In today’s business world, powerful strategies like content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) help websites to get found and make sales.
Neither is magic.
To use the two strategies above, you need a foundation: you need to know what you’re selling and to whom you’re selling it. You’re relying on the search engines to get found by those who want to buy from you.
Using advertising? Advertising boosts your content marketing and SEO strategies. So, when you stop buying ads, you keep your rankings.
Content marketing and SEO: myths and lies
Not only do I work with marketing clients each day, I also work with freelance writers. I spend a lot of time online. Myths about content marketing and SEO abound, so do outright lies. To combat the lies, you need a basic understanding of how the search engines work.
Let’s look at the tips.
1. Understand the search engines so you can use content marketing and SEO to get found
Unsure how the search engines work?
This article offers a simple analogy—Google Is a Librarian: Teaching SEO to Non-Specialists:
Functionally, the role that Google performs is incredibly similar to that of a librarian.
Basically the search engines are indexing scripts to help searchers to find what they want. And yes, in some ways they’re similar to librarians.
Here’s what it means for you. If information that’s useful to help your customers buy from you isn’t on your webpage, the search engines won’t offer your page to searchers.
2. Create content to sell: keywords can’t make sales
Despite the increased use of artificial intelligence (AI) everywhere, including in marketing, keywords and phrases can’t make sales for you. Yes, they’re indexed by the search engines. Yes, there’s every chance some potential customers will find you if you use relevant keywords.
But keywords can’t sell.
Let’s say you have an ecommerce website. You hire a content creator to add “keyword” or “SEO” content to some product pages. Will you make sales?
That depends on the content.
If it’s word salad, you can only hope forgiving customers will buy from you anyway. On the other hand, if the content includes relevant keywords, but is written to help customers, you will make sales.
Take a leaf from Amazon’s book (pardon the cliché and the pun); Amazon’s brilliant at helping customers to buy using words and images.
3. Let Amazon teach you about content marketing and SEO
Try this simple exercise. It will help you to make sales.
Type something into Amazon’s search query box. Anything you like. Press Enter or click the Search icon.
The search results page returns many products.
Choose one, and click.
Look at the product page you reach.
Start with the page title. Here’s an example: Angel Food Cake Pan, Dealglad 6 inch Aluminum Round Chiffon Cake Mold Baking Tins with Removable Bottom.
Next, go to Google and enter the page title. The Amazon page should be the first result. (SEO, see?)
Go back to the product page.
- Images of the product;
- A product description… Pay attention here. Who’s the description written for? Yes, it’s written for prospective customers.
Keep scrolling. You’ll find technical details, to help customers decide whether the product is for them.
See the upsell? The “Frequently bought together” listing? Customers can add additional items to their cart with a single click…
There’s much more on the page: other products customers might buy, a “questions” dialogue box, an enhanced product description…
Every product page on Amazon is designed for customers. Every word and image on each page helps with content marketing and SEO.
To repeat, if you’re selling online, take a lead from Amazon. You’ll make more sales.
4. Plan your content and SEO around helping customers
We said that for your website to sell, you need a foundation: you need to know what you’re selling and to whom you’re selling it.
Choose one of your website’s product pages. How does that page compare to one of Amazon’s product pages?
By the way, it may be time for a disclaimer: I’m not promoting Amazon! I’m using Amazon’s product pages as examples because they’re a useful model for anyone who wants to sell using content marketing and SEO. Of course, Amazon’s not the only company doing this well; many other companies do it too.
I work with companies to help them plan their content marketing. Using Amazon as a model helps them to plan their content, then create that content and increase sales.
For better content marketing and SEO, focus on your customers
- Know what you’re selling; understand your audience.
- Help your audience by delivering information (content) which will help them to decide whether a product is for them.
- Use SEO to ensure that your content can be found by your audience.
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Copywriter and marketing pro Angela Booth maintains a busy copywriting and ghostwriting practice. Fascinated by online marketing, she wrote one of the first business books for internet marketing, published by Allen & Unwin. She’s been an enthusiastic blogger since the late 1990s.