Negative SEO can be combatted by hiring a digital marketing search agency

Content Marketing Agency

As Manchester-based content marketing specialists, we pride ourselves on producing compelling content that cuts through the noise. We use our insight to identify opportunities and build results-driven SEO strategies that bring in traffic and get your website ranking.

Publishing fresh content is a key part of SEO, as per Google’s Helpful Content guidelines. It’s a huge deciding factor as to whether your website will be successful or not. And, with leading companies using content marketing to drive 6x more ROI while spending 62% less, ensuring that your strategy is top-notch is crucial.

From an SEO perspective, content rules the roost. But churning out piece after piece of optimised content, blogging every day, social posts, etc., doesn’t cut it anymore. As the typical internet customer has evolved, so too have marketing tactics.

At Embryo, our competitive nature means we take a data-led approach to win maximum returns. We supercharge your digital presence without overcharging, giving you standout content that will achieve exactly that for your brand.

Before we get into what our content marketers can do for you, we’ll quickly take you through the basics.

Welcome to the world of content marketing.

Content Is The Key To SEO and Business Success, It’s Vital You Get it Right.

Our content writers can help you turn traffic into conversions through persuasive, optimised copy. Get in touch to learn more today.

Burgess Pet Care

Burgess Pet Care

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    ROAS from paid social

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    Increase in online transactions

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    Increase in revenue

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What Is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is all about producing high-quality content that is relevant and useful to your audience. Content is also forms a significant aspect of Google’s quality guidelines (known as E-E-A-T (Expertise, Experience, Authority and Trust). It is the proven practice of generating interest in your business and its products/services by creating and sharing relevant articles, videos, podcasts, and other media to engage them.

For this reason, you could say it’s the one core marketing strategy that puts the customer first, at the centre, and pivots around their needs…

With a major business benefit, of course.

The logic behind content marketing is this. If your business puts out useful content on topics related to what you’re selling, the people that stumble across it – either coincidentally or those actively searching for it – will:

  • Immediate win – Be hooked, with a primed intention to buy or enquire further
  • Long-term win – Come to associate your brand as an authority on the topic and be more willing to seek out and engage with you in the future

Though option 1 is a definite possibility, the scenario of option 2 is where most content marketing lands. The saying amongst marketers, when comparing the goals of content-forward approaches to other results-driven types of marketing such as pay-per-click (PPC), for example, draws a distinction: ‘content resonates, advertising saturates’.

In this way, content marketing is mostly considered a long-term strategy, designed to boost your brand’s digital presence over time and ultimately drive targeted traffic to your website.

  • 62%

    Leading companies use content marketing to drive 6x more ROI from their marketing while spending 62% less (CMI)

  • 5%

    Only 5% of B2C marketers have no plans to develop a content marketing strategy, showing that the vast majority view it as a worthwhile investment (CMI)

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    68% of online experiences begin with a search engine, meaning there is claimable traffic out there on the SERP, providing you rank (Brightedge)

Building Your Content Strategy: Things to Consider

As a multi-award-winning digital marketing agency, we know what it takes to create brilliant content marketing strategies that work.

At Embryo, we believe that an effective content marketing strategy should seek to be holistic to best capture online traffic. It should cast a wide net to scoop in the target audience, knowing full well that they’re not all hanging out on one single digital platform.

Plus, there is behavioural science at work here, known as the messy middle, which we’ll cover in more detail below. But as a quick note, it’s an update to the traditional buyer’s journey with the brains at Google demonstrating how customers are unlikely to part with cash without exploring and evaluating a bunch of different sources first – comparison sites, Google reviews, YouTube unboxing videos, other competitors on the SERPs, etc.

Successful content marketing, then, is not a strategy created in isolation. Instead, it relies heavily on other online marketing disciplines such as SEO services and social content to bring customers to your site.

It includes blogs, newsletters, email marketing, and infographics. It’s social media. It’s videos, podcasts, and eBooks. It’s what gets your brand out there – makes it familiar, and recognisable – and you (or your content marketing team) will need to experiment with which content type best matches what your audience is after.

Does your website drive enough traffic, or could your content strategy be doing a lot more? Results-driven content is what we’re known for here at Embryo, and we’re only a buzz away if you’d like to get started.

