Search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing are two of the most important tools available to the modern marketer. You don’t often hear these two tactics talked about together. However, an SEO content marketing strategy can really help take your brand’s marketing to the next level.
If you want to get the best results out of your digital marketing campaigns, it’s important that you develop an integrated marketing strategy. This means that you’ll need to get content marketing and SEO working together to help one another. Developing an SEO content marketing strategy is the best way to make sure the two are working hand-in-hand.
In this post, we’ll dive a little deeper into what SEO and content marketing are. Then, we’ll describe how they work together to benefit your business. And then we’ll take you through the steps of developing your own SEO content marketing strategy.
What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Let’s start by talking about what SEO is. Search engine optimization is the process of bringing in organic, or free, website traffic from the search engines.
All search engines like Google and Bing have a search engine results page that delivers search results to users based on keywords and phrases that they’ve typed into the search bar. These results are ranked based on their relevance to the search engine user. Through SEO, businesses aim to rank their content for keywords and phrases that are relevant to their target audience.
By optimizing your site and content for the search engines, your business can help improve online visibility. Most consumers start the buying process by researching relevant topics on Google and other search engines. By ranking for relevant keywords, you are helping relevant buyers find your brand in their time of need.
It’s important to note that your content is not the only factor that goes into your search engine ranking. There are also a number of other on-page and off-page factors that can impact your SEO. These include your site architecture as well as inbound links to content on your site. However, in this post we are going to focus on the content marketing piece of SEO.
This Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors shows all the different elements that contribute to SEO rankings.
One of the most important elements of SEO when it comes to content marketing is keyword research. Your business needs to find the keywords and phrases that your target audience is using to find brands like yours on the search engines. By creating content around these topics, you can work to rank for the keywords on the search engine results page.
When doing your keyword research, you want to go beyond broad and obvious keywords and terms. These will often have higher competition levels, making it harder for your business to rank on the first page of Google. Instead, aim for more specific long-tail keywords and phrases that can help you bring in more relevant traffic.
For more information about keyword research, make sure that you check out our blog post on keyword research tips.
What is Content Marketing?
Now, we’ll dive a little deeper into content marketing.
Content marketing is a digital marketing tactic that involves creating relevant and valuable content to help you attract new leads. This content is aimed at your target audience with the goal of driving some type of customer action. The desired action may not always be to make a sale. For instance, you may be driving customers to download an eBook or set up a consultation as a way to move them down the marketing funnel.
There are a few different pieces of content marketing that work together to bring new leads to your business. First, you need to create relevant content that will be useful for your audience. Content marketing is not always focused on selling. Sometimes the goal is to educate your audience and other times it may just be for pure entertainment. Either way, the content should add some type of value for your audience.
Content marketing can benefit your small business in many different ways.
It’s not enough to just create content. You then have to get it in front of your target audience. The second part of content marketing involves promoting the content that you’ve created on various channels like social media. By getting your content in front of the right audience you can work on establishing a connection with relevant leads.
The ultimate goal of your content marketing is to build relationships with leads and customers. Your content helps build relationships by demonstrating your expertise and providing valuable information that helps the consumer make a smarter purchasing decision. It’s important to create content that appeals to buyers in each step of their journey – from those who are just starting to research to the consumers who are ready to buy.
If you want to learn more, check out this blog post that goes into more detail on creating a successful content marketing funnel.
How SEO and Content Marketing Work Together
Many businesses rely on social media and email marketing to promote their content. These are certainly powerful digital marketing channels that can work wonders for your marketing strategy. However, when using these channels, you can’t always guarantee that the content you’re promoting will find the right consumers at the right time. On the other hand, SEO helps improve your chances of getting in front of consumers in their moment of need.
Think about it. When today’s consumer has a question about a product or service, they turn to search engines like Google to find the information they need. If you want to reach consumers during their time of need, you’ll need to provide them with the right content at the right time. That’s where SEO and content marketing become the ultimate team.
Content marketing is the best way to improve your search engine optimization.
By creating content that’s focused around targeted keywords and phrases that your leads are looking for online, you can improve your visibility on the search engines. That way, when a consumer searches for a topic that is relevant to your brand, they will find your content on Google. This helps you start to build a connection that can lead to a customer relationship.
When your content ranks well on the search engines, you are getting free exposure online. Not only does this boost brand awareness, but it can also drive more relevant traffic to your website. The more relevant traffic you drive to your site, the more opportunities you have to convert.
