Are search engine algorithm changes keeping you up at night?
Content marketing done right is the answer now and will reap dividends for your ranking into the future, too. Inbound marketing or content marketing means you are providing your customers with relevant and useful information to help them solve their problems.
Joe Pulizzi, founder of Content Marketing Institute, coined the term in 2001 and defines it as:
A marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
How to Start with Content Marketing
A good first step is to start with keyword research.
Long-tailed queries have risen almost 70% since 2004 so this is clearly one of the best ways to focus your search engine optimization efforts. Long-tailed queries are phrases that are used in the search engine query field instead of one or two words.
Keyword research helps you find the phrases your customers are using, so they can be incorporated into your website, blog, and social media. Answer the questions they are asking in Google, Yahoo!, or Bing.
There are several keyword search tools that can help you find these answers such as:
- Google Adwords’ Keyword Tool
- Google Trends Keyword Demand Prediction
- Microsoft Advertising Intelligence
- Moz Keyword Analysis Tool
- Wordtracker’s Free Basic Keyword Demand
These tools are useful for not only showing you a selection of keyword phrases to choose from, but also an approximation of what it would cost for a paid campaign using these phrases. They help you keep a pulse on your specific niche’s keyword demand.
It cannot be understated how important it is to make sure you are using the most relevant keywords in a natural way in your content.
This research can help you understand your customer better too, because while they may be a broad group, within that group is more defined niches. This is another big step to boosting your search engine rankings is to create a persona to understand your audience.
The more you can interpret their problem/pain points and address them with your content, the better chance you stand of showing up in your audience’s search queries, converting them to customers and fans.
- Figure out their character. Exactly what do they do on a typical day?
- Do they get up early and head to Starbucks with laptop in tow?
- Or do they head to an office with a coffee machine in the break room.
- Do they have kids to take to school or teenagers to rouse from slumber?
- Are they male or female?
- What age and income bracket are they?
- What are their problems at work and in their personal lives, what are they trying to solve?
- How do they consume their information?
- Do they tweet, are they photographers, or are they predominately Facebook users?
- How would they search for information in a search engine query?
The answers to these questions will help determine what your content needs to be, what’s the best medium, and how to tailor it for each one. This is where blogs have come into play and social media. Research shows that consumers trust a company more that has a blog. They get to see more of the inside workings of the company. Writing about behind the scenes stories shows the human element and relate ability of the business.Consistently create valuable content for your customers and deliver it on all the platforms available and eventually you’ll become a leader or influencer in your specific niche. Build trust in the relationship by not trying to sell, but help.
Associate with your customers so you can learn their goals, what they want to make happen. Offer them free eBooks or guides for signing up for your newsletter. Be entertaining! Use photographs, videos, printable files, online tutorials, et cetera to tell your story. People relate better to stories than anything else. They are memorable and the most shared content.
These are some of the most important things someone can do to increase their search engine rankings. Create useful information in an entertaining way. Then customers will naturally want to sign up for your email list, follow you on social media, and share your content, furthering your reach.
And measure the results, rinse, and repeat. This is not an exhaustive list of things you can do, but some of the most important. Here’s to ranking on the first page.
Martha Gail Moore is a web content manager and copywriter. In the interest of sparking the best collaborations possible, she keeps it fun and, therefore, calls her business Playfulworks. She’s interested in children, art, and healthcare for everyone.