Content Marketing & SEO – How They Go Together and Why You Need Them Both

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Whenever you want to find something, you turn to a search engine like Google. Research has shown that most people don’t go past the first page for results. In a sense, these search engines have done a pretty good job at ranking high-quality content and putting those in the top positions.

This is an excellent opportunity for brands to offer content that people search for. Therefore, you must position your content in such a way to provide quality and be subjectively appealing. However, you can’t forget about being technically effective so that search engines can track what you’re doing.

SEO means that you’re optimizing your content to hope that it appears higher in the results from a person’s search. Usually, people think only of technicalities when focused on SEO. You can set up the web pages and site so that crawlers can find the content to see what it’s about.

Your content strategy has to be spot on for a lead generation. Give people what they want, and they come to you to buy things. This boosts your brand awareness and visibility, showcasing you as an authority figure. However, things like duplicate content can cause you to rank lower.

Most people hire SEO specialists to deal with it all. However, you must learn how SEO and content marketing go together to ensure that you feel confident allocating your budget for such needs.

Search Engine Optimization Has Evolved

In the past, most people thought they had to divide SEO and other content marketing stages. It was considered the best thing to do because each one was in its own universe. In a sense, people thought they were each run by different departments that didn’t need to collaborate.

However, to be a success at creating content that influences others and reaches them, you must remember the key to digital marketing: Search engines are always refining the algorithms to offer the best content on a search query. There are many factors to tell search engines what’s best other than traditional SEO.

In a sense, the engine tries to offer the top answer to the person’s search query and question. The algorithm must determine which websites are on topic, authoritative, current, and reputable.

This is the heart of SEO – you’re intentionally optimizing the content so people can find you.

However, if you just optimize it, and it doesn’t meet the person’s question, it can’t rise above the other competitive content available on the market.

The goal of content marketing is to offer value to your existing customers while trying to bring potential ones to your brand. This is similar to inbound marketing because people find your content, then your brand, and finally your services/products.

Creating content must focus on satisfying the audience’s pain points, interests, spending habits, emotions, curiosity, and other metrics you want to track. It can consist of a blog post, podcast, white paper, or video.

If it’s done with SEO in mind, this is often a game-changer for businesses!

How Content Marketing & SEO Work Together

If content marketing means providing value to the customer, and SEO is there to help search engine algorithms figure out the value of the content, then SEO and content marketing must go hand-in-hand.

When you approach SEO, there are three elements to consider: technical, off-site, and on-site SEO. All three are needed for your content marketing goals.

What Is SEO Copywriting?

You must also think about SEO copywriting. The goal is to create engaging content that ranks well and funnels your website visitors into paying customers. In a sense, you’re creating valuable, compelling, and useful content that targets appropriate keywords. Others want to promote it, and it goes viral.

You need SEO and content marketing for copywriting endeavors. With them all, you can target the right people and solve all of their problems with your content.

Six Elements for SEO Copywriting

Certain elements must be included for your content to be valuable. This includes timeliness and visual appeal. Therefore, you need the right practices for SEO and use it consistently with the content to push it to the first results page to boost traffic.

Some of them are always ready to ensure high ranks on Google and boost conversion rates. Before you focus too much on content marketing, here are the six elements of SEO copywriting to know:

Site Speed

About 40 percent of users abandon websites if it takes over three seconds to load completely. Therefore, your site speed is crucial and has been a ranking factor from 2010 onwards. If it takes longer than two seconds to load the page, you’ve got to fix this.

It doesn’t matter if the content is interesting and useful with a slow page speed because visitors leave without reading it or engaging with it.

There are various free website speed test tools out there. Choose one and run the test. You can see the load time you get and measure it to the standard loading times. Then, check the history. That way, you know what’s happened before.

Headline

Your content could be valuable, but if the headlines aren’t great, then the click-through rate is sure to be low. Don’t waste your valuable copy.

Most bloggers claim to spend six hours on each blog post. This includes where you write the content, monitor any social signals, take in consumer reactions, track the metrics, and all the rest.

