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SEO experts these days are fast becoming content marketers on top of their other titles. Content marketing and SEO are kissing cousins — insofar each one makes the other happy in a vaguely disturbing kind of way. If you’re doing SEO and you’re not also content marketing, the question you have to ask yourself is why not? All you need is a decent content strategy — a way to make your SEO content also work as marketing content.
This is not difficult. Top SEO companies do this on a daily basis. It doesn’t matter how boring you think your client’s industry is: it’s all about the strategy. Here’s how it works:
Step 1: Know Your Industry And It’s Audience (Research!)
Let’s say you’re working for a company that builds rain gutters in beautiful uptown Seattle. You need to find out who your client’s clients are: do they make most of their money working for homeowners? For business facilities? For industrial complexes? You also need to learn about your client’s competition, the movers and shakers in the gutter industry, and what markets may be out there that your client isn’t already targeting.
Step 2: Backlink Analysis On Your Client’s Competitors (More Research!)
The next information to gather is to look at your client’s competitors and comb through their backlinks. Find out where they’re getting their juice from, what relationships they’ve built, and what markets they’re targeting and not targeting. All of this should be compared to your client’s site (meaning you’ll need analytics set up and working) so that you can do what they’re doing right, and also do right what they’re doing wrong. Most of all, you want to look at their content and see what’s getting hits and what’s not. That way you can avoid creating wasted content and focus on what works.
Step 3: Defining Your Target Audience (Preparation!)
Now that you have all of the background information firmly in place, it’s time to determine your target audience. This is a process not just of figuring out who uses your product, but who you can target that your competitors are not really targeting. Set goals based on your target audience’s preferences (i.e. do they watch lots of videos of a particular kind? Do they like written content full of bullet lists? How many of each can you produce each week?)
Next time: The part where you actually create the content!