How To Combine Content Marketing and SEO Together. Making Them Work Together.
It's no longer news that a lot of marketers and online business owners usually get confused as to whether content marketing and SEO (search engine optimization.) are two distinct things or if they conflict.
I am here to announce to you that they both work hand in hand, and if you can understand them, you can apply both content marketing and SEO seamlessly.
Before I proceed with what the combination of content marketing and SEO can do to your digital marketing game, let's clearly understand the meaning of these terms.
The Meaning Of Content Marketing.
You will agree with me that you can't neglect the place of content even as a business owner because it's one of the major keys to the success of your business.
Furthermore, it is through your content that your customers, workforce, clients, colleagues, shareholders, investors, and third parties get involved in your product development, marketing, supply chain, and retail.
Even as a blogger, your websites, newsletter, sales page and product descriptions all need quality content.
Do you know that your training materials, onboarding documents, user manuals, annual report, business cases, PowerPoint presentations, emails, and brochures are all content?
It's safe to refer to Content marketing as the engine of every marketing strategy, and it is defined as the use of high-quality, high-value, information-rich content published in different media ranging from text, audio, graphics, and video to lure visitors to your websites and blogs to prompt them to take a particular action like subscribe to a newsletter or service, download a digital product, click through to a sales page, or leave a rating or review.
Additionally, good content attracts new visitors to your website through search engines like Google and Bing; through social media links on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and by personal recommendation.
Finally, once you have been able to attract them, you then have to convert them into customers and subscribers. Remember that it’s your content that keeps them.
High-Quality Content Builds Brand Authority
If you have an online business, then there is a need to build visibility and authority of such business, and that can be achieved through content marketing.
You must note that authority comes from a relationship of trust and not from advertising or pushing for sales irrespective of how good your products or services are.
That being said, for you to build the kind of relationship with your customers and clients, you need to offer them much value through your content such as assisting them in solving problems they face, and in return, they will be loyal and trust your brand, then use your services, buy your products, and share their excitement and positive experience with others.
Finally, the most powerful way to create awareness for your brand is through a marketing strategy that involves PR, blogging, social media as well as other outreach activities because unlike an advert that has a short life, these multiply the impact of your efforts by reaching out to many people and creating a chain of relationships as long as the internet exists.
Quality Content Enhances SEO
Now I will be looking at the meaning of SEO (search engine optimization) in practice.
You should take note of the fact that consistently publishing and putting high-quality content forward is necessary for good SEO, and the reason for this is simple.
Google’s algorithms give priority to new, original, unique, and, most importantly valuable content because these contents are indexed more frequently, so it makes its way to the top where your prospective customers can find it.
Again, you should note that the ability to choose the right keywords for your target audience and apply them proportionally in your posts and metadata is key.
The Meaning Of SEO?
SEO is an abbreviation for search engine optimization, and from this, you can easily deduce that it has to do with making your website show up in search engines, and search engines search for content.
Furthermore, you must understand that while the texts in your content are majorly for humans because they are the ones that will read it, it is a bunch of robots that decide on which of these humans gets to see it, therefore, SEO is the technical aspect of making your content understandable to the search engine algorithms.
The essence of SEO is to help increase the number of people that will find your website through the major search engines, and technical SEO involves refining your metadata, managing download speeds, updating your XML sitemaps, checking and adjusting your keyword balance, optimizing internal linking, ensuring the responsiveness of your site, checking for plagiarism, removing broken links, adding or removing no-follow arguments, adding or removing meta-tags, and lots more.
The mistakes most people make about SEO are usually the choice, distribution, and keyword density within their published content and metadata.
Please, while keywords are important for good SEO, stuffing keywords in your content would simply get your site blacklisted and sandboxed.
Going forward, I will be discussing how content marketing and SEO fit together since you now know what both of them are all about.
How Does Content Marketing Help SEO?
As I earlier said, content marketing and SEO work simultaneously, so you can't do one without the other.
That is to say that if you don’t write very good content, you will have nothing to optimize for the search engines and if that is the case, your interesting writing, video, or podcast may never be seen.
Worthy of mention is the fact that Google dominates the field irrespective of having other search engines so they provide more than 90 per cent of all search engine traffic to a good number of websites and blogs.
It's only ideal that you spend some time with Google, learning what they want and following their guidelines if you wish to do your optimization.
Furthermore, keywords, backlinking, and clean code are some of the technical aspects of optimization, and they make it easier for robots to find your work and comprehend it.
Instead of using ill-informed technical approaches to optimize existing content such as over-using keywords thereby resulting in a poor reading experience.
Furthermore, Good SEO enhances your content, and the best way you can approach this is to either invest your time, resources, and energy to completely understanding technical SEO and content creation strategy and then apply what you have learned when publishing fresh, new content using appropriate keywords, or better still, employ a skilled professional content creator to get the job done.
Content Marketing and SEO: A Powerful Marketing Combination
At this point, I believe that you must have had an idea of how content marketing and SEO work together because they are inseparable, and integral parts of any online marketing campaign.
I want you to know that you may be making two major mistakes if you have tried to develop a content marketing and SEO strategy for your business, but you continually fail to generate traffic on your website.
One of such mistakes is that a lot of businesses separate their content marketing from their SEO, and this usually happens if you are a single entrepreneur or you have a small business but in a case where your business is big enough, you find out that you may have various departments including the IT who are saddled with SEO tasks.
Another common mistake is as a result of downplaying the importance of technical SEO and thinking that just publishing adequate content will land you at the top of search engines.
