By Ally Kutz, contributing writer
Content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) are essential when you want your business to grow. Content marketing is systematic way to market —content brings in traffic, traffic brings in leads, and leads bring in customers.
This is a key takeaway from a presentation by Chris Allen, director of marketing at Mercury Payment Systems, at Retail Solutions Providers Association (RSPA) RetailNOW 2015. Allen stressed the power of SEO and content marketing at the event on Aug. 5.
According to Allen, Google dominates the search engine share at 65 percent of Web searches, followed by Bing at 20 percent, Yahoo at 10 percent, and other search engines at 5 percent. With Google, the top three positions account for more than 80 percent of clicks, with 81 percent of searchers more likely to click on an organic result versus a paid result. While there are many things about Internet searches that are out of your hands, Allen says there are things you can control on your website to optimize your SEO and content. These include content quality, user experience, technical optimization, and your posting schedule.
Allen suggests utilizing anchor content on websites, which is typically meant to be constantly relevant and put in a fixed area of the site. He also suggests using feature content, the sole purpose of which is to be embeddable, sharable, downloadable, and/or seasonal. Examples include white papers, case studies, testimonials, and infographics.
Allen also recommends employing social media sites like Vimeo and YouTube, as those pages rank as well. This can lead to owning more share of first page search results.
Allen suggests you adopt the following social media best practices:
- leverage multiple platforms
- make sure content is sharable
- provide adjacent content
- get involved in the conversation on social media
Allen also gives tips for getting conversions: make sure the site is crisp and clean with rich content and a well-defined call to action, and also be sure to include the company phone number in a large, noticeable place, along with an 800 number in order to track and calculate offline conversions.
It is important that you avoid duplicate content online, try for one keyword per page, sync the design to search volume, and watch keyword placement. These, along with setting topic schedules, marking adjacent topics, and applying vertical expansion will all help to give your searcher the content they want and where they want to see it.
Allen’s final suggestion for strong content marketing is to make a list of targets and goals. His suggestions include setting a number of anchor content pieces per month, blog posts per month, social media posts per week, and traffic and leads per week as well as goals for infographics and eBooks.