Your website could have the best content on the entire Internet, but if you are not properly using SEO, the site will not get traffic. SEO best practice needs to be considered in all stages of your content marketing strategy to enable you to achieve your marketing goals. Creating content marketing and SEO strategies are not only important; they are critical for your company’s success. Here is how you can get started.
Creating an SEO Strategy
Search Engine Journal recommends that companies should start out by defining a topic area. Identify your brand’s purpose as well as its expertise; how can your audience benefit from what you have to offer? This topic area is the starting point for your audience and keyword research, plus SEO content creation. For example, if you are a plumbing company and want to expand your client base, determine why your company stands out from your competitors.
Defining your target audience is also essential for creating an SEO strategy. Research your current customers and see what they have in common. You can also look at what your competitors are up to, including their customer reviews and social media posts. Consider what features your product or service offers, and target your content to the type of people who would want it. From here, you can create an audience “persona,” which would be your ideal customer.
Now you are ready to create keywords. Start off with something broad, like “plumbing companies.” Then you can narrow it down by including keywords that refer to best-selling products and features, variations of those, and questions that prospects might enter into the Google search bar. Here is one example for the search bar: “Can a plumber fix a broken water line?”
Creating a Content Marketing Strategy
Your target keywords list can now be optimized in your website. Place them throughout the webpage, starting in the meta description in the beginning and in the H1 and H2 headlines. The content should be well researched, relevant, and of high-value to your audience. Moz explains that successful content has value for its readers, and that it also creates emotional connections with them.
To make the content more visible, put it on your homepage and on the top of the other website pages. You can also highlight it on sidebars. And of course, outreach emails, social media, and networking can help encourage people to visit the site.
Content Marketing Calendars
A content marketing calendar is also necessary for creating an effective SEO strategy, and LYFE Marketing explains why. Instead of flying by the seat of your pants, it is better to have an organized plan that will help you stay consistent and maximize things like holidays and seasonal activities. A landscaping company would want to ensure that their website and posts are updated when it is time for spring cleanup, for example.
Content calendars also help companies decide how much information to share and when; too many blog posts or social media updates can create an overload that turns prospective customers away. You can have separate content calendars for social media posts, blog posts, and any other media channels where you share information. If your company is releasing a new product on a certain date, you will want to coordinate your media posts to coincide. This can be managed through your content marketing strategy and calendar.
These calendars do not have to be complicated, but it is best to set them up as far in advance as possible; you can always revise later on. Google Sheets or Excel spreadsheets are easy to use for this. Both can be shared with colleagues, and can be organized in different ways to best meet your needs. You can also use free online software like Asana or Trello to help you get started.
More Content Marketing and SEO Advice
It’s best to avoid repeating content verbatim across different platforms (doing so is called cross-posting). If your audience sees the same posts on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, your reputation may suffer.
Hootsuite calls this a “bad habit” for several reasons. Platforms have different languages, and their vocabularies, image formatting and caption lengths vary. What looks fine on one platform could look strange on another. Besides that, platforms have different kinds of followers, so you need to tailor your content for each audience. In addition, if someone sees the exact same post on several platforms, they might think that the poster is careless, or not in tune with their readers.
Once you get the hang of SEO and content marketing, you will be able to create relevant, valuable content that increases traffic to your website. In the beginning stages, be sure to take the time to research your audience, prospects, and competitors. Laying this strong foundation will help you find ways to create unique, original content that you can optimize as part of your company’s successful marketing plan.