We’re always telling clients not to rely on organic search for promoting their content, but that doesn’t mean you can afford to ignore it entirely. A big chunk of your website visitors are likely to come from organic search, and extracting value from that traffic – and building your traffic base – need to factor in your approach to content marketing.

Here are some aspects of Search Marketing Strategy worth knowing about.

Search has changed

Here’s something you need to understand: much of the work you do to make your content more appealing to Google will have the same effect on your users. Google has become more and more sophisticated in recent years, rolling out successive algorithm updates that lift the rankings of pages that best serve readers’ interests. In response, the arcane arts of Search Engine Optimisation have evolved into a set of tactics that are more about helping web users than pandering to Google Bots – which is why we tend to talk about Search Marketing Strategy these days, instead of just SEO.

That said, there are still quick wins to be had for your site that can be made by someone who knows what they are looking for – easy tweaks that will help Google’s crawlers find and understand your content. So no, you don’t need to be able to recite the complete history of Google’s algorithm updates and their implications, but a robust knowledge of Search Marketing Strategy – including its more technical aspects – remains important.

The role of keywords in Search Marketing Strategy

For Search Marketing Strategy, keywords don’t matter as much as they used to. Back in the early days of search, keywords on the page were one of the most important signals for Google and other search engines. The person responsible for Search Marketing Strategy would track priority keywords on a regular basis trying to get their links on to the first page and ultimately the number one spot.

But two things have changed: first, keyword data is less straightforward. Search results are becoming more personalised making rank trackers unreliable and it’s now much harder to find out what keywords sent you traffic. Second, as touched on above, Google puts much more emphasis on user intent nowadays. Rather than picking out a couple of words it’s using the full search query and interrogating the meaning behind it.

This means you shouldn’t obsess about individual keywords and where your site ranks for them. Instead, use priority keywords to set the direction for your content marketing strategy and build genuinely useful and helpful content around them.

Make room for lead nurturing in your Search Marketing Strategy

Not every piece of content you create needs to lead to a sale the day it’s published to make it worthwhile. In fact, the idea that a user finds your blog article in search and then buys whatever you’re selling in the sidebar is really not what content marketing is all about.

Instead it’s about nurturing prospective customers, building trust and offering them something valuable (and free) while they get to know you. Then when they’re ready to make a purchase they come back to the business they already feel comfortable with.

To achieve that, your content strategy needs to establish both primary and secondary conversion goals for every piece of content you create. A user arriving on one of your landing pages might not be ready to buy today, so think about what you can do to convince them to take some kind of measurable action (download your product guide, sign up to your emails) before they leave?