Our Team

Meet Your Content experts

  • Senior Content Manager, Kara Smith

    Kara Smith

    Senior Content Manager
  • Lead Content Copywriter, Shona Worsman

    Shona Worsman

    Content Product Owner
  • Content Editor, Danielle James

    Danielle James

    Content Editor
  • Copywriter, Lauren Entwistle

    Lauren Entwistle

  • Content Writer, Jane Howkins

    Jane Howkins

    Content Writer
  • Content Writer, Martha Peters

    Martha Peters

    Content Writer
  • Content Writer, Ciara Johnson

    Ciara Johnson

    Content Writer
  • Content Writer, Cara Dudgeon

    Cara Dudgeon

    Content Writer
  • Content Writer, Anthony Graham

    Anthony Graham

    Content Writer
  • Junior Content Editor, Tanisha Fletcher

    Tanisha Fletcher

    Junior Content Editor
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Types of Content Marketing

Done right, content marketing is extremely effective when it comes to lead generation. Everybody’s doing it, so doing it 10x better is really the standard if you are to stand a chance of your efforts paying off.

If you want to beat the odds, it’s vital that you actively experiment with the many different types of content marketing available.

  • Web content & blog posts
  • Social media posts
  • Podcasting
  • Infographics
  • Newsletters & email marketing
  • Video marketing
  • Case studies, testimonials and reviews
  • Whitepapers

Though there are quite a few, each option comes with pros and cons, being more or less effective depending on your intended goals and the target market you’re after. The key thing to remember when exploring the various content types is that each one has a purpose. They can be used together to create a cohesive content marketing strategy, or separately to achieve specific goals. Below, are the big hitters in more detail.

Website Content

Web content is typically the bread and butter of a brand’s online presence. With your website being the usual destination for where you’re trying to funnel traffic, content marketing can be especially helpful in adding value.

  • Web Pages

    The foundation of your website will be its core web pages, such as the homepage, service pages, how we work, etc.

    SEO best practices will be vital here, and it’s typically where businesses will work with a digital marketing agency to get specific pages optimised to rank on the search engine results pages (SERPs).

  • Blog Posts

    Blogs are extremely useful to content marketing, as well as SEO, as they are valuable to both Google and the customer.

    Whereas the content on your core web pages typically remains static for longer periods – for example, once you’ve written your About Us page, you’re unlikely to change it for a while – blogs give you the opportunity to regularly update your site with new SEO-friendly material.

    New content signals to Google that your site is not dormant but still active. This is helpful for ranking.

    Plus, blogs can be great lead-generating machines – especially for small businesses. Well-written blog content will attract new readers. This means greater traffic across your website as these readers will go on to explore your site further should they find your content useful. This could ultimately lead to greater conversion.

  • Infographics

    Infographics are everywhere on the internet. They are creative visual representations of data that help users understand complex concepts quickly.

    Infographics are useful on your website and can be repurposed on other platforms, such as through social media marketing.

    They boost engagement, and other bloggers may want to use/share them also in their own posts. In this way, infographics can help to boost the visibility of your brand so it’s important that they look good.

    There are websites, such as Canva, that have made graphic design far more accessible for the regular person, but if you aim to have a more sophisticated look for your brand – and if you have the budget – most businesses will seek the expertise of a qualified designer with experience in graphics software.

  • Case Studies and Reviews

    Case studies and reviews are also great for giving a voice to your clients. They also are effective for showing real-life applications of how your products and services are being used in the real world.

    A quick conversation with your clients to get their feedback and permission is all it takes to start adding their experiences of your business to your website.

    For a good example of case studies in action, check out the amazing results we have won for our clients on our Case Studies page.

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Video Content

Videos have become increasingly popular since the rise of YouTube and, more recently, TikTok. As video content is visual, it’s far easier to digest than text alone – meaning when it shows up on someone’s timeline, it’s more likely to get attention.

When creating video content, make sure it’s high quality, interesting, and snappy. You don’t need to spend hours editing footage or writing scripts; there are plenty of tools and social platforms available to create professional-looking videos quickly.

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    Of digital marketers said videos had directly increased sales (source: Hubspot)

  • 86%

    Said videos helped to boost traffic to their website (source: Hubspot)

Social Media Content

Coming as no surprise, social media is a highly effective form of content marketing for reaching your customers – especially if your business model is business to consumer (B2C).

You can find pretty much anyone on social media these days, so if your business has no presence where a big chunk of your audience is, you’ll be missing a huge opportunity.

Customers more readily shop on social media now, as well as interact with brands, expecting a more immediate response.

By keeping your company’s profile up to date, you can more agilely keep your audience in the loop with your brand, alerting them of new content, exciting updates, and promotional offers.

Social media comes in two forms: organic (non-paid) and paid advertising.

  • Organic Social Media

    Organic social media is a no-brainer for building an online presence – especially if you’re on a budget. It refers to free content (posts, photos, videos, memes, stories, etc.) that is shared across feeds.

