The days of hiring an SEO agency to work their magic and make a webpage rank #1 in search results are quickly disappearing. With search engines like Google and Bing obsessively perfecting their algorithms, it’s clear that SEO is no longer about manipulating data and algorithms and instead is about focusing on the user. As technology changes, marketing tactics must keep pace, and it’s time for digital marketers to jump on board by integrating savvy SEO strategies into their overarching marketing plans.
It’s All the About the Consumer
Today’s buyers are changing – and they’re empowered. At the tip of their fingers, they can access product and business info, reviews, price comparisons, images and social media channels with just a few clicks. With the ability to find any information about a business in a matter of seconds, a marketer’s challenge is to show the most relevant content to each particular user at the right moment.
Here’s where inbound marketing comes into play. Inbound marketing is about luring potential customers to your business and letting them make their own choices through personalized and specifically designed content. Through the inbound marketing process, marketers strive to attract, convert, close and delight potential consumers.
SEO + Inbound Marketing = BFFs
Company executives and marketers expect to generate leads from their website and content marketing efforts. I’d like to introduce you to an inseparable couple: inbound marketing and SEO. To understand how SEO fits into inbound marketing, think of the big picture of your marketing plan. You may have a great website and consistently put out fresh content, but to reel in prospects, you’ll need more than just a presence on the web – you’ll need to stand out.
We all know that content is king, but strategy is actually the fueling force in getting that content to the right people at the right time. Think about everything that goes into your website getting found – keyword research, page design, internal linking, meta descriptions and countless others. SEO nuggets like these act like backup dancers for your content. They’re certainly not the star of the show - which is your rockstar content – but help put that content into the spotlight so prospects can easily find it. Better yet, SEO is completely permission based, meaning it doesn’t invade consumers’ search and web habits, and helps attract the most qualified visitors to your site.
Do you know what the#FutureofInbound looks like?
Leading inbound marketing software provider, HubSpot, released its 2016 State of Inbound Marketing report to show how marketers are currently strategizing their inbound marketing plans and how they will re-strategize in the future. Based on responses from 4,500 non-HubSpot customers with marketing backgrounds in B2B, B2C, small, and mid-sized businesses, the report gives a glimpse into what’s shaking up the world of inbound marketing.
To start, the report reveals that inbound marketing organizations have more strategically effective marketing strategies compared to outbound organizations. Over the next 12 months, all respondents’ top 3 marketing priorities are:
Converting contacts and leads into customers (74%)
Growing traffic to website (57%)
Increasing revenue derived from existing customers (46%)
These findings are consistent across the board in every industry analyzed. In terms of inbound marketing, respondents say their top priority is growing SEO and organic presence.
When asked what the most overrated marketing tactics are, both inbound and outbound marketing organizations agree that SEO is one of the most sound and effective strategies. Since SEO is a powerful tool to cut through the cluttered digital marketing world, I’ve uncovered three key SEO secrets to attract, convert, close and delight qualified leads.
Shape up Your SEO Strategy
Google’s search algorithm tries to mimic the real world by providing users with the most relevant, updated information and rewards websites that deliver. You can make your website a winner with Google through these three SEO hacks:
Your website is your #1 salesperson. In fact, only 19% of buyers rely on salespeople to make purchase decisions. Search engines love when websites are updated with fresh content regularly and penalize those with stale content. Would you hire a salesperson and never check up on them? Just like providing consistent performance reviews to your sales team, make sure your content machine is running at full force and provides useful information - and also links to your internal pages to take users deep into your arsenal of content!
Content has a way with words. Do you really know what your prospects are searching for? When doing keyword research, think about pain points, challenges and questions consumers may have. Once you have a solid list, incorporate the keywords into your website content and other goodies like headlines, meta descriptions, alt-text and links. In the process, consider how easily your website answers the list of questions you’ve created and spice up your selected keywords with different variations since Google uses a natural language user interface. As users search for the terms you’ve capitalized on throughout your website (and related terms) your content will appear in their results. The real win here is that these users are most qualified since they’re already searching for what you offer.
Collect your gold stars. Reviews and customer testimonials are a powerful and integral part of your site. By the time prospects read reviews, they’ve usually identified their need or want and understand how a business can fulfill that need. Search engines love reviews simply because consumers love reviews, and, the faster search engines can provide a wealth of information to consumers from a variety of sources, the better. Just a quick tip - If you set up a company page on review websites like Yelp and Google My Business, you’ll receive more authoritative back links to your website (great for building up your own website’s credibility), showcase real life uses of your product or service and provide more opportunities for your business to appear in search results.
With a solid SEO strategy implemented across all digital marketing efforts, you’ll not only beat out competitors in terms of search rankings, but also attract prospects by prompting rich content to appear on their screens as they navigate through the web. Our team of digital experts here at ARPR help shape up client’s SEO value and web presence. See how we cooked up a winning SEO recipe for a lead generation campaign here and learn more about how our team can build leads for your business.