SEO Strategy for the Content Junkie (A.K.A. Today’s Integrated Communication & PR Professional)
SEO can provide insights that help communication pros optimize content that searchers (read: consumers) are most likely to click and share. This boosts clients’ website ranking across major search engines, while also improving thought leadership platforms. By developing content programs based on the most current formula for SEO – strategically tagging unique digital content that warrants high rankings on a search results page, according to The Moz Blog’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO – we can take full advantage of searchers’ unique problems, interests and queries to make our clients go-to experts in their industry.
This requires taking creative action on two digital concepts: optimizing content based on foundation-stage research into the “long tail” and earning the “long-click,” when users “click a result without immediately returning to the search page to try again,” says The Moz Blog. (You can think of the long-tail as the hyper specific set of search terms tracked in the search demand curve for a topic).
The Moz Blog reports queries in the long-tail make up 70% of the world’s search volume and consolidates hyper-specific queries most likely to convert customers. Long-tail inspired content is catered to meet the needs of targeted searchers, such as consumers, media and influencers. This differentiates content and makes it that much more powerful for those consuming it. I’m also willing to bet it produces longer clicks, leading to greater engagement and higher search engine rankings.
Here’s where SEO counts the most. If we approach the content marketing equation armed with these SEO variables, we can factor in the answers searchers need by developing content pieces that reflect those unique search terms (without, of course, sacrificing clear language and display).
The Moz Blog offers a prime example of a searcher typing in “shoes” to Google versus “Air Jordan size 12” – obviously, the consumer looking for Air Jordan size 12 is more likely to buy the best pair he finds from the most helpful site he clicks on. Take, for another example, a financial services company launching a robo advisor. The answer to differentiating a product consistently covered by national and trade financial press for the past two quarters lies in the long-tail. Applying the Air Jordan example to our robo advisor, it makes sense that the company producing content in response to queries like “best advice from robo advisor on ETF and bond investments” is more likely to earn customers than the company whose content answers a generic “robo advisor option” query.
Subsequently, satisfied searchers are more likely to long-click and share client content that answers their questions directly and completely, which helps search engines catalog the content as high-quality and leads to higher rankings on results pages. The more influencers, searchers and media who look at the content, the more awareness your client enjoys. (For a more in-depth review of how to audit SEO strategy, check out Moz co-founder Rand Fishkin’s blog post from earlier this year).
Ultimately, taking a deep dive into SEO strategy will help integrated communication professionals develop content that is tailored to meet the needs of target audiences. This inside-look at what is relevant and popular helps the right information make its way from the top of the search page to the cover of a newspaper and from there to an influencer’s Twitter feed or user account. And that kind of win would be hard to pass up.
Photo Credit: The Moz Blog, The Beginner’s Guide to SEO