Don’t you love it when someone takes a complex topic and makes it simple? And then offers simple steps to help you take action!

I’ve come across a brilliant example of that, and would like to share it with you.

One of the most effective ways of using internet marketing for online businessess is to use content marketing. What problems do your clients have? Create great content to help solve those problems! This helps you get their attention and build trust. And you need both before you can think about selling to them.

Used in this way, content marketing helps you solve your internet marketing problem – how to find customers and convert online.

It Starts with Ciaran’s Post on Organic Search Traffic

The Post. Ciaran McKeever has guest-posted an exceptionally useful article called How to Herd Organic Search Traffic to Your Blog. Please read the post and pay particular attention to points 1 through 5.

What it Triggered. This post not only shares the concept, but also puts Ciaran’s theory into practice. The post title – internet marketing for online businesses – is predicted by Wordtracker to drive 26 searches a day. That is at the low end of Ciaran’s guidelines (he recommends 15 to 200). But I like his strategy of identifying a group of niche searches that collectively amount to a lot. Have you used the free Wordtracker researcher tool? If not, go back to that link and try it for yourself now – it will take less than a minute.

My site is about online marketing. That phrase – online marketing – has a predicted search volume of over 600 searches a day. Not as high as internet marketing (over 1,600), but about the same as web marketing. (Note: I posted last year on why I chose online marketing instead of internet marketing). This is a highly competitive phrase (and getting a lot more so), and good rankings on the core phrase will take time (and effort).

Which is why Ciaran’s strategy is such a good one. I cannot expect to hit page 1 for online marketing quickly. But I can expect this post to rank highly for ‘internet marketing for online businesses’ in a relatively short period of time. Using Wordtracker I can easily identify more keyword phrases that drive >15 predicted searches a day. I can use keyword phrases that related to online marketing, internet marketing or web marketing.

Write for People. A special note – when doing this, make sure you write useful articles for your primary audience – people. Try and identify the problem your prospective client wants to solve. And then help them solve that problem. Trying to write an article mainly for search engines is a mistake.

Four Steps to Content Marketing Success

In the interests of simplicity, here is my sooper-dooper-even-shorter-than-Ciaran’s checklist to use for your content marketing efforts:

  1. Research. Each month go to Wordtracker and review one or more of your primary key word families.
  2. Plan. Identify useful keyword phrases that have predicted search traffic between 15 and 200. Find a minimum of 4 of these, so you have at least one post per week.
  3. Do. Write posts to help solve a problem related to those niche keywords. Use the niche keyword in your article title and link to related posts/pages in your site (and externally, of course). Include a Call to Action in each of your posts.
  4. Review. Check your analytics and see whether these posts are driving traffic to your site. in Google Analytics, check Sources of Traffic to see if they keyword phrases deliver traffic, and check Content to see if your articles are being read. Analyse your effectiveness.

Bingo. Thanks Ciaran for crystallising a very important tactic in internet marketing for online businesses! Not only do you take a complex area and make it simple, you help make it easy to put the ideas into action.

And now for some deeper SEO analysis

About those other points (6 through 10). If you just follow Ciaran’s steps 1 through 5, you are onto a winner. But the tweak in me can’t help but add some commentary to Ciaran’s points 6 through 10. Like Ciaran, I think understanding how search engines work is very important. I try to apply the 80/20 principle, and focus on the few things that have the most impact. There are may different perspectives around this area – feel free to chime in if you have different views:

  • Point 6 – page titles and permalinks. If you are using WordPress, including the niche keyword in the post title means that by default it will also appear in the article title and URL. Meta keywords don’t matter. Meta descriptions do (they help readers a lot), so use a good SEO plugin that defaults a unique description for you or lets your write a custom one. We use the All In One SEO plugin, and in my experience it is the most useful WordPress plugin available for SEO.
  • Point 7 – include internal links. Linking to other relevant posts in your site is very good practice, a lot more so for search engines than I originally understood. Try to link back to an authority page for that keyword as well.
  • Point 8 – add no index meta tags. If you are writing a content rich site you don’t need to worrry about this – Matt Cutts has recently said so. That said, we have included elements in our OM4 theme to minimize duplication by default.
  • Point 9 – remove unnecessary links – don’t agree with Ciaran’s idea that it could penalize a site, so I wouln’t worry about this at all.
  • Point 10 – tag clouds. If a tag cloud helps your readers, great.

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