It’s always a must to create a content marketing strategy that revolves around thought-provoking content to achieve your marketing goals. However, most brands don’t realize that both content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) should be properly integrated to maximize the effects of either one.
Content marketing and SEO are like soul mates in the digital marketing industry: they complement each other in such a way that one will have a tough time existing without the help of the other. While you can’t be effective in marketing in general without any of them, they still can be distinguished from one another in several crucial areas. However, you still can’t separate the two entirely.
Unfortunately, many brands still don’t have a clue on how to make effective use of both. To do this, you’ll first have to know how they function separately before diving into the formulation of a strategy that combines both in a way that helps hit your marketing goals. Remember, there is no such thing as content without SEO, and vice versa. You will need their combined elements—words, articles, keywords—for maximum impact.
To put things into perspective, SEO helps draw people to your site while content marketing keeps them there and converts. While SEO is more technical, content marketing is more holistic in its approach. They need each other to work.
SEO Demands Optimized Content
When looking for an item to buy or a service to acquire online, the first action you usually do is conduct a search. The same goes for any restaurant, salon, or any other establishment, where you may read online reviews before deciding to pay a visit. This goes to show that most consumers are dependent and have considerable trust in search engines.
The goal of any brand is to be more visible and rank on top of search engine results pages (SERPs), so a webmaster should optimize content using relevant keywords. This is the reason why SEO and content marketing are two of the most effective marketing tools currently being used to grow scalable organic engagement.
Treating SEO and content marketing as two separate entities is a huge mistake. They are so closely related that the two are proven to work better together than they do on their own. SEO sets the guidelines and content fulfills them. Essentially, SEO needs optimized content to work. Here’s why:
For search engines to better understand your product or service, they have to be able to find and read the content of your website. To do this, they need content to crawl, which helps search engines determine the kind of search queries your website should rank for and if they are relevant to a user based on their search query.
- Keyword Targeting
Keywords are a fundamental aspect of SEO, but stuffing them throughout your website won’t help you achieve your SEO goals unless you’re willing to face penalties from Google.
Through the proper integration of your keyword strategy and content marketing strategy, you’re effectively avoiding any search engine penalty, while boosting organic rankings in SERPs, and amplifying your content strategy through SEO.
- Link Building
Building links back to your website is still a huge part of SEO. It enhances its authority and boosts its rankings in search results.
You know your content marketing campaign is garnering considerable success if you attract highly sought after inbound links from other websites across the internet. It’s advisable to construct a digital PR strategy and integrate it into your content marketing campaign to maximize organic links and increase your exposure by getting your content seen by as many people as possible.
- Social Signals
Social signals are activities on social media networks that include likes, comments, shares, and clicks, which can have an impact on where your page ranks in organic search results. A carefully planned content marketing strategy that performs well on social media opens a great opportunity to boost your ranking.
- Featured Snippets
Featured snippets are now a common sight in SERPs after performing a search query, which appears at the top of the page that’s also known as Google’s Knowledge Graph. This gives you a massive advantage if you provide the right content.
Your website’s content quality plays a huge factor in helping to determine if your website qualifies to be a featured snippet, which is a highly sought-after spot in today’s search results.
Content marketing and SEO are the dynamic duo of the digital marketing industry. They each can work solo, but a harmonious tandem delivers a far more powerful and effective strategy to achieve your business goals.
Types of SEO Content
An essential part of an effective content marketing strategy consists of knowing what you need to put out there to rank in SERPs. In line with this, there are distinct content types that work best for SEO and specific formats that are best suited for certain queries. You can use them to satisfy searcher intent, match them to the right project to achieve your goals, and enhance your overall strategy.
1. Blog Posts
Blogs are one of the easiest ways to produce a regular stream of SEO content. This is largely due to the fact that blog posts are easily-accessible and generally quick to consume, making them a great way to establish authority for your website. Remember, blogs are flexible, and you can use them to host other types of media like images, videos, and interactive content.
2. Product Pages
If you run an e-commerce or retail website, product pages are your bread and butter. A well-constructed product page packed with information can serve as both SEO content and a PPC landing page.
These are made up of news articles, interviews or a feature piece, which are your go-to type of content if you’re running a newspaper or magazine-style website.
Simply put, a listicle is an informative article that’s presented in the form of a list, making it easier to scan. Titles such as “5 Ways to Teach Your Dog New Tricks” also seem to be more clickable when found in search results or social media news feeds.
A guide is generally a long piece of content that details how to do an activity the right way. It’s often broken up and featured in multiple web pages, although viewing one on a single consolidated page is considered best practice for comprehensive SEO.
Infographics are made up of large-format images that are packed with data on a single subject and are often presented in the form of graphs or charts. Due to its highly visual and informative nature, this type of content can rack up a lot of page views and links. But its content is embedded in the image, so the text isn’t readable by search engines. For this reason, it’s important to optimize the rest of the page for ranking purposes.
