If growing your business online is a top priority, then you have to understand the proven tactics behind digital marketing. One major marketing strategy implemented to drive traffic to any website is, of course, SEO.
What is SEO and why is it important?
In case you were wondering, SEO stands for search engine optimization.
It is important for any website that wants to rank highly in Google searches, to follow proper SEO protocols.
With billions of web pages on the internet, SEO is the best way to gain traction and ultimately perform better than your competitors. These building blocks are meant to foster your website’s reputation or authority and allow Google algorithms to identify you as a credible and viable website, over a period of time.
It’s also important to understand how to develop the best SEO content for your brand and why you should have a long term SEO content strategy.
Whether you’re launching your first WordPress blog or a website for a small business, it is vital that you utilize SEO best practices combined with effective SEO tools.
If you’re completely new to the realm of digital marketing and want to learn more, continue reading our guide for SEO for beginners. This in-depth guide to search engine optimization will answer all your burning key SEO questions!
Are you ready? Let’s dive in.
What Is SEO Content?
SEO content is information that takes on many forms. The most common form is a blog article used to bring in organic search engine traffic based on relevant search terms.
So, how does SEO work?
Imagine that search engines like Google or Yahoo are the librarians of the Internet. These librarians need to sort through billions and trillions of data every day in order for you to find exactly what you are looking for.
To do this, these search engines must have data sorting systems, or algorithms, to ensure the best search results. Websites and articles that appear at the top of your searches are ranked higher than others for a particular search.
Let’s say you launched your website for the first time.
In order for people to find your website on the Internet through a search – and stay on your page – you’ll need to make sure that your website is tagged correctly and has the right meta information and description. This helps the search engine’s algorithm to identify and recommend it to the right viewers.
SEO is the process that facilitates that.
Structuring the entire website, by following the recommended SEO strategies, makes it easier for people anywhere in the world to use search engines like Google and get to your page quickly.
5 Types of SEO Content
Websites should be dynamic and engaging. One way to achieve this is to use different types of content, such as blogs, videos, and opinion pieces.
Let’s review several that are highly effective in driving traffic to your website.
1. Authoritative Blog Posts
These aren’t your average blog posts.
Authoritative content provides insights into complex topics that can position your brand as a leader in your industry and give your website credibility.
While it’s important to address key topics that are all the rage in your industry, you should also devote some time to discussing topics that people aren’t talking about. This will make your content stand out from the noise on the web.
Feature guest writers who have analyzed a topic from a different perspective or are experts in their fields. Include statistics, case studies and official reports to provide your readers with the most updated content.
2. How-To and Listicle Content
You need to grab and KEEP the attention of your readers!
Produce articles that have both an engaging headline and content.
The headline will get them to your page. But, the content should keep them salivating to the last sentence. After reading your first post, they should be interested in moving to the next article on your website and then the next.
It is possible to keep a visitor actively reading through your content like it is a Harry Potter best seller.
How-to content is some of the most searched content on the web because it solves readers’ pain points. If your audience needs quick advice on how to do something, your website’s how-to articles must provide solutions.
Listicles are also great articles that are packed with useful tips and ways to achieve your goals.
Kent Grayson, Associate Professor of Marketing at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, says that people are likely to trust in listicles because of a reliability factor — people believe it’s less likely for marketers to lie in a listicle. If you want your audience to perceive you as more trustworthy, produce high-quality listicle content that they will continually revisit.
3. Short-form Evergreen Content and Articles
Evergreen content is essential to have on your website.
Editors will often describe them as being relevant to readers. This is the type of content that does not become dated. It can also help to drive traffic to your website for months or even years from its original published date.
Great examples of evergreen content include:
- case studies
- interviews with interesting industry experts
- how-to guides for beginners and advanced users
Though it requires extra time, evergreen content is important to funnel more and more readers to your website.
4. Unique Opinion Pieces
Even with the abundance of content out on the web, it’s still possible to have a fresh opinion on the latest trends in the market.
Along with your website, you can cross-post your articles on platforms such as Medium to get more people to read your content.
Just remember, to transform your opinion pieces into SEO opinion content, research your topics early and write about something that people care about. Pay attention to national and international affairs and commerce to write about topics that are on everyone’s TV or laptop screens.
5. Video Content
Let’s examine how vital video content is to your website.
The majority of online users are visual learners. They prefer pictures and videos over plain text. Remember, the phrase, a picture says a thousand words? Well, an image is more engaging for online users and will elicit different responses.
It is also more likely to receive likes, shares, comments, and reposts.
People associate text with being boring. That is unless you can finesse it like some of the best authors of our time. But, because we are all not Stephen King, we use the best SEO tools and strategies available.
So, the next step is to optimize your video content for search engines.
Choose the best video hosting platform for your video.
