We’ve posted before about how SEO is moving away from a keyword-driven system to a content-driven system. This means that to continually rank high in searches, you must publish content that is relevant and valuable to the searchers. Because of this new system, SEO and Inbound Marketing strategies are very dependent on one another. You cannot be fully optimized for SEO without integrating some sort of Inbound Marketing and vice versa.
Search algorithms are becoming more complex. Because of this, they now reward the overall content of a web page over the amount of keywords on the page. This goes hand in hand with Inbound Marketing as it also focuses on providing relevant content to potential customers. By combining the two strategies to play off of each other, each individual strategy can benefit and perform better overall.
How Does This Fit Into My Inbound Marketing Strategy?
Inbound marketing consists of a four step methodology that focuses on providing relevant and educational content to customers throughout their buyer’s journey. This content directly relates to searches these potential customers would be performing at each stage in their buyer’s journey. The further along in the journey, the more specific the content will be.
In each stage of this methodology, you will produce content through different channels to reach customers at each stage of their journey.
During the Attract Phase, you will use:
- Social Media
- Paid Search
During the Convert Phase, you will use:
- Web Design
- Landing Pages
During the Close Phase, you will use:
- Email Marketing
During the Delight Phase, you will use:
- Email Marketing
- Social Media
- Reputation Management
Each channel produces different forms of content, all produced with the goal of driving traffic back to your site to lead potential customers towards more relevant content until they eventually close and become customers.
Since part of SEO ranking is derived from the traffic to your site and the number of sources your traffic originates from, having this Inbound content across numerous different channels is beneficial to your SEO strategy.
However, this content must also be relevant to their search since that is another piece of the SEO puzzle. If people are not staying on your site because the content isn’t relevant to their search, that can harm your SEO ranking.
To successfully integrate SEO into your Inbound Marketing strategy, you must ensure that the content you are producing is relevant to the terms your target audience is searching for. The best way to accomplish this is by developing a buyer persona. This will allow you to create content that your audience will be searching for at each stage of their journey.
How Does This Fit Into My SEO Strategy?
Since your content development has been taken care of by your Inbound Marketing efforts, you will have a jump on others who have not implemented an Inbound Marketing strategy for their company. However, to truly see result, you must be sure the content you have produced is fully SEO optimized.
Although the old rules of SEO have given way to a content focused system, it is still important to optimize your content for SEO. Some things to focus on include:
Pillar Pages and Topic Clusters
Instead of focusing on specific keywords for each piece of content, try focusing on the content’s topic as a whole. By creating clusters of content pieces around one broad topic your company is an expert on, you are optimizing your site to be ranked for that particular topic.
Each piece of content links to a pillar page which gives an overview of the topic. These links and content focusing on a particular topic play into your site ranking when people search for information on that topic.
When creating your content, try to focus on the length to optimize the piece for SEO. Studies show that longer content increases a page’s impression of authority on a subject or topic. If it is relevant, people will be engaged and stay on the page longer, which plays into your site’s SEO ranking.
While keywords have fallen slightly to the wayside, they still do matter. They just are not the number one thing to focus on for SEO anymore. Instead of mentioning a keyword as many times as possible, try to incorporate it naturally into your text.
How to Establish a Relationship Between Inbound Marketing and SEO
To rank higher in SEO, you must have relevant content and to have a successful Inbound strategy, you must have your relevant content be found in searches. These two strategies, now more than ever, need to co-exist in your overall marketing plan.
You cannot have one without the other if you want to be successful in both converting new leads and ranking high in searches. If you allow these two concepts to work together instead of separately, you will see better results overall.
The best way to ensure your content will be relevant to your potential customers is by creating a buyer persona. Download your free template to create your own!