Content Marketing is Changing SEO: 3 Tips to Boost Your Traffic

Content marketing is the future of marketing and there is no doubt about it. By leveraging content you can sell (your products and services) without actually selling. Write a killer blog post or tweet and you can create a huge amount of awareness among your targeted audience. Content marketing has become an integral part of all marketing strategies and is set to become a $313 billion industry by 2019, according to PQ Media’s ‘Global Content Marketing – Forecast 2015-19.’ One question that many marketers still ask is whether content marketing and SEO are inter-related or two different branches of marketing? The answer is that they go hand-in-hand and are the two sides of the same coin. In fact, SEO creates demand and content marketing fulfils it. For instance, when a person asks, ‘how to fix my electric oven?’ it means the user demands content that will help him solve his problem. Content marketers targeting people facing problems with electric ovens can create high-quality content and try solving their problems. For success with SEO, you need loads of high-quality links, which are impossible to gain without high-quality content. It is, therefore, clear that SEO and content marketing can’t exist without each other. How can you use content marketing to boost organic traffic for your website? Here are three tips to help you:

1. Research and Target Relevant Keywords

In order to get a constant flow of traffic, you first need to identify your specific niche and target audience. For instance, if you offer project management software, then your target audience will be online marketers who need to use project management software to stay in control of their projects. Further, you need to determine whether you want to target budding online marketers or seasoned marketers or both. Once you have identified your audience, you can determine the keywords they may use to find useful information. Here is how you can do this:
  • Use a keyword research tool to get keyword ideas.
  • Choose the most relevant keywords and segment them according to your targeted audience.
  • Research about the keywords to determine whether or not its popularity will grow with time.
A comprehensive SEO experts tool suite such as SEMrush is ideal for this purpose. It gives you a set of related keywords and trends. Picture4-2 Once you have a list of the most relevant keywords, you can use them and start creating content. Make sure the content is high-quality and helps your target audience solve specific problems. In simple words, the content you create must offer value to your readers. If you readers find your content useful, they will return and also recommend your content to others in their network.

2. Leverage Visual Content to Maximize Traffic

When it comes to boosting traffic, you need to leverage the traffic that is most engaged. Research proves that video is the most engaging type of content, and marketers are using it to capture users’ attention. According to a research by HubSpot, video appears to be the most favored form of content by customers and prospects. Moreover, according to KPCB, video will account for 74 percent of all the online traffic in 2017. Again, brands that use video for marketing see their revenue growing 49 percent faster compared to those who do not use videos. So, there is every reason why content marketers should leverage this form of content. Videos also help with SEO. Including video sends signals to search engines that the page contains rich media relevant to the search requests. The transcript part of the video that uses keywords improves the findability of the content. By hosting videos on YouTube, the second largest search engine in terms of the number of search queries, you can easily boost the traffic on your website. You can also share the videos on social media to increase the website traffic. Take the example of Dunkin Donuts that relies on video campaigns to sell its products. The brand took advantage of Valentine’s Day and rolled out a live streaming video. The video showed how the brand creates its new products. As a bonus, the video also featured the creation of a gigantic, donut-themed wedding cake. The video attracted more than 36,000 viewers. To increase traffic for your brand and attract attention, you can create how-to videos, DIY videos, product-explainer videos, and animated videos.

3. Become a Trusted Source of Information

Becoming a trusted source of high-quality and useful information is one of the best ways to increase traffic. Pages that offer useful and relevant content and have high demand among readers are ranked higher on the SERPs (search engine result pages). Sites that have lots of high-quality content focused on a particular subject tend to rank higher. (Tip: If you have a broad audience and cover multiple topics, make sure the content is organized based on topics or themes to avoid content silos.) One of the easiest ways to establish authority in a specific niche is by starting a blog. Blogging helps you create a base for your content marketing efforts. However, blogging requires a lot of investment in terms of time and effort. But when done properly, you can reap long-term benefits. Here are a few tips on increasing traffic by blogging:
  • Use a blog design that appeals to your target audience. Starting a WordPress blog is often a great idea as WordPress offers a number of inbuilt themes that can be used to create a professional blog. You can also integrate other themes, if needed.
  • Create a catchy title for your posts to attract attention quickly. Keep the titles short, use numbers within the title or use words that invoke emotions. Make sure the post offers exactly what the title says.
  • Choose evergreen topics to keep the posts relevant for a long time.
  • Include visuals to improve the level of engagement and offer a better experience.
  • Repurpose posts to increase viewership. Turn posts into short videos, podcasts, infographics, etc. and share on various channels.
Another way of increasing traffic is through influencer marketing. Identify the top influencers in your niche and request them to contribute on your blog. This way, you will not only get high-quality content for your blog, you will also attract high-quality backlinks and get the attention of all the users from the influencer’s network. The trust factor also increases manifold, so you can establish yourself and your brand as a trusted source of information. Take the example of Stonyfield Farms that specializes in organic dairy products. The company blog features a barnyard theme that is absolutely relevant to their brand and the target audience (which includes farming, families and organic living). 2017-06-21_17-10-43   The blog features articles on healthy living and pictures of healthy families. They also feature videos, which are not professionally edited, but are helpful. In fact, this is their USP and it humanizes the videos. They also use soft sales messages to encourage their readers to buy their products. Conclusion As content marketing keeps maturing, so does SEO. There is no way you can win at content marketing without focusing on SEO and vice versa. Both go hand-in-hand, so you need to be good at content marketing as well as SEO to take your business to the next level. Do keep the above tips in mind when creating a strategy to increase organic traffic to your website. By leveraging the above tips, you can improve awareness, build trust and increase the traffic, and you will be a winner in every way!

