An SEO strategy refers to the goal of your search engine optimization. Are you trying to position yourself in the top search results related to a search for your brand name or company? Or are you creating content so that anyone searching for answers to a question see your content with subtle promotions for your products as the solution to the problem they are having?
Marketing is the promotion of a product, service or business. Your SEO strategy needs to be in alignment with marketing’s goals for several reasons. And your SEO strategy must be tailored to your method of reaching out or being found by potential customers.
Why SEO and Marketing Need to Work Together
Have you ever heard of a company’s new slogan but fail to see it on their website, though their social media campaign or television ads trumpet it? Your timely content needs to include all new slogans, products and social media campaign methods like hash-tags so that your online presence matches the marketing group’s goals.
Have you see a company’s advertisements for a new product or service but search engine results for that new item don’t show the company’s own content on it? Ensure that your timely content on a product or service comes out as marketing starts promoting it, such as product specifications, pricing and details about a new service or user manuals for the newly released product being sold to customers.
And when marketing is promoting these materials, ensure that they are using key search terms in their social media presence and sharing your search engine optimized content. The only thing worse than an industry whitepaper promoting your product blasted out on social media is one that when searched for doesn’t lead people back to you but your competitors.
Evergreen content isn’t exempt from evolving SEO and marketing strategies. For example, a general problem solving article needs to mention the products you’re selling as part of the solution. Ensure that the article doesn’t list items that are no longer on the market or you’ll lose the customer for that sale and future ones. Make certain your evergreen content about the organization or its line of products comes up when someone searches for last year’s product and this one.
Now that we’ve explained why your marketing and SEO strategies need to be aligned, let’s look at a few ways they can work together.
Quality content typically takes the form of articles that answer questions searchers are seeking, press releases that bring readers to your website, web pages that convert visitors into customers. Quality content may be timeless evergreen articles that subtly promotes your business or timely content that capitalizes on trends or news. The ideal quality content is both search engine optimized and actionable content. Quality content is search engine optimized for current search trends and can be promoted by marketing along with their marketing blitzes and social media blasts.
Blogs create content, but it is rarely quality content unless there is a dedicated marketing team behind it. Blogs are easily search engine optimized, but this tends to be neglected. Blogs should mention new product releases, answer customer questions or discuss the successes of the business. Do not let a blog become a stream of consciousness for a senior staffer or overly commercial litany of accomplishments. Blogs work best when the author discusses market trends and how the company capitalized on them, user problems and steps the company takes to solve them, or the blog is used as a public conversation between the face of the company and customers.
Blogging should also take the brand message into account, promoting the image the company wants to share as well as the views or announcements of the person or group behind the blog. If the person who wants to create a blog for the company isn’t a natural storyteller and isn’t good at engaging people through the content they’ll create, find someone who can but write in the voice of the person who is telling the story.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing has not replaced all other forms of marketing, though many think it has. Social media marketing is essentially marketing to people where they are online, in the social media platforms where they spend time socializing with others.
A successful social media marketing campaign engages with customers in a way that connects with them long term. They feel a connection to your brand and seek to buy your products as a result. Good social media marketing rewards those who stay engaged, such as giving those who are connected online with coupon codes or drawings others do not get to participate in. Social media marketing can create viral marketing, such as when it taps into social phenomena. Done right, it involves linking your brand to an ad that everyone shares because it is entertaining, enlightening or engaging. Ideally, the social media marketing also links people to your online presence, such as a viral marketing video well connected to longer press releases about your products, charitable donations or services.
Social media marketing should be linked to other marketing content, such as offering rewards to those who follow the company blog or Tweet a link to your latest press release.
An often overlooked method of marketing with your social media followers is reading user questions and posting links to existing content your organization has written. Customers become more loyal to a company that provides support, and sharing content you’ve created also promotes that content in search engine rankings. Taking care to share content that addresses their concerns shows that your company cares about its customers and builds credibility with your followers.
Create a great content brand that provides value to readers instead of generating a lot of content that is well optimized for search engines but doesn’t cause people to buy your product as a solution to their problem or think of buying your products next time they need what you’re offering.
Tie social media marketing with your existing content and ensure that content is tied to your current marketing campaign.
Only blog if it creates an engaging story that builds rapport with customers or deepens the image your company wants to share.