SEO and Inbound Marketing Go Hand-in-Hand: Here’s Why
Harmonizing different aspects of your digital marketing strategy from your social media to content marketing, SEO and inbound marketing are the nerve centers of your online presence. You can compare it to a basketball team. Even though each player has their own role, without the rest of the team, they wouldn’t be able to reach great results.
Inbound marketing has only one goal and that is bringing value to your target audience, delighting them, and converting them into loyal customers. However, to get the most out of it, you need to support with a solid SEO strategy. SEO is an invaluable aspect of your inbound marketing campaign, as it makes it more visible and drives qualified traffic to your site.
Here is how these areas of digital marketing work together.
Blogging is the Main Link between SEO and Inbound Marketing
When building a website, businesses need to pay special attention to their blog. Why? First, by publishing high-quality content on your site, you will increase your readers’ engagement and inspire them to stay longer on your site. Second, you will position yourself as a reliable source of information. In addition to increasing user engagement, a blog can also boost your SEO efforts.
Here are few steps marketers need to take to make their blog valuable to both readers and search engines:
● Remember that you’re writing for humans, not Google’s crawlers.
Optimizing your blog posts for your major keywords is important, but you need to build high-quality posts around these phrases. Each piece of content you publish needs to be backed by relevant information, educational, interactive and, above all, engaging.
● Leverage headings.
Headings are important, as they separate your long paragraphs into smaller, easily digestible chunks and boost the overall readability of your content. Most importantly, they help search engines understand what your content is about. Headings are also one of the most important elements to optimize for popular keywords, but make sure you do so naturally, when it makes sense.
● Publish your content regularly.
Consistency is key in SEO and inbound marketing. You should create a detailed content calendar and update it ahead of time. By publishing your posts at the same time, you will boost people’s engagement. Most importantly, you will give Google a myriad of amazing, well-optimized posts to index.
● Write long-form content.
Maybe there were times when you could write a 500-word blog post and rank high. Today, this is not possible. Research claims that long-form content performs much better on Google than its shorter alternatives.
● Answer users’ questions.
In the world of voice search that has redefined our understanding of keyword optimization, targeting exact-match keywords is not enough. You need to optimize your content organically, by answering users’ questions. This will make your content more findable by the right audiences, as well as make it natural and pleasant.
Understanding the Difference between Intent and Keyword Optimization
I’ve already mentioned how keyword optimization has shifted from short-tail keywords placed strategically throughout your content to answering customer questions.
Why is this so?
Well, Google’s bots are getting smarter day by day and they’re constantly improving their understanding of user intent. SEO elements that were considered critical in the past like keyword volume or density aren’t that important anymore. Instead, it’s user behavior that determines your rankings in the SERPs.
Before you target your keywords and start creating content around them, you need to segment your target audience and create reliable buyer personas. This information shows you what your target audience’s needs, preferences, questions, and problems are.
Users are asking questions and expect Google to provide them with relevant resources. And, this is exactly what Google does by ranking sites based on their relevance. Therefore, to rank high and grab users’ attention, you need to answer user questions in your blog posts, FAQ section, product pages, or even homepage.
Before creating a content calendar, you should make a spreadsheet and outline your major topics, concepts, and keywords. Topics are the broadest categories you want to cover in your content, like “content marketing.” A concept focuses on the questions your customers ask, such as “what is content marketing.” A keyword is, of course, even more specific.
Tools like Google Trends and Google Analytics can help you determine the right phrases, as they let you keep pace with search trends and better understand your customers’ intent. The next step is to implement the targeted keywords into the good-old titles, meta descriptions, alt texts, URLs, the body of the content, and so on.
Most importantly, you need to track how well you rank for those keywords. Tools like Ahrefs, Moz, SEMrush or Google Analytics may help you stay on top of your data. Still, if you’re working on multiple campaigns simultaneously or using different SEO tools, you should centralize them under an SEO reporting tool and combine your widgets and metrics on one dashboard.
Social Media Marketing Makes SEO even more Prominent
Inbound marketing consists of a plethora of strategies and both SEO and social media belong to them. When you pay closer attention, you will see that these two strategies are quite similar. They both rely on killer content to boost brand exposure and awareness. Most importantly, they are focused on engaging users and building strong relationships with them.
Now, even though social signals aren’t ranking factors and they alone cannot help you reach the #1 spot in the SERPs, when combined with other SEO and inbound marketing strategies, they may deliver spectacular results. Let’s see how:
- They expand your follower base and help you drive qualified traffic to your site.
- By promoting your content via these channels, you’re making it visible to wider audiences, including authority figures in your niche. This will increase the clicks on your blog posts and, if they’re valuable enough, help you earn loads of backlinks from authoritative sites.
- You will boost your local SEO strategy. Social networks are a great place to provide your business’ location information, post about local events you support, or connect with local influencers. This may give your rankings a slight boost, given that Google’s recommendations are made according to local information.
Over to You
Implementing SEO and inbound marketing may seem overwhelming, especially if you’re new to online marketing. Inbound marketing is itself an extremely complex field that is constantly evolving. However, merging it with SEO is important to your online presence, as it gives you the opportunity to build a holistic online marketing strategy and increase your exposure.
Hope these tips will help you!
This article on SEO and inbound marketing was provided by Lauren Wiseman. Lauren is marketing specialist, contributor to bizzmarkblog.com and entrepreneur. She helps clients grow their personal and professional brands in fast-changing and demanding market, strongly believing in a holistic approach to business.