How SEO and content marketing work together to fuel your online success
Love more organic search traffic from Google? Find out how SEO and content marketing work together to fuel your online success – and the steps you need to take.
SEO and content marketing are two separate entities which, when use individually, make for very powerful marketing tools. Used in tandem however, they have the potential to take your business all the way to the top.
There’s some confusion around the two terms, so we’ll begin by defining what exactly they are.
What is search engine optimisation (SEO)?
SEO is the process by which businesses of all sizes compete to appear on the first page of a search engine’s results pages for phrases relevant to their products or services.
Search engines like Google have many criteria a website must meet in order to be considered for the prime spot at the top of the results page for any given search term. Search engine optimisation, therefore, is the act of fine-tuning your website to ensure as many of these criteria are ticked off as possible.
In the simplest possible terms, SEO refers to the process of making sure your website appears above your competitors in Google when people search for products you sell.
How can SEO help a business?
A website that is expertly optimised for search engines will have visitors flocking to it, from all stages of the sales funnel. This is because search engines like Google regularly perform scans (or ‘crawls’) of all the many millions of websites out there and compares them based on hundreds of metrics. T
he sites that hit the most of Google’s many requirements will whiz straight to the first place of Google – which is where the vast majority of potential consumers do their shopping. If you can optimise your website to the point that you’re appearing on the first page of Google for your products or services, you’ll soon reap the rewards.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing revolves around creating non-branded ‘content’ – which could refer to articles, social media posts, videos and more – with the aim of growing a loyal following and spreading brand awareness.
For example, if you operated a company selling cars, a great content marketing strategy would be to post fun reviews of new cars onto your social channels. If made to a high standard, this content would then be shared by your audience, helping your message to reach far and wide. And the gold standard, of course, is to go viral.
What does ‘go viral’ mean?
Going viral is every marketing department’s dream. It means that the content you have created – be it a blog post, video or simply a social media post – has been shared so many times by so many people that you’ve reached a vast audience in a very short time period.
This could mean you’ve suddenly become very popular in your local city, or that your business name is being spoken in homes around the world. It’s not easy, but if you can do it, the potential for increasing business is quite astounding.
How can SEO and content marketing be combined?
If SEO refers to the process of making sure your website is search engine-friendly, and content marketing refers to the process of creating interesting new blogs and videos for your website, it’s a no-brainer that the two should be combined. Let’s go through it step by step, and hopefully it’ll become clear how closely linked the two practises are.
An example of an SEO content marketing strategy
To help demonstrate, here’s an example of an SEO content marketing strategy.
Step one: Keyword research (SEO)
Before you begin creating or optimising anything, it pays to plan. First of all, look at the products or services your company offers. Consider which key words and phrases you’d like your company to be appearing under in Google’s search results. You can use tools like Keyword Planner to help you with this; it’ll show you which terms people are currently searching for on Google, and how frequently.
Step two: Competitor analysis (content marketing)
Thne best place to start is by looking at what your competitors are doing in terms of content and SEO and observing any gaps. Have they completely forgotten to write about a certain relevant subject? Are there glaring holes in their blog? If so, that’s an opportunity for your business to swoop in with some killer content.
Step three: Create best-in-class content (content marketing)
It won’t do to simply bash out a few words on a keyboard or shoot a one-minute video on a mobile phone. Your content needs to stand out from the crowd, and offer potential readers genuine insight. Have a browse of other content that’s out there with similar themes, and aim to one-up them!
Step four: Optimise your content for search engines (SEO)
So you’ve got a shiny new blog post created, based around a topic relevant to your business, which your competitors have overlooked. Excellent stuff. Now for the real magic trick: content marketing optimisation.
Following SEO best practice, tinker with your new blog post to ensure it checks as many of Google’s boxes as possible before putting it live. Then simply sit back and make a brew: it takes several weeks for new articles to begin to rank in Google’s results pages. After enough time has passed however, you should see new readers trickling into your site through your newly created posts.
SEO driven content is incredibly powerful
And there you have it: the overarching aim of all SEO content marketing services. It’s as simple as that! SEO driven content is an incredibly powerful and cost-effective method of spreading your brand’s name far and wide, while providing great insight and knowledge to your customers. What’s not to love?
Dan Hackett is an SEO and copywriter for Artefact, London.
Photo by Kelly Huang