Why Facebook Marketing Matters

Focusing on a single traffic source is never wise. The good news, there are more ways to build leads, aprt from Google!

Have you been reluctant to learn how to market your business on Facebook? Whether you’re an SEO who thinks search engine optimization and AdWords will carry the day, or a website owner who figures social media is not for professional matters, you’re missing out on the way of the future.

Let me start by addressing the SEOs in this group. It is true that search can capture customers as they’re getting ready to buy. But if you really want to capture them at the right moment, according to Carter, your keyword choices for AdWords can be pretty limited. There may be 45 million searches for "shoes" every month on Google, but only 450,000 searches for "buy shoes." Your safest bet to capture customers, "buy shoes online," sees only about 90,000 searches every month.

That still looks pretty good… until you consider how many competitors are bidding to show their ads in Google for precisely that phrase. And don’t think your customers won’t comparison-shop with your rivals online!

But there’s even uglier news. On general, only about five to ten percent of the keywords actually turn a profit. Once you’ve discovered what those profitable keywords are and gotten the most out of them, does it make sense to throw more money at AdWords? And if it doesn’t, what do you do when you’re ready to expand?

Here’s another situation: say you’ve created a new product. Its functionality combines that of two older products. Which keywords do you use? Your instinctive answer may be "keywords for both of the older products," but it’s not that simple. Google dishes out quality scores on AdWords ads; these scores affect how much (or how little) you can bid to get your ad in certain positions. Ad position plays a major factor in its click-through rate.

Given all that, what kind of quality score do you think you would get if your ad is for a new device that both melts and blends widgets, when most people search for either a "widget melter" or a "widget blender"? You can bid for "widget blender" and "widget melter," but your ad’s quality score in AdWords might not be very high – because your product and ad are not perfectly relevant to either of those phrases. If you need to bid more for your AdWords campaign, you’ll need to sell more of your product to turn a profit. You might find, as one of Carter’s students did, that you can’t launch an affordable AdWords campaign for your new product.

Facebook, On the Contrary…

With Facebook, you are reaching people who further up the sales funnel. They’re not ready to buy right now. But they will buy eventually – and you’re paying a lot less for them, based on cost per click, than you’d be paying through AdWords. The fact that Facebook ad CPC is from two to ten times cheaper than AdWords means that you can afford to get those general customers.

How can you be so sure that they’ll buy eventually? With Facebook, you’re actually building a relationship with them based on who they are. You’re not trying to target keywords; you’re targeting what users like. Once a user clicks to "like" you (or your Facebook fan page, more precisely), you can post daily updates that they’ll actually be glad to see if you do it right. Try sending an email to your subscribers every day; you’re going to see a LOT of people opting out of your mass mailing!

The point is, you can use Facebook to do things that you can’t do via AdWords or other forms of marketing. Say, for example, that I’m using Google to look for new crochet techniques, and you’re a business that sells yarn and other crafting supplies (knitting needles, crochet hooks, etc.). You can’t sell me anything at that point, because I’m looking for information. Heck, even if I’m specifically looking for a particular type of yarn, I might just be curious about its properties, and trying to find a local source (rather than looking to purchase it online).

Facebook Targeting…

On Facebook, though, you can target my interests. You can find out that my friends and I are avid knitters and crocheters. You can set up an ad to appear on the right side of my page that I can "like" to become a fan. And if I actually *do* like it, this fact will appear on my wall and my friends’ walls – letting them know I thought your page was worth a look. It’s not quite as good as word of mouth advertising, but it’s close.

