Category Archives: Content

SEO Content – Are You Speaking with Your “Brand Voice?”

SEOs and Copywriters struggle to create content that is both SEO-friendly and in proper brand voice. If you find that perfect balance, you won’t only find more organic SEO traffic, you’ll also encourage conversion.

We all know that SEO copy is designed to be perfect for Google RankBrain, not human beings. Effective website copy speaks to your audience in a way that attracts them to your business and converts them into customers. Ideally, website content would be attractive to both your website visitors and Google’s algorithms. In recent years, Google has clearly become less concerned with keyword density and more concerned with a strong User Experience, so the two disciplines are encouraged to come together. How can we make that happen?

SEO Content - Are You Speaking with Your “Brand Voice?”

Here are some questions that will help you to define the message that will make sense for your audience.

1. What is your USP (unique selling proposition)?

Define what it is that makes you stand out from your competition. Your competition has similar products, but you want to avoid making your offerings a commodity, which makes sales a profit-killing race to the lowest price. What special skill, value, expertise, or premium do you offer?

2. Who is your ideal customer? Create an in-depth profile.

The “big picture” answer is a start. I was speaking to an auto repair client the other day and their response was, “automobile owners who need maintenance or repair on their vehicles.” This is clearly true but doesn’t go nearly deep enough. I encouraged the client to answer the following:

1. What make of automobile do they drive?
2. What are their typical service and repair problems?
3. What do they think about their automobiles? Love affair or just transportation?
4. What are they like?
5. What do you and your team do to solve their problems?

The more you know about your target audience, the easier it will be to figure out what they want and how to make them feel like you are talking directly to them. Website content should be written like a one-on-one conversation, not a broadcast.

3. What defines conversion when it comes to your website?

Is your goal to sell products, encourage a telephone call or personal visit to your store or office, or would you like each visitor to see specific pages of content on your website? Whatever the goal, it is not enough to simply put a cleverly-designed call to action button on the page. Your content must convince a website visitor that the action you want them to take is a relatively painless and logical next step if they are interested in the goods and services that you offer.

4. Are your products or services the solution to a problem?

You must emphasize the benefits of your goods and services, not the features. For an auto repair shop, the features are quality repairs made by expert auto technicians. The benefits may be saving money in the long run or getting better resale value by demonstrating that your vehicle has been properly maintained.

To help with this, you can make a list of the most common questions asked by your past clients. How can you demonstrate that you will make their lives a little easier and their experience working with you as enjoyable as possible?

5. What voice appeals to your target audience?

If your business is successful, your voice and your brand culture come through to customers you meet in person and speak to via telephone. This same voice should apply to your website content. In the long run, if your website content is not consistent with your culture, your customers and potential customers will realize it and begin to mistrust you a bit for misrepresenting yourself in the first conversation that you had with them.

Conclusion: At face value, it seems simple to create effective SEO content in brand voice, but it requires a great deal of preparation and a solid idea of how your company and its services are perceived in the marketplace. It is important to have all content reviewed carefully by a team member who has a solid grasp on your “brand voice” to keep content and the call to action consistent with how you run your business.

The investment of time and effort will be large, but you will undoubtedly find your results will be much better.

Eric Van Cleave is Co-CEO of Zenergy Works, a Santa Rosa, California-based SEO and Online Marketing Firm.

Link Baiting, Viral Marketing and Social Media Consulting

Viral marketing is something of an enigma, even among many seasoned marketing agencies. It can be orchestrated or accidental, paid or organic. The virality can come from successfully hitting the right target, or it can be due to unintentional hilarity. For the purposes of online marketing, however, you don’t want to focus energy on what you can’t control. So what are the tangible, actionable ways you can encourage your content to become viral?

Understanding Social Media

Since the advent of social media, the marketing landscape has changed completely. Where television and radio once ruled, internet marketing has outstripped them by leaps and bounds. Today, consumers are more likely to seek information online before they go anywhere else, and the average person spends hours every week on social media networks like Facebook and Instagram. The game is, as they say, afoot. In order to keep in step, it’s important to understand the medium.

People group works at a table - Social Media Concept

All too often, companies are under the mistaken impression that social media marketing means creating an account, throwing up some pictures and information about sales, and calling it a day. Not only is this example ineffective, it can actually be damaging to your brand. Consumers of the internet era require two things: authenticity and interesting or beneficial content. These things require time, effort, and strategy on the part of your marketing team. If you don’t have a dedicated department that can invest that time, you’ll find online marketing a steep mountain to climb.

Quality Viral Marketing

The first step is in understanding what makes quality viral marketing. One of the go-to tactics of knowledgeable marketers is link baiting — the practice of creating appealing content that encourages sharing. This sort of content can come in many forms. Many sites use listicles, infographics, eye-catching images, humor, controversial topics, and other similar attention-grabbing content. Consider for a moment the type of articles that catch your interest and get you to click. What about them sticks out to you? If you can create interesting, easily-digestible, informative, entertaining, or breaking news style content, you’re on the right track.

You’ll also notice that the most successful sites — Buzzfeed and Upworthy are excellent examples — have mastered the art of drawing people in with a gripping headline. These are the headlines that create a sense of intrigue and urgency, inspiring people to follow to get the full story. They’re also known as “clickbait.” If you see a headline along the lines of “He Proposed to Her in Central Park and You’ll Never Believe What Happened Next,” you know it hooks people in. The trick is keeping them on the page once they click, which means you have to deliver on the headline’s promise. If you can do that, you’ve struck social sharing gold.

Not sure you have the in-house manpower to spare on this sort of marketing effort? No problem. You can find skilled social media consulting and creative online marketing through Zentiv. With over 13 years in the business, we’re well-versed on what makes online users click, stick, and buy. Don’t waste time and effort throwing out lines and hoping someone bites. We’ll help you choose the best bait.

What is the Best Content Strategy for My Business?

According to Google, creating valuable content is key to both successful SEO and creating website user engagement and conversion.

Essentially, the steps are:Content Is King!

  1. Identify customer needs.
  2. Go beyond the blog post!
  3. Proper titles are essential.

A brand must determine who their customers are and create relevant content for them. Using second level data, focus groups or simply talking to your customers are great ways to discover what they want.

If a bike shop continuously receives questions about the different types of mountain bikes, then it would be wise for the bike shop to write about the different types of mountain bikes. Furthermore, if data shows heavy traffic to a particular product page, the retailer would want to create content around that specific product.

Blogging isn’t the only advertising brands should be creating, although blogging is a fantastic source for promoting, brands don’t want to become stuck only creating long form content. Using multiple channels is ideal, such as social media, video content, vines, and infographics are all great ways to expand your brands reach. Being able to use the same content in multiple ways is profitable for your brand– take our bike shop for example. If mountain bikes are a hot topic why not create an infographic of different mountain bikes, or a YouTube channel focusing on Mountain Bikes? Re-purposing content is a simple way to create a larger audience.

The title of your content is also huge when it comes to attracting attention to your copy. It is crucial that the title is relevant to your content, it is fun to come up with clever and witty titles, just make sure it is simple enough to understand and relevant to your topic. If our bike shop is writing about mountain bikes but the title is “Four Ways to Concur a Mountain” potential readers may become confused. Be sure to use keywords in your title to help increase your SEO initiatives.

FAQs and Blog Posts are an important part of every content plan. It is key for online marketing success to be upfront with the information your potential customers want to know in the navigation of your website.

If you have questions about your content plan, or would like to discuss any SEO or online marketing concerns that you have, please reach out to us.  We are here to help!