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Reaching your target audience through content marketing and SEO

Reaching your target audience through content marketing and SEO

In the clamour for attention online, how does a marketeer, say, for a business, ensure that their website draws not just a healthy amount of traffic, but also its target audience? This was the same question that recently led one of our clients to approach us to assess how well its website measured up in terms of search engine optimisation (SEO).

To begin, let us establish a common understanding of what SEO is. According to leading inbound marketing and sales platform HubSpot, the term refers to ‘techniques that help your website rank higher in organic search results, making your website more visible to people who are looking for your brand, product, or service via search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo’.

For the aforementioned client, there were several metrics that we measured:

  • Domain authority
  • Site load time
  • Sitemaps
  • The presence of a file (called “robots.txt”) that tells search engines what you don’t want them to index
  • Meta content
  • Header tags
  • Onsite content
  • Keywords.

These elements contribute to how well a search engine can crawl, index, and serve* any given website. There are many online tools, both free and paid, that anyone can use to measure these metrics.

Essentially, as an integrated communications agency that counts content marketing as a strength, the one metric that we focus on is online content. We believe firmly in the value of compelling and relevant content. A user visits a website because it has content that is either interesting or contains the information that one seeks.

Before we even develop this online content, one of the strategies we often advocate is to identify key messages: ideas and qualities that the company associates itself with or aspires to. These key messages, such as ‘heavy-duty excavators’ for example, act as keywords which, when consistently used in the content uploaded on the website, can significantly increase the company’s chances of being found through the aforementioned phrase on a search engine. 

It is no use, however, peppering a story with these keywords if it tells the reader nothing new or interesting. Ultimately, the use of these keywords must ride on compelling content, which, even if it doesn’t become viral, ensures some degree of shareability online – whether on social media or through linkbacks. The latter is yet another way to boost SEO. People are inclined to link back to your webpage only if they think your content is worth it – for various reasons. Whatever that reason might be, that linkback is an indication to a search engine that your webpage or website has valuable content.  Accumulating these linkbacks encourages the search engine to give the website a higher search engine results page (SERP) ranking, thereby demonstrating the interdependent relationship between content marketing and SEO.

Compelling content aside, it is also important to be consistently producing it. This consistency in generating content ensures that a website is getting crawled and indexed more frequently, once more increasing its chances of a higher SERP ranking and being found by a user. In this regard, one of the things we usually do for clients is to create a content calendar at the start of a campaign. By adhering to this calendar and creating compelling content regularly, we optimise the client’s SEO through content marketing. 

Now, you know that philosophical question: If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? The same could be asked of websites which are hardly, if at all, read. One way to avoid the existential crisis is to develop quality content that people either access your website directly for or find through search engines. Through SE10, you can find out where your website stands today in terms of SEO, and start developing interesting and relevant content for it.

*Crawling is the process by which Googlebot discovers new and updated pages to be added to the Google index.

Googlebot processes each of the pages it crawls in order to compile a massive index of all the words it sees and their location on each page.

When a Google search is performed, Google’s programs check the Google index to determine the most relevant search results to be returned (“served”) to you. 

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