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What is the connection between SEO, Content & Inbound Marketing?

What is the connection between SEO, Content & Inbound Marketing?
Being a part of the digital agency where I work with various clients each day, it’s very common to hear them saying, “What is the role of SEO in my business? How impactful is SEO in our marketing strategy? Today, many companies and newly born startups are aware of the fact that SEO is important for their businesses but they fail to look beyond investing in just advertising. This kind of approach restricts them from taking full advantage of their marketing efforts. For business willing to consider Inbound Marketing, it’s very simple to understand how impactful is SEO and how exactly it fits their marketing strategy. SEO and Inbound Marketing have their separate roles to play; however, SEO plays a major part in Inbound Marketing. How? I’ll share the reasons in this post. Before that, let’s take a quick look at them as separate entities and then dive deeper to understand how they are connected.

What is Inbound Marketing?

In simple words, Inbound Marketing is a collaborative effort of employing various digital marketing techniques to attract potential customers to your business before they are even ready to make a transaction or payment. The major focus is given on creating and sharing content especially designed for target prospects. Digital marketing strategies like Content Marketing, PPC, SEO, Social Media, etc. come with their unique metrics analyzed by different teams which collaborate to work toward the same goal. You can think of it like a government where each department has a specific focus, but together they work towards a single goal – prosperous development of the country. Likewise, Inbound marketing tactics include:
  • Content marketing
  • PPC
  • SEO
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • User experience on the website
  • And much more
types of inbound marketing Because inbound marketing is broad, you might be overwhelmed on how to choose the right one for your business. Essentially, you want to seek help from one of the reputable inbound marketing agencies today. An inbound marketing agency is a company or business that recruits the services of a third-party firm to help promote and market a product, a service, or a brand. This can be done by using an inbound marketing firm as a medium between the company and the target audience.  The benefits of inbound marketing include the following:
  • Increase your customer base
  • Increase your business’ size 
  • Increase in profit
There are different types of inbound marketing. The three most common are search engine optimization, direct mail, and video marketing.  
  • Direct mail is an important tool in the promotion of a product or service. This is where mail is sent to the recipient in a specific shape or format that’ll entice the receiver to open it. The advantage of this kind of advertising is it’s cheap and effective. Also, they’ll be able to give an immediate response. When a recipient opens the envelope, they can read the contents of the mail.
 
  • Video marketing is one of the newest forms of advertisement. This can be done by using videos uploaded online to broadcast to people across the globe. This kind of marketing allows the customer to experience the products, services, or brand for themselves.
When looking for an inbound marketing company, ask about their credentials and their track record in the field. Make sure that they offer a high level of service. If they’re unable to answer your questions, you should look for another agency. Don’t hesitate to ask a lot of questions especially about their methods, their experience, and the way they would handle a particular campaign.

So, What is SEO?

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is an aspect of digital marketing concerned with increasing traffic to your website. It serves the website with high quality and relevant traffic through organic search. First, let’s understand what exactly SEO depicts,
  • Quality Traffic – Attracting a lot of traffic to the website can be done in any circumstances. But, what really matters is the quality of traffic. Let’s say your agricultural website sells Apples and you are receiving traffic which wants to buy Apple mobiles and laptops, that is not quality traffic. So, you want to attract relevant potential customers who are genuinely interested in the products & services that you offer.
  • Organic Traffic – It is a type of traffic where you do not have to pay for.
So, once you start getting relevant traffic through organic means, your website authority gets better. Over the years, there have been many updates in the Google algorithm of how the search engines collect data and give us results for the user queries. Historically, when the algorithm was still naive, businesses were able to use tactics that tricked search engines and ranked higher in the SERPs (search engine result page). But, today it is very treacherous as the algorithm has become highly intelligent and you could be penalized for using unfair means to rank higher. As a result, SEO practices have evolved in such a way that it prioritizes users over the search engines. Now, let’s look at the real deal.

Content and SEO – How they go together?

