Working as a marketing consultant, a common grievance I often hear goes a little something like this: "No one's reading or sharing the content on our blog, and the information we share on social media just sits there. We need some dire SEO help because something is clearly amiss!"
When rankings slip on Google, people will almost always point the finger at technical or on-page SEO issues. Given the importance of organic search, it's logical right? Wrong.
Often times, it's not a true SEO problem at all. It's a brilliant content problem; as in, you don't have any or enough brilliant content!
If you fear this might be the unfortunate case for your own business, I suggest doing a site crawl and a content audit--and do it quick, because all the SEO-ing in the world won't fix bad content in the long-haul. As for the good news, at least you've identified the real root of the problem and can make great strides in 2016.
Things to work on
1. Understand your business
The better you understand your business and the role is plays in the lives of the audience you wish to impact--the more equipped you'll be to market your products and services.
I would recommend that you get your core marketing team together once/week for a one-hour brainstorm. The object is to make certain that everyone knows what your brand stands for, what role your products/services play in the marketplace, the perception of your customers/prospects, and what the brand offers that no one else could easily replicate.
2. Know your audience
The biggest hurdle from an inbound marketing perspective is understanding and knowing what your customers want.
Start by looking at the questions and comments your customer service, sales and social media teams field online, via phone or in person. Then look at ways your business is uniquely qualified to be a solution for those problems. What can you provide that no one else can? That’s your sweet spot.
Also look closely are where most of the comments are coming from, and who shares the information.
If you haven't done so already, this is the time to create buyer personas. Hubspot has a great template.
By answering the most definitive questions that your customers and prospects have, you're essentially creating a nearly fail-proof guide for quality content. Answer these questions on your blog and web pages, then share and engage around that content on social media.
SEO & Content Marketing are like PB&J
Look at is this way, SEO creates demand. And content marketing fulfills those demands.
Without content, you don't have SEO; because it requires words, articles, substance and keywords. And absolutely no one would argue that keywords are fundamental to a successful SEO campaign. And once you've researched, how do you practically apply the use of keywords? Oh yeah, content marketing!
Second, Google loves fresh content. And you know that fresh content gets indexed rapidly and registers higher in the SERPS than older, low-value content. So that means that a solid SEO strategy involves consistent output of content. Consistent output means content marketing because you don't just do it and then stop. You do it once, then you do it twice, and on, and on, and on...
The last parallel I'll draw between SEO and content marketing is link building. Every SEO dreams about getting some linkbait from a DA 98 or snagging a covetable mention on a .edu website. That SEO dream is really only possible by publishing killer content and letting the masses link back to it--you need to create content worth linking to.
Bottom line: when SEO and content marketing do what they're supposed to do and work in sweet harmony together--it's magic.
If you have any additional questions or you have some experience with SEO and content marketing that you'd like to share, leave a comment below.