Most SEO firms only focus on SEO. But here are the stats:
•77% of marketers will increase their content production
•91% of B2B marketers use content marketing
•46% of marketers will increase their spending on SEO and SEM
•54% of marketers think that use of SEO will continue to grow.
Both SEO and content marketing are essential for your business. Although content marketing and SEO share some similarities, they are two different things that are used at the same time to benefit your business.
This post sets out how we connect your use of content marketing and SEO in your business to drive website visits, conversions and yield superior sales results. You need to take urgent action to integrate the two. Phone us on (027) 489 5009 to discuss how to improve your sales with Content Marketing.
Where SEO and content marketing overlap
The reason why so many people have trouble connecting SEO and content marketing is because they don’t have a clear picture of what each represents:
SEO: Anything that is done to increase your organic search engine traffic.
Content marketing: Creating and spreading content to attract traffic.
They have a lot in common: Although they are separate types of traffic strategies, both content marketing and SEO often overlap…starting with content.
For SEO, content is a must. And for content marketing, well…it’s in the name.
In the past few years, the content needed for SEO started to resemble the content needed for content marketing. Quality and value are the top priorities for this content.
How do they fit together at a high level? Imagine being able to create one awesome piece of content and then use it to attract traffic from all of the biggest sources.
The intersection of SEO, Social Media and Content Marketing is Optimised Content Marketing – EXACTLY WHAT WE DO – and not many do this.
When you use your content effectively (and optimise it for different channels – social media, referrals, etc), you can easily double or triple your resulting traffic. Instead of just trying to get search engine traffic for an article, you can also use content marketing tactics and promote it on social media.
But there are differences: It’s naive to think that content marketing is exactly the same as SEO even though some over-optimistic SEO marketers seem to think that way.
SEO certainly fits well into most on-page and off-page aspects of content marketing. The on-page aspect of SEO is concerned with the content on the site and how well it is optimised for relevant keywords and how it provides a good user experience for visitors.
The off-page aspect of SEO is concerned with inbound links from other websites to your site. Natural links from authoritative and relevant websites act as an independent vote of confidence, which helps search engines trust your website more.
However, technical SEO is pretty far removed from content marketing. This aspect of SEO is focused on how well search engine spiders can crawl your site and index your content – what most SEO firms do. Some parts of technical SEO will affect your search engine rankings (such as optimising your crawl rate) but won’t have any affect on your content marketing results.
They can also benefit each other in big ways: One thing that most don’t realise at first is how much SEO and content marketing complement each other.
Here’s a list of basic SEO tasks you might do:
•optimise page load speed
•make content responsive
•fix dead links and bad redirects
•ensure that your content has a clear hierarchy (i.e. heading tags).
A faster page load speed is good for the user experience no matter where they’re coming from. Same goes for responsive content. By fixing dead links or bad redirects, you improve the reader’s experience as well as keep them on your site reading your other content (a very good thing). Finally, a clear content hierarchy improves the readability of your content.
Content marketing is all about the user experience and we create content to solve problems of your target audience.
Which one goes first?
Although both SEO and content marketing are compatible with each other, they are different in a few key ways. For example, if you created a great guide, you’d still want to include certain keywords in the most important places. So, do you find the keywords first and then build the content around them? Or do you create the content first and then find appropriate keywords to use within it?
The answer is that either way can work, but they both have their own strengths.
The case for content marketing first: With this process, you’d focus on coming up with ideas for content that your target audience is interested in. Once we create the content, we do some keyword research around that specific topic to find some keywords we think you could rank for. We add them mainly to your headings.
Finally, we find a way to get that content in front of as many people as we can.
There are two big benefits of this option.
First, it gives you a lot of flexibility.
If you choose the keyword first, you create the content around that specific keyword, so you don’t have much choice later on. Here, if you’re having a tough time ranking for your keyword(s), you can just choose a longer tail keyword that will be easier to rank for.
Second, search volume doesn’t equal value to a reader.
That’s because depending on which approach you take, you generate content ideas in different ways:
•content marketing first – we create content to solve problems of your target audience.
•SEO first – you do keyword research and go after the highest volume keywords.
With typical SEO research, keywords are searched for by the highest number of searches. That means that it’s a common query. However, that doesn’t always translate into value. No matter how good your content is, it’s not going to have a huge impact on their lives (they won’t value it highly).
After they learn a bit about what your products do and the solutions they give, they might find a really detailed guide that solves their problems for years to come. This is an example of something that is truly valuable to a reader.
But that search phrase (and other similar ones) gets a negligible amount of search volume. If you only create content based on highly popular terms, you’ll often miss creating content that solves your target audience’s biggest problems.
This is a big deal for two reasons:
1.You have a limited usefulness – When someone comes to your site, you want them to find everything they need about your products and solutions. If they can’t find what they’re looking for, they’ll go to another site. You need to be the expert they come to for content, and later for business.
2.High value converts higher – If your content solves a big problem for your readers, they’re going to remember it. That’s how you get loyal subscribers, who later turn into customers. Getting hundreds of thousands of visitors is nice, but it’s not if none of them turn into customers because they’re coming for low value content.
That being said, low volume searches aren’t necessarily high value problems, and high volume searches aren’t necessarily low value problems. You have to take it on a case-by-case basis.
The main takeaway from this is that if you rely on a keyword tool—like most SEO-first marketers do—you’ll miss some big problems and interests of your target audience. Missing those will significantly lower your potential sales.
The case for SEO first: After reading the first case, you might be all set on focusing on content marketing first, but there are a few advantages of going with the keyword-first method.
First, it can improve your content.
When you create your content first, you do everything you can to make it as good as possible for the reader. If you have to add a keyword for SEO purposes, you’re detracting from the optimal phrasing that you originally had. It won’t necessarily be awkward, but your new version of a title might not be as intriguing as the original was. But if you know your keyword from the start, you’ll always keep it in mind, which will likely change the overall message you create (compared to content first).
The second main benefit is that you do find out what the common problems might be, but they might not be as valuable to solve.
If you only get topic ideas from observing or talking with your target audience, you’ll typically hear from them when they’re having a big problem (a high value situation). You won’t hear them express small problems very often because they’ll simply try to find an easy solution by searching for it.
By creating content around keywords, we ensure that your readers find all of the medium to high volume keywords, regardless of the value they hold for your target audience. Ranking for these terms is still a good thing even if those visitors don’t directly convert as highly.
We can direct those initial visitors to other more valuable content that you’ve created after you’ve solved their first problem.
We use both methods.
It’s clear that both approaches have their own strengths and weaknesses.
We spend time researching good keywords to create content around for clients.
Together with you, we also spend time researching your target audience to find out what their biggest problems are. Then, we create content to solve those problems and add keywords after.
Published by Quick Sprout
So call us now on (027) 489 5009 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how we will implement this for you and what results you can expect.