To better understand how SEO content and inbound marketing are related, we first need to address the codependency between Content, SEO and Inbound marketing.  Content is at the core of any inbound marketing strategy and, SEO is dependent on content. To put it simple words, SEO is the essence of inbound marketing and content is the essence of SEO. You can call it a TRIO. Content and SEO are so closely related that they are inseparable today. Since search algorithms prioritize users over search engines, the main focus of any SEO strategy should be high quality and relevant content that will appeal to the users. To optimize the content for SEO, here are 5 essential tactics one should follow,

Before you even pick a pen or hit that keyboard – Do Your Keyword Research

Keyword research is the most important aspect of any inbound marketing strategy. It is concerned with finding the search terms users insert on search engines. With proper keyword research, you will get an idea of keyword volume and trends that are out there. You can use various SEO tools like SEMRush, Google Keyword Planner, etc to do your research.  keword planner example For the main sections on your website, keywords with higher volume can be chased while the sub-sections could use more long-tail keywords. Read more: How to create your keyword strategy for SEO?

(LSI)Latent Semantic Keywords or Related Keywords

When you are researching for keywords, you’ll come across keywords related to the services or products you offer. It is advisable to create a list of these terms since they come into play when just the writing is focused on. LSI keywords also play an important role as users initially don’t have an exact idea of what they want and are in the research phase.

Title Tags

The title is the first thing people notice about your content and business online. An engaging title captures the attention of the users; thus increasing the chances of them clicking and visiting your website. Keeping SEO in mind, focus keywords should be placed as close to the front as possible and limiting the titles under 60 characters should be standard practice.  Their main purpose is to,
  • Generate curiosity
  • Speak about what readers have in mind
  • Establish credibility
  • Mentions the benefit of your products/services 
 

Creating Content

You can consider the content as a knowledge bank where the visitors get their questions answered.  Firstly, you can draft the content by writing down the most important thoughts and decide the sub-heads using the focus keywords.  You don’t need to worry about being grammatically correct or the readability. You can use Grammarly Tool for the grammar. Just focus on the theme and what should you include to address the intent.  After you have created the first draft, you can proceed by organizing the content. Keeping in mind readability and word count (>300), segment the draft using header tags (H1, H2, and so on), bullet points, infographics, etc. While you do this, it’s important to keep the keyword density between 2% to 8% as you could be penalized otherwise. Read More: How to build a refined content marketing strategy for your business?

Meta-Description

Meta-description plays a very important role in the strategy. It’s an opportunity to write a description that summarizes the title.  A Good Meta-description increases the chances of the user clicking and visiting your business. The more the CTR (Click-through rate), the greater the chance of people end up using services or buying products that you offer. That being said since search engines display first 150 – 166 characters of the description, it is advisable to keep it under that limit. meta description

SEO Content and Inbound Marketing 

The first and the basic goal of inbound marketing is to drive traffic to the website and here when SEO comes into the picture. The marketing funnel is a concept which describes how the user will journey through various phases before doing a transaction with your business. Inbound marketing works on the concept of the marketing funnel. The very first phase for any inbound marketing strategy is to make the user aware of your brand and what products you offer.  When it comes to your website, well-crafted and high-quality content is often the first thing the users will see. Here you have the opportunity to grab their attention by addressing what the user is seeking by searching for the focus keywords you are targeting. The content usually casts the first impression on the users and rightfully so, the first impression counts.  Creating a content that is SEO friendly helps the search engines to better gauge the intent and authenticity of the information you are serving related the products/services you offer. The content should be user-centric. The more your content serves the exact intent of the user the greater the chance of your business ranking higher on the search engines.  Read More: How content marketing relates to marketing funnel?

In the end…..

Inbound marketing is all about attracting users to your business. Once they are on your website you can lead them to become a customer. Thus, good SEO content will rank at the top of the SERPs which increases the click-through rate and increase traffic to your website.   

Author’s Bio

Tejas Shahakar is the SEO and Content manager at Convomax Digital. His experience as a digital marketer includes working on SEO (on & off Page), PPC, social media, and content creation. Prior to Convomax Digital, he has worked as a digital marketing freelancer, who brought a wealth of knowledge to serve the goals of the clients. 
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