SEO and inbound marketing strategy are two common aspects of digital marketing. But did you know each marketing method is closely connected?
Let’s break down the intimate relationship between search engine optimization (SEO) and inbound marketing, what they can do for your brand, and what steps you can take to get the most out of these powerful marketing concepts.
Inbound marketing is a popular term in the modern marketing world. Unlike traditional marketing, the concept focuses on creating value for customers through your marketing activities. You can do this in a variety of ways by writing inbound marketing content such as a blog post, infographic, video, news article, and social media posts.
In contrast, outbound marketing emphasizes things like television ads, billboards, and cold calls. These marketing efforts are interruptive in nature and don’t provide value.
Inbound marketing focuses on fostering engagement through targeted content. When done well, inbound marketing seamlessly presents itself to a potential customer. Quality content will make itself heard, seen, or otherwise consumed as a part of a positive experience consumers opt into.
Inbound marketing is a long-term strategy, which makes it an interesting (and important) part of growth marketing in particular. With growth marketing, the emphasis isn’t on building a company quickly. Avoid tactics such as email marketing or influencer marketing. That’s called growth hacking, and it can lead to fast results that don’t last.
Growth marketing focuses on creating customer-focused growth that steadily builds over time. In that sense, inbound marketing is a major part of the “long game” that growth marketers have in mind as they set up frameworks and build out strategies.
SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” This is the process by which marketers use tools like keywords, hyperlinks, and technical configurations to optimize your online content. When done well, SEO helps your relevant content organically show up higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). This means more people see it, click on it, and visit your website.
SEO is an integral part of any inbound marketing strategy. It draws the ideal customer to your content when looking for answers to related search queries. When that content is well-designed, it answers their initial questions. It also encourages the reader to remember the brand that provided helpful, thoughtful content.
Good SEO attracts the attention of a prospect and establishes that you are a useful resource and can offer them value. At that point, it passes the torch to inbound marketing. This uses tools like gated content, samples, demos, and newsletters to encourage visitors to take the next step. From there, they enter your sales funnel, moving from awareness to consideration and eventually decision-making.
To put it another way, inbound marketing and SEO serve two separate but essential and complementary functions. SEO brings traffic to your content. Inbound marketing encourages those visitors to enter your sales funnel.
The complementary nature of SEO and inbound marketing makes it easy to see how they flow together. But what can you do to make sure that happens with your own brand? Here are a few tips to help you ensure your inbound SEO is synergistically worked into your inbound marketing campaign:
It doesn’t matter if you’re working on SEO, inbound strategy, or both. You should always have the customer in mind. From choosing keywords to answering questions, make your target audience lie at the heart of every action and decision that you take. It's important to target existing customers and a new lead.
SEO is important, but it isn’t everything. In fact, it shouldn’t even be your top priority. As you invest in customer-centric content creation, make sure you’re writing for the reader first and search engines second. Don’t overuse keywords or optimize at the expense of readability or experience. Engage readers first. Then optimize content so search engines can find it.
Both SEO and inbound marketing target the entire marketing funnel — or they should. Often marketers get focused on the top of the marketing funnel. But remember, valuable content is helpful to your customers at any part of the customer journey. From brand awareness to how-tos and whitepapers, make sure everything is optimized and targeted for a specific part of your funnel.
Remember that content marketing is central to any SEO strategy. As such, in order to have genuine value, it must clearly communicate that value to the reader. E-E-A-T content stands for “experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.” These are four filters you should have in mind with every piece of content you create. Not only will it create more value. As consumers engage more, it will boost your SEO and attract more visitors, as well.
When you can tap into the power of both SEO and inbound marketing, they can work together to create incredible results. The challenge is creating a growth marketing framework that unlocks the power of both at the same time.
If you’re struggling to create an effective inbound marketing strategy, reach out. Our team at Relevance can help you make the most of these two potent aspects of growth marketing for your brand.