Seo strategy

How to balance SEO strategy with brand storytelling

Of the three main pillars of SEO strategy, exploration, content and credibility, content is the heart of SEO. And as content creators, we need to take a holistic approach to content production. An essential part of this is integrating the SEO strategy with original and compelling brand storytelling.

While understanding the strategies and best practices, you certainly don’t want to create a keyword-packed drivel that was produced strictly to rank high on the search engines. On the flip side, content marketing isn’t about telling random stories on your cat’s Instagram feed (well, unless that somehow fits in with a company’s business goals. business). As brand storytellers, we need to balance our need to tell great stories with our own voice with adherence to SEO strategies and brand messages.

How do you create compelling content that follows SEO keyword best practices while maintaining a strong brand voice? After all, you want your content to stand out among a sea of ​​clickable links and provide personal value to your audience. Ultimately, a people-centered approach to authoring is what will differentiate your content from the competition while still maintaining a premium place in the rankings. Here’s how you can merge SEO strategies with brand storytelling to balance both the writing requirements for Google’s search algorithms and writing for humans.

Focus on the emotional connection

As noted in Skyword SEO Best Practices Playbook, “Marketers should view their content creation and SEO as a singular endeavor, where optimizing content for research or creating a story that meets the needs of your audience is, in a sense, at one and the same at the same time. “

Case in point: Vistaprint, after a long focus on direct response marketing, is transitioning to brand storytelling. Beyond SEO strategies and content-related business goals, the nearly two-decade-old Dutch printing company is building its brand through emotional connection. For example, his “Ideas and adviceThe blog goes beyond basic design advice for small business owners and delves deep into providing tactics and educational materials for its specific audience of micro business owners, making it a trusted resource. which customers can refer to again and again.

Anyone can do keyword research and wrap their opening paragraphs with half a dozen highly searchable terms. However, it often ends up feeling incredibly stilted and unnatural to the reader. Therefore, as brand storytellers, we must strive to create conversational content and create a memorable connection through the stories we choose to tell through techniques such as first-person narratives that evoke emotions and immerse the reader in an experience.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a keyword strategy at all. In fact, keywords are an extremely useful brainstorming tool when you are generating ideas for the stories you want to tell. When working on your ideation process with your editorial team, try reviewing sets of keywords to elicit suggestions for topics, and then come up with stories that revolve around those keywords.

It could be a story taken from a first-hand account, a recent event, or a popular cultural trend. When you develop these intriguing story ideas, your SEO team can offer even more nuanced information by coming up with long tail keyword variations to incorporate into your article. (Note: Metadata, Tags, and Links will also support your SEO.)

Look for unexplored keyword opportunities

Image attribution: Felix Russell-Shaw

Since the keyword strategy includes a mix of short and long tail phrases and primary / secondary hierarchy, you’ll want to look for unexplored keyword opportunities. What long tail phrases might help your content stand out; where could you potentially own the conversation?

You can use a long tail that is relevant to the brand’s story and that aligns with their content goals to create a story that is both interesting to your audience and in line with the SEO strategy.

For example, a recent article that I contributed to the insurance start-up Blanket discussed the horror story of a homeowner after coming home on New Years Eve after a pipe ruptured in his house. The article covered the ways you can file a complaint and the steps involved in the complaints process. Due to a selection of strategic keywords intended to address this specific concern, if someone now searches “Home Insurance Advice for Pipe Owners,” the article appears on the first page.

If you are stumped, pull the keyword broad category level. See if it makes sense to combine a long-tailed phrase with a short-tailed phrase, or a long-tailed phrase with a related phrase that someone might naturally search for to meet a certain need.

Think holistically

No man is an island of himself, and so is content. No blog post, video, infographic, or guide will determine your content goals. It’s the whole experience and the way your pieces of content interact with each other within your site that drives your SEO. So, when creating content, think about how the different elements work together to contribute to a bigger brand message. How can each piece of content connect with each other, both as a bigger story and as a block within your SEO strategy?

Returning to Skyword SEO’s best practice book, “SEO conversations have started to shift away from technical feats and more towards holistic, content-driven strategies that combine quality content with organization and site building. clean. Think about how each piece of content, whether it’s a standalone piece or a series, fits into your overall content strategy and branding experience.

Introduce keywords in the interview questions

One way to add originality to your content while incorporating SEO strategies is to include keywords in the interview questions. Having keywords in the questions you ask the experts will give them an established place in the article while preventing them from appearing too forced, as the main focus of readers will be the expert’s response. .

Quotes can serve as a microcosm of your larger goal of balancing originality with adherence to SEO best practices. For example, let’s say you’re writing an article for a pet site about creative ball games for playing with pets, and one of the keyword phrases includes “golf ball.” You can ask an exotic animal behaviorist for games that you can play with pets that include golf balls. And even if they don’t use “golf balls” in their response, the conversation will be built around playing ball tactics. In turn, you will have a different voice or perspective that will also support your SEO.

radio interviewer

Image attribution: NEON BRAND

Use a loud voice

A great way to avoid sounding too robotic in your storytelling while sticking to your keyword strategy is to insert your content with a strong voice and tone, if your brand’s content strategy requires it. This way, you can incorporate SEO best practices and strategies without diluting the style. It’s not about adapting to keyword trends at the expense of your brand’s voice, but finding creative ways to marry the two. So infuse your brand’s voice, whether conversational, inspirational, friendly, daring or daring, into every piece of content you create.

When you balance SEO strategies with powerful brand storytelling, ultimately the most important thing is serving your audience. Good content offers your audience more than information – it engages them, helps them solve a problem, and tells your brand’s story in the process. And by integrating an SEO strategy with compelling content, you can tell great brand stories that new audiences will discover that will help you reach your content goals.

Featured Image Attribution: iam Se7en