Top SEO Marketing Tips to Help You Gain a Higher Rank

Top SEO Marketing Tips to Help You Gain a Higher Rank

Why is SEO content important at all stages of the customer journey?
When putting your writing skills to use, you need to work out not only what your customers want, but what they’re searching for at each stage of the customer journey.

It’s vital to match the purpose of your content to your user’s search intent. Google is really good at understanding what keywords and search terms people use when they’re looking for different types of content. It then serves different types of content, depending on whether the user is looking for more general information or is looking to buy there and then.

Your content writing needs to be planned out to meet them at every step along the way. That way you can make sure you’re filling any gaps in your existing content.

In the early stages, where you’re focused on attracting the attention of buyers searching to educate themselves online, you need informative blog posts to draw them in.

In later stages, you’ll be looking to engage customers who are evaluating different solutions with more in-depth content. Finally, you’ll want to address the needs of people who are ready to purchase with content that answers objections and questions.

Towards the bottom of the funnel, you might be more focused on leads you’ve been nurturing and educating from the start of the customer journey. In that case, why focus on SEO at all? However, thinking like that would be a mistake. All of your content should be optimized for search to capture the attention of buyers wherever they happen to be on their buyers’ journey.

Now you know why we said it’s both simple and complicated!

Start with your audience

As ever, it’s all about creating a great user experience for your audience. Trying to optimize for the search engines without considering whether your content is enjoyable and serves the needs of its readers won’t get you anywhere. Google actively prioritizes search quality and penalizes shady ranking manipulation tactics.

Know what questions your potential clients are asking when searching online. Then create every piece of content to answer a question they’re asking. Use the same language and jargon that your clients use so that they feel heard and understood when they read your content.

Make sure your articles deliver on what you promise. Your title and description have to match what’s in your article. If what you’re claiming doesn’t match the searcher’s intention, searchers will click away from your article rapidly, and the search engines will notice and rank your article lower.

In other words, you can’t claim to be writing an instructional blog post on how to climb Scafell Pike safely and then give your readers an article on the best mountain climbing gear that you happen to sell instead. You aren’t meeting either their expectations or their needs.

Of course, you want to sell what you do, but bait and switch is not the way to do it. Nor will it help you with the search engines.

Instead, take the time to find out what your customers are searching for and provide them with answers Not every post has to directly show off your products or services. A well-researched and written article will establish you as a trusted authority. And that, over time, will lead to a growing reputation and, of course, to sales.

What is the purpose of this piece of content?

Do you know the purpose of each and every piece of content you publish online? The key to successful Digital marketing is to create content that both addresses the audiences’ needs and serves a business objective.

Before you create any content, think about what you want your audience to take away from each piece. What do you want them to know once they’ve read your article? What do you want them to feel? And, crucially, what do you want them to do next?

When you’re clear about what action you want your customers to take when they’ve consumed your content, you can create a path for them to follow. You can use clear calls to action, buttons, links, forms, and more, to guide them along their journey with you. You might want them to look for more information, sign up to your newsletter, book a demo, or even buy.

This all depends, of course, on where they are in the buyer’s journey. By knowing who your content is addressing and what you want them to do as a result of reading your content, you’ll be able to match your content to your user’s search intent and have it reach people at the right stage of the buying cycle.

When you’re not clear on your content’s objective, two things can happen. First, you lose the attention of your hard-won visitor. Maybe they ricochet away from your page because they don’t understand its relevance. Or perhaps they drift away after reading your piece thinking because there’s no clear next step. The second thing to happen is that your bounce rate takes a hit, or your average time on the page drops, signaling to the search engines that your page isn’t relevant or is low-quality.

Organize your content into topic pillars

A highly effective way of organizing your content is by pillar pages and sub-topics.

It’s an excellent way to get the attention of search engines and to ensure that every last page on your site is indexed.

It also creates a better experience for your customers, too. By creating a clear information hierarchy with your content, they can easily see what your expertise is. They can also continue to explore your content by following internal links to more information.

Pick between three and five broad topics for your content to cover. Then create a comprehensive pillar post for each one.

Each of your broader themes can be split down into related sub-topics. For example, if you write about SEO, you could create an authoritative guide that gives your reader an overview of the subject. You can then develop your content further with a series of shorter, more in-depth articles on keyword research, on-page optimization, internal linking building, and more.

