SEO and marketing are a bit like the chicken and egg, do we identify the SEO terms first or do we develop a campaign first and then utilize SEO in it. Before we jump into the debate let’s take it from the top! SEO is a set of techniques that ensures relevant content is visible on search engines pertaining to specific search terms. SEO is closely interconnected to marketing in general. A marketing campaign is a set of organised action, to build brand, develop interest among your target audience and engage them till they are ready to convert into paying customers. While SEO is a technical process of increasing relevant traffic to your website, it is a marketing campaign that embeds appropriated keywords to appear on search engines in the first place.
While marketers work hard on crafting the right marketing campaign – with the right messaging, via the right channels and in the right format, , it is important to include the SEO strategy in every aspect of the campaign. It shouldn’t be a question which one to prioritize, and one cannot work without the other. Ensuring content across each channel of the marketing campaign is search engine optimised will make sure that your campaign is visible where the target audience is looking.
How can this be achieved?
The first step of planning a marketing campaign is identifying the target audience. Having complete knowledge of the target persona will educate you on their interest areas, purchasing habits and pain points. This will help to establish their user behavior. This is a first step in identifying the key terms this audience could search for to get information across various digital channels. Including your SEO strategy within the campaign means utilizing most of the key terms within your content assets, across multiple digital touchpoints like websites, social media, digital ads, referrals, emails, events, self-service resources and more.
Use long-tail keywords across your assets – Focusing on the relevant long-tail keywords will ensure user-intent is clear. When these are used appropriately throughout the content of the campaign the assets will be highly visible and findable when searched across search engines. Be it blogs, thought leadership articles, whitepapers, or ebooks. This will ensure the prospects that search for these keywords are likely to find these assets and more likely to engage with them increasing the probability of becoming a customer.
Optimised web content – Every campaign includes various channels of reaching to the target audience. Website is one of them. Creating landing pages and various forms of content like videos, blogs, articles, ebooks, whitepapers etc. that are specific to a campaign ensure these landing pages appear when prospects search for the adjacent keywords. Ensuring the keywords are used throughout the campaign landing pages as well as within the assets will ensure that they higher in search rankings when the corresponding keywords are searched across search engines. Building such relevant content consistently will engage leads and nurture them through their buyer journey.
Load up your website fast– According to WebFX, 83% of users expect your website to load in three seconds or less else they leave. Google wants to ensure that their users land on a relevant fast loading website for the search terms in the search engines. A slow loading website will result in a high bounce rate and a not-so-great user experience. All this will bring down your user SEO rankings impacting your lead gen via the website adversely. While Google offers tips to improve the load times of your website, there are page speed services available that can assist you to achieve this as well.
Link building plan– Link building plays an important role in reaching to the right type of audience you are looking for. There are two types of links;
Back links – These are links from your other credible sites to your website. These links help build your website’s authority and helps drive traffic to your website too. When your content strategy includes content that is good quality and wanted by other authoritative websites then they will be eager to link to your content building credibility for your website. Reaching out to industry authorities, influencers and fellow bloggers within your industry and getting them to link to your pages will certainly drive your website up in search rankings.
Internal links – These are links that connect various pages of your own website. These enables your visitors to explore content within your website allowing them to spend more time on your website before bouncing of it. Link your webpages to other webpages from within your website, especially for related terms. Example; if you have a blog that is pretty top funnel, link it to a whitepaper for a deeper dive into the topic, link that further to a demo video, or a detailed report or even a case study.
Make your campaign mobile friendly – A campaign is only successful when you get a high volume of good quality leads. This is possible only when your target audience search and find your content across multiple digital touchpoints – and mobile is one such critical component for your strategy. Your marketing campaign has to be optimized for mobile searchers. Hence a responsive design with an interactive UI will contribute positively towards your campaign results. Campaign assets like infographics, flyers need to include the keywords as well as be visually compatible to be easily accessed on mobile.
Don’t forget social media – Social is often an important aspect of a marketing campaign. While social media does not directly contribute to SEO rankings, using the right keywords for the links you share across your channels, will help build your brand awareness and hence recall. This lengthens the life span of your content, improves online visibility. According to Gary Illyes “The context in which you engage online, and how people talk about you online, actually can impact what you rank for’, so using the right keywords can help your audience search for you better and find you faster.
Thus, when every aspect of your well planned marketing campaign is aligned with your overall SEO strategy, it will bring you profound results making your campaign a success not only during the life span of the marketing campaign but also much after the campaign is over.