March 13, 2023 | Robert Campbell
Anyone combing through Toronto’s digital agency landscape will probably encounter companies with service pages offering SEO Marketing. But if readers drill down on the supporting material, or send emails to ask follow-ups, they’ll likely find the firm does both SEO and content marketing but doesn’t merge them with any strategic vision. Most agencies lack the passion (for their clients’ businesses) and the experience required to marry these concepts and leverage their power to raise SE rankings.
SEO Marketing Combines Search Engine Optimization with Content Marketing to do High Quality Link Building
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) involves a range of techniques designed to make a website more attractive to Google, Bing, and Yahoo with the goal of achieving higher organic rankings for related search terms. These techniques include rewriting web content, improving page titles and headers, shrinking pictures and straightening margins, and the most difficult task is fostering high quality incoming links from respectable third party domains. This is where SEO marketing is best deployed.
SEO link building through storytelling is the process of acquiring ‘backlinks’ to a website by creating engaging content that either 1) inspires other websites to create incoming links as they reference the material , or 2) can be ‘guest-posted’ or written and submitted as editorial for niche magazines or blogs complete with links to the client site. This is passive link building and active link building respectively, and they’re the best ways to raise domain authority as measured by MOZ’s Link Explorer platform which is the oldest most well known measuring stick in the industry.
How Does SEO Marketing Work?
The process begins when marketers compose a unique story or brand message the business would like to share with a particular audience. The text could relate a personal experience (testimonial), or offer an interesting anecdote (exclusive reporting), or a thought-provoking idea related to their day to day operations, or to their industry as a whole (expert opinion).
A good example of effective SEO marketing is present on this blog and part of KPDI’s business legacy. In 2017, three years before Covid-19 forever changed the Search for Miss World Canada, KPDI arranged to have the pageanters experience the show’s mandated Fitness Day regime at Mayfair Clubs Canada’s flagship Lakeshore Blvd. location in downtown Toronto. All the media made that day would link to the website’s swimming pool page. This was done to help the gym’s website rank higher for swim program and other searches related to indoor swimming in Toronto, and also to highlight the clients’ saltwater swimming pools which are upscale and rare in the marketplace.
#SaltwaterSelfie participants were asked to swim to the bottom of the pool and pose for a submersible camera while wearing a silver crown, and although that sounds easy enough, it’s hard to be graceful underwater. Many of these people told us later this challenge was their favourite part of Fitness Day, and one of the highlights of the week.
By promoting the #SaltwaterSelfie hashtag we made it very easy to report on the initiative. Anyone who searches #SaltwaterSelfie on Google today will find all manner of business blogs, influencer updates and Flickr images related to activities held that day, and you can still find some of the swims and selfies taken by the competitors.
There is a Method for Making SEO Marketing
The process begins by making Marque Media. The best pictures and text are arranged under the most clickable headline and the piece is published in a place where it’s sure to get the most attention. Secondary media could comment on this primary post, link-referencing the premium article and the client’s site. Tumblr and Pinterest are used to widen the funnel.
Making that first piece of marque media means taking the time to write a good story that will earn more media because of its high quality. Experienced SEO marketers will relate how they must overcome three separate gatekeepers for every article they publish. They must first please the client who is paying for everything, and then satisfy the publisher (with cash) who is risking his reputation, and then after publishing, they’ll use social media to drive readership and increase the media’s importance. The readership is the third ‘gate’ because users must find the document useful, or else the link is useless.
The Saltwater Selfie story had three premium publishers originally, but only one magazine story can be found five years later, while the Flickr pictures, sponsor blogs and influencer updates which would rightly be described as secondary and tertiary media are still present. It could be the magazines conveniently misplaced this sponsored content as the pageant story at the heart of the initiative is limiting.
Regardless of the content, layout or formats, the same rules apply; once the marketers have a compelling idea, the task is to make lengthy rich media documents that keep readers on page for five minutes or more. Authors should try to create documents that other writers will want to link to because the stats, quotes and ideation present could somehow be used in their content. Veteran storytellers plant their best stuff in the busiest destinations.
Marque media can also be published on the businesses’ own website blog if the SEO marketers are pursuing a passive link-building strategy whereby they hope other publishers will link-in to their content. The key is to make sticky-thoughts which others will find engaging and shareable. This could take many forms such as newsy articles filled with quotes, or humorous cartoons, or photos, or statistics, YouTube videos, infographics, or downloadable PDFs and podcasts. Effective marketers frequently partner with other websites and use social media influencers to amplify their message and outreach.
The key to effective link building is the quality of the story and the manner used to create the content. The pieces must be interesting and relevant to the audience but also provide enough value that other publishers will want to link-in to sample or share the tale with their readers. This could be because the post is filled with useful information, or is highly entertaining or inspirational.
The goal of SEO marketing is to increase the visibility of a website in search engine results and garner more traffic for the site which should lead to more sales.
By creating high-quality backlinks through storytelling, either actively or passively, marketers improve their client’s domain authority and credibility which results in higher search engine rankings. Additionally, by creating content that resonates with a particular audience, the host businesses establish themselves as thought leaders in that space which lures more potential customers from other touch points in the marketing funnel.
Does your enterprise have an especially shareable story? Please contact us for more information and we’ll send along our publishers’ list so you can find the blogs and magazines that best match your business. Receive a free website SEO audit and complimentary keyword research for your webpages. Let’s work together to increase your firm’s online findability using SEO marketing.