*This article was written for and originally published on Ctrl-D.ro – Ctrl-D is an association created for designers, developers, PR and marketing specialists, which aims to offer relevant resources, and to inform and engage readers through valuable content.

A website built with the purpose of supporting the growth of an online business, regardless of its nature – presentation or portfolio website, e-commerce website -, has to generate qualified leads (potential clients) and to support the efforts of the sales and marketing teams.

In the early 2000s, a lot of websites have been artificially grown and positioned better in search engines through black hat SEO techniques, such as backlink building using so-called PBNs (Private Blog Networks), or by publishing keyword-stuffed articles that offered little to no value to users.

As Google continued to update its algorithms, the accent moved from creating irrelevant content and chaotically building backlinks to publishing relevant articles that reflect the writer’s authority, promoting content with purpose, developing coherent content strategies and optimizing for conversions. A (not so subtle) difference which can be easily missed by a beginner, but which delimitates a website created for Google from one created for users.

Content is king. Without any doubt, relevant content is and will remain a key element in digital marketing, but without the right context, it can easily turn into a lonely and forgotten king. In other words, it’s useless to publish good content if Google can’t discover it, influencers don’t know your content exists, and users who might appreciate your content can’t find it or aren’t converting when they finally get on your website.

Create the right context with LSI keywords

The term LSI comes from Latent Semantic Index, and is used for defining the synonyms of main keywords and the words that are related to your target keywords and help search engines understand what your content is about. If you write an article that targets the keyword “cookie”, and the text includes words like “browser”, “user”, “code” or “browsing”, Google will understand from the context that your article talks about web cookies, not about sweets.

Why are LSI keywords important? More and more voices from the online marketing world are saying that Google uses LSI terms for determining the relevancy and authority of an article. If you use a lot of synonyms and LSI or words from a niche in your articles, Google considers you know what you’re talking about, and perceives your article as informative, helpful and relevant for users.

Creating relevant content that includes the right keywords in the right context is one of the best ways to grow your website authority and to improve your search engine ranking. This means, implicitly, that potential clients will find your website easier, so the odds of attracting potential leads will improve.

How to find LSI keywords for creating the right context?

A simple method that doesn’t require additional tools is to type the target keywords in the search bar of SE and then observe the suggestions returned by Google.

cuvinte cheie LSI

Another solution is to use the Keyword planner from Google, which can be accessed by logging into your AdWords account. Type the target keyword, then click on Keyword ideas and on Ad group ideas for more suggestions.

LSI adwords

If your Analytics and Search Console (former Webmaster tools) accounts are active, you can also look at the search queries displayed there for LSI keyword ideas. Another solution is to identify Latent Semantic Index terms by using tools like LSIGraph or Ubersuggest.

Win your clients’ trust with UGC

When you want to buy something online, you’re interested not only in the product’s price, but also in what other buyers think about the seller and the product. Statistics show that reviews and testimonialele can influence the buying decision more than prices or product features. 88% of customers trust online reviews, and 72% of online buyers say that positive reviews increase their trust in a company or brand.

If you want to improve your conversion rate and sales volume, you have to create a context that builds trust and encourages visitors to buy, and a simple and accessible solution is to post reviews and testimonials. Along with comments posted by visitors on social media networks, these are defined as User Generated Content.

UGC can influence the buying decision more than brand content or product descriptions and is considered even more important than recommendations from relatives and acquaintances. In other words, online buyers trust comments from unknown users more than they trust the opinions and recommendations of their friends or the content published by brands. And this applies not only to online shops, but to all industries that sell products and services.

Here are some reviews for La Pedrera, published onTrip Advisor. If I plan to visit Barcelona and want to know whether this place is worth the money,  I will definitely find such reviews useful, especially if they come from users who post there frequently.

reviewuri user generated content(Image source: https://www.tripadvisor.com)

Connect with influencers to create a positive context

Until now we explained how to create the right context for encouraging conversions and sales with Latent Semantic Index (LSI) keywords and User Generated Content (UGC). But there’s still one element that is missing and can help you grow your website faster by building backlinks and identifying new promotion opportunities: recommendations from so-called influencers.

Influencer marketing remains a hot digital marketing strategy in 2016, and there are a lot of case studies and examples out there. Bloggers are considered the third most important source of information for users who consider buying a product. For 22% of digital marketers, influencer relationships are the most efficient marketing method, a solution that generates a better ROI than other promotional activities.

But what if you don’t have a budget for influencer marketing, and can’t reach out to the most important names in your industry for recommendations? It’s enough to find microinfluencers, which are bloggers, YouTube stars, vloggers, people who are known in their niches and have 500-5000 active followers that are relevant for your industry.

To find the right influencers and microinfluencers, follow the names that appear frequently on the speaker lists at relevant industry events, and connect with them. Search for bloggers who write frequently about topics of interest for your visitors, and use tools like Klout, or monitor social media hashtags and see who writes about those topics more often. Observe who shares content on relevant topics and who gets more reactions from users and potential clients, and connect with those people.

Don’t forget, the main purpose of content marketing is not to promote your brand or website, but to generate leads and sales. Building awareness and attracting brand advocates are the consequences, not the main goals of an online marketing campaign that aims to increase sales. And for boosting conversions and sales through content marketing, you need to create not only relevant content, but also a relevant context.

marketoonist vanity metrics(Image source: https://marketoonist.com)