However, some of that time should go into producing the headline. This should be attractive and grab attention. That way, people want to click it and read more. It’s often best to think about the headline before writing the blog or article.

Content

The content you produce is crucial to copywriting. Most people conduct searches because they need useful information. Search engines can also feed off fresher content, so you should update your site consistently.

This is the only way to keep up with your content strategy. Produce the best content, promote it, and do it all the time.

To write content effectively, you must have targeted keywords. You don’t want to overstuff or over-optimize them.

Though content marketing isn’t all about organic traffic, that’s one of the first things you want. It’s free to you because the people search for and find what they need without any advertisements from you.

Ultimately, you need to know the reader well. Focus on what problem they have and then solve it with the content you write. Each piece must have a great introduction. This means knowing their search intent requirements and building on them to prove that you’re the best.

Meta Description

Before writing the content or publishing, use some meta descriptions to guide the search engines. They can help searchers understand what your topic is and why those phrases and keywords appear in the text.

Search intent is crucial here, and you should always include the main keywords in this description.

Google uses that information to offer the right search results with appropriate keywords on the page. This copy is what determines if you get clicks or not, regardless of how high you rank in the results.

You must think about the keyword intent. This is the main reason to use them, such as long-tail keywords. That way, your target audience knows exactly what they are likely to get when they click on the article to read it.

For example, if you’re writing about social media marketing, you want to state the obvious, and many people begin with a question. That way, you intrigue people enough to click the link to go to your web pages.

Keyword Frequency

Keyword frequency refers to how many times the keywords appear on the page.

For example, if the targeted keyword is “best hotels in London,” how many times should it appear in the article. It depends on how long the article is. However, keyword density focuses more on the ratio of the keyword to other words that appear on the same page.

It’s important to note that density and frequency aren’t as effective as they once were. However, they’re still crucial.

You want to use competitive keywords, but if they’re over-used, you might get ranked lower. Therefore, it might be best to think about other relevant keywords that convey the same thing but aren’t used as often.

Page Links

Links are your basic building blocks for the page. It doesn’t matter how much information you provide; there’s more out there.

Page links actually tell Google that you’re sociable and connected. They also say that your content is useful and can be accessed anywhere. It could be your own or from another site or author.

While content marketing doesn’t focus solely on page links, they are important. All of the SEO tools in the world can’t help if you’re not linking to authority sites. If you don’t, it indicates that you don’t value what others have written.

When you do use links appropriately, Google rewards you because it wants information to be universally accessible.

However, you don’t need to (and shouldn’t) include page links in title tags. Put them in the article at strategic places to help people get more information when it’s warranted.

Technical SEO – Optimization at Its Prime

Think of your piece of content as a vehicle. Technical SEO focuses on everything sitting under the hood. You could spend years designing the right body and putting on a good paint job, but if the car doesn’t run right, it’s useless!

With that in mind, you have to devote time to the technical aspects and quality of the site. If it’s slow or full of other issues, this also impacts rankings. Remember, content marketing has to start with the information you offer. However, your website must also be streamlined so that it all works together.

Layout and Organization

The first step for your SEO strategy on the technical side when creating content is to think about the architecture and structure of the site. Is your website easy to navigate and has a flow to it? Search engines often reward sites that have a more organized system for interlinking between the pages.

When you’ve got pages with no internal links, other search engines (and Google) could have trouble locating important things. Therefore, you want strong internal linking, a clear navigational bar, and a sitemap.

As you write content, you can add links to it, put it on the navigation bar, and include it on the sitemap. That way, Google can always find it when needed.

However, your website design also plays a role in the layout. Mobile responsiveness is crucial because more and more people research things on smartphones and smaller devices.

Security is also something to consider. It might be wise to upgrade to HTTPS instead of HTTP. This is more secure and reduces the risk of potential hacker attacks.

Mobile and Desktop Speed

While you’re creating excellent content, you must think about how the text is read by engines and people. Everyone needs a smooth user experience so that they stay on the page and continue reading. With that, your site has to adapt to mobile from desktop easily.

