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Topics: SEO

Search engine optimisation is an essential part of any inbound marketing strategy. It’s what gets people ‘through the door’ and onto your website, whether they are researching the solution to a problem they want to solve for themselves, or comparing solution providers to do it for them.

Once they're there, it's the role of your content to convert them into leads, customers and brand evangelists. But inbound marketing starts with SEO, as this is what will form the foundation of your content calendar. Here's how to make SEO work for you as an inbound marketer:

1. Let your buyer personas inform your SEO practice

You’ve created your buyer personas, but how can you use them to inform your content and inbound strategy?

When you know who your target audience is, together with what is likely to interest, motivate and challenge them, you can gear your SEO strategy around keywords they are likely to use in search queries.

Brainstorm search terms, ask your loyal customers what content they would find valuable and do your research. Then you can create a content calendar around what you know your buyer personas and existing clients to want and need.

2. Conduct keyword research regularly

Once you have an idea of the search terms you want to target using your website, blog and downloadable content, you can begin researching keywords to find out how difficulty it would be to rank for them and how frequently they are searched.

Use the Google AdWords Keyword Planner to assess the level of competition and average monthly searches, and the Yoast Google Suggest Expander to find new ideas for long tail keywords.

Effective keyword research will help inform your content calendar, choose titles and topics for your blog posts and ultimately attract new visitors and future customers to your website.

When you regularly conduct keyword research, you’ll be able to find new keywords related to different topics, and expand the number of search terms you rank for.

3. Use PPC to generate data fast

Since SEO can take time to start working, you might want to use PPC to try keywords out and get more instant results. Within a few days, you can collect enough data to inform your SEO strategy.

To test out the performance or certain keywords in the short term, invest in PPC ads targeting those keywords, directing people to your website landing pages and content. Monitor the impressions, clicks and conversions. You needn’t spend big bucks on it, and it can give you quick results and insights into the best keywords to target with your SEO and content moving forward.

4. Unite your SEO and content

Using your intuition and knowledge of your industry and customers, you should be able to figure out the themes and types of content that will resonate with them.

In any inbound marketing strategy, your SEO, content and PPC campaigns should be working together to form a unified coalition.

Aim to increase the amount of organic traffic to your website month on month by incorporating relevant SEO keywords into your content, targeting those people you want to engage.

5. Monitor your performance

HubSpot customers can check their site’s SEO rank for certain target keywords in real-time using their Keywords reporting tool, and compare their traffic rank and MozRank with other brands' websites in the Competitors section. You should also be regularly monitoring your website organic visits and conversions, so you can see how traffic quantity and quality is improving over time.

The goal of SEO is to get your website found online, but your content then needs to inspire trust in your visitors and set you apart from your competition.

Assess how well your website is performing in terms of helping people find the information and solutions they are looking for, by how many leads and customers your website is converting for you once your visitors are there. After all, SEO is an integral part of an inbound marketing strategy, but it is just one part.

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