Don’t let any digital marketer tell you they can guarantee you Google rankings, or that they know exactly how Google ranks web pages. We as SEO professionals don’t know the full scope of ranking factors, or the exact nature behind what causes one page to rank above another. At best, the great SEO professionals build correlations and statistically significant data points that give their strategies direction, at worst, self proclaimed SEOs cling to outdated and incorrect SEO tactics that damage websites and hurt brands.
With that said, we’ve uncovered some SEO content strategies that align with websites that rank well in Google, that, if you want to succeed with SEO, you’ll need to follow.
10 Truths You Must Accept To Succeed With SEO
1. Branded Content Is Not Enough
Without content sets in addition to the branded copy for your services and products that you have been writing for years, you’ll have a difficult time ranking for keywords outside of your branded keyword set.
2. Your Competitive Set Is Not Who You Think They Are
Your organic competitive set is not who you think it is. Most brands will say that the other large brands are who they compete with for real estate on the first page of Google. What we find when we do competitive analysis across keyword sets, are the sites that are earning traffic for your keywords are the blogs and publishers that are creating informational content, and not the other large brands.
3. A Website Design Without Content Is Decoration
Design only gets you so far, but adding high-value content will get you farther. Please step out of the mindset that “if you build it they will come”, or that design is everything – design without content is simply decoration.
As Google evolves, brands that don’t have sets of high-value content (that fall outside of the marketing or brand buckets) will find it that much more difficult to rank for non-brand keywords.
4. Focus On Your User’s Journey
When creating content to earn traffic that will covert, it is important to focus on the correct personas and their journeys.
5. Content Value Is Your Top Priority
Brands need to provide value with their content sets just like everyone else. Creating sets of low quality pages targeting specific keywords is not a content strategy, it’s spam.
6. Customer Loyalty Is A Myth
As user’s behavior shifts, and the expanding and evolving nature of the web , the majority of online brands don’t have the customer loyalty they once did. If you can’t satisfy your customers informational request they will go to (and buy from) a website who can.
7. Content Earns Rankings
If you want to rank for a specific keyword you must have a high-value piece of content targeting that keyword. The more competitive the keyword is, the move value you will need to provide and the more authority you will have to earn.
So, if you only create product copy, Google will only truly value you for branded product names.
8. SEO Integration
If a brand thinks it can ignore the basics of SEO, they are greatly mistaken.
SEO must be included throughout the website design process, after launch, and on an ongoing basis. If any of these integration points are missing, your business will have a sub-optimized website that will have a hard time competing in the search engines.
9. Informational Content Needed
Informational and evergreen content can drive conversions just as much as brand content. If you want to increase engagement metrics, conversions, and traffic, then increase informational content sets.
10. Make Better Business Decisions
Understanding what your users are doing, the content that they are engaging with, and what is converting, is key to evolving and growing as a business.
If you don’t have a measurement strategy in place for your SEO and content marketing – I’m not talking about rankings or basic traffic numbers – then you are just guessing.