In recent years, when people say digital marketing, the most common perception is heavily reliant on the practice of SEO and content marketing. But as popular as they are, you often read or hear about them discussed separately. It’s like SEO has its own lane, and so does content marketing.
But we live in a digital marketing era where you can’t afford to think about these two core components separately. Neil Patel even refers to SEO and content marketing as PB&J. They go hand-in-hand, and complement each other really well if you execute them correctly.
They take your digital marketing strategy to the next level. (Even more so if you think about how content-centric search engines and users are nowadays).
The key to succeeding at digital marketing campaigns these days is to develop an integrated way of accomplishing things.
Ergo, your answer lies in something called an SEO content marketing strategy.
Bringing SEO and Content Marketing Together
SEO and content marketing overlaps. But they do have their respective differences. Their contrast can be summed up in a few words. Because where SEO is narrow and technical, content marketing is broad and takes a more holistic approach when tackling things. In these two differences, they complement each other.
To broaden the scope of SEO, some of its technicalities will need content marketing. And on the other hand, the only way to secure content marketing’s success is to use SEO techniques.
Neil Patel makes some great points about this specific topic when he talks about SEO and content marketing’s relationship. He illustrated it as a conversation between two people. One makes demands, and the other fulfills those demands.
It’s not one or the other. It’s two core components working together to achieve a common goal.
There’s no such thing as improving SEO without awesome content. In the same boat, your content won’t have its audience without SEO.
How to Get Started on SEO Content Marketing Strategy
When it comes to promoting a brand, most companies immediately turn to social media and email marketing. They’re powerful channels for marketing, so think of the benefits if you use SEO-oriented content in tandem with social media.
You have nothing to lose.
Today’s customers do their research via Google before they lock down on a purchase. So, to reach your customers in their time of need, your content has to be available for them at the right place and at the right time.
Also, content that ranks well on search-engines get loads of free exposure online; boosting brand awareness and driving relevant traffic to the website. The more traffic you have, the more opportunities there are to convert.
#1 Do research on your target market
Research is one of the first things needed when you’re developing your SEO content marketing strategy. In particular, you need to research your target market. And to ensure that your efforts would be a success, your SEO and content marketing must focus on reaching the audience that suits your brand’s products or services the most.
Experts advise creating buyer personas — a fictional profile of your ideal buyer. It contains specific demographic information: age, gender, location, buyer’s interests, and buying behaviors.
You also need to be aware of the kinds of questions and concerns your audience has as they look for services and products like yours.
With information like this, you get a better idea of topics you can search for and write about online
#2 Conducting keyword research
In any post that has anything to do with SEO and content marketing, keyword research will always make an appearance. Keywords are important, and you need to know which keywords your customers are using when they look for products and services like yours (or even when they look for your brand).
Knowing the right keywords can help you optimize the page for search engines and develop the content that your audience would find valuable.
- List down your topics: Create your own list of topics relevant to your brand. At least 5-10 topics can help you come up with specific keywords later on.
- Target long-tail keywords: If you’re a brand that’s just starting out, steer clear of choosing general terms and broad topics. For instance, instead of just ‘weight-lifting,’ consider the long-tail keyword, ‘how to do weight-lifting.’ Long-tail keywords also give you the advantage of optimizing for voice search.
- Use LSI keywords: LSI keywords are related search terms. You can easily find them while you do a search on Google. The words highlighted in bold at the end of your long-tail keyword are related search terms.
- Utilize tools: Tools like Ahrefs, BuzzSumo, and UberSuggest are great for doing complete analysis on keywords. They can provide you data about the number of backlinks, the cost of each keyword, the search volume, etc.
#3 Writing valuable content
Upon completing your list of target keywords, use that information to generate topic ideas, and then content. The most common form of content people see are blog posts. But you can take that even further.
Experiment on creating longer-form or exclusive content. You can also use your keywords there. Don’t forget about video content either.
Search engines and users alike respond to high-quality content. Anything less can incur penalties from Google. Some crucial tips you need to remember:
- Use relevant examples: If complex topics are the subject, include real-life examples. Or at least, relevant ones. Screenshots are more appreciated than generic internet stock photos too. So use them where possible.
- Write for people: Yes, your keywords are meant to be recognized by the search engine. But you should write for people, first and foremost. Your content must cater to users; because it’s the users search engines are prioritizing too. Conversational style of writing is very popular and advised. Do it correctly, and you can build professional relationships with your audience.
- Proper formatting: SEO content marketing is all about making things easy for users. You can write all the relevant content you want. But without popular formatting and careful paragraph break-down, it’s as good as unreadable. Nobody likes giant word-walls. And no one wants to read something confusing. So use simple words and break your paragraphs into a maximum of 3 lines. Use headings and subheadings too.
One of the biggest objectives of writing content is for generating quality backlinks too. SEO lives for backlinks. You need that for increasing your domain authority. Backlinks from other sites get you exposure and increase your level of trustworthiness.
And the best way to earn these backlinks is through producing awesome content. So if you want this crucial part of SEO, you need a consistent dose of content marketing.
#4 Make sure content is up-to-date
Certain blog posts and web pages can be classified as evergreen content. And they have the potential to keep a steady stream of visitors coming for the years to come.
But what if there are new updates on a particular topic?
You can write a new one and start from scratch. Or you can simply update the article that’s already doing well. Plus, but doing so, it remains effective. So, in a nutshell, how do you go about updating your content for SEO?
- Optimize content immediately each time you find new keyword opportunities relevant to the topic.
- Add an extra step or extra content to provide more recent information and valuable data for your reader.
- Update your statistics and facts. What was a solid stat in 2015 is no longer viable for 2019.
With that said, it’s good to make a habit of reviewing content monthly. And then you make the updates as needed.
SEO and content marketing are two aspects of digital marketing. Two different tools for your disposal. But their effectiveness is dependent on the manner you wield them.
Remember: SEO is all about content marketing. Just as content marketing is all about SEO.
They can exist separately. But trust me when I say you wouldn’t want them to. They’re better together. Each aspect has key features that require the other to survive.
So if you want to succeed in your SEO and content marketing efforts, it’s time to think about them as two sides of the same coin.
Al Gomez is a Digital Marketing Consultant at Dlinkers and Sagad. With more than twelve years of digital marketing experience in search engine optimization, paid search and email marketing, he has contributed to a variety of online publications including Moz, Semrush and Wordtracker.