Research your competitors

Once you have your customer research in place and know what you want to appear in a search for, take a good look at your competitors. You can learn a lot from authoritative websites and high-ranking articles.

Pull up the top 10 ranking articles for any search term you’d like to target. Examine everything about each article, including images, metadata, subheads, and more.

Analyze the page structure to see how they’ve put their content together. What keywords and phrases are they using in the headline and subheads? Examine the length of the articles to see what the average length is.

You can also pick up ideas for topics from your competitors. However, avoid writing content that doesn’t add to the conversation. Can you add a fresh point of view or make your piece more authoritative or up-to-date?

Use keyword research to shape your content

Knowing what keywords and phrases you want to target can help you create the structure of each and every piece you write.

Paid keyword research tools like SEMrush will help you to find phrases and questions to include in your articles. You can also find keyword suggestions for free by using the Google Ads Keyword Planner.

The ‘People also ask’ box at the bottom of the search engine results page is also a great source of insight. This tells you about what searches are related to the one you’re researching, which is great for keyword and phrase suggestions.

Also, pay attention to Autocomplete. When you’re typing your keyword or search phrase into Google, see what else comes up as Google tries to predict your search term. This, again, may give you further suggestions for keywords and more content to write in the future!

When complete, use your keyword research and competitor research to generate an outline of your article. With a clear outline, it’s easy to stay on track and not get lost in irrelevant side issues.

Use the questions and longer phrases you’ve uncovered in your research in subheadings. This not only includes key search terms in the H2 and H3 tags on your website, but it helps your user to skim read your articles (more on that later).

On-page SEO

Be rigorous about on-page SEO best practices so that Google knows what you intend the page to rank for.

Make sure to include your main keyword in your page title, the URL, and in the first 100 to 150 words of your article. It should also appear in image alt text and meta tags, and in the meta-title and meta-descriptions that appear on the search engine results pages.

These last two need close attention. They need to signal to the search engines what your content is about, but they also need to be enticing to be clicked. This means they need to be short enough not to be cut off by the search engines, while including your keywords, and be compelling enough to draw the reader in.

Don’t settle for your first attempt. Keep working and reworking until you land on something that is catchy for both the reader and the search engine!

Aside from creating your outline, your keyword research also generates a list of required and optional semantic keywords for each article. These are variations on your main keyword and thematically related keywords that give the search engines more context on the relevancy of your article. Make sure these are included in your content brief so your content writers ensure they cover each one.

Creating links, both internal and external, help Google to determine what the piece is about by linking it to other relevant content. Internal linking is particularly important as it helps the search bots to crawl your site properly and index every page. It helps to show the search engines what your site is about and encourages them to think of you as an authority on your subject.

It’s also really helpful for your customers as they can easily find more information and further answers to their questions.

Don’t forget the visuals

Visual design and rich multimedia can also boost a user’s dwell time on your page, signaling to the search engines that your content is high-quality.

We’re quick to judge, navigating sharply away from pages that look shabby or unappealing. Good design, on the other hand, lends itself to appearing more credible and trustworthy. You don’t want to put people off before they even begin to read your epic content and fall in love with your business

Use A/B testing to make your SEO marketing more effective

Everyone in our marketing department agrees that A/B testing belongs in the top spot of our list of the best SEO tips and tricks every business owner needs to know. Because so many factors affect search rank, many business owners aren’t sure which of their SEO strategies are working. They end up investing in SEO marketing ideas without any way to measure their ROI. With A/B testing, you set up two scenarios that differ in only one aspect. This allows you to isolate an SEO element so you can accurately measure its marketing impact. For instance, you can run two versions of a landing page with a PPC ad to see which gets the best response. Every time you try a new SEO marketing idea this year, set up A/B testing to measure the results.

Use social signals to boost rankings

Many businesses are not aware of the role that social media activity plays in SEO rankings. While it is obvious that sharing a social post that links back to your blog or other content helps distribute your content and drive more traffic to your website, sharing social posts from other companies is also useful. Google considers consistent social signals as a strong indication that your website is active and up to date. Try increasing your social posting for a month to see how it affects your site ranking.

