SEO and content – this guide is going to combine both these separate worlds. You will find here:
- Why do you need to talk about SEO and content together?
- Why SEO is important in a content marketing strategy
- How content marketing boosts SEO marketing
- What is the relationship between SEO and content
- SEO content marketing best practices
After reading this guide, you will find out why you should stop taking SEO and content as two separate things and start to work on them as two sides of the same mirror that combine to complete the mirror.
So why wait…let’s kick our journey.
People often ask me:
SEO marketing or content marketing, which one is the best?
And I always say:
Why do we have to separate both of these compatible friends?
Why can’t we marry them and develop an SEO content marketing strategy that creates rankable content, which also engages well?
Why Do You Need Content Marketing Strategy for SEO?
If you still see SEO and content marketing as two separate things, it is time that you start thinking otherwise.
With the paradigm shift in SEO, SEO is no more just about ranking your site high and getting more search visibility.
Previously, it was okay to work on just keywords, technical aspects, and backlinks.
Now, SEO has become a phenomenon to create a better experience for users.
It is also about:
- Making customers stay on your page
- Helping them to find the required information
- Triggering them to take the desired action
Because the whole purpose behind SEO efforts is to make your business progress by getting attention and qualified traffic, not just to win the race on SERPs.
So even if you rank higher on search results, but your content doesn’t offer what your visitors are looking for:
Your organic traffic will not convert.
And when your traffic does not convert, all your efforts to rank higher are useless.
Content on your page is not just a prop you use to embed keywords on your page.
It has a significant role of its own in an SEO strategy.
It’s itself a ranking factor.
Even SEOs also consider content as the most important factor for creating an SEO friendly site.
In fact, a blog can single-handedly win traffic, links, Google’s attention for a website – everything you do in SEO.
This fact is enough to answer all your queries related to what is content marketing in SEO.
Now you know how content marketing helps SEO.
So you can’t take SEO anywhere all alone.
Content marketing is a catalyst that boosts all your SEO efforts 2x.
How SEO Helps Content Marketing?
I have a story for you to understand why SEO is important for content marketing:
It’s good that he thought about making his shop DISCOVERABLE without much delay.
So you can sense what happened here.
The boy first had everything: a good shop and fantastic products. But people didn’t know about his shop.
Later, he opened his shop where people could easily find his shop.
Can you guess where we are going? Towards your online fate…
Even if you have a great website, written awesome and engaging content, and selling amazing products:
You need to first catch the audience’s eye before becoming their eye candy.
That’s where you need an SEO content marketing strategy.
Google is the main source for searchers to reach your online shop.
The story of SEO in the life of content marketing doesn’t end with just more visibility and higher rankings.
Keywords are also essential characters of this story.
The story goes like this:
Scene 1: Keywords without awesome content are useless
Google will not support you (we have already talked about it!).
Scene 2: Awesome content without the right keywords is dead.
Your content will not appear in the search queries of your target audiences.
You should target one primary keyword and its various variants…
… to make your content discoverable and relevant in the search results of different searchers who are using different keywords to find you.
If you are not using the right keywords, get ready to see your AWESOME content getting lost in the pit of SERPs.
That’s where the best SEO content strategy helps you:
It saves your content from vanishing as well as gives it a due boost on SERPs.
What is the Relationship Between SEO and Content Marketing?
After finding out…
How SEO works along with the content
How content and SEO work at the same time
…we can see that it is hard to predict the relationship between SEO and content marketing.
You can check out the blog marketing strategies of popular bloggers, and you will find that they are a combination of the right content marketing tricks and SEO practices.
CASE STUDY 1: Backlinko by Brian Dean
Backlinko is a popular blog in the SEO world that talks about everything SEO and surrounding it.
In fact, very popular!
So what makes this blog so popular?
Answer: Its SEO and content marketing strategy.
This blog’s content ranks high for various keywords.
But Brian doesn’t depend only on SEO to get traffic.
