Search engine optimization (SEO) & content are interconnected pieces in your business marketing ecosystem”.
Content is baked into every marketing strategy.
Whether you realize it or not, content is there, was there, and will always be there. Otherwise, you’ve got no there there.
Having a simple website with no new, regularly refreshing content would be like paying to advertise your business in an empty billboard frame. You’ve got the pole, the platform, the support structure, and the frame where the sign would go, but you’ve put nothing inside it.
Your “empty billboard” budget would return no value because it would be anonymous for you and irrelevant for your prospective customers.
Content contains meaning, that’s all.
Whether you assign it or not, content is any “thing” which conveys or confers meaning outward, into the world, up to and including simply the name of your business.
Do you remember phone books? Back in the days when local service providers would give their shops names like AAA Propane Services or 123 Pest Control. That was to get to the top of their section listing in the yellow pages. (It was a practice called Yellow Page Optimization (YPO). By no one ever.)
But it was content all the same. And, it had search value. When you let your fingers do the walking, you start at the top of the list.
Content carries its own water.
In the march of marketing, you don’t need to worry about dragging content along behind the supply lines. Content handles its own, has a broad back, and marches right behind the business leaders.
Sure, neither content nor marketing were traditionally thought of as “line functions.” But, tell me, who thinks traditionally anymore?
What does content do for you?
- Position your business as a thought leader
- Make your business stand out in a crowded local field
- Communicate your business value & unique sales prop
- Build trust, credibility, & social capital with your target audience
Grow that audience with email newsletters, social sharing, & other distribution channels
What does SEO content do for you?
First, let’s define terms – what is SEO content?
We’ll crib from Brian Child writing clearly & generously over at Moz Blog’s Next Level series:
Search engine optimized content is the strategic process of researching and writing website copy with the goal of maximizing its impact in the SERPs [search engine results page]. This requires having a keyword strategy, the ability to conduct competitive analyses, and knowledge of current ranking factors”.
Here’s what your SEO Consultant knows about that content:
- It strengthens the signals your site sends to search engines &
- Improves ranking factors, like session duration & page depth, which in turn
- Builds your site’s authority in search, meaning you show up higher on SERPs & that
- Grows your audience with organic traffic from clicks on SERPs
Good content opens doors. But you betta work.
Not just any ol’ content will do.
Brian Childs again, “Words matter in SEO, and spending the time to get them right is a big part of creating content effectively.”
Your local SEO Consultant helps you find the right words.
When you work with an SEO professional, they’ll go through a careful discovery process with you, listening to you and learning about your business and industry. They’ll complete extensive SEO research on your behalf including a look at your competitors’ online activities. Rely on their years of know-how and their analysis of your situation to help develop a list of keywords, semantic fits, and long-tail search phrases that should act like siren songs to your prospective and existing clients.
You’ve got to know your audience.
You’ve been in their shoes. You’ve run the same traps, jumped through the same hoops, dealt with the same ol’, same ol’. Share your lessons learned and knowledge about how the sausage can get made more effectively, more efficiently, and less expensively. Make their life easier.
Make it valuable & relevant to your target market.
Your customers are going to have specific questions. Your content ought to provide specific answers. That’s your bread and butter.
Teach your customers the topical content. Don’t sell.
Everybody hates a come on. We’ve all become very busy and very savvy shoppers in both B2C and B2B. These days, like as not, we won’t make time for lectures and we won’t invite strangers into our homes (or screens) to demo vacuum cleaners.
When a brand doesn’t immediately show us “What’s In It For Me” (WIIFMe), we’re on to the next one.
While you’re at it, show, don’t tell. Be compelling, germane, & on topic.
Remember the empty billboard analogy — there’s no content there. Well, there could be. An empty billboard in a major market would certainly be compelling. So much so that your prospective customers drive by it everyday thinking, “What is the artist trying to convey? Is this a postmodern reflection of our daily pursuits and commutes?”
That’s hardly valuable to your business marketing.
Craft content for busy humans.
The reading level should be easy. No ten dollar words when a dime’ll do. Use images, graphics, headlines, subheads, things that break the copy into small bite-size chunks. Make sure your site plays nice with whichever device calls it – whether it’s an iPad on a train into the city or an Android on the tram at the airport.
SEO content that make friends with bots, spiders, and engines.
Your SEO Advisor will make sure your easy-to-read, relevant, shareable, valuable content is packaged and presented properly “on the back end.” In the code of your website, many factors are not made directly for human eyes, like metadata and _______. However, their correct and consistent usage results in your website being seen more often by human eyes.
So many types of content. So little time.
It’s not just blog posts and email updates. There’s white papers, infographics, interviews, guest posts, podcasts, video blogs, tutorials, ebooks, downloadables, landing pages, confirmation pages, thank you pages. There’s content for every step along your sales funnel from first contact to first sale to repeat customer.
Just like a good sommelier can help you make the right wine choice for your meal, your SEO Consultant can help you understand the many content varietals out there and which one is best suited to your goals and campaigns.