The Three Major Components Of SEO For Content Marketing
Now, let's take a look at the three important components of any SEO-friendly content marketing strategy, and they include:
- Keywords — used to target your audience as well as let the algorithms know what your content entails.
- User Experience — to ensure the easy accessibility and readability of your content to make sure that your audience finds it easy to understand, enjoy, and find it valuable
- Backlinks — serve as proof of the authority of your content and also generate traffic
The Essence Of Keywords
Keywords are simply terms that real people make use of to search for information online, and you have to add them to your content for two major reasons.
First, you have to know that by doing keyword research, you’ll have the knowledge of the questions your target audience asks, and with this, you’ll know how to write about them to help, educate, and motivate them.
Secondly, search engine algorithms endeavour to pair searchers with content which means that if you make use of well-targeted, appropriate keywords in your content, the robots will easily understand what your content is all about and can call the attention of the right people to it.
Furthermore, aside from the ones I mentioned, there are other metrics you can use to determine if your content will rank in search results and they are length, authority and referencing, age of the domain and recency of the information, language and grammar, originality, and so on.
Dealing with the User Experience
Always remember that you are not writing your content for yourself but your readers, so you must put them into consideration — what will the person who finds and reads your content experience?
Firstly, you must endeavour to make the reading experience easy and enjoyable by using the language that suits your target audience; check the grammar and spelling; ensure the layout is clean, logical, and pleasing to the eye; check if the images and video will make the content more interesting.
Summarily, let your content be visually and audibly pleasing to your audience.
Secondly, ensure that the technical “back end” of your site is up to scratch. Be sure that the page loads fast by minimising code and images; using the right description, and metadata titles; that you have a complete XML sitemap; that the robots can crawl tags; and that all links are functioning.
Additionally, make use of the appropriate headings and subheadings (H1, H2, H3, and so on) to make it easier for readers to go through the content and quickly find the information they are searching for.
Furthermore, this makes it easier for the algorithms to know what the content is about and figure out the most significant information on the page.
Please, note that Inbound links or backlinks play an important role in your site’s authority.
What are backlinks? It has to do with when someone who likes your content shares it with their followers, friends, customers, and so on through their social media handles, newsletter, or by dropping a live link into their content.
Additionally, people usually make the mistake of thinking that it’s all about the number of the links, however, it’s the quality of the links that matter, and there are two things that make quality link.
The first is that the link is natural and organic which means that it wasn’t created by you, you didn’t ask for it, and you didn’t pay for it; and secondly, the content is shared with a site that already has high authority like a verified social media account; or an influencer’s long-established and famous blog.
Interestingly, you can neither speed up the backlink process nor you fake it, you just don’t have any control over it.
Content Marketing and SEO: 4 Steps to an Integrated Digital Strategy
I will be discussing simple, actionable, four-step methods that you can employ to develop an integrated content marketing and SEO digital strategy to enhance your content and increase your rankings in search engines.
1. Define Your Aim And Set Measurable Goals
The first step you have to take before going ahead to enforce any strategy or strategic changes in your method of developing, publishing, and promoting your content online, you have to, first of all, know your present situation.
Take your current traffic, CTR (click-through rate), site visitors (new and return); depth of engagement (time on page, number of pages); and bounce rate; into consideration.
While at it, define your goals by asking yourself pertinent questions like If you want more direct sales or additional social shares for brand awareness? How many visitors do you have, and what CTAs (calls to action) will they be compelled to respond to? In a bid to answer these questions, you will know the kind of content to write to get it.
2. Carry out research and list your keywords
Having known your target audience, it's time to search for the keywords and keyword phrases they employ when they are seeking to find information and solve problems online.
I advise you to employ the use of Google’s keyword planning tools, SEMRush, Moz directory, or any of the numerous keyword research applications.
Furthermore, you can carry out a simple keyword search by typing options into the search bar of Google and looking at the automated drop-down menu to see what terms it recommends to you, especially the top three results on the first page.
Repeat this process over and over again, and by doing so, you’ll discover that you now have a list of hundreds or even thousands of potentially valuable keywords and phrases you can use to build your content.
3. Create and optimize your content
You can start creating your content using the keywords you were able to gather judiciously.
This is not enough as you will also need to make your content the best while ensuring your back-end, technical SEO as you code around the core text is in place.
The next thing to do is to slate your content for publication and start watching out for how fast it is indexed, how much traffic it generates, if so, where is the traffic from, and how do your visitors relate to the content.
Don't forget your existing content, you need to tweak them as you have more information on them.
If you need to include an infographic, more
visual elements, change the wording on your Call To Action or sign-up incentive, you should do it because a lot of content ranks as a result of a few post-publication revisions.
The last step is to promote your content, not just publish it and just leave it.
It may interest you to know that while this will give you results if your content is one of the best, you can boost the process and start the organic backlinks by creating awareness and bringing your content to the knowledge of people.
To achieve this, you have to apply any of these strategies which include sharing and engaging on social media, guest posting on other blogs in your niche, alerting your subscribers when you have new content for them to read, and building your email list.
From all that I have said, you can deduce that if your wide-ranging, long-term content marketing and SEO strategy are in position, your business will surely have an edge over others online.
No doubt, you will get much more traffic, and invariably, convert most of your visitors to subscribers, customers, and clients, build authority and influence for your brand as well as increase traction in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
The importance of learning Content Marketing and SEO cannot be overemphasized.