Doing SEO, Content Marketing, and Inbound Marketing the Right Way

If you’re like many business owners, you have multiple goals for your website:

  1. Ranking well in search engines or search engine optimization
  2. Generating targeted traffic
  3. Increasing qualified leads

And the most important:

  1. Sales Growth

All of these goals feed into one another.

Ranking well in search engines for the right keywords will bring in more targeted traffic. Traffic that is aligned with your website is more likely to bring in qualified leads. And of course, qualified leads are those that are most likely to buy, thus building your sales growth.

We already understand that these goals are interrelated, yet for so many businesses, online marketing plans look like this:

Instead of thinking of SEO, content marketing, and inbound marketing as separate entities, follow this 3-step approach to integrating the tasks you perform.

Step One – SEO: Optimize Everything for (Human) Search

SEO is more than just keyword optimization, it’s also how your content is organized on the page, how the pages are organized on your site, and how you optimize the various traffic funnels to your site.

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do your webpages, blog posts, and landing pages use the terms your customers use when talking about your product, service, or topic?
  2. Are your webpages organized to make it easy for people to figure out where to find the information they’re looking for? (i.e. logical subpages, use of breadcrumbs, clearly focused topic-pages)
  3. When you run an ad campaign or a social media campaign, do you create a dedicated landing page that specifically addresses the call to action in your ads and posts?
  4. Are your URLs descriptive without being too long and complicated? (This includes your website URLs as well as any branded link-shortening services you use to direct people to your website.)

When properly performed, SEO is the framework that makes it easy for people to find exactly what they need, which in turn keeps the right people on your site longer. This boosts the chance that they become leads and ultimately convert.

Step Two – Content Marketing: Remember that All Content is Marketing

Every blog post, ever white paper, every social media post, every email, every infographic, every report… all the content that you produce for your business is marketing, even when it’s purely informational in nature.

  • Reports and factsheets build trust and establish you as an expert in your field – that’s branding.
  • Blog posts can be entertaining and informative and establish the “voice” of your company – that’s also branding. Here are a few blogging tips.
  • Whitepapers, ebooks, and other downloadable content can be used as lead generation tools.
  • Social media posts demonstrate the personality behind the brand and also build trust (and potentially viral popularity). Some times, the biggest challenge is incorporating social media into your workflow.
  • Your website is almost certainly a marketing tool, one that you use to communicate value to your target audience.

In short, if you create content for your target audience and it represents your company, it’s content marketing.

Think about how the content you produce can be used to further your business goals, even when the purpose of the piece is not about selling.

Here are just two examples:

  • Interesting statistics from a report can be used in an infographic to engage social media followers and encourage them to sign up for your emails to get the full report.
  • A webinar can be used to advertise your brand and grow your followers by having participants tweet questions under a specific hashtag. View our article on tips to creating a successful webinar to boost your internet marketing efforts.

The more you think about how your content has the power to inform and influence, the easier it is to align your content production with the idea of continual content marketing.

Step Three – Inbound Marketing: Treat Every Stream of Content as an Inbound Channel

Successful inbound marketing is far more intricate than simply PPC and display advertising. Every content stream you put out is a potential inbound marketing channel that could drive more leads and more business.

The more value you can provide, the more people will start to rely on your business as a resource.

Optimizing visitor experiences on your website with dedicated landing pages, suggested posts to read, videos to watch and/or additional resources to download will only cement your place in their minds as the go-to expert for your industry.

The most engaged visitors – those who view multiple pages, who download reports, who attend your webinars, etc. – become qualified leads through your internal scoring processes. As you learn what indicates buying intent from your target audience, you will be better able to segment your visitors and focus on closing high-interest leads first while nurturing the others with continued valuable content.

One Last Note: Bringing it Together

A successful, fully integrated online marketing plan looks more like this:

  • Integrated SEO techniques make it easier for people to find your content via organic search
  • Valuable content engages and grows your audience naturally, building leads and adding people to the top of the sales funnel.
  • Inbound marketing is seamlessly integrated into the process, so your most interested visitors get the content they are looking for at the moment it’s most valuable and most likely to help close the deal.

How do you integrate your online marketing processes? What challenges do you face in getting it all to work together? Let us know!

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