While keyword research provides the foundation for every search engine marketing initiative, content marketing delivers results. In fact, there is a direct relationship between a successful search engine marketing and content marketing strategy. This post highlights six ways to apply tactical SEO strategies to ongoing content marketing initiatives.
Optimize Key Page Elements
Incorporate keywords in specific elements of each web page. This includes:
- HTML titles
- Meta descriptions
- Page headings
- Page copy
- Web address (if possible)
The screen shot below identifies important web page elements where keywords should be placed.
Make sure not to jam keywords into the page just for SEO purposes though. Focus on your readers as much (if not more) than search engines.
Focus on Page Layout & Design
The launch of Google Instant Previews means searchers can preview search results before visiting a web page, ignoring results they find questionable in design and layout. We can be reasonably certain Google tracks this behavior and will take it into account for ranking purposes.
While it is not be possible for site owners to obtain the rate to which their web pages are actually clicked, measuring the quality of the visit to content marketing assets, in addition to overall traffic volume, will become more important.
Suggested measurements include:
- Page bounce rate (from organic search visits in comparison to other traffic sources)
- Page exit rates (particularly for content marketing assets within the traditional site structure)
- Page conversion rates
Avoid Duplicate Content
Repurposing core content assets to develop new material is an important content marketing strategy. An example of this might be generating multiple blog posts, webinars, or podcasts from a white paper.
Avoid the temptation to create exact copies of an asset for distribution across third-party sites and multiple locations of the website. Duplicate content may end up negatively impacting the opportunity to rank for associated keyword opportunities.
Leverage Social Media Sharing
Search engines now evaluate social signals associated with content as a factor in determining relevance. To boost your search-engine results, make it easy to share content in popular social media communities like Twitter, Facebook, and other destinations where your audience may spend time online.
Ways to incorporate social sharing include:
- WordPress plugins like AddToAny and ShareBar
- Developer Resources: Facebook Like, Twitter, and Google +1 Buttons
Make Your Content Link Friendly
For special initiatives like contests and promotions, consider badges, award banners, and other graphical assets that bloggers and site owners may want to share. Make these content initiatives link-friendly by providing cut-and-paste HTML code and linking instructions or guidelines.
Don't be afraid to ask for links from the site owners, bloggers, and social media connections with whom you are already sharing content and have good relationships.
Ways to ask that help prevent the request from coming across as spammy include:
- Suggest a link in the context of relevant conversations or content.
- Explain how the link would help readers of the recipients’ web page or website
Cross-Link Related Content
On your web pages and in your content assets, connect readers and visitors to related material, either within text or as “related links” at the bottom of the page. Search engines crawl and evaluate internal links and the ones to and from third-party websites.
Remember that search engine optimization is a long-term initiative and results won't happen overnight. Maintain patience and pay attention to month over month, and sometimes year-over- year trends when evaluating metrics like keyword visibility, traffic, and leads generated from search.
Content marketing initiatives can only be enhanced when taking into account search engine optimization, from keyword targeting to the consideration of inbound link acquisition. While the application of SEO tactics like these cannot guarantee you will rank #1 for all of your keyword strategies, consistent application will certainly yield positive results over time.
About the author: Derek Edmond is Managing Partner of KoMarketing Associates, a B2B internet marketing company specializing in SEO, PPC, and social media consulting services.