The primary purpose of inbound marketing is to keep customers seeking your services long after your ads and other forms of campaigns have ended. It means staying relevant to them until they trust your brand enough and start to refer you to other potential clients.
It is to create and deliver relevant content to clients and consumers that address their pain points and needs, in return, promoting your services and products. However, this is not always an easy feat.
Inbound marketing employs specific marketing strategies that can significantly improve your company’s returns and client base. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of these marketing strategies.
But if your SEO strategy is not infused into your inbound marketing strategy adequately, it may lead to challenges and drawbacks for your company. This article will show you how to properly use SEO to boost inbound marketing and handle possible challenges that may occur.
SEO for Inbound Marketing
Since inbound marketing is all about creating relevant content, this content must reach the intended audience. Otherwise, it would be a wasted effort from your marketing team. This is what SEO helps to do — improve the position of your website or content on search engine rankings so that you can reach your intended audience faster and generate higher conversions.
Here is how to make SEO work for your inbound marketing.
Improve your content
Content is the soul food that SEO feeds on; without quality content, SEO cannot thrive. Without SEO, inbound marketing remains mediocre. These three concepts are incredibly intertwined, and they rely on each other to make the most impact.
How do people feel when they access your blog or website? Do you meet their needs? Do they find the answers they seek? What do your web analytics results say? Do visitors exit within a few seconds of opening your page or engage until the last piece of information has been digested?
If you’re unsure whether your content is excellent enough, answering these questions honestly will give you a clue. A solid piece of advice for content marketers who create SEO optimized content is this — “Write for humans.” If you only stuff your content with keywords, but it has no depth, then your content is for bots to nibble on, and not add value.
Before you begin to create content, ask yourself what you need to include to bolster your keyword. Then think about the right medium to pass the message across. Empathize with the readers and proffer possible solutions that are related to the answers they are looking for.
Be clear. Let your web pages’ meta descriptions accurately describe what you have to offer. Don’t make overambitious promises and fail to keep them.
Focus on Customer Intent
This goes in line with the first tip. Elements of SEO that were once considered the hallmark of content marketing, for example, keyword density, are no longer drivers of SEO today. They no longer have much power over search engine rankings as they used to.
Instead, the rankings of consumers’ search are now leaning towards how consumers behave on websites. Search engine rankings are now being ruled by User Behavior on certain websites. This means that creating your inbound marketing strategy around keyword density will only produce subpar results.
You would need to evaluate and understand customer intent on your website to give them content they genuinely need. A few questions that would help you understand intent include:
- What are your visitors looking for?
- What topics are they curious about?
- What led them to your page? What answers were they seeking?
- Have they used it, or are they using any of your products?
To answer these questions, you may have to do proper research using Google Analytics or Google Trends. This will help you to thoroughly understand user behavior or customer intent on your site.
“Answering” the questions your target audience is asking on Google will help to increase your relevance to them. Understanding customer intent combined with relevant keywords will boost your ranking when users search related content.
Offer more assistance
It is not enough to safely lead consumers to your page with engaging content; how can you keep them there and convert leads to sales? Once they encounter your content, offer them more assistance at every step of the way. SEO helps to do this effectively.
Through empathy, you draw in your consumer. For example, for a restaurant business, if your target audience is workers who work long hours, you can establish that working long hours on an empty stomach can reduce productivity. You grab their attention by letting them know how skipping lunch can affect their work.
Next, you bring in the “deal clincher” or “lead magnet.” How can you help them to solve this problem? What assistance does your business aim to proffer? Can you deliver lunch to them weekly? Do you offer a quick meal plan that they can eat on the go? This is the time to bring it in.
Never leave your customer without the next step of action. Your call to action determines whether they will close the deal and make a purchase or close the page and be gone for good.
The barest minimum you can do is ensure that you collect accurate user data to follow up with relevant offers or nurture the lead and convert it to sales in the nearest future. One mistake many companies make is not ensuring that their customer data is accurate; bad data ruins all your marketing efforts.
Effective SEO becomes impossible if you are not reaching the right users in the first place. With the best data quality tools you can collect accurate data to be able to reach visitors and clients with your value-adding information.
Never Underestimate Social Media
When we refer to SEO, many marketers overlook social media, but social media can be a vital SEO tool for inbound marketing. There are many ways social media can boost SEO to promote inbound marketing, but we will only look at two.
First, social media boosts local popularity through location updates, local events, fairs, and lots more. Google is keen on local recommendations.
A business that is popular in a locality will get higher rankings on Google so that it comes up on search results when locals go online. With social media, you can increase your rankings in your locality as you tag locations and famous landmarks in your community within your posts.
Again, social media can boost off-page SEO. All the above tips are related to on-page SEO because they occur on the website. With social media, however, you can improve off-page SEO by backlinking to the great content you offer on your website.
Not only does it create an external link for Google algorithm that powers up your ranking, but it also opens up your content to more clients. It’s like killing multiple birds with a single stone.
If you’re wondering how to improve your social media engagement, you can harness hashtagging or collaborate with social media influencers.
SEO and Inbound Marketing Challenges and How to Solve Them
In every marketing strategy, you may find some loopholes. Inbound marketing and SEO can stir up some challenges for the marketing team. Let’s examine the main ones below.
The process is time-consuming
SEO on its own is a tedious and tasking marketing strategy that cannot be done without; when combined with Inbound Marketing, it is a hard day’s job for marketers. The process consumes too much time and resources.
For example, to do effective SEO, you need a good website that fulfills most of the rules of inbound marketing — to attract and to engage. That means firstly; you need appealing content on the website.
Secondly, the website must be user-friendly, easily accessible, and demonstrates GDPR compliance so that the user will not exit the webpage in seconds.
The process of Inbound marketing also requires incorporating email marketing and social media marketing. With all these processes combined, a lot of time goes by. To effectively manage your time and reduce this process, we recommend that you:
- Bite on what you can chew. Do not take on more than you can handle in your campaigns. Set the right expectations, streamline, and work towards your set goals.
It requires clear communication skills
A great deal of inbound marketing and SEO have to do with your content. If your content is not clear, concise, and compelling, you may lose your customer along the way. Your content should be presented as though you have in-depth knowledge about what you’re offering. If this is not a skill you or your marketers possess, hire professionals who can help.
We have established that SEO and inbound marketing are two peas in a pod. SEO feeds on the content that inbound marketing provides and uses this content to boost client-business relationships. Thus, to make the most of this, your content has to be created with human needs in mind. If it is not meeting any need, then you will only be crunching numbers without yielding results.