Blog items tagged with "content-strategy"
Here at Click Centric SEO, we often focus our work on ecommerce SEO and search marketing (PPC advertising, etc) Any yet, when we work with ecommerce clients, we advocate a more cohesive approach that centers on managing an ecommerce brand's complete web presence.
Parallel to the evolution of SEO and Google's algorithmic changes is the needed to embrace a comprehensive strategy that focuses on various aspects of web marketing and online brand building. Web presence management is one of the best ways to define this new approach as it takes into account several key variables which we go into greater detail below.
Embracing Web Presence Management Cohesively
What's different about web presence management compared to other forms of managing and building an online brand is cohesiveness. This approach brings together several aspects of Internet marketing and branding, and each work together in unison to grow a company's online presence.
The questions below reflect the primary components of web presence management. Answering each questions honestly might shed light on where you can improve the optimization and management of your ecommerce brand's web presence. For additional resources for web presence optimization, visit our sister company, WebPresenceGroup.net.
Are You Investing Enough In Social Media?
Investing in social media comes in many forms, such as:
- investing time and energy building a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.
- investing in social media advertising to reach new people to grow your audience
- investing time and energy finding quality content to share
- investing in the interaction and engagement with your audience
The social media presence of your ecommerce brand will ultimately influence its growth in many ways, particularly SEO and domain authority. How?
This is the role having a content strategy will play in web presence management.
Do You Have A Content Strategy In Place?
A content strategy is the glue that holds together your social media and SEO efforts. The creation of kick-ass content that resonates with you target audience provides the tangible means of having something awesome to share on social media.
Not only can this awesome content conjure a lot of likes, shares, tweets, and other social signals (making your content more legit in the eyes of Google,) but any links stemming from your content can be magnified, especially when they direct to key money pages or product pages on the cusp of high rankings.
While there are many ways to embrace content marketing and creating a content strategy, get creative and tap into interesting means that will spark the interests of your target audience. For ecommerce, in-depth articles, product review videos, image-packed and idea-rich blog posts are just a few good places to start.
What Are You Doing To Improve Your Search Engine Presence?
Sure, you've done some SEO on your ecommerce site and made your product pages are keyword relevant. But that's just 20% of the SEO equation.
What are doing off-site to support your SEO objectives (i.e. link outreach, network, blogging, etc.)?
Are you experimenting with PPC advertising to market your money products on search?
Where are most of your links coming from and how can you diversify your site's backlink profile.
Again, web presence management centers on cohesiveness and exploring all avenues to cultivate success. Focusing only on link building, or only on social, will only pose limitations in the growth of your web presence.
Ecommerce SEO is a battle that many retailers fight (often times for years) and lose within time. Achieving sustainable search engine placement and out-ranking the Amazon's and eBay's of the web is incredibly tough. But it's not impossible.
What does it take to be atop these heavy hitters and hold high search rankings for the long-haul? Below we delve into some of the primary pillars that are vital to cultivate a sustainable ecommerce SEO strategy that delivers results for years (not just a few weeks.)
The On-site SEO Basics
There's on-page SEO and there's on-site SEO. Although many in the industry find these terms synonymous, they are actually a slightly different.
You can think of on-site SEO as the all-encompassing effort of ensuring your ecommerce site is properly optimized across all pages (i.e. sitemaps, schema markup, internal linking, etc.) While on-page SEO focuses more on the specific details and intricacies of optimizing a page (i.e. keyword-relevant titles, Meta data, copy, etc.)
To cover the on-site SEO basics, follow our Ultimate SEO Checklist for Ecommerce Sites. Here you find a quick run-down on the basic necessities of on-page and on-site SEO for ecommerce sites.
Growing Social Media Presence
Growing your social media presence should be equally as important as growing your keyword rankings in Google. A strong social media presence on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other relevant channels is a powerful asset that can have a profound impact on your store's bottom line.
Not only does social media fuel direct traffic and sales for your ecommerce site, but it also helps to ignite your SEO efforts and content strategy (below). There's also an emerging buzzword called "social authority," and it makes a lot of sense from an SEO perspective.
In short, an ecommerce brand with loads of Facebook page likes, Google +1's, Twitter and Pinterest followers, etc. is attributed with great social authority. And what better mechanism for Google to determine ecommerce sites worthy of higher rankings?
Invest some marketing dollars in social media advertising and build your audience. Naturally growing a social media presence (via a content strategy) is pretty challenging, but not impossible. Your team can accelerate this process by getting new followers on-board to help share and spread awareness of all things awesome about your brand.
Fresh, Audience-Focused Content (On The Reg)
The next primary pillar to a sustainably-performing ecommerce SEO strategy is devise and implement a content strategy (or "content marketing strategy"). There are many possibilities to create audience-focused content, but ultimately, originality (evergreen content) and value are vital aspects to keep top of mind.
Product review videos are always a great approach, as evergreen videos (produced by your ecommerce store) placed on key product pages or rank-worthy money pages brings SEO value to those pages.
Focusing on long-form content is also a great content strategy, particularly if you're selling high-dollar items that require deep customer research and contemplation. Long-form content is comprised of in-depth articles that focus on specific topics, products, and applications.
Get your ecommerce marketing team together and brainstorm some stellar ideas to cultivate a content strategy. Just make sure to create a schedule and keep pushing out brilliant content on the reg (regular, that is ;).
