SEO has become a marketing priority for almost every business in today’s increasingly digital age. But the benefits of ranking high on search engines don’t just stop at awareness. It can also have an impact on your bottom line as well.

For example, did you know that SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads (such as direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7% close rate? If you combine that with the fact that 84% of B2B commerce will research online before purchasing, SEO becomes a legitimate business tool.

If you create digital content, you will rank for something. But what? Are you sure the content you are producing is connecting with your target audience?

The key is to make sure that the content you’re creating is optimized for the search terms your potential customers are using. While there are numerous variables that go into SEO success, there are three primary categories we encourage brands to focus on.

3 Keys to SEO Success

Here are three essential elements your content must contain if you want to establish a recipe for SEO success:

  1.    Your content must be calculated.

You must strategically think through your contentin particular, how it relates to the keywords within your industry. If you want to optimize your content for search engines, you must develop a calculated strategy on the front end.

Before you write anything, define the native content consumption habits of your target audience and the language they are likely to use to describe what you offer. It also helps to understand what will prompt your target audience to search for the services you provide.

  1.    Your content must be consistent.

By creating and sharing consistent, valuable content, you ensure your website is being indexed by Google in ways that will help you. In fact, with Google’s current algorithm, if you can provide newer and fresher content than your competition for certain keywords, Google will give you a leg up in your rankings. Don’t go overboard here. Just make sure the content you are providing is helping—not simply interrupting—your target. You are trying to build trust with content.

  1. Your content must create conversation—off the page.

Google also rewards content that creates engagement and moves people through the buying process. Consider this another “win-win.” Quality content makes your site visible in search engines. Perhaps more important for marketers is that purchase decisions are influenced by factors off the page, too. Unless you are selling a commodity, you want to get to the table of conversation quickly (and as someone who can add value). This is how you can influence purchase decisions and shorten sales cycles.

While there are many things that go into an effective SEO strategy, the key takeaway for business development professionals is to focus on producing strategic, consistent, and engaging content. By doing that, you’ll be prepared for any future SEO algorithm updates that search engines make.

Do you invest in any SEO strategy? How have you seen custom content play a role in successful SEO?