93% of online experiences begin with a search engine.
Still, some companies aren’t convinced that investing in search engine optimization (SEO) is a worthwhile marketing strategy. This leads companies down a perilous path to spending some time optimizing their website and social channels. They may designate one employee to touch up their site’s SEO on occasion, or they may outline a list of keywords that may be relevant to target audiences. But is it enough?
Chances are, the SEO strategy your business has in place is not enough. Don’t worry—this isn’t only your fault. With the ever-evolving Internet and booming realm of digital marketing, it’s hard to keep up with the best practices for SEO. After reading one article, you may think you have a good handle on including keywords in your ‘slugs’ or adding the same tags to all of your blog posts. But to truly have a competitive, top-quality SEO strategy today, you need to pay attention to the methods that actually work.
While there are many tried-and-true SEO tricks you can be doing, there is one proven strategy that is always effective. By applying storytelling to your SEO, your rankings and organic traffic will increase. Trust us, we’ve done the research and know what really gets those search engine spiders crawling.
Here’s the issue: Your SEO elements aren’t telling a story about your content.
There’s plenty of elements that constitute an effective SEO strategy, like keywords, page titles, on-page headers, alt text in images and page (or meta) descriptions. While making sure you employ all of these elements in any page, post or feature of your website is crucial, it won’t help you in the search engine battle if they don’t tell the same story. If you’ve developed a story for your brand, every part of your SEO strategy should follow the plot, using similar language that appeals to your target audience.
Top Level Keywords
Start by outlining what your brand’s story is. Let’s say you are a marketing company in Honolulu, Hawaii. The words that come to mind first will likely be related to your industry (marketing, branding, digital advertising), your services or products (website design) and potentially your location (Hawaii!). These are your top level keywords. Top level keywords should be used in your website and social media main descriptions. These are the broad “umbrella” keywords that you want to receive traffic for.
Next, you will want to break these top level keywords down into mid-level keywords. Some examples might be: Hawaii graphic design, brand building, SEO customization, etc. These keywords will ultimately be your page titles, page descriptions, on-page headers and alt text—or, the “categories” with which you organize your website or social channels. You should use these keywords to organize your blog posts, events and services on your pages. Mid-level keywords will cue search engine spiders as to what type of content can be found on your site. The spiders can then more effectively crawl your site, as it will all be organized around a single, cohesive story.
Finally, if you have a little bit more going in at your business than the topics covered in your top and mid-level keywords, you should also develop supplemental keywords. This final category of keywords are relevant to all parts of your website or social channels. These keywords will likely be the most generalized of all, including phrases like: copywriting tips, business tools, social media tips and so on. Supplemental keywords are perfect for alt text, tags (in blog posts, image galleries and products) and for headers.
As you can see, if you devote the time to really dive into each aspect of your business, your story will become more complete—and your SEO strategy will align with this narrative. Eventually, once you circulate all three types of keywords throughout your website or social channels, you will slowly move up in the search engine ranking for these keywords. By telling your business’s story, you will become a known brand with recognizable content that aligns behind your strategy for growth.