    In terms of organic reach, the people who will see this content will be:

    • Your followers
    • Your followers’ followers (if your followers choose to share your post)
    • People following any hashtags you use

    It is a brilliant route to showcase your brand’s personality and get immediate engagement with customers.

  • Paid Ads

    Paid advertising (or paid social) is a core social media service and can be effective in helping you to position yourself in all the places you want to be seen. It can be costly, but if done right highly profitable – being a great way to generate new leads.

    Hubspot conducted a recent study to test which platform had the best ROI, with Facebook coming out on top:

    • Facebook: 40% of marketers said paid ads on FB had the highest ROI
    • Instagram: 30%
    • LinkedIn: 10%
    • YouTube: 8%
    • Twitter: 7%
    • Snapchat: 2%

    Paid ads can be targeted, meaning your campaigns can be filtered (age, location, keyword phrase, etc.) to attract the most relevant ready-to-buy users for your business.

    Paid ads can be seen in many places online, including on social media, landing pages, banners, and sponsored content.

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SEO Content

Content marketing works because it helps people solve problems. The customer is put first, and the content is built to match what they’re seeking.

When a person has a problem, they turn to Google (83% of market share) and then click through to the most relevant or attention-grabbing link to get answers.

Here’s where SEO comes in.

SEO stands for search engine optimisation. It’s about making sure that your website ranks highly for related keywords on Google (or another search engine). This way, when a potential customer is browsing or seeking answers to questions related to something you sell, your website will appear as a relevant option for them to explore.

Therefore, the goal of SEO is to rank your website as high as possible so that people can find your page easily. Of course, all of your competitors will have the same goal so climbing the SERPs is not always straightforward and requires time and expertise. Like content marketing, SEO is a long-term strategy, but one that can bring massive benefits to your business’s staying power.

It cannot work by itself, though, and needs content to help match potential customers’ search queries to searched-for keywords.

Through targeted optimisation techniques and technical tune-ups, a qualified SEO expert will use content – be it web pages, blogs, articles, videos, etc. – to drive traffic to your website and keep its performance high.

Want Next-Level Content?

At Embryo, we offer a FREE 30-minute SEO consultation. In it, we will show you how your website is performing on Google, and provide you with a level of insight that would usually cost £1000s of pounds.

Call us on 0161 327 2635 or email our team at [email protected].

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"From the very start, Embryo understood our goals, and their campaigns have exceeded our expectations. We're delighted to work with the team and look forward to furthering our success in 2023.”

Zoe Cooper, Digital Marketing Manager, Inn Collection Group

We Carry Out Next-Level SEO and Content Marketing, Here’s Our Approach

Here at Embryo, our award-winning Organic team is made up of passionate SEO experts and content writers. We are always looking for new ways to enhance our clients’ sites, and that means developing an encyclopaedic knowledge of the businesses we work with and a strong understanding of the industries they operate in.

This depth of knowledge allows us to create content that is creative, fully optimised, and just as accurate as it would be coming from your own specialists.

We determine how best to meet your aims, integrating the unstoppable talent within our agency to create click-inducing content that causes conversation and conversion. We pride ourselves on our mantra: ‘we see what others don’t’, and that’s exactly what we’ll set out to do for you and your business.

Each project we work on is fine-tuned to get results, winning brands across a wide range of sectors better rankings than they thought possible. No task is too big. No goal is out of reach. With case studies to back it, it’s no wonder our clients always want more.

A glimpse of what we can do for you:

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    1. A Full Website Audit

    To fully understand your site’s health, we run a full audit to check what immediate fixes and longer-term best practices will be needed to boost your performance.

    This will include everything from technical tune-ups, such as site speed, to user experience (UX) and on-page SEO efforts.

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    2. Quarterly Strategies

    We’ll keep you looped in each quarter with a detailed strategy and content plan that outline precisely how we will get you ranking.

    Ahead of our efforts, your dedicated team will arrange a meeting with you to break down both the SEO and creative direction we will be heading in.

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    3. Bespoke Content Production

    A core part of improving your rankings will mean adding fresh content that is optimised for short and long-tail keywords. This could be optimising your on-page content on core webpages, new blog posts, link building, etc.

    We also specialise in long-form copy, meaning we can add a number of articles (2,000 words +), whitepapers, case studies, and more, to turn your site into a highly functioning resource hub to keep your target market coming back.

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    4. Content Review

    Sometimes new content is not a necessary first foot. Depending on your site’s performance, parts may need to be expanded or re-written entirely first for more logical SEO wins.

    Outdated, poorly written or badly optimised content can hold your site back – we’ll assign a dedicated writer to rectify and refine any under-performing pages.

