Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and content marketing are both wildly popular digital marketing techniques that reap excellent results on their own. As a website or business owner, you’ve probably used them both at one point or the other. But do you know how content marketing helps SEO and how they can both be used together?
Well, I’m here to reveal something that’s been right in front of us the entire time – SEO and content marketing are a match made in heaven.
Your SEO efforts may help you rank higher but only high-quality, attention-worthy content will make your audience come back for more. In short, your stellar SEO strategy might not be enough without a solid content marketing plan to back it up.
Let’s uncover the importance of quality content and learn how to build a content marketing strategy that synergizes with your SEO techniques.
The Importance of Quality Content for Website Growth
SEO and link building techniques may help you rank on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) but you won’t have much to market without good quality content. There’s only so much smart optimization techniques can do for your website or online presence.
Even Google’s latest Helpful Content Update is hinting at the importance of engaging content. In fact, the update implies that bad, unhelpful content on your site can prevent your other pages from reaching their true potential, even if they have good content.
Understanding how content marketing helps SEO can motivate you to create a well-rounded growth strategy that covers all the bases.
SEO and Content Marketing: A Match Made in Heaven
You’re probably well aware of the virtues of SEO and now you know the importance of good content as well but how do they both work together?
In a nutshell, these digital marketing strategies are two sides of the same coin. The goal of SEO is to grab the attention of your targeted audience and potentially boost traffic through optimization techniques. On the other hand, content marketing provides well-written, value-added content that the audience will love.
If done right, SEO and content marketing develop an explosive synergy that can boost your online presence, bring in organic traffic and ultimately increase your bottom line. For that, your content marketing strategy needs to be in line with your audience, optimized for searches and built to boost your SEO efforts.
Blogging vs. Content Marketing
For starters, let’s not mix up blogging with content marketing.
You’ll definitely find SEO agencies that publish blog posts to a site as part of their package. Yes, they’ll focus on link building, content optimization, and publishing content to a site. Perhaps that’s why it’s easy to confuse content marketing with blogging.
So, what’s the difference between the two?
The Difference Between Blogging and Content Marketing
Well, content marketing is a multilayer approach to building an audience and generating leads. While, blogging is a lot different since it just consists of daily, weekly, or biweekly publishing of a blog post on a website. There isn’t much to it other than sharing posts with the world on your blog. And as you should be aware, blogging doesn’t consist of a deeper strategy like the hub and spoke model of content marketing.
In the early stages of content marketing, you identify customers’ needs and wants, things that they are interested in, buyer types, and start developing content specifically tailored to their ideal target audience.
On the other hand, blogging does none of this. It has no promotional strategy involved whatsoever. So, do your SEO services include content marketing or have you been blogging all this time?
Blogging can have its own place in your business operations but don’t make the mistake of using it as a replacement for a sophisticated content marketing strategy.
Content Marketing Checklist to Boost Your SEO
If you’ve got your on-page SEO skills polished but want to add content marketing to the mix, you’re at the right place.
Here’s a handy checklist to help you take your content to the next level so SEO can work its magic and help you fly high on the SERPs and beyond!
#1 Always Put the Customer First
Your content marketing strategy needs to be built on a customer-first approach. Knowing your target audience and trying to predict their needs is the first step toward building a successful strategy. There are countless tools to help you gain customer insights but perhaps the best way to know your customers is to engage with them.
With so many social media tools at your disposal, there are many ways to ask for feedback and queries from your audience. You can even turn your customer’s FAQs into content and create blogs, videos, and social media posts answering their most burning questions. Remember, the ultimate goal is to add value and address customers’ pain points.
#2 Diversify your Content
We all know that a good content marketing strategy is built on original, authoritative, and targeted content. But another missing puzzle piece that’s proving to be invaluable for content marketers recently is content diversity.
Diversity is not only about targeting multiple channels (we’ll come to that later!) but diverse topics and forms of content.
A great example of this is interactive content that can be in the form of mini-games, quizzes, videos, and infographics. According to studies, interactive content gains two times more engagement than static content. More engagement leads to more visibility which in turn helps your SEO efforts.
#3 Build a Multi-Channel Approach by Repurposing Content
From social media to webinars and podcasts, there are countless marketing channels readily available at our fingertips today. If your content marketing strategy isn’t leveraging most of these opportunities, you’re missing out. Big time.
Fortunately, targeting multiple channels simultaneously isn’t nearly as complicated as it sounds.
Enter content repurposing, the act of recycling or revamping your content to distribute it on multiple platforms. Instead of creating original content for each channel, you can easily put a spin on existing content to make it available to a wider audience.
Benefits of Content Repurposing
Getting your content out on different platforms will make it more accessible and available to new audience segments. For example, your blogs can be turned into podcasts for people who prefer listening over reading.
Moreover, redundancy and repetition are important techniques used by marketers to reinforce their messages. As they say, out of sight, out of mind. By targeting multiple channels at once, you’ll ensure that your audience is compelled to remember your message subconsciously.
