The larger your company, the larger your challenges. That principle holds even more true when your teams struggle to execute effective SEO for content marketing.
The key to that sweet spot between traffic-generating SEO and engaging content is alignment. When you align your SEO and content strategies, you’ll generate ROI like a well-oiled machine.
But you can’t align these strategies without one thing: content collaboration. Specifically, keeping the lines of communication open between your content and SEO teams.
Since optimizing for search requires a fine balance between on-page and technical SEO, content teams must work hand-in-hand with SEO specialists to reach more qualified prospects and convert them into loyal customers. Follow these guidelines, and you’ll have a better shot at alignment success.
Sync Your Content’s Direction with Your Audience’s Search Intent
As SEMrush’s Sandeep Mallya points out, Google ranks pages higher when content satisfies a searcher’s intent. For example, if a prospect wants to learn what kinds of deductions their business can take on their 2021 taxes, the last thing they want to see is a salesy ad on an accounting agency’s landing page.
So, the accountant would be better off creating an informative blog post optimized for “What tax deductions can my business take in 2021?” instead of a landing page optimized for those keywords.
Later on in the prospect’s customer journey, the frustration of DIY tax preparation – even with the tips on the blog post – will likely drive them to search for “Where can I find a business accountant in Dallas to help me with deductions?” At that point, they should find the landing page, provided the agency’s content teams optimized the page’s content for that bottom-of-the-funnel search.
Pack Some Emotional Power in Your Title and Meta Description
Optimizing for search intent might land you on the first page of Google results, but what drives people to click on your link instead of the other top-ranking results? Emotion.
In particular, empathetic language, says Jori Hamilton.
Research bears this conclusion out. According to studies, appealing to your audience’s emotions is nearly twice as likely to drive sales as purely rational content.
Image via Uneeq
It gets even better when that emotional approach includes empathy. According to an Edelman study, 83% of customers surveyed want content that “communicates empathy and support.”
That empathy starts with your title and meta description. Grab your audience by its heartstrings there, and chances are, your content will be the first one they’ll select from the search results.
Then, continue that emotional tone throughout your content, accenting it with data points that back up your claims. Turn your content into a story, positioning the audience front and center as the hero.
A hero that swoops in to save the day, your advice in hand to slay the dragon. No better way to bring them back for more.
And, if your advice is outstanding, they’ll likely share a link to your content with their friends. Even better, they might cite it in their own content, giving you backlinks that act as a signal to Google that your content is well worth ranking high among search results.
Use Internal and External Links to Broaden Your Audience’s Knowledge
Give your audience content that goes above and beyond your competition when you include links to content that explains some of the ideas you touch upon in more detail. The more authoritative sources of information you link to, the more you will broaden your audience’s knowledge on the topics you cover.
But there’s another reason to link to other content: Doing so helps you rank higher in searches.
Linking to Internal Content
Linking to other pages on your website (internal links) that cover the same topic not only adds depth to the content you’re creating. Doing so also connects your content by topic, making it easier for search engines to find other content that might prove useful to your audience.
As SEO plugin creator Yoast points out, internal links “establish a [URL] hierarchy” throughout your website. So, if you can, link to your best-performing pages to increase their clout even more.
Since these “pillar” pages already rank well in searches, they have more authority than your poorly performing pages. Linking to them gives the content you’re currently working on a head start on its own search rankings.
Linking to External Content
Citing your own content isn’t enough to convince most people. After all, they know that you’re in business to sell your products and services.
Today’s skeptical customers want external proof. If you were in their shoes, wouldn’t you?
While you don’t need to cite sources as if you were preparing your Ph.D. dissertation, you do need to credit the source of your information. Choose your sources wisely.
Use sources that both rank well in searches and have a world-class reputation in their respective industries. Not only will this content strategy give your audience the best information available, but it will also give your content more “link love.”
Turns out that search engines, too, reward you for giving your audience only the best information you can find – trusted authorities in their fields. It’s a win-win for both your SEO and content strategies.
And, even better, it will give your audience a robust user experience. All the information they need in a single place – your website. That’s the kind of content that earns backlinks – and sales.
Use Research and Predictive Technology to Create Targeted Content
Reaching the people most likely to need your products and services depends on how accurately you target your content. As Content Marketing Institute’s Jim Yu contends, detailed market insights can help you narrow down content topics to those areas that will draw qualified prospects to your content.
Research shows that 71% of marketers find organic search to be a significant factor in reaching the right audience. Therefore, it pays to take a deep dive into your social media and content analytics to discover what keeps your prospects up at night, what they care about most, and keywords that will guide their searches.
Image via Brightedge Research
To refine your content planning even more, use predictive technology to suggest topics – and even titles – that will likely get your prospects’ attention as they sift through search results. Then, use your content measurement tools to look at how your new content performs.
Partnering with your SEO teams, keep tweaking your content and search optimization strategies until you hit the sweet spot. Finally, amplify your best performers’ reach on all the channels your prospects frequent.
Rinse and repeat. It’s your company’s road to marketing success.
Alignment between your content and SEO teams is a lot easier when you have a content marketing platform designed from the ground up with collaboration in mind. DivvyHQ empowers your content teams to reach out to not only your SEO teams but also everyone else across the enterprise.
Helping you handle everything content-related from the first spark of an idea to the finished product and beyond, this platform simplifies your life – at least at work. Give it a try to begin the New Year.
It’s free for 14 days, with no obligation. Start aligning your content and SEO with DivvyHQ today!