How SEO Plays a Part in Each of Your Marketing Channels Allie Wolff There’s a running joke among content marketers, and it goes like this: Where’s the best place to hide a dead body? The answer: The second page of Google! And, as with all jokes, there’s an element of truth to this statement. Research shows that 75% of people never venture onto the second page of search engine results. Why is this important? You want to be on that first page. It is, after all, rule number one of marketing: always make yourself seen, known, and trusted. So, you’re probably wondering, “How can I get onto the first page of Google?” Well, we’re glad you asked. Before you hire an SEO company, check out the different marketing channels that can help you rank and the role SEO plays in each of these mediums. Content Marketing Content marketing is when a company creates and distributes content that is both valuable and relevant to its audience on a consistent schedule. According to SemRush, 84% of enterprises have a content marketing strategy plan in place. A sound content marketing strategy will aid in boosting brand awareness and generating higher quality traffic. It’s a profitable marketing tool. If you’re keen to get started, you could consider interviews, ebooks, webinars, and roundups. Content is a key player in your digital marketing strategy. Therefore, SEO is a huge component of whether or not your content gets seen by the right people. In order for your content to get exposure and interest, it needs to be created with your keywords in mind. Your keywords are essentially the terms and phrases your audience uses when searching for solutions online. By creating content around these key terms, you’re laying the foundation of a strong SEO strategy and showing your audience you’re knowledgeable regarding the topics most relevant to their needs. Now, let’s dive into a few specific components of content marketing and how SEO plays a role in each. Blog Posts Blog posts are the backbone of your content marketing, and SEO blog posts are like a belt and buckle. The two fit together. Of all SEO strategies, blogging is undoubtedly the easiest to start with. Blog posts offer a host of benefits: Companies that blog generate more leads on average each month than those that do not. Businesses that use blogging as a marketing tool enjoy an ROI that’s higher than businesses without active blogs. Updating your old blog posts will increase your organic traffic. Prioritizing SEO is step one when creating blog content. You’ll want to first pinpoint your most important keywords and start by creating pillar posts for each. These are essentially lengthy, in-depth blog posts that dive into specific topics. Once these pillar posts are created, you’ll want to routinely link back to them using their designated key terms as the anchor text, which will help boost their SEO over time. Guest Articles/Backlink Strategy While blog posts are the owned media component of your content marketing, guest articles are the earned media component. Placement isn’t a guarantee; it’s earned through credibility, and rightfully so. Guest articles can bring you qualified traffic, motivated leads, authority, relevant links, and potential sales. There’s a reason they are perceived as one of the leading inbound marketing strategies around. Becoming a guest contributor means you can craft articles that provide readers with new opinions and expertise while positioning yourself as an industry leader. And since the goal is to place this content on high-quality sites your audience reads, they also provide you with an opportunity to build up your backlink strategy by linking to your pillar posts when possible. One of the core metrics that search engine algorithms consider when trying to rank your website is backlinks. Backlinks can be seen as virtual votes of confidence from other sites; however, the idea isn’t to get links placed anywhere you can. You want to focus on getting good-quality backlinks from authoritative websites. Aside from adding backlinks to your guest articles, here are a couple of backlinking strategies you can adopt for your own SEO campaigns: Exchange links with other sites Reach out to influencers who might share your content Write excellent content and conduct data reports that grab the attention of others and inspire them to share it LinkedIn and Slideshare If you’re a B2B marketer, you’ll definitely want to incorporate LinkedIn and Slideshare into your SEO strategy. Take those keywords you’ve identified as part of your keyword research and plug them into the description on your company’s LinkedIn profile page. Be mindful not to simply stuff your page with keywords, though! Search engines have evolved enough to be able to spot this and will likely not assign you points. Apply the same idea to your LinkedIn posts on your newsfeed and in industry-related LinkedIn groups. Similarly, incorporate keywords into your Slideshare presentations. Slideshare offers an excellent platform for establishing your company as an expert on a particular topic, so be sure to use your target keywords in the presentation and description and share your slideshow far and wide. PPC The first few results on a search engine results page are paid ads. If you can snag the top spots for your keywords, it increases your company’s name recognition and importance (especially if this is combined with organic search results). Be sure to use the keyword list that you generate through your keyword research in your PPC advertising. One way to figure out which keywords your target audience is using is to enable a site search functionality on your website. By doing this, you can understand exactly what language people use to search for specific products and services. Be sure to apply this same strategy to your PPC advertising on social media sites like Facebook as well. Instagram Instagram probably doesn’t come to mind when you think of places where SEO keyword research is applicable, but don’t be fooled. Just because Instagram is a visual site doesn’t mean people don’t find what they’re looking for with words. For example, someone looking for workout inspiration may browse through the hashtag #fitspo (over 74 million posts tagged), while someone planning a trip to Vegas may look through the hashtag #whathappensinvegas (over 3 million posts tagged). If you figure out the combination of hashtags that give your posts the most exposure, you’re looking at a way of bolstering your usage of Instagram as a marketing channel. YouTube Videos are a vital part of your content marketing strategy. If they’re well executed, they can help boost your company’s visibility in search engine results. So how can a website like YouTube factor into your SEO strategy? For starters, improve the quality of your videos so that people stick around for longer than the first three seconds. YouTube can tell how long people spend on videos and ranks them accordingly. One quick way to increase the duration of your views is to get rid of long-winded introductions. Include links to other videos your brand has produced to add value for the viewer and increase the views of your other videos. Encourage your audience to like your videos, share them, or subscribe to your channel. Finally, make videos based on the topics you’ve already identified as high-interest topics through your keyword research. Voice search 40.2% of Americans use voice search, with 71% of consumers preferring to conduct their inquiries by voice instead of manually typing. In fact, people are more receptive to voice ads, with one-third of shoppers saying they are less intrusive compared to regular online, TV, social media, and print ads. To take advantage of voice search, you’ll want to incorporate an SEO strategy that keeps that way of searching in mind. This involves making sure you rank for local searches online but that your website is optimized as well. [BONUS] Infographics We’re cheating a bit since infographics aren’t really a marketing channel, but they are such a useful tool for any SEO strategy that we have to include them. Infographics present data and processes in an easily digestible way. Because they’re informative and pretty to look at, it’s no wonder people readily share them. It’s for these reasons that you should include infographics in your SEO strategy. Create them based on your keyword research and share them through social media, your blog, guest blogs, and more. Be sure to throw them up on sites like Pinterest as well. The role played by SEO across marketing channels is invaluable. And yes, while the results are never instantaneous, it is worth persevering and keeping your keyword research top of mind every time that you seek to create new marketing content. Armed with a well-thought-out SEO strategy incorporating a handful (if not all) of the marketing channels above, it will only be a matter of time before the algorithms reward your diligent efforts.