Blogging is an excellent content marketing strategy that overtime builds your startup’s reputation within your industry and with your target markets. Well-written and quality blog posts on your startup website is a great way to:
- attract new client prospects
- provide information & educate target markets on topics related to your industry
So, while blogging is an excellent marketing tool you should use in your overall strategy, great content without effective use of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques is useless.
Unsure of what exactly SEO is? I’m sure you’ve heard it used sparingly during coffee meetings with other entrepreneurs. But did you actually grasp the entire concept of SEO?
Perhaps you never could make the leap to understand how exactly SEO is relevant to your startup business.
Maybe you even know the importance a content marketing strategy (blogging) has for your startup’s brand and reputation. Perhaps you’ve even created a blog for your startup and create quality weekly or even bi-weekly content.
But, perhaps you’re feeling a bit frustrated every morning as you eagerly check your WordPress Site Stats and find that not one person clicked on your latest blog post.
This is where SEO comes in.
To understand how to use SEO to increase the number of readers of your website and blog content, let’s first find out what SEO means.
SEO techniques makes your content search engine friendy so that your target market (customers) can easily find your business.
A static website listing your company’s name, logo, tagline is a great start.
But great content that utilizes SEO strategies increases your odds of getting your startup’s brand in front of customers.
So what are some SEO strategies you can incorporate into your startup’s content marketing?
Research & Use Keywords
For any startup brand it’s important to have four or five CORE keywords to describe your brand. These same keywords help to constantly identify your brand to customers and also aid in your SEO strategy.
A great way to identify your startup’s core keywords is to pay attention to social media sites like Twitter, Instagram, Google+ to see which hashtags are trending with relation to your industry.
Ex: For health brands, common hashtags might include (#lifestyle, #healthy, #fitness, #greenliving, #cleanse, #fitspo)
Well, it’s a good guess to assume that the target customers that you’re trying to reach through your marketing strategy is interested in various topics associated with these keywords.
When customers google search terms using these keywords or search by hashtags (#health), the chances of your startup brand coming up first in the search engine increases the more you incorporate these keywords in your content.
Incorporate Keywords in Content
The keywords you choose for your brand should be incorporated often in your content. Whether they are sprinkled throughout your blog content (Notice how many times I write SEO & content marketing in this post!), or present in key marketing materials like flyers or online brochures.
You also should incorporate keywords in your blog post titles since titles of blog posts rank high in Google searches. For instance, in continuing with our example of the fitness brand, a great blog post title that incorporate the keywords of the fitness brand would be: How to Live a Healthy Lifestyle with this Juice Cleanse Recipe.
Those unlabeled images in your blog posts are doing nothing for you except taking up valuable space in your content. The unfortunate thing about this is that search engines like Google do not focus in on unlabeled images when it comes to ranking high in search engines.
A great way to take advantage of your post images is to label these posts with content related to your brand.
For instance, let’s say that you are a beauty brand and you are creating a blog post on the best shades of lipstick this season.
A great way to keep your content SEO friendly is to include images of the products you are reviewing and label in detail information related to the lipstick product.
Ex: For a pic of a lip liner product you are reviewing, label it ‘Mac Lip Liner in the color Cork’, $25 at amazon.com
So when a member of your target audience googles this shade of Mac Lip Liner, they can stumble across your blog site since your labeled image is what they clicked on.
Update content often
Google loves fresh content. And having weekly or even bi-weekly new content on your website is a great way to rank higher in the search engines. However, quality content is more important that the quantity of content you produce.
Don’t produce content unrelated to your brand just for the sake of it. Craft a quality piece of blog content that reflects favorably upon your brand.
Guest blogging with influencers in your industry is a great way to spread awareness of your startup brand on a bigger platform. It’s also a great way to incorporate SEO through the use of including links to your original website.
Chances are when subscribers of the blog you’re guest writing for read your content, they will want to click on the link to your website to learn more about your business. Include URL links at the end of all guest posts. And in any author bios.
If you can’t find the time to write as a guest blogger on an influencers website, try commenting on the websites of influencers, or those you admire in your field. Then, leave the URL link to your website.
This is a great way to reach the audience of the site you’re commenting on. It’s also a great way to get your website link associated with the influencer’s website in Google searches. Google takes note of comments made on blogs and ranks these comments in search results.
Get Rid of Old Links
Broken links are useless for your SEO strategy. Google recognizes when links are broken and eliminates them from search results. Undoing all of your hard SEO work! Periodically check to make sure that all links are working properly and replace any updated versions of links.
Analyze effectiveness of content marketing campaign
With any content marketing strategy, it’s important to analyze the effectiveness of your SEO aims so that you can tweak what worked and what did not. A way that I personally do this is I check my blog stat analytics to see the Referrals (where the link originated from) of my blog audience.
For example, when I check to see how well a recent post of mine performed, you can see how many people viewed or shared the link. You can also check the Referrals to see how people found your content (i.e. a link on Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn).
Perhaps most of your visitors are coming mainly from Twitter. From this, you know to concentrate a good amount of your content marketing efforts on promoting via Twitter.
Or, maybe you find that leaving comments on influencer blogs gives you better results because you have received great engagement on your insightful comment and people are clicking on your website link to learn more.
One of the great features of WordPress is that the blogging platform shows you the exact Google search phrases subscribers of your blog typed which brought them to your website.
Part of what makes SEO a rewarding strategy to use for your brand is that it’s so simple and yet very effective for getting your content seen in front of your target market.
SEO is geared to smooth the way for your target market to find your startup brand. Just as you are providing a product or a service with your startup, you are also providing the answer to your target market’s google search questions through your content.