How Content Marketing and SEO Work Together
SEO works in conjunction with your content strategy to get the right message to the right person at the right time.
Many brands mistakenly think SEO is a thing of the past. Google does change its algorithms frequently, and lots of businesses have shifted their focus to tactics like search ads to get noticed. But, here are some statistics to keep in mind:
- Around 5.6 billion searches come through Google every single day, so SEO is definitely not dead.
- Around 64% of marketers actively invest time in SEO, and it drives more than 1,000% more traffic than organic social media.
- Also, 70% of marketers say SEO is more effective than PPC for generating sales.
The truth is that SEO might matter now more than ever. Content marketing and SEO work together to create better online experiences for your targets, so now is a great time to start if optimization just isn’t something you’ve been prioritizing.
This guide will cover how you should begin and how SEO helps you connect with the right person at the right time via content.
Your audience: the basis of your strategy
- Define your audience so you know exactly who you’re talking to.
- Provide information and address their pain points before trying to offer your solution.
So, first and foremost, you’ve got to know who you’re talking to. This is important for SEO because each person using your keywords and search terms has a specific intent when going to the web. You need to know where they are in the buyer’s journey, and assessing search terms can tell you just that.
Step one is defining your audience:
- Who are they?
- What do they care about?
- What problems do they have?
- Why do they need you?
One mistake brands make is talking about their solutions right off the bat. Users want to first have their pain points and feelings validated, rather than being sold something. This is especially true if the search term is framed around the problem. An example would be a “how to” search, like “how to find the right paint color.”
For this search, it’s clear that the user is just starting to research the topic. They’re not ready to click “buy.” This is your opportunity to educate them and address their pain points. Content should talk to them about how it can be hard to find the right color for a living room, but these tips will help them create the right color scheme.
Customers research before they buy, so attract them before they even reach that stage.
People also want to see how you’ve helped other customers with your services. Offer them white papers or case studies so they can dig deeper into what you do. Your priority should be to educate and support your digital visitors so they start to trust you as a partner. Then, and only then, will a well-placed CTA at the end of the content help them connect with your brand about getting help from paint experts or browsing your colors.
Put the needs of your audience first in your content so that people will learn from you and stick around on your page throughout their entire journey.
Google best practices
- Google’s goal is to make it easier for people to use the internet by showing them the best, most relevant information.
- Focus on best practices like length, topic, value, links, and meta data to get noticed.
- Remember the E-A-T factor.
Google’s primary mission is to make the internet experience better for users. The site uses an advanced algorithm to put the right information in front of the people who are looking for it. That information must be credible, well-written, and relevant.
That’s why search engine optimization (SEO) is so important in getting your content ranked highly by Google. The right keywords and best practices mean the algorithm will see that your content is the best out there and show it to users who use certain search terms.
Let’s talk about some Google best practices when creating your content:
- Length – Your blog posts need more than 300 words or Google will think your content is too “thin.” Shoot for over 1,000 words for posts.
- Topic – Your topic should be centered around keywords, but also something that your defined audience would care about.
- Valuable information – Make sure you cover enough of the topic to actually deliver something of value with each piece of content. What’s the takeaway? What do you want people to learn?
- Linking – Always include plenty of links to your internal content as well as links to credible, authoritative external sites.
- Titles and meta data – Google wants you to create unique, accurate page titles that signal what the content is about, plus meta descriptions that summarize the content and include keywords.
Google also created the E-A-T factor, which stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. E-A-T helps Google show users the most relevant, high-quality content possible, so you need to focus on ensuring your content fits the bill. Include research, link to credible sources, and deliver on your promises.
These elements will help you please Google and meet your audience’s needs. Best practices should guide the content you create, but remember that you still need to be genuine and focus on value.
How keywords and topics work together
- Keywords get your content noticed by Google, but don’t just throw them in awkwardly to rank.
- Use your keyword research to help you generate topics for future posts, and create a repository.
Now, let’s get deeper into one of the most important topics: keywords. You need to use them in your content without letting them overpower what you’re saying. They should appear naturally and shouldn’t be thrown in awkwardly just to hit your target number.
Pro tip #1: More than assessing search volume alone, also consider the user intent behind each search term. Think about this intent as you’re writing content for your site.
Pro tip #2: Use keyword research tools to find keywords related to your topics. This helps you plan out a content calendar with unlimited topics so you can easily create abstracts and assignments for content. This is helpful when you know you need, say, over 100 blog posts in the next year. Start a repository for future blogs so you always have a place to pull from.
Here are a couple other tips for generating topic ideas:
- Research your competitors – Which topics are trending? What gaps did they leave in their content that you can deliver? Which posts most resonate with their audiences?
- Give readers something new – There’s a LOT of content on the internet, so you don’t want to say the same things as everyone else. Provide readers with a new perspective on a topic.
- Focus on being helpful – You know who your audience is and what they care about, so embody their minds for a second to come up with topics they would want to read about.
Remember, keywords are your friend. They help Google notice and rank your content while helping you come up with relevant topic ideas for your audience. Just make sure not to overdo it with keywords, or your readers will have a hard time trusting you.
Why quality always wins
- Users won’t spend any time on your site if your content isn’t high quality and relevant.
- Create a better content strategy so you have great writers and editors working on your copy.
Implementing SEO best practices and using keywords are important steps, but your main concern should always be quality. Your site might show up first on the Google results page, but users will be turned off and you’ll see a high bounce rate if they click through and find nothing of value. It will be hard to generate brand trust and get new leads.
All the content in the world won’t save you if your site is poorly written and, well, crappy. You can’t afford to make a bad impression with online users who will move on fast if they don’t see what they want to see within a few seconds.
Get your site in order with tons of value-based content that your audience actually cares about. The guidance throughout this post will help you get there, but here are a few more tips for quality content:
- Make sure you optimize for mobile audiences by using short paragraphs, alternate sentence structure, and making your content skimmable.
- Include visuals such as images, graphics, and videos to keep readers engaged and break up copy.
- Optimize anchor text and make sure your external and internal links are linked to relevant words and phrases throughout the content.
- Review content thoroughly to check for errors, and make sure stats are accurate and links aren’t broken.
Just remember to focus on the people you’re trying to reach and do your research. Plan out a content strategy so that you have great writers and editors producing well-written, high-quality content that will boost your online presence. The bottom line is that well-crafted content wins the day.
Still have questions? We have answers!
All of these moving parts will help you create a content marketing strategy that incorporates SEO best practices. If you don’t have the writer talent on staff and/or are lacking time to make it happen, though, we have great news! ContentBacon is here to save your strategy. We have a team of experts who can help you plan the right content marketing and SEO approach and execute with the right content. We get to know your brand, make suggestions, and deliver copy that will resonate with your target audience.
Allow us to step in with our SEO expertise and help you build more brand trust. We recognize that the best way to build trust and drive sales is with relevant, engaging content.
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