However, the success they generate from content marketing would not be possible withoutsearch engine optimization (SEO). SEO is how potential customers find you and your content. Through the regular optimization of your titles, metadata, format, and load times, you make it easier for Google, YouTube, and other search engines to crawl and correlate your material with the right topics.
That's why consistent SEO and excellent content marketing are perfect for generating consistent growth on your site. But that growth only comes from using each medium to it's fullest potential.
How To Leverage Content Marketing And SEO
If you can commit to well-crafted, authoritative, and compelling content marketing, it will have a dramatic impact on SEO power. All it takes is the right process and tools for each medium.
Otherwise, you'll invest a lot of time and energy in creating and optimizing content that won't drive results. That's how a lot of companies lose faith in content marketing and search. That's why we use the following tactics to avoid common content and search challenges that prevent growth.
#1. Build Content Around A Strong Keyword
Keyword researchand analysis is all about opportunity. When you start conducting keyword research you're looking for available website real estate. Where are there gaps in reliable content? What questions are other companies not answering?
Impact Score (How much of an impact we believe the content will make.)
Confidence Score (How confident we are that the keyword will rank.)
You can use the same approach toconduct keyword research, and increase your chances of getting your content found by the right customer.
#2. Map Out A Topic Roadmap
Without a plan, your content will be all over the place. It's like throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks. You may find some success in the short-term, but you will fail to achieve consistent organic growth.
But neither of those topics are their core areas of expertise. The overarching subjects that HubSpot covers aresales,marketing, andcustomer service. All of the blog posts, webinars, videos, and infographics that follow relate to one of those subjects in more specificity.
Once you select the topics, you can assign topic clusters and put together a plan. Each of these topics informs value-drivenpillar pageswith more in-depth insight into those core areas.
Here's a session fromINBOUND 2017that explains the value of this approach.
That's why you want to create content your audience wants (instead of what youthinkthey want.) Assets that are customer-centric will deliver more ROI, and gain more trust from your target audience.
To keep our content customer-focused, we use a few differentstrategy documents. We typically use this suite of templates for website strategy, but it's also very helpful in generating accurate, game-changing insights about our customers.
For instance,The Lean Startup Canvasis perfect to get the best picture of the customer's current mindset and obstacles.
From those insights, we can come up withideas for contentthat help our customer move forward in their decision-making process.
Here are a few other documents we use:
Buyer Personas -The details that define each fictional character in your marketing audience.
Buyer Journey -The process that your buyers go through when deciding between solutions.
Customer Journey Map -An overview of the real-life experience your customer has with your product and solution.
The Lean Startup Canvas -A one-page business model that matches your ideal customer and documents their frustrations, challenges, and watering holes.
All of this information helps color our content and makes it more engaging.Tyler Naples, an Inbound Marketer here at Lean Labs, also has a fewblog writing tipsto make content even more exciting and shareable.
#4. Create A Structure For Your Metadata
In the hustle and bustle of publishing content, it's easy to overlook or rush through updating your metadata. It happens to all of us. But it's essential to update that information for both Google (and other search engines) and your customer.
For example, yourmeta descriptionneeds to do two jobs. It needs to tell Google what your content is about, and it also needs to act as a preview for your customer.
The text varies by page and matches the content for each one.
Youralt textis critical. If your CMS cannot locate your image, the alt text will be visible to your reader. That can happen if your visitor has a slow Internet connection or the image breaks. The alt text also tells Google the content of the photo.
As a result, your alt text needs some effort. It should also be descriptive and provide the reader with a visual even without the use of an image.
For example, the photo below is a bear, and it's cub, but without the image, you wouldn't know what type, color, or size.
The alt text for this photo could be "Female Brown Grizzly Bear and Six Month Year Old Cub" instead of "mother bear and cub."
That's why we use amarketing metadata nomenclatureto set expectations around metadata like the description and the alt text to ensure we're always following best practices.
#5. Commit to Routine Optimization
By optimizing your content, you're making it easier for Google and other search engines to find, crawl, and get your data in front of the right customer. However, a lot of people see optimization as a one-time thing.
In truth, search patterns can change. Things throughout your blog and website can break, and detract from the customer experience. Information in assets that aren't evergreen needs a fresh from time to time. All of those reasons contribute to the need for ongoing optimization.
Another factor of routine optimizationis reporting. When you keep track of content performance, you can notice drastic declines in traffic, which can indicate a problem with that content. You can quickly optimize or refresh material to keep it up to date and prevent future lulls.
SEO and Content Marketing: Only The Strong Survive
Our CEO,Kevin Barber, has a saying about growth. You only get it if you deserve it. When it comes to SEO and content marketing, the principle is the same. If your content is excellent, you will get excellent results. If your content isn't, you won't get much from it. And with all of the time, expenses, and resources that go into content marketing and SEO, it doesn't make sense not to go all in.
Why create content that your customer won't use? You may as well fine-tune your approach, and start generating assets that provide tremendous value for your reader. If you create this kind of content, waiting for results from organic traffic will be worthwhile, because at least you will be helping your customers in the meantime.
We believe that content marketing and SEO are even better when you align them with an inbound marketing strategy. If you're ready to do the climb, check out our free guide,Conquering the Inbound Marketing Mountain.
As an Inbound Marketer at Lean Labs, Tyler concepts, implements, and manages strategic and growth-oriented marketing initiatives for industry-leading businesses and organizations. Tyler received a B.A. in English / Professional Writing from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. Outside of Lean Labs, Tyler is an avid Philadelphia sports fan. Go Eagles!