What Is SEO?
SEO, or search engine optimization, is following set processes that help boost a website’s visibility in search engines, like Google, or social media platforms, such as Instagram and TikTok.
SEO is all about organic traffic, which means it’s an unpaid form of marketing to drive people to your website. It’s related to SEM, or search engine marketing, which involves promoting your website, typically through paid advertising. The main difference between SEO and SEM is organic vs. inorganic traffic.
SEO typically involves:
- Content creation and optimization
- Keyword research
- Link building
- Technical optimization
Think of how often you search something on your phone during the day. Nowadays, we are constantly using Google to answer questions or generate ideas. An Internet Live stat found that Google processes over 8.5 billion searches every day. That’s billions of people looking for products and services each day.
So naturally, this means it’s a great way to target your audience. If you’re a real estate company, and someone is searching “local real estate companies,” you want to be at the top of that search result.
Both SEO and SEM can have a significant impact on increasing traffic and brand awareness, and as a result, revenue. According to HubSpot, 60% of marketers say that inbound (SEO, blog content, etc.) is their highest quality of leads.
While social media platforms don’t technically qualify as search engines, many people use the search bar as a type of search engine. This is especially true for the younger generations. For example, someone might search “SEO content writing services near me” or “best creative agencies in Boise” on Instagram rather than Google. Incorporating keywords into social media posts and profiles can help you trend to the top and get clicks.
Overall, SEO is an important tool for any marketer trying to increase awareness or revenue.
Why SEO and Brand Storytelling?
A major part of SEO is keywords. Using SEO tools like Semrush or Ahrefs, you can gauge what keywords will bring people to your site, how to rank on the first page of Google results, and more.
Because of this, there was a time when people wrote blog posts without actual valuable content and just keyword stuffed. But Google is smart and adaptive; they are constantly updating how Google ranks content.
When keyword stuffing became a thing, Google altered their algorithm to penalize people using an excessive amount of keywords. So, writing with SEO is a careful balance. Too much of a good thing can backfire hard.
While SEO is essential to get people to your site, storytelling is essential to get people to stay. Have you ever landed on a site and quickly realized it didn’t have any actual helpful information? I’ve done that countless times.
In this situation, it doesn’t matter if you’re ranking first because of all the keyword stuffing and other SEO techniques. If the user doesn’t stay to digest the content and look further at your website, then it does nothing for you and your brand.
That’s why you might be getting clicks with no conversions…. you need both SEO and storytelling.
Benefits of Storytelling in Content Marketing
First off, storytelling means people will actually read and digest your content instead of clicking in and out. This is important for getting sales and monetary metrics outside clicks. A longer time on page and lower bounce rate will also tell Google your content is valuable, which boosts ranking.
Another added benefit of incorporating storytelling elements to blog posts is it encourages people to interact with and share your article. This could include sharing on social media, or using your content as a backlink in their own blog article.
The more the blog post is shared, the more traffic, which triggers more shares, and so on. Google then takes notice and will be more likely to rank your page higher. After all, Google cares if the content will engage users and provide value. If the people like it, Google likes it.
How to Integrate Storytelling into SEO Content Strategy
Storytelling is often overlooked by marketers but Google does in fact take it into account. Google looks at your story and whether or not you’re providing value. When you write content, you’ll want to keep in mind the ways Google measures if you are telling a story.
- Does the content make sense? This first question I started to discuss above. Google wants to provide the best possible experience for its users, so people will continue to use them as a search engine. Because of that, they reward you when your content is cohesive.
- Is your content easy to read? Related to the first point, Google measures if your content flows well. Sentences at a fifth grade reading level and shorter paragraphs rank better. This is a way for them to determine if your blog post is easy to read, user-friendly, and helpful for the average person.
- Do you have rich media for a full experience? Media, such as photos and videos, are a huge part of Google ranking. They want to give users an immersive experience, and people like images and videos, plain and simple as that. Google factors that in and gives your page a boost if it provides rich media.
- What are your fonts and colors? Fonts, colors, and branding actually indirectly affect SEO ranking since they impact readability. Google cares about on-site experience and website usability. The higher your readability score on your website, the better. So before you even create content, make sure your branding is on point to support your content marketing efforts.
- Do you have internal links? Internal links, or links within your blog article to another page on your website, do impact SEO. The goal is to have 3-4 minimum, with an extra link for each additional 300 words or so. This is because it helps Google understand your blog article and how your site content interacts, and also how the content adds value individually and collectively.
- Do you have a reputable author? Last but not least, Google rewards you for having a reputable author or a subject matter expert. The best way to demonstrate this to Google is to have your author’s name link to an About the Author page. There, you can provide all the information to provide credibility and let Google know the writer is legit.
You may look at some of these aspects, like rich media and layout, and wonder what that has to do with storytelling. But how you tell a story is just as important as the story itself. Brand storytelling is creating a full experience for your audience.
SEO is big, but you gotta do it right. More often than not, marketers do one or the other: SEO with no real depth to the content, or a great story without keywords and optimization. When you combine the two, that’s when you’ll see serious results that can bring clicks and conversions.
- SEO, or search engine optimization, is following set processes that help boost a website’s visibility in search engines.
- SEO can have a significant impact on increasing traffic and awareness, and as a result, revenue.
- While SEO is essential to get people to your site, storytelling is essential to get people to stay.
- Content readability, rich media, fonts and colors, links, and reputable authors are all factors in SEO ranking.
- When you combine SEO and storytelling, that’s when you’ll see serious results that can bring both clicks and conversions. Making sure you have a solid SEO content strategy will help you find success ranking.