Many people aren’t sure about how SEO fits into their inbound marketing strategy. They know that SEO is important but they are not sure what to do when it comes to applying it to their strategy.
Many businesses are focused on their SEO efforts but those efforts are disconnected from their marketing strategies. SEO tasks are performed separately from marketing tasks and these individuals don’t work together. But if you want to use inbound marketing as a strategy, then you can easily see how SEO fits into that picture.
These terms, while not interchangeable, are really important in relation to each other. SEO is a huge part of inbound marketing. These two work together and create a great customer experience.
Inbound marketing combines different elements of digital marketing and uses them towards a single goal. There is a high value placed on content creation and sharing as well as targeted content specifically for your customers.
There are many different aspects of digital marketing – SEO, social media, SEM, content marketing, advertising and so on. These channels are often run in silos and have completely different metrics tracked and used by different teams.
But inbound marketing is there to put all of these things together under unified goals and each of these tactics and channels working towards that goal as a part of that single strategy. Each element plays an important role and it’s getting more people on board.
Some of the strategies are:
Social media marketing
Conversion path optimization
Improvement of the customer journey
How It Works
Inbound marketing is a magnet which serves to pull people to your pages where it delivers excellent customer experience, great content and leading them through the buyer’s journey with branding and content.
It’s related to the complete journey that customer takes, starting from the top of the funnel to retention of customers.
The role of SEO
SEO is all about driving people to your website and ranking your website on search engines. Its job is to increase your traffic. It’s one of the first lines of defense against competitors as well. You need to be found in search – first-page prefer – or you don’t exist.
“In the past, search engines could have been tricked with some spammy and unethical tactics. But, today it’s no longer possible,” says Ashleigh Tones, a freelance editor at BritStudent.
This has called for a completely new and fresh SEO practice that makes the user a priority rather than the search engine.
How SEO Fits into Inbound Marketing strategy?
SEO is an important element of Inbound marketing and it’s necessary for success. Your website can be found because of it and SEO drives traffic and visitors to your website. SEO brings people to your website where other tactics can take over – great content, user experience, etc.
SEO relies on content – SEO can’t survive without content because the content is where the keywords are. Inbound marketing can’t exist without SEO so this is precisely why content is important to SEO and to inbound marketing. SEO and content can’t be separates anymore. High-quality content is what you need the most to get people to your page. Common content types include white papers, blog posts, ebooks and so on.
SEO drives traffic – The first step of the inbound marketing process is driving people to your website. This is what SEO does. Without it, there is no inbound marketing. Inbound marketing has four steps – attracting, engaging, converting and delighting. SEO is within each of them but works best in the attracting phase.
How To Use SEO
Here are some ways you can use SEO to drive traffic to your pages:
One of the most important pages on your website is the blog page. This is a necessary section because it gives people insight into your business, informs people and keeps them interested. Here are some practical tips blogging for SEO:
Create for humans first – Don’t write just based on keywords but also make sure that you are writing for people. In fact, this should be your first tactic. Then, insert the keywords where appropriate. It’s important that the content is useful to humans.
Mae headlines your priority – Not only are they extremely important for keywords but they are also a great clue to readers as to what is in your blog post before they even open it.
Answer the important questions – Understand your audience. Then listen to their questions and problems. Strive to answer those questions and solve their problems in your blog posts.
Invest in good plugins – A plugin like Yoast SEO gives you a good clue on how good your SEO optimization is. It will help you remember all of the most important things as well as some of the things that you might forget.
Update your content often – Post new blog posts on a regular basis if you want to drive traffic to your website. Once or twice a week may be optimal for you to create top quality content.
Create longer content – Longer content usually contains more data and it’s more useful to your readers than short blog posts. But you must be sure about how the how long your post should be.
Keyword Optimization vs. Intent
There is really no competition between optimizing for keywords and providing answers for your audience. The latter always wins.
Google bots are still being changed and refined to understand users and content. They have come a long way in recent years. Old tactics don’t have the same power that they used to have. Keyword density is no longer as important and user behavior is the main guide in SEO.
Before building a strategy focused on keywords, marketers have to focus on intent as well. They have to ask the following questions:
Which products or services do they use or have used in the past?
Which questions are they asking?
What are their problems?
Marketers also use Google Analytics often to explore new trends, queries and so on to create content that’s based on user intent. “Users ask questions when they search on Google and companies have to answer those questions before they can even think to insert keywords and other optimization methods,” says Hadley Maddison, a web developer at Nextcoursework and Australia2Write.
Social media as a hidden treasure
Social media and SEO are both inbound strategies and they have many similarities. Most marketers know that both fuel their popularity and success. But, here are some ways you can actually use social media to influence SEO:
More external links – People share great content and this creates external links that Google loves. This boosts your ranking. Especially if influencers are tagging your content and sharing links.
Have more followers – You can use social media to grow more traffic by growing your number of followers. Share useful content, start conversations with your audience and follow other people.
Go for local – Social media represents a great place to connect with your local audience. You should update your location and post about local events and similar things that are happening in your area.
Social media might not be the ultimate tool to get to the top of search engines but it’s certainly helpful along with other factors in getting there.