As I write this, I’m on the plane heading back from DMA09. While I was moderating the Search Marketing Experience Labs, one common element ran through every site review: When you ignore your SEO content marketing strategy, you’re hobbling your conversions, ignoring your customers and forfeiting your search engine rankings. Here’s why.
Seth Godin had it right when he said, “The best SEO is great content.” A well-written product page can skyrocket your conversions. A fantastic blog post can gain your company new leads and incoming links. The right Twitter tweet can gain not just followers but evangelists for your brand.
It’s really that important.
I’ve been in the SEO industry for 12 years. During that time, I’ve seen companies spend six figures on design, embrace five-figure monthly PPC costs and chase the latest “sexy” online marketing tactic.
Yet unfortunately, these same companies will ignore the foundation of their SEO and conversion success—creating customer personas, developing a keyphrase strategy, and developing useful, keyphrase-rich content that helps prospects across the buy cycle and engages customers.
Instead, the content becomes an afterthought. The one piece—heck, the only piece—of a company’s marketing strategy dedicated to engaging with customers becomes, “Isn’t SEO content supposed to be stuffed with keywords in order for me to get a high ranking?”
And that’s sad.
Think of your SEO content marketing strategy as your online salesperson, enticing your prospects to learn more and communicating with your audience. Your SEO content strategy could encompass many things, including:
- Product/service pages.
- Blog posts.
- Articles, FAQs and white papers.
- Twitter tweets.
Every word you write is a way to engage, inform and, yes, sell. But most importantly, a content marketing strategy helps you communicate with your prospects on multiple levels.
Fortunately, some companies “get it.” Forbes reported in its 2009 Ad Effectiveness Survey that SEO (and yes, that includes your content play) was the most effective online marketing tactic for generating conversions. Furthermore, Mediaweek reports in its article, “Marketing Must-Have: Original Web Editorial,” how AT&T created more than 100 how-to articles targeted to small business owners. Paul Beck, senior partner and executive director of Ogilvy Worldwide, is quoted as saying, “Having a core content strategy is the secret to engaging an audience.”
And at the end of the day, isn’t engagement what it’s all about? The company that engages, profits. The company that doesn’t—even big-brand companies that dominate the brick-and-mortar world—get left in the dust.
My monthly SEO & Content Marketing Revue posts will show examples of companies who “get it”—and what they’re doing right. I’ll share what’s worked for companies like yours, as well as what to avoid.
Most of all, I’ll share how the right SEO content strategy can gain your company the SEO and conversion “win” you may have been missing up to now.
And I’ll answer your questions (because, yes, you will have questions,) showing you how to leverage the power of strong, customer-centered content.
Stay tuned. This will be fun. Promise.