Last but not the least, it can reinforce your Search Engine Optimization efforts by boosting visibility and organic website traffic. The more content you publish, the more search real estate you’ll cover, making it highly likely for you to rank for your targeted queries.
How to Repurpose Content
Start with content that has the most promising metrics and audience response. Simply put a new spin on it to deliver a fresh experience with the same message.
Here are some ways in which you can repurpose content:
- Turn business data into valuable case studies
- Utilize your research or surveys to make infographics for social media
- Use blogs to come up with video scripts
- Turn a blog post into a podcast topic or vice versa
- Convert your long-form video content into short-form videos
- Update old blog posts with latest stats and information
- Create an online course that links to your blogs
#4 Improve your Social Signals
You can’t build a good content marketing strategy without considering the modern social media landscape. Social signals are the currency in the world of social media platforms and the key engagement metric that decides how popular, useful, and relevant your content is.
These signals show up in the form of your views, likes, shares, and followers. Since search engines are all about ranking relevant content that people are engaging with, social signals play a big role in how your content is ranked.
While Google hasn’t officially admitted that social signals contribute to rankings, the fact that it does have an impact on your visibility, brand awareness and ultimately your SEO is a no-brainer.
In fact, search engines like Bing openly identify social signals as ranking factors. But the fact is, in today’s ever-changing world, you need to think beyond the SERPs.
Ranking high isn’t the only sign that your content is worthy. If you’re active and thriving on social media, that’s a clear indication that your audience loves what you’re putting out. So, keep doing more of that, and just channel some of that traffic onto your business landing pages!
How to Improve Social Signals
Here are some ways to improve your social signals across all platforms:
Post Regularly – You need to post almost daily in order to stay relevant in today’s world. An inactive social media account doesn’t exactly inspire confidence and trust in customers.
Tailor your Content for the Audience & Platform – Instead of jumping on every bandwagon and trend, know who your audience is and target them methodically, keeping the search intent in mind. Don’t forget the platform you’re targeting but keep your content short, sweet, and impactful.
Engage in Community Building – Build a community around a shared vision or cause. Interact with industry professionals by reposting, liking, and sharing others’ relevant content.
Add your Website URLs and Social Plugins – Keep updating your website URL in your bio or description. Also, add social media sharing options on your website to make your content easily shareable.
#5 Publish New Content Regularly
We’ve mentioned how posting regularly is essential for staying relevant on social media. The same rule applies to search engines that consider your publishing frequency as a sign of relevancy.
Creating new content regularly signifies that you’re still in the game while adding new relevant keywords to your arsenal.
A well-updated blog also increases authority and credibility in the eyes of potential customers. There’s nothing more frustrating than visiting a website and finding it outdated and irrelevant.
#6 Use Content Optimization Tools (But Don’t Follow Them Blindly!)
Content optimization can help you fine-tune your content for the SERPs in multiple ways such as adding keywords, boosting readability, providing links, and much more. The goal is for the content to match the right search queries and reach the target audience.
Some of the most popular optimization tools include SurferSEO, SEMrush, Clearscope, and MarketMuse. These tools are a great way to refresh old content so you don’t have to start from scratch.
New articles may push your content down in the SERPs but you can climb right back up by refreshing it with better keywords, updated statistics, and altered search intent.
Here are some easy ways to refresh existing content to rank higher:
- Add recent statistics and update outdated ones
- Add more relevant keywords
- Fix the broken links
- Update meta descriptions and meta title tags
- Make content informational instead of promotional
- Optimize it to target recent industry trends
- Remove fluff and invaluable content
While these tools can help you come up with optimized content, it’s not a great idea to follow them blindly as some of the suggestions can make your content look too generic. Make sure to stick to your content marketing and SEO strategies, add your own flair to the content and use these tools as guides.
#7 Hire a Professional Content Marketing Team
Applying new SEO-friendly practices and building a comprehensive content marketing strategy can be highly time-consuming and requires a lot of specialized expertise. That’s why companies like to outsource their content marketing operations to a dedicated team of professionals.
While you can also build an in-house team for content marketing, that can come with a lot of overhead costs. Many SEO agencies are now providing content marketing services so you can make the most of their offerings while focusing on your business operations.
Conclusion – Quality Content Is the Way Forward
Digital marketing is an ever-changing field with a lot of highs and lows but the need to earn customers’ trust and attention remains constant.
While SEO is great for getting more eyes on your content, the said content needs to be engaging enough for your customers to choose you time and again.
That’s where content marketing comes into play. Whether you’re targeting social media or trying to boost your website rankings, content can help you win in all areas.
Remember, there’s no fast track to success when it comes to earning an audience and making them stay. Simply focus on your customers, address their demands through your content marketing strategy and pair that up with some sophisticated SEO & link building to watch the magic happen!