It's that time of year, so let's start making some promises – realistic ones. It's time to let companies know about the increasing importance of content. Just like any new year's resolution, rankings are not going to happen overnight. It's going to take time and content. Unique and relevant content of the keyword search will rank higher than content that shows little to no value. This is the year of understanding as many companies look for SEOs (search engine optimization) who truly understand content development and the conversion funnel.


Today's SEO knowledge requires you to know more than how to do keyword research. It requires a deep understanding of the audience. Search intent is nothing new but it is greatly misunderstood. There's more that goes into search intent and on-page optimization. It's looking at the web page and the corresponding stage within the buyer's journey.

Companies want to understand how SEO is going to help them drive people to the different stages within the conversion funnel, which is essentially the sales funnel. It includes stages – attract, interest, consideration, intent, evaluation and purchase.

For example, a user searching for “the best wooden baseball bats” could land on a company's product category page because they are trying to find the best options. They are considering. However, while they used a phrase that falls into the consideration stage, they are also in the awareness stage when it comes to the company's brand. This is why trust symbols are important on these types of web pages.

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Companies know they need to create content, so they are doing it at a rapid speed by developing white papers, guides, blog posts and more. But are they being strategic about it? For example, a user who lands on a blog post would be in the awareness stage. Therefore, having content that's sales-centric will not perform well.

You have to do more than add keywords to a website. You have to do additional research to truly understand the audience, so it's going to take persona development. It's almost impossible to achieve rankings without building authority and a good website experience for each company's buyer persona.

Google understands more than keyword strings. It understands topics and concepts around a phrase. Google Trends can help you to check the potential interest of a phrase, which is essential for any content marketing strategy. Not only can you identify the popularity of that search term with each buyer persona, but you can also look for the best time to distribute content around that phrase.

Since Google is looking at concepts, you can use mind mapping to help build out that content while understanding the structural hierarchy of your content marketing. Since content is only going to increase in importance, mind mapping can help you to build content in an organized fashion.


As algorithms continue to have updates, authentic and evergreen content is just going to increase in importance. Content should be informative and help users, and companies are going to expect that content to drive conversions. SEOs are focusing less on a single component by offering a full digital marketing solution, including social media, editorial and video. An integrated approach is essential for online success. By understanding the audience and the conversion funnel, you'll be well on your way to creating a high-performing website.

Ashley Jones
Ashley Jones owns Marcom Content by Ashley, LLC ℠, and she believes in having an integrated marketing approach, incorporating strategy, digital, copywriting and communications.
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