Content Marketing Inspired By Search Engine Optimization
~by Millicent Skiles
Having a strong Content Marketing Strategy for a local audience is just as important as if you have a national brand and audience. Content Marketing is now critical to establishing a vibrant digital presence for your business. A beautiful website is a powerful tool, but providing quality content is what drives traffic to it.
Used strategically, content paves the way to a sale by creating and distributing relevant and interesting messages that attract a target audience. This content usually takes the form of text, imagery, audio, or video and can be found on websites, blogs, and social-sharing platforms.
Tucked inside this content are keywords commonly used by people when they search a particular subject. And that’s where Content SEO (search engine optimization) comes into play. Technical SEO is important, but this year your content will be in the spotlight! You need to optimize your content for search engines because that means you are optimizing your content for people. When you are looking for Search Engine Optimization in the North Bay or in the “Wherever Bay”, be sure that your provider has an accompanying process for Content Marketing.
Algorithms Are A Reflection Of What People Are Searching For
Understanding how keywords are used provides valuable market research into the minds of customers. What are they looking for specifically? What keywords are they using?
Search engines like Google or Bing use algorithms to rank web pages based on the keywords people use the most. These evolve constantly, so it pays to check them regularly. It is, after all, people’s search behavior that defines these algorithms. Google looks at your content and your business location to match you with people doing searches nearby.
Two Types Of Keywords
There are two types of keywords to consider when developing a Content Management Strategy.
Short Tail Keywords
Short-tail keywords contain no more than three words and tend to be broad, such as “baby food.”
Long-tail keywords are combinations of four or more words that people might use to narrow the focus of their search, like “baby food recipes for 8-month-old vegan.”
A good Content Management Strategy pays attention to both short- and long-tail keywords. Tailoring content to what people want is more likely to be read – and shared – and this will rank it higher in future searches.
Five Tricks For Finding Good Keywords
So, if keywords are so important to a Content Marketing Strategy, where do you find them? Here are five places to start:
- Wikipedia ~ If you type “baby food” into Wikipedia’s search bar and scroll down to the table of contents, you’ll see a list of topics that include “picky eater” and “nutritional needs.” These topics are recognized by industry experts as highly important and can be mined for keywords. Be sure to check out the “see also” section, which provides a wealth of other related topics to explore.
- Keyword Search Suggestions ~ Conduct a search on Google, Bing, or YouTube and you’ll notice a drop-down menu suggesting popular search-phrase combinations. Type in “baby food,” for example, and “baby food recipes” and “baby food delivery” pop up. This tells you what’s important to people. While you’re there, take note of web pages that earned the highest rank. Study the first 100 words of this content to learn the keywords they’re using.
- Reviews of Products and Services ~ Customer reviews do more than make you look good (or bad.) As readers discuss a product, they will include specific keywords. Take note of this. While you’re at it, check out the reviews on your competitor’s website. This is an especially good way to find long-tail keywords, which can help identify niche audiences. Including these reviews on your social-media platforms can also improve your ranking, as Google recognizes social sharing.
- Google Keyword Planner (advanced) ~ Google’s free Keyword Planner is meant to drive Google’s ad sales, but it is highly worth investigating. This tool refreshes daily and can introduce new keywords related to your business. It ranks the effectiveness of keywords (low, medium and high) according to competitive ad placement, which can give clues to what customers are attracted to.
- Keyword Planning Tools – Free And Paid ~ There is a wide range of available tools that will help you identify keywords including short and long-tail.
By this point, you probably have a hefty list of keywords, and this is a good starting point. But as SEO expert Neil Patel points out, “There is no such thing as SEO without content. You need words, articles, substance, keywords, verbiage.”
How To Turn Keywords Into Content
This is where the art of SEO informs your Content Marketing Strategy. While you want to sprinkle essential keywords throughout your content, the trick is to do so naturally, without resembling a sales pitch.
Good, relevant content engages, informs, and even entertains customers. Quality content earns a customer’s trust and establishes you as an authority. And that, in turn, encourages customers to do business with you. In our keyword research for this article, we learned through discussions on Reddit (another great source for finding relevant keywords) on the topic of Content Marketing that people are searching for a process for developing good content. For this reason, we have created a free checklist to help you get started.
Re-purpose That Content!
If you are putting time and expense into creating content, imagery, or graphics, be sure that you maximize its use! A presentation can be turned into a blog article. A client meeting can inspire a topic for a workshop or info-graphic. Re-purposing content will also ensure that you have the same voice everywhere you go. There are many ways to package and present content (your knowledge). The Presentation Geeks have written a great article highlighting some of the ways that you can put your content to use.
This Article Is An Example Of Long Tail Keyword Use
If you do a Google search for “Content Marketing Strategy” you will likely see 4-5 ads (they are paying $27 per click), and the top listings may be Hubspot, SEMRush, Neil Patel, and other top content providers. We can’t compete with that. But if you do a search for “Content Marketing Strategy In Marin” there is very little competition. This works well since most of our clients are in or around Marin County, and we love supporting our local businesses! It can take two weeks for Google to start showing your content in search results, so while you wait for them to catch up, you should be promoting your content on all of your other platforms.
When crafting content, strive to include your keyword(s) within the first 100 words. This will give it more weight in the algorithms. To ensure you’re sufficiently hitting the keywords, run your content through an online service that will scan text and create a word cloud highlighting your most frequently used keywords.
While it’s easy to get caught up in the keyword and SEO strategy, just remember that your customers want to hear a real voice. Be authentic, be real, and remember that your customer is a human being, not an algorithm.