To blog or not to blog. That is the wrong question. The right one should be: is your blog visible at all? And replace blog with website, e-commerce or even social media.
Today, consumers are no longer a passive entity who absorbs everything that marketers say. They are paying less attention to traditional advertising.
What does this mean to brands? Brands are now able to target particular buyers using search engine marketing without having to annoy everyone. Ads are going digital and using much smarter techniques.
So how can your brand name appear on the first page, if not the top, of Google search result? There is a basic framework that helps your brand shine online (MOZ).
- Choose specific keywords – Don’t settle with a broad and frequently-used keyword. If you are selling coffee beans, ‘coffee’ shouldn’t be the focus word. Instead, why not add something like ‘Costa Rican’ coffee?
- No duplicate content – Google algorithm removes a so-called duplicate content so that users won’t find 2 identical pages on the search result (MOZ). The solution is relatively easy: use a rel=canonical.
- Link building – Link building is the most effective way to rank your website high. But at the same time it is extremely challenging as you must have a strong profile.
That’s not the end of story.
Ok, I’ve heard enough of keyword research and stuff, is there any shortcut? Yes, if you don’t mind paying extra, there is PPC ads.
Otherwise, SEO is almost inevitable in modern-day marketing. But what most people forget is the role of content in SEO. I don’t mean any content. It’s the content that creates value to audience.
And what makes a valuable content? – The art of storytelling.
SEO for digital storytelling
Google uses ‘sophisticated algorithms’ to analyse the content (MOZ). So how can we create a content that is perceived as valuable by Google?
- Stay focused.
Internet is full of noise. Consumers’ time and attention are ‘finite’ (Seth Godin). So it’s pointless to target every single person, hoping at least one or two will pay attention to you.
Instead, your brand should focus on one demographic segment, who is likely to share your story. You should create a tailored story specifically for that group. It could be young moms or environmental-conscious urbanites.
- Make it relevant.
Once you know your audience, it is time to craft a story that fits into their ‘worldview’. Think of their political standpoint, music tastes or favourite football team.
I’m just selling travel service, how is this relevant?
Attention to such details is the first step to valuable stories. So don’t take it for granted. Everybody knows Starbucks’ success is not its coffee. It started off targeting a specific market, urban professionals, and created a shareable story and experience. And the magic worked. They kept returning, in search for the story that fit into their worldview.
Get a personality.
If you are writing a blog, don’t be afraid to give your opinions. Opinions create conversations by stirring emotions. Both positive and negative comments are bless, as long as they create the buzz.
What matters the most when choosing a gym? Is it the facility or proximity to work? Surprisingly many people subconsciously choose a gym where staff are nice and friendly, says Seth Godin.
A bit of personality makes your website unique. Being original will help you stand out in today’s crowded market. Besides, Google will never identify you as a copycat.
- Be consistent.
Here is the final point. Stick to the story. Your website or e-commerce should be based on the same story, offering consistent experience. The design, colours and navigation also need to support the story you are telling. There should be the look and feel that match your overarching brand story in every section of your website.
It sounds a lot, doesn’t it? Don’t feel overwhelmed because your content doesn’t need to master all of them. The crucial part is to be exceptionally good at least one of them.
Technical SEO alone isn’t enough nowadays. But the combination of technical and storytelling SEO? It can take you higher.
So why not focus on one that really suits your business idea, and start it today?
What do you think?
Appnova is a digital agency specializing in web design, UX, e-commerce, branding, digital marketing and social media.