As a business leader, it’s your responsibility to make decisions that increase sales. But how can you close more sales without getting more and better leads? As a leader in the digital marketing and lead generation industry, our agency firmly believes the answer is to increase the digital presence of your business. And the best way to do this is to invest in search engine marketing for your website.

Every year, our team attends the world’s largest search engine marketing conference at SMX East in NYC. This article is based on some of the methods that conference speakers emphasized and ways we’ve seen online marketing produce results for our own clients.

Customers Are Searching for Your Words

The first thing to understand about marketing your website on search engines is that it’s all rooted in WORDS. In the Internet world, customers aren’t going to find your building on a drive down the highway. When using search engines, they aren’t going to talk to you at a networking event. No sir. The only way customers are going to find your business website on Google is through words. So if you’re not writing any words, it’s going to be pretty hard to get found online. And in time, it will get harder for your business to get found at all.

What Is Digital Content?

What do we mean by “words”? There are many terms being used to describe this words-based marketing. By words we mean keywords, keyword phrases, web copy, online content, and any form of text that can be analyzed and understood by a search engine. Common examples of digital content for business include blog posts, web pages / web content, and downloadable literature such as case studies, resource guides, and ebooks. These are the pieces of content that modern businesses are creating to attract customers online. In business, this strategy is called content marketing. Content marketing has taken a strong lead at the top of the sales funnel.

How to Improve Content Marketing

If your business is having trouble acquiring leads, the problem can likely be traced back to the amount or quality of your content marketing. Below are some steps to fix that.

1. Hire Copywriters

The first thing you need to do to improve content marketing is to hire a copywriter. Don’t make the mistake of adding content production to the workload of employees who might be able to “squeeze it” into their schedules. To produce digital content that delivers leads, you need a full-time writer (or writers) to create a recurring volume of well-written, highly strategic, SEO-driven pieces of content. This belief was strongly emphasized among speakers at the 2017 SMX East conference. During her seminar, Christine Churchill, President & CEO of KeyRelevance, said, “Good copywriters are worth their weight in gold.” Debra Mastaler, President of Alliance-Link.com, echoed Churchill’s instruction, “Don’t skimp on a copywriter, whatever you do.”

2. Honor Humans

Your primary focus in writing digital content should be to help and serve your customers. This comes first before SEO and trying to satisfy search engines. Google knows it has to make humans happy if it wants them to continue using it to find the answers to their questions. So how do you write content that honors humans first? Your best option is to have your sales team communicate with your content writers on a regular basis. The data that can be pulled from actual deals that have been closed is what you want to reflect in your online content. This data should include a strong understanding of your best customers and how they interact with your brand.

Here are the top ways to honor humans in your content:

    • Write to your target audience. This primarily includes decision makers, the ones who actually decide to pay you.
    • Use your customer’s language. Reflect the language customers use when they submit inquiries, request quotes, have complaints, want to know the status on their orders, or are ready to buy. This data can and should all be turned into digital content.
    • Use your brand voice. After attracting customers with their own language, nurture them by using your brand voice. Give them an honest portrayal of what it will be like to do business with you.

Ways to gather this data for your writers include interviews, emails, phone call recordings, and survey reports. Arranging for your writers to interview sales teams, subject-matter experts, and your customers is the best method to gather this information because both can collaborate back and forth to unify your customer’s language and your brand voice into one piece of content. Emails, call recordings, and survey reports also allow writers to dissect the information and combine it with research and other resources to generate excellent content that attracts more leads.

3. Appease Machines

If you’re not familiar with using the Internet as a tool for your business, this step tends to be the more challenging one. The keywords you choose and content you write could reach a bigger audience if you also aim to appease machines. By machines, we just mean all the technology Google and search engines use to locate, scan, analyze, and suggest websites to users.

After you plan content that “honors humans” first, use machines to see how you can best select language and keywords that your customers actually type into Google. Then compare that amount to your business size and competition. You want to use keywords that receive a high search volume and a low competition.

Most keyword analytic tools, like SEMrush, will give you insights on monthly search volume and the amount of your competitors who are already ranking for that keyword organically, or paying to rank for that keyword. If the competition is too high, don’t start there (unless you’re already ranking near page one for that keyword). In the beginning, even if you have to sacrifice for a lower search volume, choose a keyword that has a lower competition to start proving to Google that your website is worth the attention of those who search for that topic.

In regards to SEO, SMX speaker Mark Traphagen, Sr. Director of Brand Evangelism at Stone Temple Consulting, said, “If you’re doing nothing else with marketing, but you’re creating excellent content and attracting and building great links, you’re doing good SEO.”

Ready for More Customers?

With these practices in place, you’ll be well on your way to acquire more and better customers with digital content. If you’re eager to get started, your next step is to determine if your company should start improving your digital presence internally or through an agency. Check out this checklist on everything needed to improve your online presence. If the items in this list seem overwhelming for your current team, use our resource on when to outsource marketing for B2B to help you decide if an agency is right for you.