seo content marketing

How to Build Trust & Rankings Through SEO-Focused Content Marketing

If you can get smart with Google, rank organically, and hit page one, your online presence, leads, and traffic will experience a huge boost.


Because Google is still the #1 driver of all web traffic, hands down.

According to Net Market Share, as of October 2018, Google held 76.14% of the total search engine market share.

search engine market share

Also, search still outpaces social media in traffic.

Currently, search drives 34.8% of all site visits as opposed to social networks, which bring in 25.6% (Search Engine Land).

Not to mention how hot those inbound leads areMarketingSherpa has said that the average conversion rate on organic traffic to leads across industries is 16%.
All of these things are great reasons to rank on Google.

Search still drives 34.8% of all site visits - social media brings in 25.6%. Google still reigns king as the #1 traffic driver on the web. Learn how to build trust through SEO-powered content marketing via @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet

But, here’s the thing:

Successful marketing is not built on web visits alone.

You must nail the “win their trust” element of SEO content creation to actually get somewhere worthwhile (leads >> sales >> loyal customers).

If you can consistently build valuable content over time – content that meets your reader at their place of need – you’re absolutely going to build winning, valuable marketing.

At Express Writers, we are living proof of how powerful SEO-based content marketing can be. It powers the majority of our six-figure monthly income and is solely responsible for every high-quality client lead that comes our way. I wrote a case study not too long ago on this:

seo blogging case study

Read our SEO blogging case study.

Valuable, SEO-optimized content published on your site can help you build trust with readers, which boosts your rankings, which boosts their trust… ad infinitum.

How do you build trust and rankings through #contentmarketing? @JuliaEMcCoy discusses what high-value content can do for your business. #SEO Click To Tweet

In a nutshell, this is how to get into a circle of content marketing awesomeness. Read on!

seo content marketing

4 Ways to Set Up High-ROI, Profitable SEO Content Marketing

1. Meet Them at the Right Keyword

Rule #1: You’re not looking for traffic to your website. You’re looking for the RIGHT traffic.

The most lead-worthy traffic comes from people who are searching for what you’ve got. Hone in on those keywords they’re searching. And you’ll not only pull them to your site, but you’ll also give them exactly what they need. That’s a HUGE trust-builder.


Example: A user googles “how to build a dog fence,” finds your blog, reads your expert advice, and finds a CTA for your product. Turns out, they NEED it because you met them at the right keyword with valuable content (cha-ching!).

This is called mapping keywords to the sales cycle (also called the buyer’s journey or sales funnel). For more information on how to do it, check out this guide from Neil Patel: The Keywords to Use for Each Stage of the Funnel.

Rule #1: You’re not looking for traffic to your website. You’re looking for the RIGHT traffic. 🔍 More on setting up #SEO #contentmarketing by @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet

2. Focus on Owned Media Platforms and Organic SEO Content

Robert Rose of the Content Marketing Institute recently predicted the rise of the value of owned media. As he says, the content you create and publish on your own platform becomes higher-value the harder it is to earn your audience’s attention:

“…as ‘reaching audiences’ becomes more difficult, fragmented, and filtered, the ability to generate and hold attention from an audience with original content becomes increasingly more valuable to the business.”

Owned media (A.K.A. content marketing based on your brand domain) does a few tasks for you in this dog-eat-dog internet marketing atmosphere:

  • It gives you complete control over your content quality.
  • It builds YOUR credibility and associates your content with YOUR brand name and URL – not some random host site.
  • It gives you a brand platform home base off of which you can build vital backlinks.

Plus, an organic SEO content focus (think: content grown in your own domain soil) also provides value for people at the place where most of them are already searching for that value. Win-win.

3. Check Your Slime-o-Meter

Trust will be huge in 2019. It’s pretty much the core piece of today’s marketing that matters to customers.

That’s because, in general, people’s trust in institutions (government, business, the media, etc.) has fallen, according to the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer Global Report.

In particular, in the U.S., trust has declined at the steepest rate ever recorded:

trust barometer by edelman

trust crashing in the usa

In the U.S., trust has declined at the steepest rate ever recorded. What does that mean for marketers? @JuliaEMcCoy shares her insights. #contentmarketing #seo Click To Tweet
The question to ask yourself: “Are we producing trustworthy, non-spammy/scammy/crappy/slimy marketing?”

In other words, how does your content rate on the slime-o-meter? Is it a solid “0” with no promotional language/offers to be found? Or is it creeping dangerously close to a “10,” with thin content that doesn’t bother to hide your pushy, self-aggrandizing sales pitch? (Back away, that one is too slimy to touch.)

Surprisingly, this isn’t the easiest question to answer. Your marketing blinders may prevent you from seeing your content the way your audience does. If this is the case, you need to clear your vision.

This means audience re-evaluation and research. (Read: TALK to them. Swim around in their brain waves. Understand them.)

Once you know them like your best friend, you can more accurately measure your content against that slime-o-meter. When all else fails, abandon any attempts at promotion and just aim for giving your readers the relevant help/entertainment/information they crave.

4. Don’t Ask for More Than Your Audience Is Ready to Give

One aspect of building trust in content is aligning your CTAs with the level of trust you currently hold with readers.

Hint: You don’t want to ask for more than they’re ready to give. That’s a turn-off.