Advanced Technical SEO Concepts

The SEO and marketing world is a rabbit hole full of concepts that get more challenging. Some are easy to digest by the average browser, and some are expert things that programmers have to deal with.

Some examples of advanced adjustments for technical SEO include:

  • Adjusting the robots.txt file
  • Having canonical link elements
  • Preventing duplicate content
  • Technical site audits
  • Much more

Often, it’s advisable to hire an SEO expert since it is hard to do all that yourself.

Onsite SEO – The Target Audience and Content Creation to Build Your Content Marketing Strategy

The first step for onsite SEO is to produce excellent content. However, you must also amend that to say produce excellent content that covers the topics people search for!

When you’re looking for content ideas to create the content, you have to ask yourself if it offers demonstrable and real value to the niche and target audience as a whole.

The blog post that you create must be relevant to the target audience. This is the number one rule for your content marketing strategy. If it doesn’t, you could have low organic traffic, higher bounce rates, and a drop in rankings.

Your audience includes different buyer personas, and you must think about customer engagement for each of them. They could be thinking about buying, just looking, or doing research. Most of them aren’t ready to purchase from you the first time they read relevant content.

Therefore, your SEO campaign has to think about what the audience needs and understand what they’re searching for to go in the right direction. That way, you have content ideas that people want to learn about.

You must know what the site visitor is thinking when they go to your site and what they thought about before arriving. It’s also important to consider what they think about when they leave. All of this is called user intent – the purpose for their search query.

To figure that out, you need to research the keywords to find out how they ask the questions and what they ask. Then, you can provide quality content that meets their needs.

Usually, people start off pretty vague. For example, they might want to go gluten-free, so they search for “gluten-free recipes.” From there, they could refine the query to include “what grains are gluten-free?” They end up on a website for a business that sells gluten-free products. On that site, it lists information about gluten-free cosmetics and what to watch out for. They explore different sites, and each one represents a sales opportunity.

While that’s a hypothetical situation of the user journey, it gives you an idea of how in-depth content marketing truly is.

You must imagine the potential journeys that customers might have to get to your service or product. Make lists of questions they may have at each step. Then, provide the relevant content they need to see you as the top choice.

Keyword Research – What to Know

Keyword research is crucial to your onsite SEO efforts. Without it, you can’t know what information people want or what they input to find it.

However, keyword research goes much farther than that. You must have target keywords because Google still relies on them to gauge what the particular web page is all about. Try not to over-optimize them.

Ultimately, you want some long-tail keywords in there. This is part of your keyword research, and it tells you what people search for and why. Long-tail phrases often look like this: “overnight vegan oat recipes.”

Regardless, you must keep the content ideas coming, and you should think about the keywords that relate to your business. What do people search for? How do they do it? These are all things that must be answered for you to provide fresh content that wows the crowd.

Now, you understand that content marketing can’t happen without SEO. Before you can market your articles, you have to make sure people want to know the information.

Search Engines – The Ranking System

Google isn’t likely to provide a master list of its ranking factors because it wants to protect its technology, intellectual property, and industry secrets. Therefore, people have to speculate on those missing pieces.

Ultimately, Google determines where you are in the search results, so you must appease it.

Though it can seem hard to understand the algorithm’s mystery, Google has confirmed most of the major categories. There are over 200 ranking signals and various algorithms that work hard to rank and organize pages based on specific search queries. It updates its technology all the time to improve consistency.

This makes it harder for content marketing endeavors because you always have to test the algorithm to see what’s making an impact. That’s the only way to stand apart from your competition and rank higher.

Google is always tinkering with the rank factors to determine the top rankings. Therefore, you must stay informed of the changes.

You probably don’t think about it when you perform a Google search, but how often do you go to the second page? In all honesty, you probably don’t. You stick with the top rankings because those are shown to be the most relevant.

Content marketers have to think like users. You want organic traffic to your website. Yes, you could be sponsored at the very top, but most consumers and potential customers feel that those are too spammy. They don’t want to go to those sites because it’s like they are begging for attention.

