As I’ve mentioned in a previous blog post, SEO is vital to your company’s ultimate success. And a large part of that success comes down to creating and implementing an effective SEO content marketing strategy. SEO and content go hand in hand. As a recent Forbes article succinctly puts it, “SEO without content marketing is like a body without a soul.” Think of your keyword research; you could assemble the absolute best keywords for your business, but if you don’t include those keywords in your content, they won’t do you much good. And the same is true for the reverse: creating content without understanding what your target audience is searching for won’t drive more traffic to your website.
To ensure your SEO strategy is a success, it should be designed around and work in tandem with your content marketing strategy. Read on to learn how to develop and implement a successful SEO content marketing strategy.
What is Content Marketing?
Before you can create an effective SEO content marketing strategy, you need to understand what content marketing is.
According to Yoast, “content marketing consists of all marketing activities that focus on creating and sharing information. […] The idea of content marketing is that sharing valuable information is a great way to attract an audience and build a brand.” At its core, content marketing is creating and freely sharing valuable, high-quality information that your target audience will find beneficial.
The Benefits of Content Marketing and Why It’s Important for SEO
The importance of content in SEO cannot be overstated. Creating high-quality content is an essential part of developing an effective and all-encompassing SEO content marketing strategy for your business. Quality content helps your website organically rank higher on SERP pages, that’s true. But one of the other main benefits of content marketing is becoming a trusted source to your target audience and a thought leader in your field.
To become regarded as a trusted source and thought leader, you need to start thinking beyond search and rankings. Truly optimizing content as part of your SEO content marketing strategy means creating content that serves a greater purpose than helping your site rank higher on SERPs. While it can be easy to get swept up in the race to produce as much content as possible to drive more traffic to your site, creating content for the sake of creating content isn’t beneficial to anyone.
Your SEO content marketing strategy needs to focus on creating content that relates to key search terms that your audience is searching for. When you create content that attracts and resonates with your target audience, your website will naturally begin to rank higher on SERPs.
The best place to start creating this type of quality content is by creating a list of the most important keywords that pertain to your industry and business. For there, you can use these keywords to:
- Identify potential topics that align with your business and products and/or services.
- Determine which of those topics are most relevant to your audience and/or what you want to highlight.
- Use a keyword ranking program or conduct your own Google searches to help identify the keywords that have the potential to drive the most traffic to your website.
Here’s an example Search Engine Journal provided for identifying topics and keywords that resonate with your target audience:
Once you’ve narrowed down which keywords you want to feature in your content, this will help keep your SEO content marketing strategy on track and ensure you create high-performing content that adds value to your target audience and your site.
While it’s important to use your keywords to structure your content, it’s equally important that you don’t over-saturate your content with those keywords. This is called “keyword stuffing” and can harm your SEO ranking rather than help. Search engines value quality content that helps searchers find the information they’re looking for. Therefore, you need to use your keywords naturally throughout all of your content.
Creating SEO-Friendly Content
Creating SEO-friendly content that appeals to both search engines and your target audience is a skill, but it can be done. Understanding and listening to your target audience have never been more important. As Search Engine Journal states, “2020 is all about putting the user first by creating value-rich content.”
Here are some tips for creating SEO-friendly content. Combined with the tips listed above, you’ll be able to create optimized content that appeals to search engines as well as to your target audience.
- Increase brand authority through guest posting. While guest posting can be a great way to add high-quality backlinks to your content, guest posting can also help build your brand credibility as well. You can search for guest posting opportunities by looking for sites and blogs that have a similar target audience as your business and a large social following. Partnering with these types of businesses could provide an opportunity to expand your SEO content marketing strategy by sharing your content on different marketing channels.
- Use a multi-channel marketing strategy. Regardless of guest posting opportunities, part of creating SEO-friendly content means optimizing it to be shared via different marketing channels. You don’t need to try to post to every marketing channel, just focus on the ones that your target audience utilizes the most.
- Repurpose your content. Aside from going back through your blog archive and updating older posts (which is something you should be doing regularly), repurposing your content could also mean identifying posts that didn’t perform and sharing them on some of your other marketing channels, such as social media or featuring them in an email newsletter. By doing so, you can understand if that’s a topic that didn’t resonate with your target audience, or if you should start utilizing other marketing channels to connect with your audience.
- Create high-quality visuals to accompany your optimized content. Our attention spans are continuing to shrink every year. To help keep your target audience engaged, create custom graphics, images, and videos to accompany your blog and website content. Not only does this break up your longer pieces of content, but it also gives you a chance to incorporate some of your keywords in the alt-text content (which you should ALWAYS include for all of your images).
- Seek out guidance from a company that provides professional content marketing SEO services. If you need help creating the best SEO content marketing strategy for your business, and you have the budget to do so, you might consider hiring a company that provides professional content marketing SEO services.
*Image credit: Search Engine Journal