Search Engine Optimization (SEO) should be an integral part of any inbound marketing strategy. In fact, SEO and inbound marketing cannot truly exist without each other. In this article, we explain exactly why this is the case and how you can implement an effective strategy into your marketing approach.

Inbound marketing

Your company cannot prosper without a well-considered and effective inbound marketing campaign. This involves generating as much traffic to your website as you can, then retaining that traffic through great content and user-experience, to ultimately creating advocates for your brand (including sales). Common and effective forms of inbound marketing are numerous: social media campaigns, link optimization, email campaigns, content marketing using blogs, videos and website content, first-class user experience, customer retention practices and so on.

SEO

SEO drives traffic, and traffic is what is required for your website to make conversions. Gone are the days of simply spamming search engines into moving your site to the top of the pile. Thanks to an incredible number of Google updates, SEO is now driven by the quality of content and its interest to users in order to achieve effective ranking results.

Since inbound marketing campaigns thrive off traffic and SEO ultimately drives that traffic (both in numbers and in quality), then clearly they are operating in a shared ecosystem. Therefore, how can you ensure that these approaches are complementing each other?

Get everyone on message

There should be no confusion at all as to what your brand is about and what you are trying to achieve. In that way, every member of every team is working towards the same goal utilizing the same message, and there are no contradictory activities.

All inbound marketing staff should be SEO experts

Herein lies the central tenant of the matter. In a medium-sized to large company, it is quite probable that the marketing team is comprised of a host of specialist positions, including social media marketers, PR managers, designers and content creators. But tellingly, no SEO. In that case, although a fabulous inbound marketing strategy is being devised and executed, not one single person is taking responsibility for the essential use of SEO in driving traffic towards your website.

So, who should be doing this? The simple answer is everybody. Every individual in that collective marketing team should build in SEO to their role, and that of course means having a single, well-understood SEO strategy and approach. In that way, everybody is responsible for effective SEO, and no one is assuming that someone else is taking care of it, when they are not.

Utilize blogging

According to statistics released by Brightseed, companies that produce blogs generate 55% more web traffic than those companies that don’t, with 97% more inbound links. Yet simply having a blog is not nearly enough.

“The issue with blogs is that too many companies have it just for the purpose of the blog being there. If the business has not truly thought through the keywords that generate better rankings, then SEO tactics are flawed, and the blog is effectively useless,” warns Sebastian Singleton, a business writer at Brit Student and Next Coursework.

So what should you do with your blog? Firstly, and most importantly, produce it with users in mind – that is, take a human approach to producing the content, so is it useful, interesting, and easy to read. Also ensure that your content deals with answering key questions and concerns that you know users have (if you don’t know what these are, then you must make it a priority to find out – start by looking for what the chatter is online about your style of product or service). Next, make your headings a prime concern in relation to keywords, and then ensure you are updating regularly and adding posts of an adequate length. In short, give deliberate focus to your blog.

Make the most out of social media

It is possible to use social media accounts to impact upon your SEO. The first way in which you can do is through the expansion of our social links, because the more you share fantastic content, the more likely others are to share it too. Also, you must begin to organically grow your social media accounts, be that on Twitter or whatever you use (the more social accounts you have, the better of course). When searching for keywords that bring up a number of social accounts, users are much more likely be attracted to those which have a higher number of followers, so let that be you!

Finally, search engines such as Google are increasingly placing more relevance on locality and relevance. If you are clearly linked to your local community, and are active in that community to various events and references, then you are much more likely to rank with local users. You can then seek to grow from there, because a solid local base is an excellent place to begin.

One more thing in relation to social media nowadays is don’t underestimate the pulling power of influencers: definitely try to form relationships with these.

User sessions

It is increasingly understood now that users are not making decisions based on a single search, but multiple sessions over a period of time. In this way, inbound marketing and SEO does not focus on one possible line of search, but on the multiple angles at which a potential user arrives. Not every visit will get the conversion you are looking for, but every visit is an opportunity to start a conversation. Use this wisely and the conversion will come later. This is playing the long game.

The Big Picture

“An inbound campaign and SEO must complement each other in a holistic approach which sees multiple team members responsible for a strategy that is clearly defined and understood by all. Everyone is responsible for SEO, and everyone understands what that SEO approach is,” concludes Emily Rodriguez, a marketing manager at Australia 2 Write and Writemyx.

Author bio

Writer Martha Jameson is a web designer as well as a content editor and proofreader. She writes about her invaluable insights and experiences at PhD Kingdom and Academic brits and also on blogging sites such as Origin writings.