Search engine optimization plays a critical part in the success of your inbound marketing efforts. Implementing a solid SEO strategy increases the effectiveness of the other two pillars of inbound marketing: content marketing and social media marketing. Working together, these strategies drive targeted traffic to your website. All of these content strategies need to be optimized in order to work towards the common goal of inbound marketing:
- Attract visitors
- Keep them coming back
- Convert visitors into leads
- Nurture leads to build relationships and hopefully, turn them into customers.
How has SEO changed?
Since inbound marketing has been introduced, creating quality content is still the most important criteria for search engine optimization to be effective. Although search engines have changed the way they present and rank information to users, this change has made the results much more personalized and localized to each individual user.
Investing in original, quality content creation is essential is no longer an option if you are serious about inbound marketing. Rather than play games with search engines, provide them what they want, written in a way that helps them index and rank your content more effectively.
Check out this post by Brafton for a bit of history as to how SEO has evolved over the last 15 years.
Start with keyword research
Before you start optimizing your content, do some keyword research and build your list. Think about how your prospects and customers search for your products and services. Come up with a list of the top 10 keyword phrases that you absolutely want to rank high in the search engine results. Then focus on using those appropriately on your site, especially on your pages. For your blog posts, you most likely will have a longer list of keywords that you want to use for blog categories.
Quality content written to focus on specific keywords has several benefits:
- Content will meet the needs of your audience;
- Clearly written content will enable your audience to better understand what you are writing about;
- Search engines can index your content specifically for how you want to be found.
On-page SEO Tips
There are a few things to remember when optimizing your website content.
- Use your keywords in your page and post URLs. If you are using WordPress, set the permalinks to https://yourdomain.com/%postname%/. It will use the title of the post or page in the URL, but feel free to craft a better one for each page and post.
- Use a search engine optimization plugin to help you with the key areas that you need to address – i.e. the SEO title, meta description and use of keywords within the content itself. I recommend Yoast SEO.
- Be sure to use your keywords properly throughout your content to enhance your efforts. Include them in your SEO title tag, alt text, headings, but also as anchor text for links, both internal and external. This will help the search engines determine the best terms to use when ranking that particular page.
- Create and encourage inbound links. Link out to other expert posts from within your content.
- Publicize your content. Post it on your social media properties.
If you haven’t included search engine optimization in your online marketing efforts because you thought it was too difficult, now is the time to invest. There are some fabulous tools that can help you with the process, enabling you to win the inbound marketing battle.
What questions do you have on SEO that I can answer? Also, share your SEO resources that you find useful with all of us.