Website SEO & Content Marketing– The Slow Burn
Are you ready to get a little bit technical? Let’s talk about website SEO.
If you’re a normal person and not a marketing weirdo like me, you might not use terms like SEO, domain authority, content marketing, Google ranking, etc., on a regular basis! But, if you’re a business owner or leader, then these might be terms you hear thrown around from time to time and you just want to understand what it all means and how it works.
In this blog– which summarizes a recent conversation we had in our SquadTalk video series – I’ll be breaking down the basics of how to increase your domain authority and how content goes hand in hand with SEO. Lost? Don’t worry – I’ll explain!
When I’m talking about the slow burn, what I’m really talking about is Search Engine Optimization… or SEO. Website SEO is how we, as marketing experts, build the online authority of your online presence. It’s what we do when we optimize your site’s information in order to build your credibility or authority with search engines like Google.
Optimizing for Search Engines
When you’re thinking about SEO, you should really be thinking about the words that are on your website, specifically your keywords.
A keyword is a word that you use on your site or page that you want Google to recognize as something you are an authority on. For instance – if you are a bicycle shop in Asheville, North Carolina, you might want use keywords like “Asheville cycling” or “bicycle repair”. Someone might not specifically search online for “Bicycle shop Asheville, NC”, but they MIGHT search for “bicycle repair near me” or “top Asheville cycling”.
In the past, many people simply filled their pages with the words they wanted to be recognized by Google for. This is often called “keyword stuffing” or using a keyword so frequently (on your homepage or on a site page) that the overall copy no longer makes sense.
These days, Google looks at more than just words on a page – they’re looking at how people respond to the information that you’re giving them. What Google looks at to determine your authority on the topic is content marketing in all of its facets: from the webpage, to the blogging, to the content offers that you provide to people! It goes beyond blogging and content calendars – though these are a part of it all.
Building Domain Authority
Your domain as a whole creates an authority, but that authority is measured across your entire site – including your blog pages.
When you’re thinking about using SEO to increase your domain authority, one of the first things that you want to do is research.
Determine what you want to be seen as an authority about – typically that is the service you’re providing, the product you’re providing, or a topic you are an expert on.
Once you identify that topic, it’s time to do your research. When you develop a website SEO strategy, you’ll want to create a list of keywords and key phrases that all build up to give you authority on a topic. Then, the main thing to do is implement these words and phrases in a smart way in your content marketing on your site.
You want to make sure that you’re not just focused on getting words on a page (none of that keyword stuffing), but creating an experience that make people want to stay on your page a while.
These days Google isn’t just looking at the amount of words on the page. Google is getting very smart! “Dwell time” or how long someone spends on your page, matters. So, you don’t just want to have relevant information that answers their question quickly and lets them know that your content is valuable (though this is important), you also want to have a lot of content on your page because the more content you provide to them, the more time they will spend on your site! This leads to Google identifying your site as an authority on a subject and then serving your site as the answer to someone’s search.
Getting Ranked on Google
Your Google ranking matters because you don’t just want to be an answer to a search, you want to be the FIRST or at least one of the TOP answers to a search.
Getting a ranking on page one of Google is critical if you want your site to be found organically. But it’s not enough to be found simply by the name of your business.
I’ll use the bicycle shop example again. Let’s say your bike shop is called Asheville Wheelin’ & Dealin’ (yes, I made this up). It’s unlikely that new visitors are going to find your shop online by typing in that exact name into the search query.
That’s why it’s helpful to use keywords like “Asheville cycling” on your website even if that’s not your name. Your target audience is much more likely to search this term or “bicycle repair near me” than they are to type your business name. That said, if your business is not one of the first answers to this search, it’s likely this person will find a different answer and visit another bike shop website instead of yours.
IF you are able to build your domain authority by using SEO to rank for specific keywords and phrases, then you can increase the chances that Google will choose your site as the answer to a search from your potential customers.
Using Audio & Video
Audio files and video are newer tools that can be used to increase the value of your domain authority – especially on YouTube.
Each day, more and more people are turning to YouTube for answers to their questions just as they search in Google’s search bar.
Simply by taking the services or products you provide and the questions you get from customers, you can make videos that answer those questions and talk about those topics that increase your online authority.
When you take these videos and put them on YouTube, you have a lot of power with your titles, descriptions, links, and tags to promote the content that is in the videos. As a result, videos are turning up as answers to search queries more and more. This even works on Facebook as their search engine will pull from the videos you post there.
Don’t let the idea of making videos intimidate you. We always talk about going one of two ways with videos – very professional, polished videos or something more relaxed and raw. Just pick which style it is and own it.
The pro to doing the more professional video is obvious! The pro to doing the raw video is that this can be a selfie or something shot on your phone that can be uploaded immediately! It can give a personable to your viewer. Start by talking about topics that you hear other people talk about in your industry and share your own knowledge on camera – then post it to LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, etc.
How the Website SEO “Slowly” Works
With digital advertising, or, as we call it, “The Fast Burn“, you can pay to become the answer to a search right away. As you increase your advertising spend, you’ll gain a greater audience and get a greater number of clicks.
However, this might plateau eventually and, once you stop spending money, it will drop off entirely. Digital advertising is like renting space.
The slow burn, however, works because you get to have a space that you own by building your place online over time. This value that you’ve added (through content marketing, SEO, keyword research, YouTube videos, and more) to your digital space isn’t going away like it does when you turn off an ad.
You should continue to add to it, update it, and refresh it, but the organic space you take up online doesn’t go away. The slow burn is worth it because you’re going to see that value grow exponentially overtime. It might start off slow and you might need 3-6 months to really see a huge increase in traffic, but, once you see that, your content will keep working for you month after month after month.
We work with businesses that want to grow, that want to find marketing tactics that aren’t going to waste a bunch of money without delivering the audience and leads that they want. That’s why we always talk about this slow burn with our clients!
Watch the full episode from our SquadTalks Over Coffee series below to hear us go more in-depth on how the Slow Burn can work for your business.
If you need help with content strategy, SEO, or any part of the “The Slow Burn”, our team of specialists would be happy to support you. Let us know what you need.