SEO and content marketing involve a lot of moving parts.
From the initial SEO and content audits, to persona and keyword planning through to strategy development and execution, you have a lot to keep track of, monitor and improve.
A successful SEO and content marketing strategy is one that combines some basic SEO foundations, a lot of audience and content planning, and the creation of content that answers key questions your buyers have, while being different enough to stand out from the crowd.
But while it all might seem a bit overwhelming.
Creating an SEO and content marketing campaign can be easier, if you follow a few simple steps.
1. Build personas
Your buyer personas are a representation of your ideal customer.
They’re not just based on best guesses.
You have to do research.
For a start, interview your current customers.
They should be, given the very fact they’re already customers, similar to other people you want to sell to.
After this you need to sit down with your sales and product development teams to figure out what problems you’re trying to solve and who would need to products and services you’re offering.
Don’t make the mistakes a lot of people make when planning their buyer personas.
Don’t get caught up on job titles and demographics.
Instead, focus on job challenges and what your customers are trying to overcome by using your products.
This is help you create more relevant content.
Most important don’t be afraid to ask questions, this will provide you with a greater understanding of your persona’s character and specific needs.
The more time you spend on understanding your persona, not just who they are but how they behave, the higher your campaigns success rate will be.
It’s an idea to know the ins and outs of your personas and their specific needs and requirements.
Ideally, you should be able to produce content for each stage of the buyer journey, and aligned to search intent from your keyword research.
This could be content for blogs and guides to social media and guest posts.
Make sure you analyse the data you receive about your buyer personas from your sales and marketing teams – this will help you to create a successful SEO content marketing campaign.
If you want to stay ahead of your competitors, then the analysis of both your campaign and theirs is important.
You’ll need to know which keywords rank highest, and which will generate the most traffic to your business.
Analysing where your competitors are can also provide a benchmark for success.
We always recommend that when it comes to analyse, it’s where you compare to your competitors that is the most important metric.
Also, make sure you understand the competition level for particular keywords.
If you’re a new website or have low domain authority, you probably won’t be able to compete for high competition keywords.
So you should focus on those with lower competition at first while you build up your authority.
Your campaign’s tone of voice should be a direct reflection of your business’ tone and personality.
If your company doesn’t have one, you need to think about getting one quickly.
All the best brands can define themselves on their personality and tone of voice.
You cant be Innocent drinks (the tone of voice most companies want) but you can define what your company stands for and how you communicate with your audience.
And make sure this comes out in every part of your SEO and content marketing.
Start by sounding like a person.
We don’t know why but when language enters through marketing’s door it suddenly changes into a trap of jargon and sentences that we’d never use if we were actually speaking to someone in person.
Communicate in a way that will resonate with your audience.
This will give you the best chance of your messages hitting home.
Your keywords are a big pillar in your SEO and content marketing.
But it’s not as simple as just banging a load of keywords into a few blogs and waiting for the results to happen.
For a more detailed article on keywords and why they’re important, read this blog.
First of all you have to get a handle on the short-term and long-tail keywords you want to target.
There’s more detail in the blog we’ve said you should read above.
But essentially your short-tail keywords have higher traffic potential, but are more competitive.
Long-tail keywords typically have lower search volume, but less competition and a higher rate of conversion.
You need to get a mix of keywords for your SEO content marketing campaign.
To create a successful SEO content marketing campaign, you’ll want to optimise your meta-data.
This includes page titles, meta descriptions and URLs.
Your page titles should be a description of what the content is about and have a length between 50-60 characters.
This ensures Google is able to read your meta descriptions, and you’re making the most of the space provided.
The explanation of your content is what the meta-description is for, this allows you to introduce your page – encouraging your target audience to click the search result and discover more.
The Alt text of your images and URLs of your pages should be optimised for those main keywords too – don’t let this be the reason you don’t rank highly in search engines!
The purpose of your SEO content marketing campaign should be to educate, nurture and convert potential customers or clients.
