Aside from glaring technical errors, one of the top SEO issues I see with websites is the lack of consistent, relevant and optimized content. Many marketers believe that just because they have basic SEO and an aesthetically pleasing website with a good user experience (UX), they’re good to go.
Sure, they may see some initial success, but if they fail to regularly create quality content, this success will plateau then steadily decline.
These organizations tend to view content marketing and SEO as completely separate strategies independent of each other, but as SEO evolves and becomes more content-centric, the lines between the two continue to blur.
You must combine your SEO and content marketing strategies to thrive digitally.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is focused on the creation, publication and distribution of content in various forms like blogs, white papers, case studies, videos, podcasts, and much more.
How SEO and Content Marketing Help Each Other
You’ve probably read “content is king” on every digital marketing blog you’ve ever seen. However, many of those blogs stop there, leaving out the fact that every king needs a queen, a kingdom, some knights, and whatever else kings need (recently they’ve needed Bud Light - dilly, dilly!).
To be as effective as possible, King Content needs SEO and vice versa. Below are a few ways that SEO and content marketing work to benefit each other.
Keyword & Topic ResearchContent boosts your SEO and doing SEO research improves your content. Their success is inherently dependent on each other.
Before taking pen to page, do your keyword and topic research. Beyond just looking at monthly search volume, you need to analyze the competitive landscape, current trends, and other factors that contribute to the success of your content.
Arming yourself with insightful research before creating content positions it for success.
More Optimized Content = Ranking for More KeywordsOne of the main goals of SEO is to rank highly for as many relevant keywords as possible. Well, if you’ve done the keyword and topic research from step one, you should see an increase in keyword rankings.
Creating longform content that is unique and informative is the most effective approach. Craft your content with the six w’s (who, what, when, where, why and how) and no questions will be left unanswered.
Adding more content to your site also allows for more internal linking, improving both your SEO and user experience. Internal linking makes it easy for search engines and users to crawl/navigate the site, establishes an information hierarchy (the more internal links to a page, the more important it is) and spreads link equity throughout the website.
Natural Link BuildingA successful SEO campaign needs high quality backlinks. Great content is the only way you’ll get them naturally.
Link building has evolved beyond the old black hat methods of submitting your website to different online directories. To build links naturally, you need to craft impactful content.
Whether it’s on your website or through guest posting, solid content will help you obtain high quality links and establish you as a thought leader in the industry.
As an extra bonus, valuable content is more likely to get social shares – boosting your brand visibility.
Additional On-Page OptimizationWhether you consider yourself a modern-day Shakespeare or just an adequate writer, it will be difficult for your content to perform well organically if you don’t tackle some of the core on-page SEO optimizations.
Once you’ve crafted your prized piece of content, be sure to pair it with enticing page titles and meta descriptions, structured data, and make sure your website provides a good user experience and is free from technical issues.
As the iconic duo of historic poetic geniuses Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock said in their generation-defining song: “It takes two to make things go right.” (That may be the first time Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock were mentioned in the same breath as Shakespeare).
Great content combined with effective SEO will allow your content to perform out-of-sight in organic search.
Fresh ContentEverything is better fresh. Food, air, princes from Bel-Air, and content (in the eyes of Google). Content freshness is a ranking factor, especially with trendy topics and industries that change often (like digital marketing).
If you haven’t already, create a content marketing calendar to keep yourself on track. Maybe you want to blog bi-weekly, create monthly videos, and quarterly white papers and/or case studies. Whatever you decide on, stick to it! This way, you’ll not only rank well, but your audience will be in tune with your schedule.
And, if they can rely on your great content being published regularly, they might just want to subscribe to your newsletter for updates. Did someone say email marketing?
Great Content Reduces Bounce RatesSo, you’ve got your awesome content marketing calendar established with a team equipped to make sure it’s carried out properly. You’re all good, right? Eh, not so fast.
Just writing blogs consistently is not enough. Many websites regularly craft content that has little to no substance for a few reasons.
One, they might not be putting the necessary effort into it.
Or, two, whoever is creating the content isn’t an expert and doesn’t know much about the topic.
Sure, your content may help you rank well initially, but that won’t pay much dividend. Users that are interested in the topics you’re writing about will bounce quickly once they realize you’re not offering any real substance, signaling to Google that your articles aren’t that relevant.
The less Google thinks of your content, the lower you’ll fall in the search results.
To Sum Things Up
For your SEO strategy to be as effective as possible, it is imperative that you combine your efforts with effective content marketing. You need this dynamic duo to propel your digital presence ahead of your competitors.
Need a hand to start creating enticing, SEO-friendly content? Get in touch!
About David McDowell
David is an SEO Specialist at Liquid. He is responsible for creating strategies, as well as monitoring and analyzing all activities within organic search programs for local and global clients.