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Using SEO And Content Marketing To Boost Your Online Growth

By now most probably have a basic understanding for why SEO and content marketing are important. They are both big game changers in the digital marketing space.

The benefits of internet presence is obvious. Online visibility helps build brand awareness, credibility and it increases audience reach. It makes your business accessible to the virtual world 24/7.

Having a well-functioning website with great usability is fundamental to your online business. But being visible to a relevant audience is what really drives growth for your business.

SEO and Content Marketing for online success

SEO and Content Marketing intertwine with each other. SEO is a technical process that aims to maximize website visits through natural, organic search. Content marketing provides valuable content relevant for search that encourages customers to take profitable action with your online business.

SEO will never be what it should be without a content marketing strategy. SEO is built around content marketing. Content Marketing is most successful with SEO.

Finding the right language, keywords, metadata is imperative to SEO success. Google search engines are smarter than they’ve ever been. This is why in 2019, both SEO and Content Marketing are essential tools to really boost digital growth.

Keyword Strategy

While we are long past the days of meta keywords and keyword stuffing content, keywords remain relevant and essential to SEO. Researching relevant keywords and making use of them in your content helps gain visibility in search engine results pages. Keywords are most useful when implemented within site titles,  page headers and body content.

Just remember that using keywords excessively (keyword stuffing) in an attempt to rank does nothing for your SEO. In fact it could have a negative impact on your results. In your strategy it’s important to know who your site visitors are, and to establish keywords with creative content that’s relevant. Your content marketing strategy should speak primarily to your audience – and not search engines. There are a variety of FREE SEO tools available to find the right keywords to help position your business in front of the right audience.

Quality Content

In your content strategy you want to be favorable with Google by creating relevant, unique content on a consistent basis. I try to encourage my clients to get into the mind of their customers. What key questions do they ask? What solutions do you offer to the problem they want to solve?

Consider the variety of ways to provide useful content to customers:

  • Blog posts
  • Case studies
  • Press releases
  • eBooks
  • Video and more

The key is to brainstorm creative ways to produce topical subject matter that includes important keywords. With the right keywords, you can position yourself online before the right audience.

User Experience (UX) Design

Relevant content needs a relevant experience. One may not consider UX design as part of an SEO and content marketing strategy, but it actually plays a significant role. Good User experience includes:

  • Creative content and engagement
  • Website accessibility (to both users and search engines)
  • Site architecture
  • Web design
  • Actionable steps in the context of a user’s immediate need

From a technical SEO standpoint, your website becomes accessible to search engines when content intentionally addresses title tags, header tags and URL structure. In your customization of this content, consider your keywords and how they fit into your strategy.

On the other hand, creative content strategizes hierarchy of importance and relevancy with what a user first sees on a webpage. It organizes content in a way that makes it useful for readers and easy for search engines to understand.

Quality Leads

Content created with user-intent in mind will generate qualified leads. An effective strategy for lead generation also includes off-site content and link building.  Link building is an SEO strategy that generates referral traffic back to your website. The market-relative content that gets published on other websites, directories and media channels link back to your business.

The more authority a referral site has, the more beneficial it will be for your SEO and visibility online. With Google’s demand for quality and creativity, good content is needed for your SEO and inbound marketing strategy.

My thoughts? Let SEO and content marketing work for you.

Stay in the race. Better yet – get ahead of your competition. SEO and content marketing can help empower businesses to grow online.

Not sure where to start? Let’s chat.

Already have a website but looking to boost online growth? Our online business plans are worth viewing »

 

10 Steps to Drive More Business Growth

The landscape of business has changed completely in the past 20 years. When I meet with potential clients looking to grow their businesses, I find myself circling back to the same advice again and again:

You have to be more digitally strategic than ever in order to get noticed.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur just starting out or whether you’ve been in the game for a long time, your online presence has never been more essential to your business as a whole. With very few exceptions, you need to show up online in order to thrive in today’s market.

What specific things that you can do to grow a business? Here are a few smart ways to bolster your digital presence to drive organic growth for your business:

1. Know Your Audience

Market research tools are available to all businesses. Used well, they tell about the people interested in your product. Your goal should be to identify buyer personas based on the data you have about previous customers and prospects.

You can identify buyer personas by looking at some key data points about your audience such as:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Occupation
  • Income level/amount of experience
  • Common pain points
  • Who they are not (in terms of these categories)

An audience of pre-teen girls will demand a very different marketing strategy than one of senior citizens. Knowing 2-3 buyer personas will help you shape not only your online presence, but also let you hone your message to answer real customer questions and meet real problems.

2. Know Your Brand

Effective marketing happens only after your brand is defined, and that definition is the yardstick by which you evaluate your marketing materials. Your brand must be strong, unique, and professional. Solid branding gives you a competitive advantage, and it is the foundation of customer loyalty and retention. It may help to look up “brand archetypes” to start to understand where your unique brand fits into the larger picture.

3. Optimize for SEO

A Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy is required to maintain optimal visibility of your website. This makes it an integral part of your content marketing strategy. Many studies have revealed that a good SEO practice can lead to a much better ROI than traditional print and TV marketing plans. SEO leads to more qualified leads, more customers, and more revenue.

4. Content Marketing

What’s content marketing? To paint with a broad brush: Present yourself as an advisor and expert in your field by creating engaging, informational content that addresses your customer’s pain points and/or interests. Make sure that each article aligns with your SEO strategy by utilizing the right keywords. Then deliver that content in a way your audience will receive it. Afterwards, content must be maintained and updated. All steps in your content marketing plan should lead you to a more targeted audience.