He also employs content marketing tactics to catch relevant eyes.
He sends newsletters to his subscribers, telling them about his latest blogs…
…and also promote on social media.
Most of the posts on this blog have huge social engagement.
So that’s what happens when you know how to do content marketing in SEO:
You become unstoppable.
CASE STUDY 2: WordStream by Larry Kim
It also grabs good rankings for its targeted keywords.
And… yes, content marketing also has its role in bringing 1.5M traffic to this blog.
Larry Kim, the man behind the blog, has a huge Twitter following.
For a blogger, this number of social media followers is tremendous.
WordStream’s Twitter handle is also quite popular.
So definitely, posts also get good engagement.
You can see where this 1.5M traffic is coming from.
It isn’t hard to measure how viable SEO content marketing strategies have changed the fate of these blogs.
But does it mean that there is no difference between SEO and content marketing?
That’s also not true.
They are different in terms of their approach, audience, and the value they add to your business goals.
Things are twisted in the relationship between SEO and content.
It goes more like…
- Gives your site authority
- Builds the reputation of your site
- Attracts quality links
- Ranks your site high
- Gives a better user experience
Both work mutually to give your business a boost while maintaining their individuality intact.
So your safe heaven lies in finding the sweet spot between the two by developing an SEO content marketing strategy that finds the best of both worlds.
SEO Content Marketing Strategy: What Should You DO?
Developing a powerful strategy that combines SEO content marketing depends on two important things:
- Don’t compromise on quality on any step
- Focus on giving the best user experience to visitors
Here are some best practices for SEO content marketing that really drive results:
STEP # 1: Audit Your Content
If you are going to write content for the first time and you are looking out for content marketing strategies for businesses (that’s quite a smart move) to begin things, you are better off the hook from this point.
But if you are checking out this blog in the middle of an already running website, this point is essential for you.
Before jumping on to any new strategy, you need first to know what you have gotten in your kitty.
- What is the current performance of your content?
- What do your audiences like?
- Which content is performing the best?
- Which area of a particular content needs the most attention?
- How are audiences interacting with your existing content?
- Which aspect of your content is lacking?
- Where do you need to work the most?
Here are a few tools along with what they can do for you:
#1: Google Analytics
Helps in tracking, measuring, and managing website’s performance. Also, best known to tell user behavior on your site.
#2: DYNO Mapper
Determines the current on-site performance and which on-site factors are affecting performance.
#3: Atomic Reach
Checks the grammatical errors, weak narratives, and poorly written content on your website to suggest required improvements.
Gives insightful data by comparing your content with your competitors to tell what your content is missing out on.
#5: Screaming Frog
Digs out common SEO issues in your content, including which content is buried in the bottom of the site.
These are some of the best content marketing tools that give you a reality check.
This is your first step towards creating an impressive SEO content marketing strategy to get the desired results.
STEP # 2: Know What Your Target Audiences Want
Know your customers.
Starting any marketing strategy without creating a buyer’s persona is just like you set off on a treasure hunt without a map of the treasure.
Analyze your target audiences demographically, psychologically, emotionally, culturally, and behaviorally.
- What are their needs
- What do they expect from you
- How are they searching you
- How do they interact with the search results
- Why are they looking for you
- What kind of content they like
Answering all these questions is important because it helps you create content that helps to:
- Make your audiences stay on your site
- Answer all possible queries of visitors
- Give your content an edge over other competing content on SERPs
- Make Google love your content
- Decrease the bounce rate
- Enhance the click through rate
In other words, you need to know about your target audiences to write content that wins on the SEO as well as content marketing front.
The problem is that all visitors that hit your website are not in the same relationship with you.
- Some might be your potential clients
- Some will be your buyers
- While some others will be just jaywalkers
You can’t treat all of them with the same kind of content because they are on a different level of relationship with you.
You can’t tell a buyer why you should buy their products – he already knows that.
You can’t convince a mere visitor by yelling through your content that you are the best – he needs to know the ‘how’ factor.
