While content marketing is widely regarded to as being the best possible approach for promoting literally anything these days, when thinking about the online world, nobody can deny the importance of SEO. In fact, there is still a huge debate going on in regards to “SEO vs (content) marketing”.
Instead of choosing between SEO and online marketing strategies, the best thing that a smart business owner can do is to use them both. Advanced SEO is not something that is needed, especially for startups or beginners. What is actually needed is to incorporate SEO basics into content marketing strategies.
How do you combine SEO with content marketing?
Read on to see some suggestions.
Create Content For People!
Content creation should ALWAYS revolve around people, not search engines. You can use SEO in a combination with content marketing but only if people come first, as with these SEO tips for small businesses. Content can always be optimized for SEO purposes. However, when you first think about SEO and then the reader, the content created is of a really low quality, or at least not of suitable quality.
The most important thing to remember is:
“Create really good content about topics the target audience wants to learn more about! Then think about SEO optimization.”
Multiple Traffic Sources
One of the huge mistakes many site owners make is that they rely solely on organic traffic. Even if most of the traffic comes from the big search engines, it is a huge mistake to not optimize your content for other traffic sources, like social media or email marketing.
Hopefully, Google Analytics is in place and you can see where traffic comes from. This gives you a clear picture of what you need to focus more, what works and what does not work.
As an example, some time ago, when working on Eat The Globe, Analytics showed that there was an increase in the traffic coming from Twitter as Facebook traffic was going down. This allowed the marketing team to make a shift towards more invested in Twitter because it was determined that marketing campaign efficiency was higher there.
The main traffic sources for a website, those that you want to take into account as you create your content marketing strategy are:
- Organic Search – This is what SEO offers and what is hopefully the largest share, unless relying on other sources as a business model.
- Referral – Traffic coming from other sites, usually through a link.
- Direct – People that type the URL in the address bar or visit through a bookmark.
- Social Media – Paid or free.
SEO Relies On Long-Tail Strategies In Content Marketing
If you now start to use content marketing, you will not get huge traffic from search engines. What normally happens is getting traffic improvements on the long run, making everything long-term. This is because there are many different things that change how much traffic you get.
As an example, this article about freelancing website alternatives to UpWork keeps getting traffic surges every single time Upwork has a problem. This is because freelancers start to look for alternatives and the number of related searches grows. Basically, this means that if you create really good content now and you optimize it properly, you will get traffic constantly or at random times, all based on what people are looking for.
With all this in mind, a really important basic SEO practice that you need to incorporate into content marketing is keyword analysis. You want to know what long tail keywords are very good, based on target audience.
“Keywords still count but you have to be smart when using them!”
Remember the first point. You want to create content for the people. However, you also have to create that content based on long term keywords. When you do this, your entire strategy is better.
Create a list of the best keywords that you can use and apply that to the content you create.
Let’s Get Technical
SEO optimization does involve technical components. When your content marketing strategy is created, you want to be sure that web pages are properly optimized. You want to be sure that your site is properly indexed by search engines and that 301 redirect pages are properly set up so that the visitor can reach the desired content.
Let’s not talk too much about the technical side of SEO since this is quite complicated. What should be remembered in regards to incorporating SEO, especially basic SEO, into content marketing strategies is that you need a plan about what to optimize when content is created.
Fortunately, there are plugins that can help and sites that will offer the information you need. If you use WordPress, you want to use something like Yoast SEO Plugin. No matter what you decide to use for y our site, what you ABSOLUTELY have to optimize is:
- Post Title – Ideally, the title needs to include the target keyword (long-tail preferred) but be attractive for the reader. This is what people see first when they see your site in search results. The title has to attract clicks.
- Meta Description – This is what appears under the title in search engine results. You want to be sure that this short description describes exactly what the page is about in a way that attracts clicks. Including the main keyword or some secondary keywords is a plus.
- Formatting – You want to be sure that your content is properly formatted, with sub-headings and images, whenever possible. When increasing readability you keep visitors on your site for a longer time. This actually helps with SEO and conversions.
Analyzing Content Marketing Strategy Results
One of the most underrated basics of SEO is analyzing results. This is a huge part of search engine optimization since it shows us what works and what does not work. That is why it needs to be added to content marketing.
You most likely plan to create a lot of content based on a strategy. Do you know if that content delivers results? Is it good? Do you know if people still look for topics like the ones you write about? These are the types of questions you need to answer with a resounding YES.
The idea is to get reports on search. You want to know what content gets the most traffic from search engines. Also, you need to get suggestions about content that would be useful for readers. Search implications exist for all content created. Having someone look at reports and research opportunities on a constant basis is important.
SEO professionals use link building tools, analytics tools, writing tools, influencer research tools and a whole lot more. All this is quite expensive. Fortunately, you do not need to use all of these when you rely on content marketing. You just need to find a way to identify what the target audience searches for online and then analyze what worked from the work you did in the past.
To sum up, SEO basics are absolutely mandatory for content marketing. When you create your strategy, you need to at least know the basics. Combine search engine optimization with content marketing and make the most out of the time and resources you have available. Do not think that one can work without the other and, last but not least, do optimize content for all relevant traffic sources!