Incorporate verbal search keyword phrases

The way that people search online is changing. Customers are increasingly relying on verbal searches through mobile devices and home assistants such as Alexa or Google Home. Verbal searches look very different from typed queries. They tend to use longer phrases rather than words, use questions in the first person, and tend to get more accurate results. For example, a typed searcher might look for ‘SEO marketing strategies, ‘ which can bring up very different results from the verbal query, ‘What SEO marketing strategies should I use’. Test these longer verbal search keywords to see how they affect your ranking.

Adjust your meta descriptions

It’s easy to overlook the impact of meta descriptions, but those mini-descriptors often provide the initial impetus for someone to click on your link. Rework the meta descriptions for your web pages, approaching the task as if you were writing a PPC ad that needs to be as compelling as possible. Stack your AMP site against your desktop version and see which your readers prefer.

Update your old content

This is one of our top SEO tips for companies that have a significant backlog of content. Posting high-quality content is one of the most effective ways to raise your ranking, but creating new content takes a considerable investment of time (or money). When you update your old pages, Google sees them as recent additions to your site. That can translate to a big boost in rankings since Google gives top ranking to websites that can provide up-to-date, relevant answers to searches. Updating your old content çan give your site a big ranking boost without having to create a lot of new content.

How does SEO contribute to revenue?
Once you understand how SEO functions in a multi-attribution model, you can begin to track its value in conversions. It’s easy to measure SEO success by organic visits and rankings, but that doesn’t exactly translate to dollars at your next shareholder meeting. Translating those increased visits and rankings to conversions and revenue is a vital part of the SEO marketing strategy.

To understand the value of SEO metrics in terms of revenue and investment, it’s worth analyzing them in terms of your sales funnel. Rankings, impressions, and traffic are, as we noted in attribution, toward the top of the funnel. Conversions (lead forms, purchases, phone calls, etc.) are at the bottom. The key is to understand how the beginning stages influence the end stages for overall revenue.

Looking at impressions vs. clicks on organic search will provide an important picture for your SEO budget and efforts. Are you consistently ranking and gaining impressions for a query but no clicks? Maybe your content production and optimization are better spent elsewhere. After all, if they don’t click they can’t convert.

Are you ranking for terms that are relevant to your business or content, or are you ranking for queries that don’t help your potential customer? Understanding how your user behaves before they even get to your site will help determine how to allocate your SEO marketing plan’s dollars. Once someone arrives on your site from organic search, getting him or her to convert is another step in measuring your SEO success.

Here’s where conversion rate optimization comes in a strategy that relies heavily on analyzing the data of user behavior. Does your content answer their question? That might not be good enough to get them to buy even at a first-touch stage.

Incorporating CRO into your SEO content can draw a (somewhat) linear line from your SEO marketing plan to revenue. This can pose an issue for sites that are service-based, or product-based sites that are not E-commerce. It’s easier to track an organic visit to checkout (without factoring in multi-touch) and see actual dollars and number comparisons. But measuring the number of leads vs. sales (for a non-e-commerce site) can be extremely helpful, even if you can’t make a 1:1 comparison.

On the other side of the funnel, it’s helpful to understand where revenue is dropping to see if your holes can’t be filled with an additional SEO budget. If your Display campaign is eating into your quarterly budget and returning next to no conversions, would you be better served cutting that campaign for more SEO lead-generating content? Here is where it helps to test, measure, and test again.

How do I become an SEO?
Being an SEO now is multi-faceted. It’s no longer just filling in meta titles, creating keyword lists, or building directory links. Since SEO is transitioning to digital PR and inbound marketing, the role of an SEO coordinator or agency has to change as well.

In fact, as many responsibilities can be bundled under the SEO umbrella, as a job it is becoming more segmented and specialized. There are still jobs many, many jobs for strictly ‘SEO coordinators,’ but you’ll also see a burgeoning list of positions for ‘Outreach Specialists,’ or ‘Technical SEO experts,’ or ‘Conversion Rate Optimization Analyst,’ and ‘Content Creation Managers.’

While it’s always good to be a jack-of-all-trades, it’s becoming more and more important to be a master of some. Getting started in SEO and learning to create SEO reports can be a long process, but ultimately rewarding if you’re someone who likes to keep learning and growing in a job.

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