See? Knowing your buyers before content production is more crucial than you think.
STEP # 3: Conduct a Competitor Analysis
If your competitors are ranking on the top for any keyword, it means that they are doing something right, and you need to know it!
Sneaking into the content and SEO patterns of your competitors give you:
- New ideas to craft your own content writing planner
- How things are working in the market
- What kind of topics are trending, and how users are interacting with that content
These are just a few benefits of running a competitor analysis.
It cuts your hassle of working on everything from scratch. In fact, you get a proven formula that is visibly generating results.
Here are a few steps to do it:
# 1: Take Help from Google
Want to know about something? Google it!
You might have heard this line before, and you are going to hear it many more.
Google is the main man behind the search world.
How you do it is simple: just type in your targeted keyword and search.
You will get a list of different sites ranking for that keyword.
After that, you can conduct a content audit of the top-ranking sites.
Or you can manually go through the content.
Whatever might be the case, you will surely get a better idea of your direction.
It is always good to let others do the hard work and enjoy a free ride on their hard work (wink!).
#2: Use Related Tools
You can also use tools like Ahrefs, Buzzsumo, etc., to find out the backlink profile, top-performing content, and users’ interaction with them.
STEP # 4: Target the Right Keywords
Now comes the most awaited step: keyword selection (don’t tell me that you were waiting for this one for a long time!).
But before jumping on to the keyword selection, it is always better to do your initial homework.
Once you secure your front end, next, it is time to advance deep down into the strategy.
The selection of keywords is not only important because it ranks your site and makes your content relevant for a query.
It is also important because it enhances the user experience by making your content more coherent and meaningful for people.
But which keywords should you target depending on competition and visibility?
Should you go with those that your competitors are using – like, copy-paste?
This can be a bit tricky.
For example, if you are selling content marketing services, people might be searching these services through different terms.
You can see that there are various keywords that people might use to search for the same type of service.
So what should you do when you have to take care of three things:
- What are searchers using?
- What can you rank for?
- What relates to your topic?
It is hard to find such keywords that qualify to all these parameters because things are mostly contrasting:
If you target keywords that searchers are using, it becomes hard to rank for them because they are, most of the time, very competitive.
If you focus on keywords that suit your topic, they might not drive the desired traffic flow.
See? It is quite a shilly-shally condition.
But what if I say that there is a secret trick here:
Target keywords that your prospects use to find you in their initial buyer journey.
During the initial phase, people try to gather information.
They try to figure out their problem: try to hit there.
Here is a great example.
Content writing services is a very competitive keyword. People are searching for it, sure, but you can’t rank for it very easily.
That’s where you need a shortcut or a smart move.
You can see that in this example, all other pages are blog posts, whereas there is only one service page.
It is a smart move on so many levels:
- You dodge the competition
- You rank higher on SERPs
- You get the eyeballs
And most importantly:
You steal the opportunity to meet the informed visitor who already knows a few things from blogs.
Remember that your keyword selection is not just a matter of ranking; it can also become a breakthrough in customer acquisition.
For that, you need to come up with a keyword selection strategy to boost your SEO content marketing strategy.
STEP # 5: Create Awesome Content
Okay, now, this might have become a cliché because almost all SEO or content marketing tips talk about this thing:
- Create high-quality content
- Create the best content
So talking about why you should create good content has become a bit boring.
We already know that:
- Google loves it
- It is essential to rank higher
- You get more backlinks through it
…and so on.
That’s why here you will find what type of content is awesome besides being original, unique, and grammatically accurate (another obvious, you see!).
#1: Content Sorting Out Problems
Awesome content is one that gives answers to users’ queries.
Or the one that solves their problems.
That’s what Google also says in its quality guidelines:
“Know what your readers want… and give it to them!”
So when you are creating content, try to answer as many questions of your buyers as many you can.
#2: In-Depth & Well-Researched Content
You can neither satisfy readers nor Google with thin content.
