Come January, my Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook feeds always receive an influx of posts that reveal marketing predictions for the upcoming year. These articles proclaim the retirement of outdated tactics and prepare a thirsty audience for marketing tips and trends. One piece of advice I typically encounter is more than just a trend a and when implemented strategically, it will become the core of your online presence. I’m talking, of course, about content creation.
People are catching on
Even before it was essentially mandated via Google’s Penguin and Panda updates, Evolve Digital Labs urged clients to invest in sustainable online improvements. Building a website’s authority and visibility in results pages requires more effort than most are willing to pay for, but it advanced the companies several steps ahead of those still relying on SEO shortcuts.
The new way to optimize your site for search engines is to push up your sleeves and work on building a better website, one that is equipped with substantive content. So let’s dig in to Evolve’s recommendations for creating content that transcends the trends.
1. Start smart. Start with understanding your customers.
Quality always trumps quantity online. There’s a small window of time during which you can convince online visitors to complete an action, so brands must must ensure content is founded on keyword research.
Through keyword research, companies can identify personas and investigate the needs of customers. With a solid understanding of the market opportunity, a brand is more prepared to provide online messaging, resources, and direction that will resonate with an ideal audience and ultimately deliver leads. Our SEO Audit Checklist contains the steps you’ll need to take in order to aggregate the proper research, but the best use of keywords is to segment your audience and develop a strategy that can resonate with each segment.
2. Work with what you’ve got
Older, less ethical SEO tactics consisted heavily of stuffing keywords into every part of a website. This practice resulted in a poor user experience, particularly from a readability standpoint. Today we can still update content with keywords, but only if itas because the way weare currently wording particular services or solutions isnat aligned with the way our audience searches for it. It is a shortcut to improving the way you message to your audience. Parts of your pages that should include keywords are:
- Meta descriptions
- Page copy
Supplement website with new content
Keyword research and further investigation of your customers’ needs will more than likely reveal insufficiencies of your website. While it was common in the past to simply replicate current pages and switch out the words, we challenge your brand to strengthen your website with content that aligns with searchers’ intent. For example, a hospital that is trying to revamp its content for Type 2 Diabetes might use the keyword “type 2 diabetes lifestyle” as inspiration for content that can alleviate concerns or fears of potential patients.
When a website is fortified with pages that work together to provide answers beyond the original query, it is much easier to establish a customer acquisition framework, which typically results in a completed call to action.
Develop a plan for customer acquisition
Ranking isn’t the end goal, which is why SEO is often dismissed as irrelevant (even though SEO is still alive and well). Not only is it increasingly difficult to gain exposure on the first few pages of search results for a high-volume term, but it’s also difficult to funnel visitors through an online conversion path once they reach your website. Content plays a huge role in capturing customers’ attention initially, but it’s equally important to proactively lead them to a call to action, even if they exit the site.
- Elaborate on top-tier pages: Similar to the previous point, websites should adequately direct visitors to the end goal. For many, that means answering a specific question with a download or providing a contact form. But in many cases, pages based on top-level keywords should link to secondary or tertiary pages that cover a topic in greater detail.
- Retargeting: Because it is so difficult to organically reach visitors on the first page of search results, paid search is an incredible opportunity for capturing visitors and turning them into conversions. However, even the most well-designed landing pages are bound to fail at converting each visitor, which is why Retargeting is such a valuable extension of paid search. Retargeting enables you to track visitors that didn’t convert on external websites, serving them advertisements that remind them of your services and allow them to follow through with a product, download, or simple inquiry when they are ready.
- Email campaigns: Email campaigns are a recommended tool for maintaining engagement with your visitors. Similar to Retargeting, an email campaign can keep your brand’s products or services fresh in the foreground of a searcher’s mind. Brands can benefit from the flexibility of email marketing; whether the campaign is sales-focused or primarily educational.
Content is only king when it yields a satisfactory return on investment. We see too many brands investing in content creation when their websites are lacking a strategic customer acquisition framework and the pages themselves fail to truly respond to the visitors’ needs.