So your business has invested heavily in website traffic through Google Ads and social media content, paid or otherwise. Your campaigns are doing great.
You’re tracking your ROI and, between the data and the responses from your followers, you know for sure that you’re well in the green, enjoying the instantaneous results available from these marketing channels.
The problem is, without the support of a long-term SEO-based content strategy, your results are as good as they’ll get.
Facebook, Twitter, Google or any other paid traffic source could switch up their system without notice, and that steady flow of carefully optimized traffic supplying your business with the cash flow it needs gets suddenly blocked.
You’ve probably at least considered diversifying traffic with a company blog, or other content created with search engines in mind. Maybe you’ve tried posting on your website or published a guest post or two, but you just didn’t see the same quick results from great social media posts and paid ads.
If your current marketing is wildly successful, it’s easy to overlook the fact that you need a solid strategy for search. And the good news is, you probably already have one, but just don’t know it yet.
This isn’t a PPC vs SEO vs social media debate. They aren’t mutually exclusive. Diversifying your lead sources like this is about discovering how each channel works together, complimenting one another to secure a steady stream of interest.
You’ve then got traffic no matter what happens in social media platform algorithms and paid ad systems.
Before we look at how to create an SEO content strategy based on what you’ve already accomplished with your marketing efforts to date, let’s look at the case for making it a priority.
Many thought-leaders create a ton of great content for social media, but that’s the only place they’re publishing. Let’s look at the downsides to this approach.
The beauty of this approach is that your success in social media or even paid ads means you already have a solid foundation to work with.
If you need further details on any of the marketing fundamentals applicable to this article, you can find them at the links below. If you’re already familiar with these principles, skip this list and continue with the article, or return here later for a refresher.
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Here are a few ways all the great work you’ve done in paid advertising can springboard your content strategy for fast results.
The idea behind keyword research is to remove as much guesswork as possible before creating content or allocating ad spend. Whether that’s short-form Facebook posts or PPC copy, keyword research helps you get a feel for what people want. The same is true for search-optimized content and you can use the keyword data you already have as a foundation for your search strategy. Even if you create marketing in a more intuitive way (such as creating more of the content your audience typically responds to) whether that’s polls, blogs, podcasts or even live video streaming, you’ve still got data to work with, albeit more anecdotal. Prioritizing search terms with the highest volume and greatest buyer intent as the basis for your posting strategy makes sense.
That said, if you’re looking at keywords that are $40 per click and you’re working on a new project with a new website, it’s no secret that you’re unlikely to rank organically for such competitive terms right away. So balance the authority and age of your website with the difficulty of your target keywords.
If you want an in-depth guide on weighing your chances of securing traffic from popular keywords, check out this excellent guide from ahrefs. Once you have a solid list of keywords, it’s possible to plan your content schedule ahead of time which is important, because Google values consistency in content creators who publish to a schedule. Then, when you execute your plan, you can be confident you’ve got plenty of content ideas and your headlines use copy you know resonates with your audience.
This also allows you to break down your area of expertise into article subjects small enough for you to cover in enough in-depth to deliver value to your audience in an organized hub and spoke structure, without your article ideas being too ambitious in the scope. When that happens, the value you bring to your readers ends up as some 4,500 word behemoth blog post you wish you’d never started and leaves you feeling burned out within a month of your SEO strategy. You might think that these are separate issues. But actually, you can’t dial in these points without planning your keywords ahead of time. So this is where it starts.
Some copy just resonates with your buyers. Naturally, with plenty of conversion data from your paid advertising, you know what that copy is. So if you know what’s getting clicks in your current marketing, incorporating it into your content’s metadata so it appears in the SERPs gives you a baseline. There are no guarantees this will instantly boost your traffic from search. But starting with what’s proven to be effective is a good start, and it’s way better than a shot in the dark.
I can use a similar approach for inspiration for content ideas. Perhaps you did a Facebook Live event recently that resonated even more than you’d hoped with your audience, getting all kinds of positive feedback from adoring fans and newcomers alike. Awesome. Now plan a blog post around it.
Watch the recording, take notes on what you think worked and why people responded so well, allocate one keyword you’ve identified in step one, and you’ve got a solid content idea to add to your strategically developed schedule.
While it’s true content is a longer-term marketing strategy, it’s also possible to make it work for you right away by combining it with paid ads.
You’ve probably found that new customers often make their first purchase with your lower-ticket items. Of course, someone who puts down a 2-3 figure sum of money with a product, service or person they haven’t purchased from before is more likely than a 4-5 figure sum.
Besides creating paid ads to sell your product or service, create them to leverage early results from your content. SEO takes time, so building trust with your leads by advertising your content is an excellent way to see early results.
A few years ago, user experience deities NNGroup created the Pyramid of Trust. Their analytics realized that even asking for simple information such as an email was moving hastily with a fresh prospect.
Helpful, high quality content, especially when it’s carefully targeted, builds confidence that you’re relevant to your prospect and can meet their needs, moving you up the pyramid and closer to real trust.
Naturally then, this strategy also applies to your remarketing and is a powerful method of nurturing retargeted visitors, building trust with content relevant to the product or service they were browsing on your website.
With content assets providing you with more no-pressure points of touch, you can refine your segmentation for demographic, product, service or anything else with more strategic options for the different stages of your sales cycle.
As you’ve probably discovered with your other marketing endeavors, the key to successful retargeting is to ensure you’re tracking each segment accurately.
We all know the best time to start is yesterday. But the next best time to begin is when you have momentum, when you don’t feel the urgency of needing the close sales immediately and when you can think long term and not reactively.
Joel Widmer is the Founder & CEO of Fluxe Digital Marketing—a content marketing shop that helps smart businesses create, produce and promote their content through a unique one-on-one interview process. When he’s not working, Joel can be found trying new restaurants with his wife, son, and daughter.