A guest blog by Clwyd Probert, CEO at Whitehat
Whether you’re leading the marketing charge for your start-up or are an experienced marketing manager, chances are you want to keep your marketing costs low while gaining the most ROI as you can.
Thankfully, search engine optimisation (SEO) services can help optimize your inbound marketing strategy without having to add to your existing marketing or sales teams.
For years now, no well-rounded content strategy has overlooked the importance of SEO in their content marketing plans. However, the world of SEO has changed a lot in recent years, meaning that it’s not enough to place keywords throughout your content and hope you’ll see your webpage click rate rise.
Sadly, evolution also applies to digital marketing. Which means 350-word articles that were taking up the first places on Google rankings, have been replaced by more comprehensive pieces of content. You will now see 2,500+ word articles occupying these much coveted first place slots. Keywords have been downgraded as Google’s algorithms continue to become more in line to what users are searching for.
Instead, SEO is supported by three different pillars: discovery, relevance, and authority. Ensure that your website keeps these three future-forward SEO concepts in mind, and you'll have a content marketing strategy that will increase your place on search engine results pages (SERPs).
But first, it’s vital that marketing managers understand the following three pillars and why they can affect SEO success so broadly.
If you're looking to get discovered by potential clients on Google, it starts with having your site noticed by Google in the first place. This process involves using classic SEO tactics such as building a collection of backlinks from trusted websites and utilising both powerful and practical keywords strategically throughout your site.
The both good and bad thing about SEO is that unless you’re pushing for a really specific keyword (e.g. where can I find doggie poop bags in Gary, Indiana) it takes a while to get to #1. I say good because it’s not like someone can pay to instantly jump to # ORGANICALLY. SEO is about dedicating time to having your site be a resource center for everything that you’re offering.
Create a website that has your aspiring customers best interests at heart as opposed to trying to shove a product or service down their throats.
Becoming relevant on SERPs occurs naturally through boosted traffic to your website. In addition to building backlinks and developing a superior keyword strategy to your competitor's, creating a user-friendly website keeps traffic coming into and staying on your site.
User friendliness is more than a clean cut, aesthetically pleasing website. It’s a site where your objectives are clear and users know exactly what to do next. More times than not, webmasters put together the best images, content and videos but just can’t seem to organize it in a way where users have fun taking in your content. Have a homepage that highlights the key elements your organization offers with clear calls-to-action that will take them where you want them to go.
When paired with the above SEO strategies, high traffic demonstrates that your website is trustworthy, which leads us to the final pillar of an effective SEO content marketing strategy: having authority.
Often, being of relevance and holding a position of authority go hand in hand. Although you can be relevant with sub-par content, only businesses with high-quality, usable content are able to move their way up SERPs. Authority not only provides you with more visibility via search engines, but it can position you as a thought-leader in your industry, setting you up for countless backlinks and citations from blogs, articles, or industry-related content.
This is ultimately the goal. To have a website filled with relevant content that visitors are sharing. Original images with alt tags and social share buttons. A comment section where visitors are leaving their 2 cents. This all gets picked up by search engines thus deeming you an industry leader.
Even if your current content marketing strategy has kept these three pillars in mind during the design process, many marketing departments and managers are still making common mistakes. Some examples of faux-pas include:
- Publishing content regularly without sticking to a well-developed strategy that is based on concepts such as your ideal buyer persona or buyer’s journey
- Placing too many keywords throughout a website, leaving readers – and Google – confused and unwilling to continue reading
- Creating and sharing content that isn’t original
Before we dive in, you may be wondering what, exactly, are pillar pages? According to HubSpot, a pillar page is the main page for a specific topic or offering. The pillar page often includes information on all parts of a topic on a single page, with additional topics being referenced in blogs, articles, or other pages, which all backlink to the original pillar page.
Not to be confused with a landing page which is mostly used as an end to a social media post with a purpose in mind. That purpose can be as simple as downloading an e-book, to getting them to watch a video and signing up to a newsletter.
Typically, a pillar page is your launching point for readers. On this page, they learn about your topic or offering but don’t uncover all the specifics until they head further into your website from articles linked on the pillar page.
Well-designed pillar pages allow readers to efficiently browse your offered information, helping you build your relevance and authority all while discovering (and hopefully sharing) unique or forward-thinking information from your business.
SEO is an interesting process. I say interesting because in the ever-changing world of Google algorithms, once you feel you’re getting the hang of things, they all of the sudden change the rules. Granted, the rules changing is a good thing for us as users of search engines because they help us find what we need quicker, but it can be a nuisance having to change your entire strategy around.
But this is the price of playing in the big leagues. Learn the tricks of the trade and you’ll find that an SEO strategy will have you one step closer to achieving an increase of inbound leads.
If you’re ready to level-up your content marketing and SEO strategy, a best-in-class inbound marketing agency or digital agency can help you maximise your results. Our team at Whitehat Inbound Marketing are always happy to chat about how an effective SEO and content marketing strategy will help you make the most out of your marketing and sales efforts.
To find out more about a new way to generate thousands of B2B sales leads, hit the link below: