Your company may make amazing products — you may be experts in your field with revolutionary ideas and techniques. But if no one can find you or hear you, none of that matters!
Running a great business while being poor at using search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing is like being able to play guitar like Eddie Van Halen, but your guitar never got hooked up to an amplifier. It’s the proverbial tree falling in a forest when no one’s around.
Why SEO and Content Marketing Matter
To drive sales, you need traffic. But to get traffic, you have to have engaging content. For people to see your engaging content, it has to be easy to find. Let’s tackle these concepts individually.
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of making your content rise in search engine rankings.
By using certain keywords relevant to your content and industry, as well as strategically chosen links and meta tags, your content will be highly visible when people perform searches for the types of products and services you provide. Even as search engines change algorithms, the concept of SEO remains just as important as ever.
Content marketing is the creation of content that demonstrates your products and your expertise. This work can include:
- Demonstration videos
- Product descriptions
- Comparison charts
- Information guides and books
By showing potential customers that you know your industry inside and out, you prove that you and your company can be trusted. When you demonstrate your products and services, you’re showing that customers can tangibly benefit from your expertise.
Why Search Engine Rankings Matter
Think about how often you go to the second page of Google results. Almost never, right? Over 25% of people click the first result they see on Google. The 10th result? Only 2.5%. Basically, if your content is outside of the top 5 results, it’s rarely getting clicked on.
Tips for Using the Power of SEO
You might have the feeling that SEO is somehow “gaming the system.” In other words, you might feel like all you have to do to get in the top results is shotgun keywords into a mediocre article, backlink to some better articles, and bam — you’ve got traffic!
Well, consumers are far savvier than that. If your content doesn’t deliver once people find it, they’re not going to engage, and you won’t be in that coveted top five spots on Google. So let’s get into some content marketing and SEO strategies!
Create Solid Content
Before you can optimize search engine rankings, you have to have content worthy of getting ranked. Yes, videos and pictures can be optimized because their descriptions and even filenames contribute to your content’s findability.
Your blogs, videos, and other content will be the “handshake” with potential customers. These avenues are your chance for them to get to know you and allow you to exemplify your company’s “why.”
Once you have great content, you’ll need to create a strategy for making it visible. One of the most common strategies is what’s known as the Hub and Spoke model. Here’s how it works:
The Hub: The main topic of your content piece, the one you want to position high in the rankings. This section is where you’ll determine your most important keywords.
The Spokes: Content that’s related to and supports your main topic. The keywords you’ll use aren’t as highly searched as the ones in the hub. Your spokes exist mainly to support the hub and increase your overall authority and rankings.
When you build content this way, you’ll begin to see your content reach the top of search results. The way Google works is that it looks for sites that have content relevant to search queries. This content rises higher when it’s also interconnected with other relevant content.
For example, if you make air filtration machines, you might have blogs about air filter use in hospitals, schools, and construction zones. By examining the myriad uses of your product, your content will appear valid in the eyes of search engines and consumers alike. You look like you know your stuff.
Watch Your Tone
Who is your audience? How do they speak? What are the terms they’re likely to use and respond to?
If your target audience expects a highly formal tone — perhaps if you make luxury cars — then be serious and formal. However, if you’re a video game publisher, you might be able to use more common language and slang. Whatever the case, match your image, your branding, and your language to your customer base.
Constantly Research SEO Keywords
Keywords can trend up and down. By using tools like AlsoAsked or Semrush, you can find out what keywords are most relevant and use them.
You’ll need to pare down to the most important keywords, so you don’t overstuff your content. That “sweet spot” is imperative because readers will quickly get a sense that your content is less about serving their needs and more about helping your search ranking targets.
An article that seems like it’s nothing but buzzwords and keywords is a boring read.
You’ll also need to update your keywords over time. If you run a brewery, you’ll need to know which beer styles are in vogue to stay on top of trends. Your blog might need to be discussing Hazy IPAs instead of Imperial Stouts, for instance.
Make Your Content Easy to Scan
Have you noticed that this very article uses a lot of headers and bullet points? You want content that isn’t just narratively satisfying — it has to act as a reference guide, too. People will scan for the most important information to them and want to be able to pinpoint that info quickly.
When you’ve written a blog titled “10 Holiday Destinations You Must Visit,” a reader might only care about one of them. They’ll want to be able to bookmark the page and go back to entry six rather than having to ingest a dense block of text every time.
Get Noticed with Get Visible
If all this SEO and content marketing stuff sounds quite complicated, that’s because it is! That complication makes it all of the more important to hire the right team to make your SEO and content marketing effective.