Whilst the digital marketing landscape is constantly evolving, one thing that remains crucial to the success of your campaigns is the marriage of your SEO and content strategies.
In order to fully understand the importance of these two channels, it’s important to distinguish the differences between them first. In this blog, Croud’s SEO Executive Jazmin Green and Content Executive Megan Green will take you through the basics of each channel and deep dive into how they can be combined to create an outstanding organic strategy.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is the activity of creating and sharing online material intended to stimulate interest in a brand. It can be anything from a blog post to a YouTube video, but it is nearly always educational rather than promotional.
Content creates a relationship between businesses and consumers, whilst adding value to both parties at the same time. With 4.4. billion active internet users and over 1 billion active websites, information overload can become an issue for consumers. Not only will great content on your website keep your consumers engaged, but search engines love great content too, an area we’ll touch on later in this blog.
What is SEO?
Search engine optimisation (SEO), is the technical practice of optimising website pages in order to improve organic ranking on search engine result pages, also knowns as SERPs. In a nutshell, Google’s main aim is to serve useful content to the user. To do this, it implements complex algorithms designed to understand a web page as a human would. The job of SEO is to recognise these complexities and apply them to a web page in order to meet and exceed Google’s ranking criteria.
SEO is an essential part of any online business with intense competition for the top three positions in the SERPs stemming from the fact that click-through rate dramatically decreases the further down the page you rank. Therefore, it goes without saying that this has a direct impact on revenue and profit from click-throughs.
Joining up content and SEO
A common issue with these two channels is that they are often siloed, when in fact, they are much more effective when viewed as a coherent pair.
Think of SEO and content as a relay. You have several runners; content, link building, technical SEO, keyword research and more. In addition to your speed, a smooth handover between each runner is essential. This is akin to the importance of your SEO and content strategies working together. One fast runner or channel will not win you the race alone.
In the same way that there are several teams competing in a relay, there is fierce competition for the top ranking positions on Google. Each team must stay up to date with the latest training and implement the latest techniques in order to stay at the top of their game.
Why every successful campaign needs both
Keywords and keyword research
Keywords are the terms a user may use to search for your site. The harsh reality is, you can produce hundreds of content pieces for your site and still not rank high in SERPs. You could save your sanity and your time by joining forces with SEO and strategically targeting (you guessed it)…keywords!
Keyword research considers things such as search volume, competition and seasonality to identify the terms you should be using to maximise organic performance. Produce and publish content targeting a combination of high volume and low competition keywords identified from this keyword research and you should be onto an effective strategy.
The value of links
Links, links and more links. In digital marketing, links are like gold dust. Nowadays, the internet is so saturated with content that it’s great when your content gets cherry-picked and is also linked. Not only do links make content marketers happy, but they also make domain metrics very happy. With indicators such as domain authority taking backlinks into consideration, it’s important to understand the value of them.
Every website wants them, as they are considered a hugely influential ranking factor, but actually obtaining them can sometimes seem like a huge challenge. All websites want to rank as high as they possibly can organically, and link building is a great way to get started on this. Both SEO and content use performance metrics such as domain authority, so gaining links from sites that perform well in these areas means your site will perform well in these areas too. Why so, you ask? Think of gaining a link like a job reference – a reference from a company like Apple would be amazing, whereas a reference from your local chip shop is far less desirable.
Therefore, in order to gain links, you must give publications a reason to want a link back, and the best way to do this is with high-quality relevant content. In order to succeed in convincing publications to link your site, you need to ask, why would they want to? The main driving force behind link building is relevance. By creating compelling content which people find genuinely useful, you’re already one step closer to getting a publication to link you. With grey and white hat link building tactics, gaining backlinks isn’t as easy as it sounds. However, great content is the key to getting front of the queue, so make sure your pieces prove useful and interesting to your readers and to the desired websites you’d like to be linked to.
Every SEO marketer will tell you the importance of fresh, relevant content in getting your website to rank for anything, especially in a post-Penguin age. High value, fresh content will always rank higher in SERPs that content of low relevance. We’re probably not about to blow any minds by saying this, but without content, this simply couldn’t be achieved.
Evergreen content is the holy grail. When first published, a piece of content will often do well as it is current, but it is much harder to maintain this in the long run. Whereas evergreen content continues to be useful long after being published, attracting links and engagement, whilst continuing to rank highly, thereby sparking a virtuous circle. For example, a recipe for a classic Victoria’s sponge remains useful and relevant regardless of how long ago it was published.
Ensuring evergreen content is effectively optimised for search engines is essential in increasing the ranking position of your desired search terms.
SEO and content are essentially two sides of the same coin; if you are already doing one, it’s likely you are already doing the other too without necessarily realising. But the key to success is understanding how they work together and utilising them both effectively.
Your content should be written with a clear understanding of your SEO goals, ensuring that basic optimisations such as those outlined above are covered. For this reason, SEO and content should not be viewed as two separate entities, but rather two essential elements working hand in hand to develop and implement your organic strategy – a match made in marketing heaven.
To find out more about our SEO and content services, get in touch.