To do this, you need to understand the buyer journey.
Understanding the different stages your buyers go through when research and buying products will help you create content that they can use to make a decision.
Ideally they decide to buy from you.
Analysing your sales funnel can also help you identify any bottlenecks or missing pieces you have that could cause a customer to go somewhere else.
Then you can remove that friction and get more customers.
7. Lead management
You want to convert customers into leads.
You should now know how your persona’s move through the buyer’s journey, so you can map out the way they are progressing through the stages.
The success of your campaign comes from the management and nurturing of leads, if you provide convenience for their specific needs and requirements, you can be sure that they’ll want to use your business, rather than any other.
You should have a CRM in place to collect, store and segment your lead data based on personas so you can target specific leads with the content they’ll need.
Using your CRM you can understand some key things that will increase your customer base.
When they first made contact with you. And how.
What content they’ve used and found useful.
Which channels of your marketing are performing best.
The handover from marketing to sales is the point when most SEO content marketing breaks down.
This is because companies might not have a proper process in place.
You need to create a process for marketing and sales to hand over leads that marketing have qualified, that sales will follow up.
You should also align your marketing and sales throughout the SEO content marketing campaign.
Your sales team are a great content resource that you’re probably under using.
They deal with customers all the time.
They understand the problems they have and the questions they ask.
This is all gold to your marketing team when it comes to creating content.
Email marketing is still one of the most powerful tools in your content marketing bag.
While your search rankings can be influenced by decisions made by Google, and your social media profile decimated by an algorithm change, your email list is something you own.
So you should have a strategy in place to use your email to your advantage and nurture your leads until they’re ready to become customers.
Consider a few things with your email marketing:
- Who are you targeting?
- What content is most appropriate?
- How will you present your content?
- When will you send your emails? And how often?
10. Social media
Social media can be a great place to promote your content directly to your audience.
But remember, you have to make it about them, not you.
No-one likes the person who turns up to a party and spends the whole time talking about them.
So don’t use social media as a mouthpiece to tell everyone how great you are.
Instead use it to publish useful content (yours and others) and get involved in conversations.
Don’t make the mistake many do by thinking you have to be on every social media platform.
Start by finding out where your leads spend their time, and go to those channels.
Then focus on getting really good at one or two social media platforms.
Once you’ve got a solid process and have built a following, branch out into another social channel if you have the resource.
It’s better to be great at a couple of social media platforms than average on loads of them.
Once you’ve produced a strategy, you’ll want to publish your content regularly in order to outreach to your target audience- promoting the products and services you have available!
After doing this, it’s suggested that you monitor the engagement and success rate of this strategy – identifying the types of posts that see the most interaction from simple likes to clicking through and converting on your website.
Blogs are great for SEO content marketing.
First they’re an efficient way of creating new content for your website, which Google prefers.
But SEO blogs are also a great way to give useful information to your audience, no matter what stage of the buyer journey they’re at.
Your blogs should include long-tail keywords which will help them rank higher in search engines.
When writing a blog, it’s best you keep it fresh and unique – creating intriguing content for your buyer persona’s specific needs and then pointing them to that next step in their journey with you.
If your want some more advice on writing blogs and tools you can use to make the writing process easier, read this blog.
12. SMART targets
A successful digital marketing campaign needs to be built on SMART targets to ensure you achieve the results your business wants.
SMART targets are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound; they’re perfect for recording how well your campaign is doing, whether it’s an SEO or content strategy!
And there you have it.
By following these simple steps you’ll be able to plan, launch and monitor an effective SEO content marketing plan for your business.
If you think you might need a bit of extra help getting an SEO content marketing plan off the ground, get in touch.
Perhaps you’d like to know more about our content marketing services, or how we can help your business to thrive?
Whatever it may be, you’re welcome to get in touch with the Paramount Digital team at any time.
You can either call 01744 747474, email email@example.com or fill in the online enquiry form and we’ll get back to you.