Updated: Jan 9, 2020
Communicating relevant and meaningful site content to your audience is about way more than the keywords you target.
Yes, you heard me. SEO is not all about keywords and spending every waking hour tracking the algorithm changes until you’re blue in the face and more confused than when you started. Google has always been clear about its stance on providing meaningful content. So, instead of scrutinizing the technology behind the search, marketers really need to start directing their efforts towards prioritizing the content above the technology.
It’s about providing communication between your brand and your audience’s needs and this is where priorities should lie in 2020 (and should have always lied in the previous years).
Articles that are written and then copy checked for SEO second are fundamentally incorrect from their beginning sentences. If you write a blog, an article, a white paper or any form of content without your audience’s search intent at the forefront of your mind then you’ll find it very difficult to get search engines to even entertain your page.
Without sounding like a broken record on repeat, you should know what is being searched - the exact phrases/question - and answer it. Your goal should be no other than to answer your audience’s question.
Writing an article and then stuffing it with four to five keywords afterward is bad practice.
This year I’ve asked some of the best SEOs in the industry to share what SEO strategy they’re working on and what other companies should be doing if they are wanting to see visible SEO results in the next 12 months.
Why Brand Is Becoming More Important for SEM Marketers
Carrie Rose, Co-founder and Creative Director - Rise at Seven
Carrie is the creative director at Rise at Seven leading the creative content marketing, Digital PR and social media offering. Her work closely aligns with SEO strategy, building links on top tier publications to improve organic performance by creating stories, data, and assets that journalists want to talk about or link to naturally and users want to share just because it’s awesome. Carrie made the shortlist for Young Digital Marketer of the Year at the Northern Digital Awards 2019, and was previously the Senior Campaign Strategist at SEO agency Branded3 and Edit.
“It’s becoming more and more clear that Google ranks brands and therefore wider brand and content marketing campaigns are key to SEO success. But what does this mean?
"Due to the current economy, spend on TV and above-the-line advertising isn’t really growing, with brands choosing to shift their budgets into digital performance marketing. As a result, lots of brands are struggling for awareness and relying on number one or page one rankings to solve that problem. However, with paid ads, local results and images taking up nearly half of page 1 results - organic search rankings just aren't enough.
"No matter how well optimised your site is; how much quality content it has; or how many top-tier sites link to your website...if the 1st and 2nd results are brands you've never heard of, how likely are you going to be to click on them and make an order when brands you have heard of further on down the list? Trust comes into play here - and although their site may be well trusted by Google (through various trust signals such as quality content, mentions or links) - how trusted is this website if a customer has never heard of it?
"Purchase decisions are influenced before this stage: users are going to click on the brand they trust, know or recognize from how they felt before they even knew they needed a product. But with advertising and TV budgets decreasing how can we create this?
"Creative content marketing and Digital PR!
"If we see a company dominating social channels, being engaged with on Facebook, talked about on YouTube or hitting the headlines on a regular basis and in a positive light - we naturally start to trust it as a brand - no matter its visibility on Google.
"We can no longer rely on guest posts, forums or directory links or PBNs to build links back to our domains and improve organic sales because SEOs are now the front-line for brand awareness. To encourage links that drive referrals and actual engagements - we need content on-site which users want to see...which tells a story, influences, educates or entertains. This increases brand awareness and helps businesses drive conversions through SEO.”