Once I’ve "liked" you, you can do things to encourage me to interact with your page and your site. For example, you can tell me when you’ve posted a new blog entry, or tease me with the free patterns I can get if I join your pattern club, or offer coupons good for a discount and free shipping on yarn I’ve purchased from you online, or…well, you get the idea. You can do this sort of thing practically every day, and it won’t bother me, because I’m the one who took the initial action to "like" you.

A Facebook Wall isn’t like email; it’s where people update each other briefly with what’s been going on in their lives. So if you’re brief in your updates  (think Twitter-style short), your fans will interact…and want more. Keep them interested, and they’ll convert. It isn’t just the conversion that you’re after, though. Figure that will come naturally in time. What you’re really trying to do is build a relationship with someone who will become a lifetime customer.

Sam Ovens is a great example here. His ads always result in a ton of engagement:

Engagement

Neil Patel is another great example:

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When you look at it that way, two things become very clear. First, Facebook isn’t going to go away. Second, you can’t afford not to learn how to market yourself and your business on Facebook. If you’re an SEO, your clients will thank you; and if you’re a small business, you’ll be pleased with the results.

DIY SEO for Time-Poor Business Owners

No business owner has the time to do a lot of SEO, but you can delegate the SEO basics to an employee or freelancer. Even doing basic SEO tasks can make a difference to what page of Google’s results you appear on.  Take control and prioritize.

Your Top Priorities

  • SEO Basics
  • Content
  • UX
  • Links
  • Promotion

DIY SEO comes down to proper site management, fresh content and making your site attractive to users.

SEO Basics

SEO is too important to leave to chance. Neil Patel puts it very clearly in his SEO guide,

“If you ever need to hide a dead body, you should place it on the second page of Google search results.”

You MUST do everything in your power to improve your search engine results pages (SERPS) ranking, or no-one is going to find you.

Good site management is a part of SEO that can be outsourced, or delegated to a trusted employee. This SEO Chat article runs you through the basics of SEO and can form the basis of your employees’ training.

The most time-consuming aspect is keyword research using the free Google Adwords tool, but even this is not a task you need to do yourself. With basic training and the right tools, your content team can identify keyword phrases to target.

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Installing the free Yoast SEO plugin on your blog will ensure writers’ awareness of the importance of correct keyword density.

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Yoast also checks for paragraph length, sentence length and other readability factors that will affect your user time-on-page and bounce rate statistics.

Content

Yeah, yeah. We all know content is king, but it takes time!

There is no way to avoid it. Regular fresh and insightful content is part of what will rank your site higher in search engine results pages (SERPS). There will be nobody else who understands your business as well as you, but you need to change that. If you don’t educate writers into how your business works, you will be stuck writing everything yourself, other important tasks will crop up, and the writing won’t happen.

Even the best writer works better with input from you regarding your services and clients.

Take the time to explain your business and how it works to your content production team. Educate your writers about your customer persona, his needs and how your company solves them. Make your business values clear, have a content production plan and feed your writers plenty of ideas for articles.

User Experience (UX)

The most important person in your organization is imaginary. Your customer persona should be writ large in every office, and room in your premises. Use an image of this imaginary persona as a screensaver on all your computers, put posters featuring his image on the backs of all the doors ion the washrooms and in the staff canteen.

If your users dislike your website, you are doomed.

Your site has to look good, use colors users like and that will elicit the emotions related to your business objectives. Minimize clutter, maximize contrast and ensure everything shown on a page is the optimum size, color, and shape. Negative space is every bit as valuable as page components, so avoid trying to do too much on any one web page.

Each page should have one purpose and one purpose only. The rationale behind a web page’s existence should be obvious. Navigation through your site should be simple and easy to use, regardless of the screen size someone is using.

Links

Building links to your website is essential, but if you build them in the wrong way, Google will bury you on page 200 of its SERPS.

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Safe link-building activities:

  • Learn what links point to you by installing the free Incoming Links plugin
  • Provide high-quality and insightful resources people in your niche value and will link to without any prompting
  • Build your reputation by sharing everything you know without asking for payment
  • Design infographics that link back to you when others install them on their sites

Promotion

It is well-nigh impossible to do even basic promotion without a large team.

Be selective.

If you only focus on one promotion channel, let it be YouTube.

Forget videos about your business; they won’t show in Google and no-one is interested. But, videos that show how to solve problems are another matter.

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Ryan Stuart from Webris says Youtube video promotion is vital as part of your top-of-funnel marketing and engaging customers.

Your Takeaways

Much SEO can be done in-house using basic training and free WordPress plugins to help inform decisions. You must delegate content production, but feed writers with ideas and company information frequently. Concentrate your social media presence on producing How-To videos on YouTube.