Authoritative, Relevant Backlinks
While your awesome content should hopefully earn the likes of your social media audience (and thus earn some backlinks as a result,) this practice is often much easier said than done. Earning links requires an exceptional content strategy that's executed to perfection.
In most cases, manual link generation is need to produce results. And while we don't always recommend link building, when we do, it's absolutely important to take a very natural approach and build links mindfully using relevant sources and a very balanced anchor text profile.
While the best links are earned naturally via brilliant content that people link to, it can be beneficial to jump-start an ecommerce SEO strategy by manually publishing content on quality sources to direct links back to your site. Although this a consider "gray-hat" SEO, there's really no other option to be a strong contender in a competitive search market. In short, authoritative, relevant backlinks will help to build domain authority all while helping to establish keyword relevancy (two key drivers to sustainable rankings.)
Last but most certainly not least, the nuts and bolts behind the ecommerce site (the HTML backend) needs to be fluid and free of HTML errors and warnings. In essence, a technically fluid website enable search engine spiders to seamlessly crawl and index a site without getting choked up on broken code, flash media, or other roadblocks negatively impacting performance.
A good place to check the technical fluidity of your ecommerce site is the W3C Markup Validator which will highlight HTML errors and warning present throughout your site. Another good place to look as your site's Google Webmaster Tools account. Both of these sources can help you pinpoint problem areas that are hindering the technical performance of your ecommerce site (and thus its ability to rank as hard as possible.)
The foundational value of a website is largely determined by the quality and presentation of its content (such as the nature of the copy, media, graphics, and images.)
Ultimately, giving visitors a solid sense of purpose that answers the question "why I am here?" can help position your online brand as a legitimate, trustworthy, and enlightening resource.
Whether via SEO or other inbound marketing strategies, the righteous path to realizing success online is through your content. It's essential to create user-centric content (whether via blogging, crafting landing pages, or designing the homepage) that resonates with your audience on a meaningful level.
Furthermore, awesome content can actually earn your site valuable links. This can play a huge role in driving higher keyword rankings for SEO and keeping your online business thriving.
Below we share a series of tips and techniques you can use to inspire brilliant ideas for your content strategy.
Incubate & Empathize With Your Target Audience
The first step of the planning process is putting yourself in the shoes of your target audience. Learning exactly what your target audience likes, laughs at, and loves, (although difficult sometimes) can generate some of the best ideas for content creation.
A good approach is to chat with your existing clients to get an idea what jives with them. In short, pick their brains on what forms of content will spark their interests and captivate their attention.
Engaging with your target audience is key to learning more about their tastes, perspectives, and preferences. For instance, after publishing a blog post, try ask questions (whether in the blog post [depending on how many readers you anticipate] or in the social media posting when sharing the content.) Not only does this help generate feedback, but it enables you to interact with your audience on a deeper level, thus instilling your brand deeper into their subconscious.
Consistent communication with your clients and prospects also helps to establish long-term relationships and higher levels of trust. If you're regularly seeking the feedback of your clients, it sends signals that you truly care.
Dive Into Research & Read Up
One of the best sources for inspiration are other successful ideas. This can be in the form of research or other articles published throughout the web. Using these resources can help you get generate valuable ideas and facts to share in your own words (or imagery via video or graphics.)
Here's an example: fitness guru Ben Greenfield has created a massive following and a prominent online brand by diving into health-related research studies. He shares topics of interest on his blog and podcasts, which organically grows his audience and cultivates sincere followers whom of which are loyal.
In addition to reading up and researching other related ideas for content creation, finding good studies or articles provide excellent pieces that can simply be shared via social media. Not only does this give you something good and tangible to share with your audience, but by sharing other authors' (or influencer-generated) content, these powerful individuals might befriend, like, follow, or encircle you on their social media accounts. These are meaningful connections that can later be of incredible value for your content strategy.
Stay Current & Up-to-Date
Dovetailing aspects of your content strategy on news and current events is also a solid means to create link bait-able content. Often times, busy marketers don't have the time to visit and explore websites and other sources of news and events. Using an RSS feed, Google Alerts, or Talkwalker are great solutions to be shown content that relates to specific interests you can define.
With these alerts and feeds, you can notified whenever something relevant and important comes up. You can then take timely action to re-purpose these happenings into your own content.
Think Locally. Execute Globally.
Producing content that favors a local audience is highly effective in engaging specific in-market users. However, in order to draw the interests of larger audiences, you need to develop and share content that can be absorbed by people of diverse cultures.
For example, if you operate a website that provides natural health supplements, you can find relevant news of local interest to cover, but also tailor your content to also be relevant on a grander scale. Just a hint of locality in your content can spark a connection regional prospects and customers (but you also want to respect the entire clan.)
Don't Forget to Serve Existing Clients
As much as expanding the client base is the primary goal of most businesses, it's important never ignore existing clients. In fact, it's equally important that your currently clients are happy, loyal, and satisfied with your product or service.
Be creative and come-up with ways to reward your current clients. This can be as simple as a social media shout-out or even deeper by offering incentives or discounts on their investment with your company. The objective is help them feel appreciated, which can lead to repeat purchases and, most importantly, referrals.
As you can see, generating user-centric content should be..... well... user-centric. In other words, deliver value to your website visitors and don't obsesses about the links. If your content is truly awesome and resonates with your audience on a meaningful level, the links will come, naturally.