Continuing with the analysis of the most outstanding presentations of all our Inbound Leaders events, this time I bring you the talk “How to align your content strategy with SEO to optimize your conversions?” , a presentation of the Inbound Leaders 2018 edition and whose theme will continue to be valid for a long time, as it addresses the problems of traffic generation and conversions from a perspective compatible with all the new changes related to Google, the RGPD, the habits of users, among others.
This master class that we will analyze today was given by José Facchin , a recognized expert in content marketing and SEO, who was also a country manager for SEMrush and who has worked for other large companies such as PrestaShop and Telefónica .
In his presentation, José Facchin performs a deep and detailed analysis of why (and how) the generation of content and the application of SEO techniques should be a day-to-day job, a permanent initiative that seeks to maintain the competitiveness of the brand through the long of the time. It is not about “doing SEO” today and hoping that your results will last for several years, not even for several months.
The constant updates in Google’s algorithms , the increasing number of featured snippets present in the SERPs, the large number of paid ads that rank above the organic results, and the proliferation of new websites and blogs that try positioning almost the same content as us are just some of the reasons why the effectiveness of an SEO strategy tends to have an early expiration date .
As marketers, we must have the ability to adapt our digital strategies to this extremely competitive context , which does not forgive the laggards or the outdated .
Myths, mistakes and objectives in an SEO strategy
SEO is considered by many to be a “free strategy” for positioning on Google and generating traffic. This is because people often confuse “organic” with free. Although SEO allows you to have organic positioning and traffic, it does not mean that this strategy is free. In fact, it can be very expensive.
To carry out a good SEO strategy in a company, it is necessary to invest time, effort and, above all, money in consulting and hiring specialized personnel in these topics, as well as investing to acquire the licenses of multiple digital tools that are necessary.
For this reason, we must stop underestimating everything that SEO requires of us, because if we continue to think that it is “something free”, then we will continue to have a drain of time, effort and money without knowing where these resources are going so precious and scarce.
In this context, José Facchin explains that a large number of companies, agencies and professionals are failing in two ways by having the wrong perspective (or several) on SEO:
- On the one hand, they are not managing to generate enough traffic that the internet business needs. It can easily be said that about 90% of the web pages do not exceed 5,000 visits per month.
- On the other hand, of those pages that do achieve a lot of online visibility, very few manage to monetize the traffic they receive . This is because the visibility achieved was not built strategically from the beginning.
The problem is in the popular belief that to be successful on the Internet, it is enough to create a website and write a lot, a lot of content. Therefore, it is essential to understand right now that search engine positioning must pursue the objective of increasing conversion rates. In other words, increase customer acquisition , not just visitors.
This aspect is essential if we consider that the conversion percentage is usually, on average, quite low, which makes the challenge even greater. According to the Study on conversion in digital businesses , carried out by Flat 101, the average conversion in ecommerce pages was 1.02% in 2015, 0.88% in 2016, 1.03% in 2017 and 1.11% in 2018. That is, approximately only 1 in 100 visits makes a purchase.
Taking into account this difficult and complicated nature to attract customers in the online ecosystem, we must stop focusing all our efforts on creating content to position in Google. Instead, we should think about how to use that content to attract customers. Hence the importance of knowing how to align the content strategy with that of SEO , in order to generate traffic, but also to make it profitable.
What is the relationship and difference between content strategy and SEO?
Both a content strategy and an SEO strategy must be aimed at generating traffic to the website and then conversions within it, which, for many people, means that content and SEO are the same.
Sure, both strategies must work together to be successful, but each addresses different elements. Let’s see the following metaphor that José Facchin gives us to understand the relationship / difference between the two strategies:
- SEO (all those actions that seek positioning in Google and other search engines) is like an invitation to a party.
- The contents are the party itself.
So, implementing SEO without a content strategy is like inviting people to a party ( generating traffic ), and when they arrive at the right place they won’t find any organized party ( a page without content ). On the other hand, executing a content strategy without SEO is like having the party, but without having invited anyone ( a page with content, but without traffic ).
The key to this situation is that it is not only important to attract visits to the website using SEO techniques, but also to offer those visits relevant content capable of meeting their information needs, with the aim of producing conversions, either to leads or to sales.
For this, we must have a content strategy oriented to SEO. That is, publish some good party invitations and, at the same time, have a very good party. At this point, we must emphasize that in a digital strategy SEO is not enough to generate traffic, it is convenient to deploy other types of complementary and effective “invitations” , such as Google Ads , social media marketing publications , messages through email marketing , etc.
Content is NOT king! But then who is?
In this industry, we all know the catchy phrase “content is king”, but it is just a slogan to sell us content marketing. In a digital marketing strategy that seeks to generate traffic and conversions, there is a trinomial of key elements that we must take into account:
- The user.
- The company.
- Google (and other search engines).
This is where many find content to be the most important element. However, it is not. In the Ranking Factors research , carried out by SEMrush, the 17 main factors that influence the positioning of a page in search results were analyzed. In order of importance, the factors are as follows:
As we can see, the first 4 factors (the most important) are related to the user experience (UX) . The next 4, with the link building , and the last 9, with the content. So is content king? No, in short, it is not. The king is the user!
For Google, the most important thing to prioritize a page in the SERPs are the elements that improve the UX of said page, since algorithms understand that the better the experience a user has on a site, the more satisfied they will feel when visiting it. And, in the end, what Google always seeks is to satisfy users .
Second, Google also values link building elements, as these are what give a website authority. The more authority you have, the more important and relevant you are supposed to be. Finally, there are the elements related to the content: length, keywords, formats, etc.
In this way we have that, for example, if the user searches for a topic in Google, he visits one of the pages that appeared in the results, and a few seconds after visiting it he clicks the back button in the browser, the algorithms of Google interprets that action as that the user experience was unsatisfactory. Therefore, the page begins to lose positions in the SERP, no matter how optimized it is in terms of keywords, length, etc.
Taking all this into account, when executing a content and SEO strategy we must look for a perfect synergy between the factors of the aforementioned trinomial (user – company – Google). To achieve this, we must create the content and optimize the page thinking first of the user (to satisfy them) , but also of Google (to generate traffic) and our company (to generate conversions) .
Thus, JezNorthWeb have that the magic, science and the art of digital marketing are in achieving that we all win: us, our visitors and Google.