Content marketing allows you to create a library of free content that lives on your website and draws ongoing web traffic. Be sure to focus on your customers’ needs; that’s why knowing your audience is so important. At the same time, though, don’t be too pushy about your brand or your product. No one likes a hard sell. Demonstrate your value by giving your customers the rich information and resources they need.

5. Social Sharing

Now more than ever, it’s important to capitalize on social media. Over 260 million people in the US alone have some sort of social media account. Social can be used to build relationships and inform your inbound marketing strategy. More importantly, it can be used to Know Your Audience (see step #1).

You’ll need to focus your efforts where your audience is, of course. If your market is B2B, LinkedIn is a great resource which helps your brand build authority and presence. When going B2C or if you are selling a product, Instagram or Facebook are a good tools to use. For niche industries, try to learn where your ideal customers congregate (i.e. Reddit for SaaS or tech companies, Pinterest for consumer products, etc.)

6. Paid Advertisements

While paid ads can be costly, they are great for getting immediate attention. And there is a right way to use them. Ads are best used in short blocks of time, such as in campaigns. Long term use does not fare as well.

When using paid ads, it is best to know your audience beforehand. This allows you to leverage the unparalleled level of control that the major ad networks offer in regards to psychographic targeting and demographics.

7. Market and Measure

Google analytics help you create better content, more often. A quick glance at your analytics report can tell you all kinds of very granular data. Learn which posts are most effective. See when people visited your site and where they came from. Fine-tune your social media efforts based on insight about which ads that are giving you the best ROI.

8. Email Marketing

Get people to sign up for your emails so you’re right there in their email inboxes–with their permission! Email is a captive audience: a third of customers prefer getting their brand communication via email marketing and two thirds have actually made a purchase through those brand emails.

Additionally, some studies show that email marketing can realize a return of around 4,300 percent. Imagine earning $43 in return for every dollar spent on email marketing!

9. Use Video

Video captures the imaginations and eyeballs of customers. It also accounts for a large portion of Internet traffic and activity. Enticed by the video embedded on your landing page, customers start moving through your sales funnel, often leading to conversions. Videos can be very engaging, especially when well-produced.

Videos are especially useful when trying to reach mobile customers. Over half of all Internet users access solely from a mobile device. Most people don’t want to read a lengthy blog post on a small screen. Video is standing out as more traditional types of content fall by the wayside.

Videos can also show your product or service in action. This helps answer basic questions customers may have, in a way that static images of your offering will not.

10. Community Marketing

The more people talk about your product, the more they will buy it. So reach out to establish a presence on community forums and blogs. Write guest posts, and if you want a community of users springing up around your offering, start a user forum on your website.

What SEO Consultants Know About Content Marketing That You Don’t But Should!

Search engine optimization (SEO) & content are interconnected pieces in your business marketing ecosystem”.

seo-content-marketing-strategy-small-business

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.

5 Reasons You Need a Professional Copywriter

When my colleague Justin Staples asked me to write an article on why professional copywriting is important, I was at a loss for words.

It’s not that I’m unfamiliar with the topic. I’ve been writing my entire life. From the time I could hold a pencil, I was creating stories. That eventually led to my career today as an independent copywriter and marketing consultant.

The question offered an excellent opportunity for some introspection. Why IS writing important? What do I offer that my clients value enough to invest their time and marketing dollars?

So here you go … the top five reasons I believe professional copywriting is an important part of any successful businesses’ marketing toolkit:

  1. It all starts with words. You might not think you’re doing a “writing” project, but more than likely, you are. A TV spot needs a script. A presentation needs talking points. Even social media depends on good writing. Think about it – on Twitter, you have just 140 characters to capture your audience’s attention. Every word, every letter, every comma, every space matters. Your copywriter can help you tell your story regardless of the project, length or medium.
  2. You have too much to say or don’t know where to start. A good copywriter isn’t just a good writer … he or she is also a good listener. You know your business inside and out, and it’s your job to tell us all about it. Then, it’s our job to help you hone in on what your audience needs to hear, pare down the clutter to most important points, and craft an effective message that resonates with your target audience.
  3. You don’t want to sound dumb. Not to be harsh, but as they say, you only get one chance to make a first impression. Your words – whether written, spoken or recorded – are the first impression you have on your target audience. A mis-placed, mis-spelled or mis-used word can make or break your credibility, and damage or enhance your reputation.
  4. It builds your brand personality. Think of your business like a person – how would you describe it? Friendly and casual? Professional and highbrow? Humorous and maybe even a bit cheeky? The words you choose and the tone you use in your marketing is a critical part of building and supporting your brand personality. A professional copywriter can help you develop this personality, and use it consistently across your communications.
  5. You want people to feel something. When’s the last time an instruction manual made you feel something (other than maybe frustration)? Compare that to an article that brought tears to your eyes, a radio spot that made you laugh, or that TV show you binge-watched for a week. The difference is your marketing objective and the style you choose to achieve that objective. Your words have the power to not only inform and educate, but also to create emotion and inspire action. 

So, despite my initial loss of words, I was able to find nearly 600 of them to describe why I believe professional copywriting is an invaluable tool. I hope you find them helpful.

rachel-grenier-copywriter-content-marketingRachel Grenier has been helping clients “find their words” as an independent copywriter and marketing consultant for 11+ years. She, her husband and son are living their dream of working and residing between Alaska and Hawaii. More on Rachel »