SEO and content marketing work together to help you reach new leads through search engines like Google.
While content marketing and SEO are two different tactics, they should not be thought of antagonistically. It’s not one or the other, but rather both working together to help each other. You cannot improve your search engine optimization without creating great content. And it’s all but impossible to effectively find an audience for your content without SEO.
SEO Content Marketing Strategy: How to Get Started
Now that you know how SEO and content marketing work together, let’s talk about how to create an SEO content marketing strategy. Use the tips below to develop a strategy that enables you to use both tactics together for best results:
1. Research your target market.
The first thing you’ll need to do when creating an SEO content marketing strategy is to research your target market. If you want your SEO and content marketing efforts to be successful, it’s vital that they are focused on reaching the audience that’s best suited for your products or services. That’s where target market research comes in.
You may find it helpful to create buyer personas for your business. These are fictionalized profiles of your ideal buyers. They contain demographic information like age, gender, and location. However, they also include other important information like your buyer’s interests and buying behaviors. All of this information will help you create better content over time.
One of the most important things to include in your target market research is what types of questions and concerns your audience has when looking for products or services like yours. By understanding your target audience’s challenges you will have a better idea of what types of topics they might search for online. This is a great starting point for SEO keyword research and content marketing topic generation.
2. Do your keyword research.
You need to know what keywords people are typing into their searches online to find the answers to the questions they have. Knowing the most popular keywords among your target audience will help you not only optimize your site for search engines but also develop content that they will find valuable – which will also improve your site’s reputation with the search engines. We usually suggest putting the most effort into this part of the process. Highly targeted keywords will result in high quality leads finding the content on your website and are to ready to convert or purchase.
3. Create great content.
Once you have developed a list of targeted keywords, you can use this information to start generating content topic ideas. Go beyond just creating blog posts on these topics, and consider how you might use these keywords to create additional website pages or long-form content like eBooks and white papers. You may even want to create video content around the topics you’ve identified.
It’s not enough to just sprinkle the keywords throughout your content. If you want consumers to read and take action based on your content, it needs to be of high quality. Additionally, Google penalizes businesses that create low quality content, which can impact your SEO ranking and ability to reach new leads on the search engine.
Here are just a few things to keep in mind when developing your SEO content marketing:
- Quality content should be well-written. Check for grammar and spelling issues as well as the flow and readability of the content.
- Use relevant examples. If you’re discussing complex topics or ideas that may be difficult to understand, it’s helpful to include relevant examples. This will help the reader better connect with your brand.
- Write for your audience. Write in a way that your target audience can understand and relate to. A conversational style can go a long way in building relationships with customer.
- Make your content easy-to-read. Use short paragraphs and bullet points to break up the content and make it easier for the reader to skim.
4. Update your content over time.
SEO content marketing is not something that you can set and forget. Though a certain blog post or website page on your site has the potential to continue bringing visitors to your site for years and years, most content will need to be updated to remain effective.
There are a few different ways that you can update your SEO content marketing to ensure that it remains effective:
- Optimize the content for new keyword opportunities.
- Add content to provide additional value for the reader.
- Update any statistics or facts that might be outdated.
- Review the metadata to ensure its optimized for search engines.
- Refresh some of the language to make it more interesting.
Make a habit of reviewing your content periodically and making updates as needed. To get the most out of your content, start by updating the pieces that bring in the most traffic over time. For instance, if you have a blog post that you wrote a year ago that continues to drive traffic to your site, you may want to look for ways to improve the content for even better results.
Content Marketing and SEO are a match made in marketing heaven!
Search engine optimization and content marketing are two different tools available to you as a small business. But they don’t work in a vacuum. You’ve got to use the two together if you want to bring more leads to your website to improve sales. Developing an SEO content marketing strategy is the best way to ensure that both tactics are working together for best results.
Using the tips above, you can be on your way to creating a killer SEO content marketing strategy that helps you take advantage of all the benefits that both tactics can offer your business. It’s not a quick or easy process, but once you start to see more qualified web traffic and improve conversions, you’ll be glad that you took the time to do it.
Need help getting started? LYFE Marketing offers both content marketing services and search engine optimization services. Our experienced digital marketing team knows how to use both tactics together to help your business reach more customers online.
Contact us today to get started.