If you’re looking for a way to present a series of related images, slideshows are your best bet. There really are times when images are far more important than text when it comes to delivering relevant information, but make sure your title, captions, image file names, and so on are optimized since search engines have less text to read.
8. Glossaries & FAQs
People now tend to use Google when they look up terms instead of using a dictionary. If you’re working in a specialized industry, a detailed glossary is an effective way to capture some of that important search traffic. The same goes for answering frequently asked questions. Positioning your content to strategically provide the right answers to common questions will mean your brand gets noticed during the information search stage.
A directory is a useful index of links to sites or other resources pertaining to a given topic. For instance, if you’re running a blog about band equipment, you can create a directory about places where you can purchase the best sound equipment for outdoor gigs around the country. Directories help build relevance around your target keywords, which is great for intent matching.
Depending on the type of site or business you’re running, videos are a superb way to attract an audience. You can create video tutorials showing how your products are used or demonstrate a process that’s related to your business, such as the right way of changing dead strings of a bass guitar if you’re a business that sells guitars. It’s important to note that including a text transcript of your video is a must for SEO purposes (because search engines can’t crawl the video media itself).
How to Write Content for SEO
If you want to build an audience and know which type of content to use, you have to be smart with what you actually publish. Your job is to create useful content that’s interesting, persuasive, and optimized for search engines, and you need to do it consistently.
The biggest challenge that marketers face is creating content that’s optimized for search engines, and at the same time appeals to people. There’s no “secret sauce” involved in writing SEO-friendly content. In fact, SEO copywriting or writing in general, follows a pretty standard process, but it all boils down in finding the right formula to get things done. Here are the industry’s best practices that can help you reach your goal:
- Do keyword research and integrate them into your content
You’ve created valuable content that fits all the criteria for your audience. So your effort won’t go to waste, you should take time to make sure Google takes notice of this. This means finding out which keywords and phrases people use in their queries, as well as those you can be competitive in. Work those keywords into your content and use the right tools to track your progress.
Avoid peppering your content with keywords to avoid hurting your rankings. Instead, you have to be strategic by including them in the title, the first 300 words, and the H1 or H2 if possible. It should be noted that the integration of your keyword into your content should feel natural in your writing. Never struggle to make them fit into your article or copy.
Remember, people search Google using a particular phrase because they want to know more about it or purchase it, so it only makes sense to give them what they’re looking for. By doing so, you’ll get more traffic, clicks, and conversions.
- Write about what people care about
There are many writers who just pump out content without the guidance of reason and with no real strategy behind it. Remember, you’re not writing for Google’s algorithm. You’re writing for your target audience, and they’re real people.
When creating content, make it a point to always offer value to your readers. Let them know a few things that no one else can tell them, or offer a unique product or service. Nobody knows your business like you do, so use this to your advantage.
- Know the technical SEO basics
Understanding how Google crawls pages and how it gives out link authority can help you develop an effective strategy. Keep in mind that content writing isn’t just about writing a blog post; it’s about creating a database of relevant content that link well together. If you have a good understanding of how your blog is structured, you’ll be able to make everything more efficient, which means each backlink to a post will deliver maximum benefit.
It also helps if you have an understanding of how to optimize a website beyond keywords. You can do this by maintaining optimized images, avoiding too many popups, or making sure that your posts are indexed. All these are important when creating content for SEO.
- Make it long enough to count
Search engines tend to prefer longer articles with good reason. Try to go for at least 600 words. And if you can get 1,000 or more, it would be best to go for it.
Search engines are inclined to favor “in-depth” content that’s made up of about 2,000 words. The bottom-line is, the longer your content, the more value you’re likely to give your readers, and this gives you a better chance to lower your bounce rate.
- Keep an eye on your analytics
SEO content writing isn’t just a write-and-forget kind of gig, so you should never post your article and walk away. In fact, what you need to do is regularly monitor your content using Google Analytics. Bounce rate, time on site, and pages per session are a few of the important metrics you have to keep an eye on.
Knowing how your content is performing can help you make the necessary adjustments to your content strategy. If your site has a high bounce rate, this means your website visitors aren’t staying too long, possibly because you fall short in providing them with the information they’re looking for.
- Half of the battle is online PR
After writing and posting fresh content, your work is only half complete. The final step involves linking your content all over the place, so to speak. Now’s the time to start building link and social signals to help search engines notice your content. A large part of this involves building and maintaining relationships with online communities who your content is relevant to.
Know What Works for Your Business
It pays to know the ins and outs of writing content for SEO. Learning the required skills may take time, and mastery takes even more, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be on your way to achieving your marketing goals.
Remember, there is no cookie cutter way to pull this off successfully. You’ll have to make the necessary adjustments to determine what works for your business. In the long run, you’ll get better with creating content for SEO with the business growing as your strategies become more precise.