Semalt Expert: SEO Storytelling
The Google search engine has lived behind many algorithms and technologies. It became popular at a rapid pace, so much so that everyone wanted to post their page as highly as possible. One day, a daredevil managed to outwit the bots guarding it and manipulate the search results. From then on, nothing would be the same...
A tool for finding information among hyperlinked websites was created in the 1990s by two doctoral students at Stanford University at the time. They originally named the algorithm BackRub because it counted links to Web pages. When the name didn't catch on, they changed it to PageRank.
A while later, the two inventors decided to found a company, which they called... well, Googol, which is a number equal to 10,100. When searching for a free domain for the new company, instead of "Googol", they accidentally typed "google" and that's how the most popular search engine in the world came to be Google.
Even today, the search engine is a source of information on countless topics. However, over time, as people began to manipulate search results and tried to trick the algorithms, Google introduced more and more security and updates to effectively evaluate the quality and usefulness of the information.
The term "SEO" or search engine optimization was first used in 1997 (also at Stanford University).
Even today, the search engine is closely monitored by robots, for many, it remains incomprehensible, and others consider it an oracle. The bad guys in this story continue to manipulate search results without scruples or conscience. The "good guys", on the other hand, take advantage of the SEO opportunities and turn them into something valuable for the user.
And there was narrative marketing
Stories are with us every day. Thanks to them, we know history and myths, develop traditions and practices, transfer knowledge and information, and can build relationships; even, business ones - as a customer acquisition company.
Narrative marketing, also known as storytelling, is a technique to advertise a product, service or brand through a story. With the help of an appropriate narrative, you can create positive associations with a brand or the idea that it professes. Stories work primarily on the emotions, experiences and even beliefs of the recipient.
However, as it happens in history, evil always appears alongside good. In this case, it is the curse of knowledge, which, unfortunately, often accompanies writing sales content. It seems to us that the more specialized and more difficult vocabulary we use, the better. This is a misconception that may prevent us from winning a client. If we do not gain his/her trust, we will not speak his/her language and we will not interest him/her in our offer, we will simply lose him/her.
Instead of a dry message:
Dryer with ionization, diffuser and concentrator. Ceramic ion grille, durable XW motor and air speed of X km / h.
You can tell a story:
You want to dry your hair quickly so you won't be late for an appointment. You turn on the dryer. Meanwhile, you are wondering if this temperature is right for your hair. "Am I not destroying them? Will they get arranged nicely? Am I going to dry the whole thing up for sure? I don't want to leave my head wet!" Don't worry. XXX technology with ions released during drying will stop frizz and static on your hair. X degrees of heating will help you choose the right temperature for drying. And when you really don't have time, turn on the Turbo option and dry your hair in minutes.
Of course, there are situations when a longer description is better replaced with a technical specification. However, if you want to use storytelling in your marketing communication, you can, in addition to the mentioned (often incomprehensible) parameters of the product, also tell the story of its use. Do not think about how to create convincing product descriptions, but how to actually add value to the life of another person - the one who CAN buy the product from you.
When positioning meets storytelling
People who are looking for ways to effectively position websites and at the same time gain and retain customers, combine various marketing techniques. This is how SEO storytelling was created, i.e. combining the positioning process with narrative marketing.
At first, you may think that it is bending reality - because is it possible to find a compromise and combine two different techniques: the first, based on technologies, algorithms and optimization, and the second, based on words, emotions, and feelings?
On the one hand, analytical work on hard data clashes, and on the other - an original presentation of your business. Skilful use of persuasion will make storytelling simply effective in terms of money and image.
What counts in SEO is the right selection of keywords, and in storytelling, using them in such a way that they are naturally woven into the content and almost unnoticeable by the reader. For a good selection of keywords, you need powerful SEO tools like Semalt's
Dedicated SEO Dashboard, one of the best SEO tools used by most SEO experts.
In practice, the main point is to, with the help of stories, at the same time please both the algorithms that evaluate the pages and the users who actually use the company's offer.
If you also want to attract potential buyers with your offer in an original way - learn how to combine narrative marketing with SEO.
Defining the target group
- Grandma, why do you have such big eyes?
- So that I can see you better.
- User, why do you have such high expectations?
- So that I can meet my needs.
Exactly - what does a user who is a potential customer of your company expect? It's not just where he/she lives, but what opportunities he/she has in this city. It does not matter exactly how old he/she is, but what generation he/she represents. It is not enough to be informed about what users are interested in, but on what basis they do so and not otherwise. Your audience's purchasing decisions don't depend solely on demographic data. For effective content activities, a real understanding of consumers' needs is important.
Key phrases are called "key phrases" for a reason. These are phrases that users enter into the search engine and thanks to them they search for what they are interested in - from information to products.
Optimize your SEO content naturally. Keywords should be placed in the text in different variants:
- basic version;
It is important to use phrases that build the theme of the subpage. If the text is just mindlessly filled with keywords, it won't bring any value - neither for robots nor for users. SPAM uses key phrases to discourage potential buyers from continuing to read the content. Optimizing the text for SEO must not disturb the readability of the description or adversely affect the user experience.
Keyword saturation shouldn't spoil the story either. SEO storytelling, however, naturally connects these two things - both a unique story and the correct optimization of content for a website.
Key phrases should be included in:
- bulleted and numbered lists.
Make sure that you are linguistically correct, because spelling, punctuation, stylistic or other language mishaps are your biggest enemy in creating stories - not only in the context of SEO but above all, in building a positive user experience.
Including internal linking in your SEO storytelling strategy not only contributes to better website optimization but also the user experience. When you refer to another in a story, the whole becomes coherent and harmonious - as in a story where it is only halfway or at the end that some small details are intertwined.
Bet on internal linking between blog articles, categories and even products in your online store. In your story, suggest different solutions to users. You can interweave reliable information about the offer with examples of the use of your products and links / widgets to other product cards, categories or blog entries.
Internal linking on a website is like a table of contents in a book or alphabetically sorted definitions in a dictionary or encyclopedia. Everything is organized, clear and understandable for the reader - and in this case, for the website user.
A picture expresses more than a thousand words
In illustrated books or comics, images are as important as the text that is told. Pictures, graphics or photos are also a supplement to product descriptions, blogs or categories.
In addition to the creative layer, however, the graphics must be properly optimized for SEO. Robots do not recognize pictures, so the ALT attribute is a hint for what the picture shows. The image itself should be thematically related to the content around it, so the ALT attribute may contain a keyword related to the topic.
When describing drying your hair with cold air on a blog, you can insert a photo showing the distance of the dryer you are holding from the scalp.
Instead of signing a photo:
A woman holding a hair dryer in her hand
Drying your hair with cold air
Is SEO storytelling worth using in your strategy?
Once upon a time, people discovered that they had an influence on the results shown on Google Search. They thought that after optimizing the website and getting to their dream positions, they would live happily ever after. It turned out, however, that what was "good" for search engine robots was not necessarily interesting for users and potential customers.
That is why SEO storytelling is so important in contemporary content marketing strategies - in creating descriptions it is not just that search engine robots find the content useful, but that the texts really are. Good stories help to optimize the text for SEO and interest the user and turn the reader into a customer.
Our SEO agency combines the technical dimension of SEO with a creative form of a story. The moral of this story is short and known to some: write for both the robot and the user and you will be a winner!