This means that organic traffic is the most important thing.

Organic search is also the same thing, so as you create content, you want to make sure it’s good enough to be up there without having to pay for that privilege.

Play around with the title tags, metadata, heading text, and other things to include the keywords and phrases that relate to your topic. Just don’t keyword stuff – readers and Google don’t like over-optimized content. Plus, Google can recognize themes of keywords instead of specific ones. Don’t get too loose with the keywords!

Regardless, quality is king here. To be at the top of the search engine results, you have to produce excellent content. Before you start writing new things, consider your existing content. Focus on:

  • Content optimization – This includes copy quality, total word count, structure, meta descriptions, and more.
  • Backlinks – Ask high-authority publishers to link to your brand.
  • Mobile-first mentality – Google rewards websites that put a priority on mobile viewing.
  • Site optimizations – Think about the technical upgrades.
  • Brand authority – The trustworthiness and strength of the brand carries weight in the ranking system.
  • Featured snippets – These are similar to meta descriptions and are actually the brief summary shown at the top of the page. You need featured snippets, and they should include specific keywords.

Off-site SEO – Establish Authority and Use Backlinks

Off-site SEO is also crucial to ensure that your content has a good chance of success. This refers to the external signals Google uses to ensure quality. Authority and backlinks are the most important identifiers here:

Link-building

You’ve just created an excellent piece of content. It’s written well, the target audience has an interest in it, and you optimized the SEO content throughout.

While you might think the job is done, you have to focus on link-building and promotions. Otherwise, no one is likely to see the content you laboriously created.

Google is the enigma, but it confirms that links are a deciding factor. If another site links to you, it’s like they’re vouching for your credibility. In a sense, they say that they trust this, and that proves your value.

Therefore, all marketers should focus on link-building as part of their strategies for content marketing. That way, you get the most from the optimized content.

A good rule of thumb is to determine which publishers are best for your brand. If they feel that they can get something from you, this is crucial to everything.

Authority

You know that links and content are crucial for your strategy. Building great content and having a large link portfolio leads to brand authority for your company. People start trusting you. While backlinks are a good authority signal, there are others out there. This includes social shares and mentions, reviews, and much more.

Building authority is crucial. Therefore, you must think of your content projects as boosting your brand and being a salesperson working 24/7 for promotion.

Are SEO and Content Marketing Important for Social Media?

Social media platforms are another digital space to help you reach potential customers. The good news is it can boost your SEO efforts and marketing needs.

Users find your website when they browse various social media channels, such as Facebook or Instagram. That naturally increases your backlink profile, leading to more domain authority.

Social popularity is part of the Bing’s ranking algorithm. With that, it works to increase traffic. This is a multi-channel benefit and one reason why content marketing is crucial to both SEO and your social media accounts.

Social media is becoming the start for most brands. You can’t get noticed if you’re not engaged with the customers, and this outlet makes it easier to do. Whether you share bits of text, images, or videos, there’s a platform for it. Plus, you can reach people in different ways. As they’re sharing your information and liking the posts, they remember you. When they need that item, they go to you first.

Conclusion

Your goal is to produce content that’s supposed to be shared. This can happen through guest posting, social media, natural syndication, and branded media mentions. Sharing is designed to gain traction and attract people to your brand.

Ultimately, your content marketing strategy has to be strong. Whether you create your own content or hire someone to do it, you’ve got to ensure that it’s done right.

Sure, you are giving away free articles, but the goal is to create a buzz, focus on generating leads, and build a client base that’s loyal to you.

This starts with creative ideas, but you can’t neglect the SEO campaigns because they play a part. Everything must be streamlined and SEO-focused so that people relate to the content, want to read it, and then share it.

All of your content marketing efforts are a large circle that goes from research, what to write, and then you’ve got to create content that people want to search for.

Search Engine Journal claims that you need structure, relevance, and authority to be the best and hit the search engine rankings you want. This can’t happen without the right content strategy.

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