As far as relationships in Digital Marketing are concerned, SEO and Content Marketing share a special bond. For SEO to thrive, Content Marketing has to give it attention. Of course, with this, Content Marketing’s life also becomes much easier as it gets the required limelight to shine.
But, why SEO is essential for Content Marketing?
You know what is common between all the Websites, Blogs, and basically everything available on the whole Internet?
There’s an ocean of Content. An Ocean full of words, images, videos, podcast and what not.
But how much of that is Good Content?
And finding good content from this Ocean is a struggle for users without the help of Search Engines like Google. So, when you Google, and it lists out pages of results, it scans through millions of pages on the Internet to bring you the content matching your query. For example, when you search for the term, ‘Content Marketing,’ Google shows you about 6,01,00,000 results ranked there for you to choose and read.
But, how does Google rank these results? How does it know, which is more relevant and which one isn’t?
That’s where SEO comes in the picture.
But, wait… What is SEO, anyway? (Just in case you don’t know, we have you covered).
According to Search Engine Land, SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It is the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” search results on search engines.
Think of Google (or any search engine) to be a library where websites are like books arranged in an order so that as soon as a user enters a query. E.g., ‘content marketing’ in the above example, it searches all the books and displays the pages which have information about the query which a user searched for.
If you’re wondering, how does Google decide which page to rank higher, considering there are millions of pages with similar information?
To keep the answer short and to the point, Google has ranking factors which it uses to check the quality of these pages. These ranking factors are part of Google’s Search Algorithm which assesses the quality on a real-time basis (more or less) to get these pages ranked accordingly. This is where Search Engine Optimization becomes crucial in helping the search engines understand which pages should be ranked higher. This is the reason why companies employ professional SEO or a team to help their content ranked higher over competitors.
Now, that we’ve somewhat covered the overview of SEO, let’s start understanding Content Marketing.
So, what is Content Marketing?
According to Content Marketing Institute, Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
Content can be an article, a video, a powerpoint presentation, a whitepaper or an ebook or even the facebook/twitter message, all created to capture the attention of a target audience. Content helps in providing information, creating awareness and helping sell the product, service or an idea to its target audience. This is what Content Marketing is all about.
Now that we’ve talked about SEO and Content Marketing, do you see the connection? How are they both essential to each other’s existence?
A good piece of content would be lost in the ocean if it doesn’t get the right SEO to pull it out and bring it to the shore. The content has to be made visible and accessible outside the ocean for it to be valued.
So, it becomes very critical for SEO and Content to work together and continue strengthening this relationship. Content folks who write for the Internet must learn SEO and the same goes for SEO professionals, who want to do good, to make themselves good at content.
Imagine a piece of content you’ve written after thorough research. You’ve given it all. There’s no guarantee that this piece of content will start getting traffic on its own.
So, what’s the solution to get more out of this relationship between Content and SEO?
Here are few tips to make most of this SEO + Content relationship:
1. Keyword Research: When you’re deciding on the content you’re about to write, pull up Google’s Keyword Planner or kewyword.io and add all related keywords to get their respective volumes.
If you’re unsure of the keywords that can have the most impact, try searching on Google itself. This’ll give you a few other keyword ideas from ‘people also searched for’ and provide you with access to other pages that are already ranking. Take the top 3 and add them to a tool like Ahrefs to get another set of keywords that you can get your content to rank for.
Here’s when I added SEO + Content marketing on Google, the ‘related searches’ showed these:
And when I added the top articles ranking for this keyword on Ahrefs, I ended up getting a whole new set of keywords.
And finally, when I added a bunch of keywords on Google’s Keyword Planner, I got the respective volumes for the keywords.
Knowing these keywords will help you prioritize keywords which you want to include in your content. Of course, it is to be understood that the keywords need to be added contextually and not stuffed in, for the sake of it.
2. Structure your Content:
One very important thing that usually becomes the bone of contention between Content and SEO teams is writers feel that their writing style gets affected because of SEO team’s need to ‘structure their content’. But if you want to get your content more exposure, you will have to listen to their advice. (Any content writer, reading this?)
Include sub-headings, add bullet points, including links to other helpful resources in your content, etc. to structure your content better.
The purpose of a piece of content is to get users to do a specific action. The inclusion of a CTA, or Call-to-action, is what any piece of content should be doing. It can be to lead users to a money page to buy a product or service or to download an ebook. It can also be about asking them to share it on their social media.
But a CTA compels the reader to make an action and allows you to measure the success rate of the content as well. Quantifying your efforts helps in analyzing efforts vs. outcomes.
The purpose of a piece of content (text, visual or anything else) has to be definite. A CTA is just a tool to make that happen.
4.Headlines are important:
Content folks agree on this one that headlines are vital in getting more users read a piece of content. Just that SEOs always insist on using the ‘right keyword’ here as well.
There can always be a middle path where the right keywords for both content and SEO can come together to have an amazing headline. The CTR, Click-through-rate, helps not just in bringing more people to the content piece but also indirectly affects the SEO rankings. Understanding this can pay rich dividends for SEO and Content. A win-win scenario.
5. Making your content a linkable asset:
I know this might be confusing for people who don’t have any idea about ‘linkable asset’ or to refer to the industry-used term of Link-building.
Links are like endorsements. When your content gets mentioned in another piece of content, the value of your content increases. Hence, if you create content that can get naturally linked, you’ll be helping SEO and in return get ranked higher in Search.
Now that I’ve provided solid reasons for SEO + Content Marketing to come together and rock, what more do you think can be done to bring both of these even closer?
For your website to succeed, it is important that both these functions work together. Do ask your queries in the comments below and don’t forget to share this on your social media channels.