There is one vital thing to marketing success that bloggers fully understand; a topic that most SEOs want to avoid like the plague: gaining an audience. Many search engine optimization agencies focus on link building, chasing Google’s algorithms with clever on-site content, and creating a keyword strategy all in the name of getting a site to rank well. But if your content isn’t focused on the pains and needs shared by your audience, you will never attract them at a high level and will therefore be virtually throwing away extra rank juice and converted buyers.
A Thriving Audience is a Key Metric to Digital Marketing (and SEO)
Let’s just set aside the fact that you are marketing to people, and not to Google. Yet when you create superb content aligned to your buyers, you can also publish text that Google will value. The best part is this content can be scalable and assessed for ROI through marketing automation software. The larger your audience, the greater your odds are for getting clicks that convert to sales. While this is obvious, a brand’s audience lends much more to a marketing strategy. When you offer phenomenal content, people will read it, and if it intrigues them, they will share it through social platforms. The very fact that you are producing content that gets shared sends powerful social signals to Google letting the search engine know that people find value in your content. And when they are delighted they will fill out forms, download your assets, and perform a number of other motions that will convert them into buyers all while the effectiveness of each gesture is being tracked.
A Great Blog Focused on Human Readers Pleases Google
While keywords matter, content written that targets consumer needs not only garners social signals but it also plays favorably with Google bots. Ever since Google RankBrain became a core algorithm component, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have worked together to evaluate content and award it based on its ability to provide the best solutions to searcher needs. This means your content needs to target specific consumer pains while educating and delighting readers. It also means you need to have high-quality backlinks to your blog posts (the part most SEOs focus on). Without the right content, your backlinks will fall short, and vice versa.
How to Leverage Audience Specific Content with Backlinks
Here is something to visualize: (1) Blogs can make a website popular if the content is specific and desirable. (2) Popular sites get high quality backlinks because the content is loved by readers and widely shared. (3) High Quality backlinks and reader-friendly content rank really well. Are you starting to see the picture here?
Once you have a great blog post with highly shareable content, you will need to seek specific backlinks. Why must the backlinks be specific? Because your content is specific.
Imagine that you own a company that creates dog training videos. You have a number of programs that range from how to teach your dog to stop barking, to teaching puppies not to jump on people. One of your blog posts is on how to housebreak older dogs. Your content is specifically targeting people who have older dogs, and people who have a need to housebreak their pooch. Rather than getting a general backlink from a dog lover’s website (which still has value) seek a backlink from a referring domain that has content specific to pet owners with older dogs, dog training, and even more specifically housebreaking (the value is even greater). The more specific your backlink is, the better it will compliment your blog. Google will see the relevancy as plain as day, and this will bring you higher organic ranking and the great content will convert more readers resulting in what ultimately matters the most (you will sell more dog training videos).
How SEO Experts Should View Blogs (Psst, Think Inbound)
As a singular lone offering, SEO is starting to fade. Instead it is evolving into a core service supporting inbound marketing automation. This is where digital marketing is headed. The value of blog content is no longer placed on what ranks, and what doesn’t. Instead it is spread across organic ranking AND fulfilling your human reader’s needs. This is what inbound does; it identifies all customer personas and nurtures them through buyer type specific target ted content until, ultimately, they have been attracted, converted, and delighted. And if your blog content is stellar, your buyers will indeed be truly delighted enough to share your content on Facebook and Twitter thus working to expand your audience while increasing your SEO with stronger social signals.
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