Many pieces of research show that long-form content does well in so many ways:
- It ranks better
- It gets more backlinks
- It has more social shares
Well, that’s the story of content on SEO’s front.
Readers also like reading a good dose of content.
Here is the proof:
Invest time and effort in providing the best value through in-depth content to readers and Google – both lookout for it.
STEP # 6: Enhance Content’s Readability
Question: Does content readability impact SEO.
Not directly, but indirectly content readability does impact the SEO of your website.
Readability of the content has SEO significance as well as content marketing importance.
Readability means how understandable and easy to digest your content is for readers.
Your content’s readability affects user engagement metric because:
If your content is not easy to read, users will quit.
SEO experts have predicted that soon readability can become a direct ranking factor.
Now you might be thinking, what is the parameter to determine the readability of content?
Well, Google determines the readability of content based on these factors:
#1: Flesch Reading Score
This test measures the readability based on two factors:
- The average length of the sentence
- The average number of syllables in each word
#2: Passive Voice
You should focus on using active voice sentences. Passive voice sentences shouldn’t be more than 10%.
#3: Consecutive Sentences
The use of the same words to start consecutive sentences feels awkward and annoying.
Pay attention to this when using:
- Transition words (and, but, so, etc.)
- Personal pronouns (I, you, it, etc.)
- Relative pronouns (this, that, these, those)
- Articles (the, a, an)
#4: Subheading Distribution
Use subheadings to divide content into scannable sections, give an idea of the text, and decide which section to read.
#5: Paragraph Length
Avoid long stretches of text to make content readable, scannable, and digestible.
#6: Sentence Length
Use shorter sentences to convey your message across and to make your content easy to read and engaging.
#7: Transition Words
The use of words that build a relationship between phrases, sentences, and paragraphs to show a smooth delivery of ideas.
Here is how Yoast shows the readability of content:
Besides these factors, here are given some more tips to enhance the readability of your content:
- Font Selection
Don’t use a small or complex font that is hard to read for the readers.
- Use of Visual Content
The use of visual content, like images, videos, infographics, screenshots, enhances the content’s readability.
STEP # 7: Create Lead Magnets
The thing with the digital consumers is that they don’t like when you go to them and tell them that you are the best available services.
They don’t care whether you are the best or what unless you first prove to them that how can you provide them a value.
A subscriber doesn’t have time to give you their email address just because you asked them to give their email address.
I mean, come one. Nobody gives you favor out of courtesy. That’s where you need a lead magnet.
A lead magnet is a perk, incentive, or bait that you offer to potential buyers to get their email address or contact information.
Here is an example of a lead magnet (killing lead magnet with a lead magnet’s example – eh!):
Can you see some specific properties of these lead magnets?
- Highly targeted
- Solving a problem
- Calling for a specific action
- Ultra digestible
- Highly accessible
- Sounds valuable
The key is to make your targets think that you are really their well-wisher and they shouldn’t miss on to this opportunity.
Here are some types of lead magnets you can use in your SEO content marketing strategy:
- Ultimate Checklists
- Guides and resources
- Apps & Tools
- Special Offers
- Case Studies
Once you create lead magnets in your content, you offer an opportunity to prospects to stay on your page for a long time and interact with your website.
- Gives you an SEO boost by reducing the bounce rate
- Helps to unleash marketing benefits by enhancing conversion rate
The most devastating havoc in the world of digital marketing occurred when marketers started taking SEO and content marketing as two separate things.
They are not! SEO marketing and content marketing are parts of the same car that work together to make the car work properly.
The moment you separate both of them is the time when you should say goodbye to your dream of online success:
- Neither your SEO marketing will work properly
- Nor your content marketing will see the dawn of the success
So if you want things to work out for you in the best possible way, it is time that you merge your SEO and content to produce:
SEO content marketing strategy.
The end of this blog can be the beginning of your successful online journey.
Let us know how this guide helped you tweak your strategy and bring success into your brand story?