If Content Marketing was a character in Game of Thrones it would be Daenerys Targaryen. Challenging the status quo for a seat at the table of power with the skill to manage awe-inspiring and mystical dragons (or being really good at writing). Finally, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is coming into its own, having united an army to revolutionise the way we communicate with customers.
To take this analogy to the extreme, Westeros is the world of communications and marketing, and the forces of SEO are getting ready to conquer the island.
The seven disparate clans that have been brought together into a collection of fighters are Content Marketing and Amplification, Web Customer Conversion, Link Building, Technical SEO, Remarketing, AdWords and Social Media Management. Together all these different tactics become a complete SEO arsenal.
Change is all well and good in theory and on TV, but it is much harder in reality. So many businesses who have been doing traditional marketing and communication for years have yet to develop a comprehensive SEO strategy and harness the power of the internet. Much blood will be spilled and many ideas about the ‘old gods and the new’ of advertising and marketing will be brought down low.
The key to surviving the winter is to integrate all the different schools of thought, all the different warring factions into one collective army, because lone warriors won’t defend the north or be able to compete globally online.
SEO that doesn’t include a diverse range of different tactics isn’t productive, it doesn’t manage risk well and SEO that isn’t integrating into existing marketing and communications campaigns is a wasted opportunity.
Integrating SEO into communications
Awareness of the importance of digital marketing has been building for a while and most businesses have realised that websites are as important as having smiling faces on the shop floor. They know that customer’s first point of contact with their brand will often be online.
But some businesses struggle to integrate the digital aspects of their business into the wider advertising and marketing mix.
Ironically communication is often the core of the issue along with time poverty and a lack of technical understanding.
We won’t focus on all the ways marketing teams are often too busy, under-resourced or behind the eight ball when it comes to new strategy, let’s just cut to the chase.
Before any general goes to war they get out the maps of the area and do some reconnaissance and so it should be with SEO.
The first thing any digital marketing strategy needs to do is come to grips with the online channels and how they are being used. Are they well-integrated, is the existing content being leveraged?
In 9 out of 10 cases, Pure SEO can identify a number of opportunities to maximise the existing content before we even start to add new ideas and fresh content into the mix.
For example, some social media channels and websites exist in isolation to one another. We find ways to integrate social media channels with websites so that social media drives traffic to the website, increasing visitor numbers and creating leads.
Social media channels can provide the best return on investment to business by generating leads, improving brand awareness and engaging customers and staff. So we work to maximise those leads and opportunities to engage, by finding ways to amplify the content to wider audiences and drive visitors through to conversion more effectively.
Using the right language, ‘calls to action’ and hashtags are the best way to aggregate the right audiences. It is simply a numbers game, so the more people who make contact with the brand via social media, the more chances are that they will click through to your site and ultimately become a customer.
Once they are in the customer loop we want to make that journey as enjoyable as possible, and turn the customer into a brand ambassador. Perfecting that loop is a long and tricky road but we encourage as many positively engaged customers as possible to share their experience and their passion with the public.
The Customer Journey
One of the main ways to ensure that customers have a good experience is to get the different areas of the business handling the customer journey more efficiently. Knowing what the other teams in your business are doing helps align staff to common goals and ensure that the strategy is shared and amplified rather than diluted.
One excellent example of this is keyword optimisation. The first thing SEO professionals do when they audit a brand or a business is they find out what terms and phrases their customers are using.
Having good organic rankings in search, effective AdWords campaigns and an engaging social media presence alongside all the traditional brochures and advertising is the best way to get customers to click through to your site. In a numbers game, the more channels and the more people you reach the more likely you are to reach the ones that want to buy your product or service.
By using the same keywords throughout the customer and communications, we help improve rankings across the site for those terms and start to unite the brand and these ‘keywords’.
Content Marketing and Amplification relies on these same keywords being used and shared across a number of different media (video, content, and images) online and in social media. You can ‘create’ new content or ‘curate’ existing content to entertain, entice and interest customers in your product or service.
There are a 101 ways to slice the content pie, from articles to blogs, product reviews, slideshows, surveys, infographics, and competitions to games and webinars. As well as ways to create or curate content there are a number of apps and tools that can make creating content easier.
Interesting content is the one of the top three reasons why people follow brands on social media and two-thirds of consumers say they feel better about buying from a business that creates custom content. Link building also builds upon these keyword terms to expand the available knowledge and reference other content and contexts.
Technical SEO uses these keywords to frame the context of the pages and site structures while Adwords and Remarketing targets people who are interested in those terms as potential customers.
Social media management is about establishing a trend connecting the brand with the keywords, generally embedded in a hashtag.
Making sure the channels and content is integrated helps keep the customer in the loop and on the right path to purchase. It also helps ensure that no matter what your interests or how you came to be on the site you should come across the main ‘call to action’ or where to buy or subscribe to the product or service on offer.
A well-integrated site will make sense, be interesting and provide value to customers and staff. A poorly integrated site will send customers off on tangents, leave them disappointed and looking at cat videos on YouTube.
To get your customers to your website and to fill in forms, make purchases, comment and share information you need integration you need to come to the experts at Pure SEO.7 May 2015