How to Earn Compound Interest in Digital Marketing: SEO

seo and content strategy

If you’ve ever bought anything on time—car, home, an education—you know that the sticker price you agreed to is never what you wind up paying. Because of compound interest, that 25-year $300,000 condo loan you took out at 5 percent will actually cost you $526,000. Wow! Imagine if you could be on the receiving end of that kind of interest?

You can be!

Sort of.

SEO is a lot like a long-term investment strategy that produces compound interest. Start with your principle—optimized content—and eventually, you can earn interest on your interest.

How to Earn SEO Interest

Just like with any really good investment, a few factors have to be true if you’re going to yield the kind of results that add up to profits:

  • Quality
  • Consistency
  • Attention to Detail

Quality

Whatever is in your current investment portfolio, if it doesn’t start with quality companies, there isn’t much for you to build on. What does that mean for SEO? You need to start with a structurally sound website, that’s optimized for relevant topics and keywords. It needs substantive pages that contain answers to help solve users’ problems and address their needs.

One easy way to ensure you have enough content bulk is through a blog. As you build more and more content, using appropriate and relevant keywords, over time Google will recognize you as a reliable authority and pay you interest, i.e., higher rank. The higher you rank, the more likely you’ll be seen by more users. And the more users you attract, the more attention you’ll get from Google. You get the picture: one leads to another that leads to the other; it’s a snowball effect. And if you keep showing up at the top of organic search results, you’re more likely to be the answer to your future students’ queries when they’re looking for a school to attend.

Consistency

Investors who take a slow and steady approach often outperform their jackrabbit friends who chase after the next big thing that isn’t. The person who invested $10,000 in Apple just before Steve Jobs came back into the company in 1997, and allowed dividends to be reinvested, is a multi-millionaire today due to that single stock choice and a steady-as-she-goes strategy.

But how can you be consistent with SEO? That blog is one way. Use an editorial calendar to consistently post on the topics your users will be most interested in. And do it every week. Each and every week. As you build a library of relevant content, you attract backlinks and users, which attract more of the same. Stay the course.

Attention to Detail

Being consistent with your SEO doesn’t mean you make the investment, set it to coast and walk away. When Jobs got ousted from Apple, the stock plunged. You need to pay attention. Just like you follow what happens in your stock portfolio, you need to pay attention to your SEO portfolio. It’s important to frequently look at your overall site performance. Conduct regular audits and content evaluations and measure what’s happening on your site against your competition.

And take note of industry upsets. With business stocks, that may be about what’s happening in a particular industry or the broader economy, but in SEO, it’s mostly about the Google algorithm. It literally changes every day.

In fact, just this month Google admitted it implemented yet another significant update. The Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT) builds on natural language processing to more clearly contextualize what users are thinking when they type a query into the search bar. By some estimates, 1 in 10 sites can expect to be impacted by BERT.  And Google says you can’t guard against it.

But then how does attention to detail help do what Google says you can’t? At the root of all the pandas and penguins and hummingbirds and, yes, even BERT, is the idea that Google is trying to make a computer act like a human. If you know your audience, relate to its needs and consistently produce quality content, fiercely aligned to a high set of standards, you’ll get results, which will then produce more results.

If you want to earn interest on your SEO investment, content our team at ESM Digital. We know how!

~Linda Emma