If you’re more concerned with generating brand awareness and less focused on getting traffic to your website from your video content, YouTube and Vimeo platforms are great options to explore. However, if you’re more interested in funneling traffic to your website, you should consider more hosting platforms that allow for greater customization.
Take care to optimize the video transcript as well as the title and description of your video. Make sure that your keywords are in both the title and meta description.
Choose a thumbnail image carefully, ensuring that it is engaging to your audience and relevant to your subject matter.
Why SEO Is Critical in Your Digital Marketing Strategy
By now you should have a better grasp of SEO best practices.
Now let’s turn to your next question.
What is SEO marketing going to do for my business?
In today’s digital age, an SEO marketing strategy is a necessity, not a luxury.
Producing quality content will keep your content at the top of search engines, where you’ll generate a steady flow of traffic to your website and keep your keyword rankings high.
Following basic SEO principles will also ensure that you are producing content that is based on consistency. If you implement an SEO content strategy, chances are you will produce content that is high quality and reach many readers.
Putting in place an SEO content marketing strategy also increases your audience’s user experience.
How is that so, you might ask?
When you ask your marketing team to create SEO content, you’re charging them with the task of thinking like your readers. Your marketing team needs to anticipate the keywords that your readers will search and the types of content that they are interested in reading. Optimizing your content for search engines actually gets you closer to your readers than you think.
How to Develop an SEO Content Marketing Strategy
After deciding to invest more time and money into SEO content, it’s time to develop a strategy.
Consider Your Objectives
Work backward with the end in mind. What is SEO content going to accomplish for your brand? Is it an increase in traffic to your website? Or more engagement from current readers? Or an increase in sales from current and new readers?
Whatever your goals are, write them down and work toward accomplishing these goals with your SEO content.
Research Your Target Audience
Next, research the audience you’d like to target. Writing content for millennials will be different than writing content for baby boomers.
Don’t veer from the type of content that you are posting. You might lose your dedicated followers.
If your target audience is millennials who are interested in fashion and art, posting content about historical landmarks from WWII may cause you to have a high bounce rate, because dis-interested readers are leaving your website.
What you should do, is relate such a post back to your brand. Possibly highlight fashion trends from the WWII era and feature wartime garments. But keep your article fun and interesting.
Find Your Keywords
You’ll need to research the best keywords that your readers would commonly search to find articles related to your content topics. This requires putting yourself in your readers’ shoes. Brainstorm synonyms that match your topic keywords. Think about the different phrasing that readers would use to search for your topic.
Consider the search volume for a particular phrase.
You want to choose keywords that have a high search volume. This will allow you to possibly have more site visitors. Keywords that have a lower search volume, can help you to rank high in Google as well, but to lesser viewers.
The goal is to find the optimum keyword, that brings more visitors and helps your site to place at the top of Google searches.
Also, you should find the most updated terminology for your keywords and then compare these with current competitors’ rankings.
Create Your Content
What is your SEO content going to look like?
If you’re producing your foundational pieces on your website, use helpful or educational articles. Begin with topics that address and help your readers resolve their pain points. They must solve a problem for the reader.
As you continue to produce content, stay updated on the latest trends in your industry. This helps you to remain competitive with others in your sector. Remember, always keep your target audience in mind.
Adapt to changes in the content marketplace, quickly. Not doing so can cost you revenue or credibility.
Update Your Content Often
After publishing your content for a long period of time, revisit the older content and give it a facelift. Update the older content with more relevant statistics or quotations from industry experts to provide the greatest benefit to your target audience.
Don’t shy away from making these older posts longer or shorter. Keep the information that is still relevant and remove those that are outdated.
A Checklist to Follow for High-Quality SEO Content
While your SEO content strategy will cater to your target audience and the specific goals you hope to achieve, there are some basic characteristics in all SEO content that you should be aware of in this checklist.
Start with designing a good SEO content strategy:
- Did you clearly define your target audience?
- Does your content provide the reader with value?
- Is there a clear call to action that your reader can take?
Next, you need to create valuable content that your readers will look forward to on a given basis — be it daily, weekly, or monthly:
- Is it free of spelling, grammatical, and factual errors?
- Does the content feature reliable sources?
- Is the content written for your target audience?
- Does the content feature a strong title and subheaders?
Finally, be sure to optimize for your target keyword:
- Overuse your keyword?
- Make natural use of your keyword in infographics, text, titles, the URL, and in the first 100 words?
- Organize your content by subsections relating to the primary keyword?
Make Your Content Easy to Find on the Web
If you’re a beginner to SEO, always remember the keys in creating effective SEO content and the 6 different types of content you can try creating to present your ideas in several ways.
Implement the recommended SEO strategies. Start small, but work steadily toward optimizing your content to achieve higher traffic rates to your website today.
Did this post finally answer your questions about “What is SEO” and the importance of having an SEO marketing strategy?
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