How to Optimize Your Content Marketing
For far too long, content and SEO been tackled as completely separate aspects of any search engine marketing strategy. In reality, SEO tactics need to be paired with content marketing to drive any sort of online success – after all, we’ve all heard the phrase “content is king”. As aptly stated by Karan Sharma, co-founder of Kinex Media Inc., in an article on Forbes, “SEO without content marketing is like a body without a soul…In order to be successful, both must go hand in hand.”
First, it’s important to understand the many deep connections between content marketing and SEO. Perhaps the most notable is that SEO can’t work without content. Content, in any form, is necessary to implement any SEO practices. Secondly, SEO is based on keywords. Content is a safe medium to target particular keywords without having to engage in frowned-upon and punishable practices like keyword-stuffing on landing pages of websites.
Finally, SEO needs backlinks; and good content is the foundation for acquiring these. Useful, relevant, content is easy to link to — and publishing this sort of content on your website will encourage other websites to link back to it. As mentioned in the Marketing Land article, “One of the most powerful SEO tactics is link building. Having a high-authority website or portal include a link to your site is a huge boost.”
Thus, content marketing plays a huge role when it comes to SEO and can have a significant impact on a website’s rank. Once you understand how and why SEO and content complement each other, you can move on to the next step — integrating your SEO and content marketing strategies. The SEO experts at Page One Power recommend doing so by building a content optimization strategy around these five major considerations:
Exploit a Gap in Search
One of the most important parts of SEO content is targeted keywords. These let search engines know what your business is all about, the audience you’re aiming to target, and how your content can answer a searcher’s questions.
To create relevant content, you need to understand what your audience is searching for. This does not mean simply researching various search queries – you should be aware of the intent behind the searcher’s questions. Understanding the intention behind search queries will allow you to create content that is likely to satisfy their questions.
You can start by defining your audience based on your targeted keywords. Then, you can pair this research with your speculations about searcher intent to create content that utilizes those same keywords. However, keep in mind that you should always use keywords in an appropriate manner when it comes to SEO content. As stated by Sharma in the Forbes article, “You should never stuff a page with keywords and over optimize. SEO and content work in balance.”
Make Content Authoritative
Search engines favor established websites that are an authority in their field. To show up on the first page of search results, your website and content need to be authoritative and well-researched. Thus, overly promotional content, or content that only aims to boost particular products and services, should not be your primary focus. Rather, to build your website’s authority, you need to create searcher-friendly content that aims to answer questions.
Secondly, the more authoritative your content, the more likely it is that other websites will link to it. Backlinks from other well-established sites have a spillover effect, signaling to crawlers that your site is authoritative too; and eventually pushing you up in the search engine results pages (SERPs). So take the time to create informative content that is user-friendly and based on research and evidence. As we’ve mentioned in a previous article about SEO strategy, “Your goal is to create highly informative, insightful, and actionable content that educates your customers and helps them solve real-life problems.”
Vary Content Form and Function
Your website will never rank up in the SERPs if your content comes across like an overview — to show up on the first pages, your content needs to be highly informative in your field of expertise. It is essential that your content explores a multitude of different topics in-depth to appeal to various audiences and show search engines that you are an expert in your field.
If you find yourself at a loss for ideas, look beyond monetized keywords for inspiration. Think of topics that might be relevant to your audience and might provide them with solutions for things they are experiencing. Even if this content is only tangentially related to your product or services, it will help you appear more authoritative and appeal to search engines.
Secondly, you should also consider expanding the breadth of your content in terms of its form. While blogging is a tried and tested form of content marketing, it is prudent to remember that we live in a dynamic digital world. Content is consumed in many different ways, including videos, podcasts, infographics, webinars, and more.
According to an article on Search Engine Journal, “U.S. adults over age 18 now spend nearly half of their days – over 11 hours total – consuming content. (Over 6 of those hours are devoted to video content!).” So even if you’re not ready to create content on new topics, consider creating it in a new form to reach audiences who prefer to consume content through non-traditional means. To quote the article on Search Engine Journal, “For best results, go where your audience lives.”
Organize Content Deliberately
A disorganized and illogical website is extremely unappealing to both crawlers and searchers. Your website should be simple to navigate through, with content clusters that make rational sense. Organizing your content does not have to be complex — in fact, it could be as easy as grouping similar topics together and internally linking them to one another.
Your content clusters should be natural and intuitive so that searchers who want more information can easily navigate through your website. Ensure that any anchor-text you use to link to pages is self-explanatory, and appropriately describes the resource it links to. The way your content is organized should be logical and clear-cut, allowing users on your website to easily get from one resource to another.
Remember Your Audience
One of the most important things to remember while creating and planning content is to write primarily for humans. Your content should never be written only for bots and crawlers — while this may initially trick search engines, readers will never linger on your website if your content doesn’t make sense. Eventually, this will hurt your rankings.
As stated in the article on Page One Power’s blog, “Technical SEO matters, but it’s not the “be-all, end-all” to your content.” In reality, the most important aspect are the humans reading your page. When it comes to content, human users should always come first. Thus, make sure your content is written in a friendly and easy-to-understand style. Ensure that it is engaging and interesting so that readers keep coming back to your website.
The right blend of content marketing and SEO can do wonders for your website. Use these tips to optimize your current content marketing strategies and create a website that can and will be used by searchers and search engines alike.