You are at the edge of creating customer delight, but there is one thing missing. Your customers can’t rave about how great your content is if they can’t find your content. Here is where pure SEO comes in.
SEO helps your customers find what they need at each stage of the conversion funnel.
This is the third post in our ‘creating happy customers’ series.
Post 1 covered the terms you need to know in order to understand how to combine SEO with UX and a CMS effectively.
Post 2 looked at the research you can do to uncover key insights that help you personalize your content for your audiences, and simplified CMSs into two main groups.
This third post takes a close look at SEO research and the practical steps you can take to embed SEO into your page to show Google you deserve to rank highly for your selected keywords, while diving deeper into selecting the right CMS for your needs.
The last Post 4 goes into the more technical side of SEO, then looks at how to choose the right CMS to suit your content needs, and does a quick comparison of specific CMSs.
SEO Research - Generating More Keywords & More Content
It works like this. You’ve got a good idea about the keywords and phrases your customers use when searching for solutions, but those are your ideas. Now you take those keywords and phrases and apply something called Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) to them. It's a big phrase, but the phrase is unimportant. The idea is:
Search engines know that people use onpage SEO tricks like stuffing keywords into their <h1> tags, <title> tags, and <H2> tags in order to get their content surfaced. These trick the system. Google isn’t a huge fan of getting tricked, so it relies on LSI (among other things) to separate the good articles from the articles with empty keyword stuffing. LSI is hugely complex, and is often described in hugely complex ways, but the idea is pretty simple. Here it is.
What words / phrases co-occur with the words / phrases your customers search for?
If an article has a bunch of words / phrases that co-occur with what your customer is searching for, Google will rank your article high - even if you don’t have many instances of the exact keyword that is being searched. In plainer language, if your customer is looking for ‘flights south’, Google will surface sites that have phrases like ‘warm destinations’. “Warm destinations’ has none of the keywords in ‘flights south’, but because when people search for ‘flights south’, the phrase ‘warm destinations’ frequently co-occurs, Google knows that if your page has ‘warm destinations’ in it, it is likely very relevant to someone searching for ‘flights south’.
You can find those words that co-occur with your keywords at LSIgraph.
On-Page SEO - Getting the SEO into the Right Places on Your Site
We’ve looked at how Google uses a variety of ranking factors to judge your content. Here is how to get those ranking factors to work in your favor.
It starts with sprinkling your LSI keywords into key spots in your document. If you are writing for an audience whose number one goal is enjoying great experiences and you know some of the keywords that speak to that audience include ‘one-of-a-kind, breath-taking, remarkable, best', and you know they search for specific cities, here is a sample SEO roadmap.
You need to write something useful and necessary to people looking for one-of-a-kind breathtaking remarkable experiences in their city. Start by creating content your audience will value. Let’s say they live in San Francisco.
The URL is a great place to start embedding keywords. For this audience, a great URL could be:
The title is another key section. Using the LSI approach to SEO, your title could be:
“A one-of-a-kind experience by the golden gate bridge”
The H1 tag is a perfect opportunity to reinforce the title:
“Enjoy a remarkable dinner close to San Francisco’s iconic landmark”
H2 tags get more variations of the same:
“San Fran’s best late night adventure”
The body is where you dive into details that provide value to the audience. Keywords aren’t as necessary here, the point here is to create something so good people actually stick around to read the entire thing.
Now that you have created content that your audience searches for and needs, and you have embedded your original keywords, plus your LSI keywords, into the right sections of your text, it's easy for Google to see that users like to read your content, and it's easy for Google to understand what your content is. You are almost done.
The CMS Workhorse Part 3
Last post we finished with how a CMS can be cloud based or on-premise. There are a couple other key distinctions to sort through when choosing the right CMS. Let’s delve a bit deeper into which CMS can best help you create happy customers.
More Varieties of CMS
Now that we know about cloud based CMSs and on-premise CMSs, it's time to dive into traditional, headless, and hybrid CMSs.
Read more here.
A traditional CMS offers a quick solution to getting content created and presented. Everything comes pre-built, leaving you to enter in content and publish. They are great for ‘create posts and get it published’ needs, but what they offer in simplicity they lose in customizability.
A headless CMS is high on customizability but is rarely a quick solution. With a headless CMS you specify to the developers exactly what functionalities you want, the exact steps in your ideal publishing workflow, and how you want your content distributed. The developers then get to work and over time give you a completely customized workspace developed to suit your needs. These are great for big businesses with complex and unique requirements, but often require extensive retooling when changes need to be made.
A Hybrid CMS offers a mix of both traditional and headless benefits. Like traditional CMSs they come with much of the foundational functionality ready to get built on, and like headless CMSs they are easy to customize. They often provide a relatively quick solution, yet one that can be customized to fit the company.
We have covered many of the key elements you need in order to create great content that you customers can actually find. Next post we will look at one remaining element to consider when combining SEO with a CMS to create happy customers - technical SEO.