Take a look at this trust pyramid from the Nielsen/Norman Group:

pyramid of trust by nielsen norman group
Each level of the pyramid corresponds to a trust level you must achieve with a user before you can climb up to the next one. To achieve a trust level, you must be able to overcome the user’s doubts about you.

For example, to hop into the baseline level of trust with a user, you need to help them answer these questions:

  • Can your site/content help them accomplish their goals?
  • Is your site/content credible, with dependable information?
  • Does it have their best interests at heart?

users' trust needs
Sometimes marketers try to insert a CTA that doesn’t align with their readers’ current trust level. The CTA is meant to move the audience to level up, so to speak, but it won’t work if you ask too much of them too soon, according to HubSpot.

using ctasMy Marketing Lifecycle also represents this journey.

marketing lifecycle with stages

That’s where SEO content comes in. It gives your readers value that’s relevant to them, which builds their trust to the required level needed for them to complete the CTA.

Are your CTAs asking for more than what readers are ready to give? Time to change that. Learn how in this new blog post by @JuliaEMcCoy. #contentmarketing Click To Tweet

Trust-builders in content include:

  • Well-written, user-focused copy
  • Organized, easy-to-understand formatting
  • Supporting research and hard data (case studies, testimonials, statistics, reports, etc.)
  • Useful links and resources
  • Thoughtful, usable, attractive website design

How Do You Know Which CTAs to Use in SEO Content?

It’s not difficult to know which CTAs to use with your SEO content – just look at the keywords in each piece and the type of users they target.

  • Are your main keywords broader in scope, meant to target people who have never interacted with your brand before, or who don’t know the industry?
    • Use CTAs that don’t dig too deep. Offer a valuable freebie or download in exchange for an email address, at most.
  • Or are your main keywords narrower and more focused, targeting people who may know your name and product but haven’t yet purchased?
    • Use CTAs that call for a stronger action and more personal information, like making a purchase or testing a free trial.

From Trust-Building to Search Engine Dominance

To dominate in Google, earning your readers’ trust must be your #1 priority.

From the keywords you use to the platform on which you publish, from the meat of your content to your CTAs, you can and should nurture that trust with SEO content.

First, meet them where they’re looking for value in search. Then, become the authority source that brings value for your readers relentlessly.

As Joe Pulizzi has said, that kind of marketing pays for itself – and that kind of marketing tops Google, too.

Need high-quality content? We can help.

seo content creation for content marketing cta

96 replies
  1. Alison
    Alison says:

    Thanks for the great info, Julia! I love that you made the trust journey into a pyramid, just like the buyer’s journey. Visuals like that are so helpful for breaking down concepts.

  2. Avneet Singh
    Avneet Singh says:

    I love the way you put so much images and graphics into your blog posts which makes us understand more clear with statistics.

  3. Kavleen Kaur
    Kavleen Kaur says:

    I am glad to gain this remarkable information from you.
    I have found here lots of interesting information for my knowledge I need.
    All the details you provide to us, it was very helpful and useful.
    Thanks for sharing this amazing post.

  4. Daniel Adam
    Daniel Adam says:

    A realy usefull articel. There are great Informations and Ideas which helped me.

    I realy like the pyramid.

    Thanks a lot for such a gerat articel.

    DA from Germany

  5. Inesh Enterprises
    Inesh Enterprises says:

    You are right Julia, If we do SEO only for traffic generation then it never works for us because Google also work with the aim to serve their audience the right information they are looking for. If we also work with this aim then Google also boost us on their Search Result. Building trust among online audience is the best way to do this. Thanks for sharing this article, it is really helpful to establish trust among people searching online for their queries.

  6. رپورتاژ خبری
    رپورتاژ خبری says:

    You’re not looking for traffic to your website. You’re looking for the RIGHT traffic.

    i think this i most useful phrase i have read in 2018 about SEO and traffic, really this content is awesome and useful. thanks a lot

  7. Munir Hausawa
    Munir Hausawa says:

    You touched where most SEO experts always forget to mention ‘Right traffic’. And yes, I agree search engines are still the best source for traffic.
    Thank you.

  8. Anshuman
    Anshuman says:

    Wow what a Great and Well Judged Explanation provided By you i would like to say thank for sharing this Information It seems Really Informative

  9. magan singh
    magan singh says:

    Hi, I read your post and found it quite interesting. The post you shared is very unique and informative. Thanks for sharing such a useful post.

  10. Anna Martinez
    Anna Martinez says:

    Hi Danielle,

    Really appreciate your blog. The information you shared and some points are really amazing which every content writer should keep in mind in the prospect to SEO.

  11. Siya Carla
    Siya Carla says:

    Thank you for this fruitful blog. I am definitely going to use these key points in my SEO content strategy.

    Siya Carla

  12. Deivasigamani
    Deivasigamani says:

    i think this i most useful phrase i have read in 2018 about SEO and traffic, really this content is awesome and useful. thanks a lot

  13. Priya
    Priya says:

    I Have read the whole article. You have shared very important information regarding this topic. Helped me a lot. Thank You.

    • Cassie B.
      Cassie B. says:

      Thank you for your kind words! Glad you found value in this post! – Cassie, Content Specialist at Express Writers

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    Politicalnewsforyou says:

    .“Hi That was a great post, I really liked it. I learned a lot. I’m going to bookmark this page. I’m going to tell my friends about it. Thanks!”

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    online training website says:

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