Content marketing is all about delivering value to the end-user in a way that establishes your expertise, builds lasting relationships, gets people onto your email list, and – eventually – boosts conversions.
But the success of your content marketing strategy depends on your SEO. If you can nail a powerful SEO content marketing strategy, your website will be visible to more traffic and the conversions will follow.
In this article, we’ll be walking you through exactly what you need to do to create a powerful SEO content marketing strategy from start to finish.
First, what is SEO content marketing?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the act of increasing search traffic to a web page or online element. Content marketing is a type of brand promotion that uses content to attract visitors to a website or product. SEO content marketing combines the two.
Technically, SEO is indivisible from a strong content marketing strategy. SEO ultimately informs your content, guides it, and dictates how successful or unsuccessful it will be.
Because SEO is the process of optimizing your pages/content so that the user experience improves and your website ranks higher on Google.
It’s only by taking into account SEO (and all its ranking factors including keywords, bounce rate, and user experience) that you can create content that offers value to the end-user, hence pleases Google.
Technical SEO research and implementation allow you to understand your target audience and what they want to see from your content, both in terms of the questions it answers, how helpful it is, and the way it appears on-site.
Now, here’s how you can create a powerful SEO content marketing strategy
Let’s look at the key ingredients in a successful SEO content marketing campaign.
1. Optimize your content With keywords/search phrases
When people think of SEO, they tend to think of keywords.
It’s hardly surprising since keywords have been a dominant ranking factor on Google for years. While keywords aren’t as straightforward as they used to be, they still matter… a lot.
Keywords are the words and phrases your target audience is typing into Google to find content that will answer their queries.
For example, if someone is looking for information about studying online for SATs, they might type, “what should I bring to the SAT test.”
There are three things to bear in mind when we see this keyword:
- We need to optimize our content so that it includes this keyword
- We need to build our content around this keyword
- This keyword demonstrates the user’s intent (this particular keyword is an informational keyword, which suggests the end-user wants more information on the latest SAT tutoring. Therefore, this is what you need to build your content around)
To find out what keywords your target audience is using, you can use keyword research tools or search engines themselves. After a Google search, you might see a “people also ask” section — if the questions are relevant to your audience and topic, try to answer them (better than anyone else) in your content.
Once you’ve got your keywords, optimize your content with them. This means:
- Add keywords to your title
- Add keywords to your headers and subheaders
- Sprinkle secondary keywords throughout the rest of your content
- Add keywords to your title tags and meta descriptions
Recommended: How to optimize SEO for the success of your business
2. Add as much value as possible
When it comes to content and SEO, your content needs to have as deep a knowledge base as possible.
It needs to address the end user’s concerns with more depth and value than your competitors. This means more case studies, more videos, more step-by-step guides, more FAQs, and – generally – more words.
Because by doing this, you’re adding value.
Google is on the lookout for valuable content that answers user queries better than anyone else. When it finds it, it ranks it higher than all other content.
How does one know when one piece of content is more valuable than another?
It relies on its ranking factors, such as user experience, keywords, and – crucially – bounce rate.
Bounce rate tells Google how much time someone is spending on your website. A high bounce rate means site visitors are bailing after a few seconds. This suggests that your content isn’t adding enough value. The end-user arrives on your page, scans the content, realizes you’ve not got the information they need – and so they exit.
Adding value is all about knowing who your audience is and then giving them what they want with more depth and completeness than your competitors.
It also means demonstrating your expertise via case studies, statistics, data and so on. You can also create topic clusters to cover more bases than your rivals, and you could use the skyscraper technique to outdo them with each piece of content.
3. Launch a guest blogging campaign
Guest blogging is when you write a piece of content for someone else’s blog/website.
Why would you do this?
You’d do it so that you can include what’s known as a backlink (or inbound link) in said piece of content that sends traffic from another website to yours.
Google uses backlink’s as a ranking factor. The more high-quality backlinks you have from high-domain websites, the higher you will rank. Referral traffic is key.
To succeed at guest blogging, you need to have a few solid content ideas (the content should be related to your niche), and you need to research blogs in your niche that have a high domain and good traffic.
Then, you just need to pitch your idea to the webmaster, write the blog post, and add a link to one of your web pages.
4. Optimize your videos and images
Visual content, especially video, is content marketing. Visual content can take on its own life. For example, Netflix uses an algorithm to personalise ad images based on viewers’ preferences.
Your video and images need to be given the SEO treatment, too.
Images should use ALT tags that are relevant, not only so that visually-impaired visitors know what’s on a page. ALT tags also help search engines understand what an image contains — this is essential for image searches.
Next, video content is vital to your overall content marketing strategy, with 86% of consumers saying they want to see even more videos from you.
While making things prettier by adding a logo to your videos can be helpful, you need to go further:
- Optimize the title and description of your video with keywords
- Optimize your whole page so that it relates directly to your video content
- Embed your main video first (Google will only index one video per page, so you need to prioritize)
Keep in mind, videos that keep viewers’ attention are crucial. Retention, interaction, and engagement on videos, like all other content, are noticed by search engines — the more people enjoy your content the more weight it is given by search engines.
Content marketing is one of the best ways to gain the trust of your audience, nurture them and turn them into paying customers – but it’s nothing without SEO.
Use the tips in this article to get on top of both your SEO and content marketing efforts so that the two inform each other and, together, create awesome results.