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    5. Monthly Reports

    We don’t simply add and abandon but monitor all contributions to your website to ensure our efforts are paying off, tweaking where necessary.

    Each month, we’ll keep you fully informed about our progress. We’ll put together a report of all the latest stats and tracking metrics, giving you a full picture of your site’s status and ranking positions.

How Content Impacts the Messy Middle

Essential to content marketing, the messy middle is a model developed by the brains at Google following meticulous research and data gathering. It adds a new spin to the traditional buyer’s journey.

Well, thanks to Google’s research, the old journey is old news – quite frankly!

With the rise of the personal computer and, even more so, the smartphone, the past two decades have seen the internet quickly become embedded in our everyday lives. It’s everywhere, and we’re all on it, with different demographics hitting record internet usage.

The amount of content available now is seemingly infinite, with there officially being more phones than people to keep everyone within reach.

With this in mind, the team at Google have demonstrated the impact that this tide of super-accessible and immediate information has had on how we make purchase decisions.

Embryo Messy Middle

So, What Exactly Is the Messy Middle?

Google defines the messy middle as ‘an updated decision-making model’ to the traditional buyer’s journey.

    In traditional purchase funnels, the consumer moves in a linear fashion through three stages:

  1. Awareness
  2. Consideration
  3. Decision

At the final stage, a decision is made and they either purchase your product or exit the funnel empty-handed.

With the Messy Middle, this all changes. Once the potential customer enters the messy middle, they flit between the exploration and evaluation stage mulling over their options, and using multiple sources for help.

As these customers have more information at their fingertips than ever before, the power balance in most sales conversions has shifted. Loud, in-your-face sales tactics are declining in impact as customers are being influenced more by brands that they trust and that are helpful.

In this way, the brands that are dominating the messy middle – by this, coming out on top during the exploration/evaluation loop of themselves vs their competition – are the ones that have adapted their sales tactics from selling to helping. Content marketing is the kickass strategy that does the lion’s share of legwork here.

Need a Fresh Take on Your Content Marketing Strategy? Let’s Talk

At Embryo, we are an award-winning full-service digital marketing agency based in Manchester specialising in lead generation, web design, SEO, social media and content marketing.

If your content marketing strategies haven’t quite met your goals or you’re wondering how to give your audience something new to get excited about, then let’s talk.

BCB Group

Using a modern, multi-channel marketing strategy to transform a business into an authority in an emerging market

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Content Questions Answered:

  • Where does Embryo come up with our content ideas? Why is writing long-form content such a big part of what Embryo does? What are the editorial and commercial benefits of creating interactive content?

    Andy: Remember in Dexter’s Laboratory when Dexter would mix all the chemicals together in his lab? That’s basically how our content is created. Our content ideas are formulated by a mix of keyword research, competitor research and top-secret copywriting tools, as well as a healthy dose of our content team’s creative ingenuity. The reason we focus on long-form content is because that’s what Google values (and rewards with higher SERP rankings), so long as the content provides the information that their search users are looking for. Long-form content will help to position your brand as a voice of authority within your field which, in turn, makes you a more attractive choice for potential customers.

  • How do you decide what topic/subject to write on?

    Andy: Our expertise and experience allows us to find and choose topics that will get our clients results. If a client exists in a particularly complex or niche industry, then we’ll get input from the client themselves to ensure the content is up to scratch. In most cases, we decide the direction while the client helps us fill in the blanks. We like to think of ourselves as the doctors and our clients as the patients.

  • Our organisation is new to content marketing, so where do we start?

    Thom: Start by producing as much content as you can. Get a blog section up and running with frequent posts and start aiming to add to your key services pages and homepage. Find a keyword research tool you like and start learning about how you can optimise the quality content you’re generating!

  • How do we determine whether the company should have a content platform?

    Thom: Does the company want to engage with customers and users, drive traffic through organic search, and push for more on-site conversions? Then content marketing is going to be the right fit for you.

  • What do you enjoy most about content writing?

    Thom: When writing content, whether for a range of different clients or just on one subject matter, you learn a great deal about whatever it is you’re writing content about as a matter of necessity. I love coming away from something I’ve written with a detailed understanding of something I never knew about!

  • Why is having directors buy into content marketing so important?

    Thom: Because content marketing requires commitment and patience in general. Producing thousands of words of long form content isn’t easy – it takes time and hard work. Also, content is a long-term investment and you’ll only begin seeing your best results months down the line. Making sure your directors understand this and are committed to the campaign is crucial.

  • What tone should I use?

