that. Make sure to include relevant keywords across your page and content but make sure that your page content doesn’t look like you copy and pasted the same 5 keywords to fill the page.
It’s an age-old saying to consider quality over quantity. Managing a blog or social media platform is a great way to build engagement and attract traffic to your site. However, the content that you publish is only worthwhile if it’s quality work that provides value to the audience viewing it.
You could publish a new blog post every day of the week if you wanted to but if your posts are only a couple hundred words and Google doesn’t think that they’re capable of answering a users question or satisfying their search intentions, the search engine may choose not to bother showing it to anyone.
Content marketing is a valuable addition to a marketing strategy, but you want to ensure that you’re focusing on the details and quality of your content rather than just sharing it to check it off your to-do list.
Authority is another important way that Google decides how to rank content and web pages. While it is difficult to build, establishing yourself as an authority figure is sure to help you rank higher on search engines.
Authority is determined by expertise and credibility. If your site and content are receiving few visitors, have a high bounce rate, and an extremely low average time on page, that tells Google that visitors were not able to find the answers to their search on your site. As a result, you will likely not continue to rank highly for that content. In a sense, authority relates back to quality.
As you continue to produce high-quality content over time, Google begins to recognize that your site is able to satisfy the needs of your audience.
Calls to action are important in SEO because they help instruct viewers on what to do next. So I just finished reading your blog … now what? Do I call you? Do I have to buy your product? Can I ask questions? Should I schedule a meeting?
A call to action helps point viewers in the right direction of whatever action you want them to take next.
Without calls to action, your viewer has no other choice but to leave your site. In the world of SEO and content marketing, clear calls to action are your lead generation source. Don’t miss the opportunity to track a lead and ideally close a sale.
Children’s books are often filled with pictures and illustrations for a reason, they help hold attention. Looking at a huge wall of text can be daunting and overwhelming and is often a turn-off for viewers to read. Breaking up a chunk of text with visuals, be it photos, graphs, or infographics, can encourage readers to actually make it past the first paragraph of your content.
Similar to the calls to action mentioned above, links help tell your audience what to do next. Be it clicking on a reference, visiting a relevant page, or providing a call to action, links help point your audience in the right direction.
Including a handful of relevant links throughout your content or on your site can help improve the quality of your content as well in addition to helping establish yourself as an authoritative figure. If we told you that about 64% of marketers actively invest time in search engine optimization (SEO), you might think ‘ok, well where did that come from? Why should I believe that?’ But if we linked that statistic to HubSpot, the marketing platform pros, you’re significantly more likely to trust the stat.
Overall, there are a variety of ways to implement search engine optimization into your marketing strategy. While some aspects may sound easier to implement than others, improving your SEO game is sure to show a significant improvement in your marketing strategy goals.
If you’re looking for a way to get started in implementing SEO into your existing marketing strategy or developing a new strategy that includes SEO, Digital Storyteller is here to help. We have proven results from existing clients and our team of experts is prepared to help make your SEO goals a reality. Give us a call or schedule a Brand Storytelling session today to get started.
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