    Hannah: This is dependent on your brand’s personality, values and what you want people to say about you. A good place to start is competitor research – how are your rivals presenting themselves, and what aspects do you like and dislike? Then think about what makes you unique, what your strengths are and how your company culture feeds into this. Feeding this all into your content will help create that personality that readers will love to engage with.

  • What content management systems are you familiar with?

    Hannah: WordPress and a few, bespoke client CMS platforms.

  • What is your proofreading process?

    Hannah: The way I proofread is by using the ‘Suggesting’ function on Google Docs, so that the writer can see their errors and learn from them, while correcting their own work. I check for grammatical errors, whether key client information is correct (e.g. phone numbers) and whether links are suitable (i.e. no competitors).

  • What is content marketing not?

    Hannah: An excuse to write rubbish, or pester potential clients with information they don’t want. Content marketing should always have the customers’ best interests at heart, and provide useful and actionable information.

  • What is the best length of content?

    Kara: That depends entirely on what you’re using it for, but as a rule of thumb, the longer the better as long as it’s useful, rich and well presented! Around 2500 words is the average number of words on a position #1 ranking page, although it could well be more in 2020 and beyond, but if you can get more on there, do, as content is only becoming more and more important!

  • How to sell the value of content marketing to sales?

    Kara: Again, it’s easy – the results are there! Showing your sales teams the impact high-quality content can have on your search engine rankings is all it takes. The numbers do not lie, but it’s the words that’ll get you there.

  • How do you plan and schedule your work?

    Kara: At Embryo, we use Notion to plan what we’re doing and when we’re doing it. However, we’ll also liaise closely with the SEO team to work out what kind of content and topics are really going to give our clients the best results and help them reach their business goals.

  • Why does content marketing fail?

    Kara: Content marketing fails because organisations half-arse it! Content that doesn’t actually add value to the lives of your users will fail, because search engines don’t see the point of it! More to the point, they’re right – content done badly and without purpose, value or intent, is completely pointless, and that’s when content marketing fails.

  • What’s the difference between audience and traffic?

    Andy: Traffic is the number of people who visit your website, while audience is the people you’re currently targeting and are trying to target.

  • What’s the Difference Between Content Marketing and Social Media?

    Andy: The main difference between content marketing and social media is the length of the content. Social media (particularly Twitter) calls for short and snappy content that can be easily digested and shared by users on those platforms. Content marketing, on the other hand, is geared towards search engines, where in-depth, long-form content rises to the top (literally).

  • How can I use content marketing to increase brand presence in the most efficient way?

    Andy: By targeting long-tail keywords. There may be less search volume with these longer keywords, but the competition is much lower so it’s easier to rank high for them. Plus, if you’re ranking highly for a longer, more specific search term, you’re targeting people who are further down the sales funnel and are more likely to convert. Trying to target shorter (but more popular) search terms is inefficient due to the sheer competition you’ll face.

  • What are the best ways to build an audience with content?

    Andy: Provide value to your audience. Give them informative, educational and insightful content. Answer the questions that your audience are asking. Cover topics that they’re interested in. Deliver a wide range of content and explore different channels – don’t just upload it to your website or blog, but give your audience exclusive content via email or as a physical product. Most importantly, deliver quality content on a consistent basis.

  • How can we make something go viral?

    Andy: Honestly, going viral shouldn’t be your goal. As an avid social media user myself, there’s nothing worse than watching a brand try to force a viral tweet or Instagram post.

    Virality is all about right tweet, right time (and sometimes the right meme). Social media users, particularly those who grew up with it, can sniff out a viral attempt from a mile away.

  • How does marketing without talking about or promoting our product/service help us create leads and sales?

    Thom: Content marketing is as much about providing engaging, valuable content for your customers as it is about anything else. Good content that provides value wins people over and persuades them to buy into your brand and style. It also allows you to cast a wide net when it comes to organic search.

  • Tell us something that is unique about your writing style?

    Thom: Wherever possible, I like to write as conversationally as I can. This can mean being very casual and relaxed in my language and grammar – as long as I’m getting the point across and people feel like they’re really being spoken to by a human being, I’m happy! Of course, this varies from client to client and I aim to only be as casual as is appropriate.

  • Why would I want to educate my customers and help my competition?

    Thom: Because people love informative and useful content. Your customers will appreciate you all the more for educative content. It’s not about helping the competition, it’s about treating your customers the way they want to be treated and gaining brand sentiment, loyalty and recall while you do.

  • How does content drive revenue?

    Thom: Good content marketing is all about getting people on-site and keeping them there with informative and authoritative content that they both trust and enjoy. By supporting your SEO efforts, content drives traffic to site, increases visibility, improves user experience and pushes for conversions.