Today, the world wide web is packed with content. Content that’s read, content that’s shared, content that’s talked about; content that users are reacting to.
It’s not just something we see floating around on social media or in our inboxes anymore; content is now a prominent feature in search engine result pages (SERPs), in the form of knowledge graphs, and featured snippets too.
In this post, we’re exploring the relationship between SEO and content marketing to create a better understanding of how the titans of modern marketing co-relate.
WHAT IS CONTENT MARKETING?
In simple terms content marketing is the creation and distribution of online material which is intent on stimulating a user’s interest in products or services without explicitly promoting a brand.
Content marketing material can come in virtually any format and choosing the right format for your target market is integral to any campaign. It’s important to think logically about whether your target demographics are more engaged with video, images, audio, blogs or perhaps even infographics - knowing this information will make a huge difference to your content marketing results.
What is SEO?
SEO, more formally known as search engine optimisation, is the practice of increasing both the quality and quantity of website visits, through search engines such as Google and Bing.
Since 1994, the search engine optimisation industry has seen huge growth, standing the test of time against marketers who thought it was just a fad. In 2016 the industry was worth an incredible $65 billion dollars, expected to grow to $72 billion by 2018.
The name attributed to users navigating to a website from a search engine is ‘organic traffic’ which essentially means ‘free traffic’. Other forms of online traffic include Social, Referral, Display, Email, Direct and Affiliate.
How Are Content Marketing & SEO Related?
Treating SEO and content marketing as two separate entities is a huge mistake as the two are proven to work better together, than they do alone. Here’s why:
For search engines to better understand products and services, they need to be able find and read the content on your website. To do this they need content to crawl. Crawling content helps search engines to determine the kind of search queries your website should rank for, and whether it’s relevant to a user, based on their search query.
So, if your content is relevant to your intended audiences, it’s more likely to rank better in search engines.
While keywords are a fundamental aspect of SEO, stuffing keywords throughout your website won’t help you reach your SEO goals as you’ll face penalties from Google Panda.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Google Panda, it’s one of Google’s major algorithm updates first rolled out in 2011. The update tackled websites with low-quality content, penalising sites with thin content, duplicate content, websites that lack authority, and websites with a high ad-to-content ratio.
By integrating your keyword strategy with your content marketing strategy you’re effectively avoiding penalisation from the Google Panda algorithm, boosting organic rankings in SERPs, and amplifying your content marketing strategy with SEO.
A huge part of SEO is building links back to your website, which enhances its authority and helps increase rankings in search results.
A successful content marketing campaign will attract highly sought inbound links from readers and resources across the web. A lot of marketers often devise a digital PR strategy with their content marketing campaigns to maximise links and exposure helping to get the content seen by as many people as possible.
Social signals, which can include shares, likes, comments and clicks, can impact where your page ranks in organic search results. A well thought out, strategically planned content marketing strategy that performs well on social media opens the opportunity for a boost in rankings.
The quality of the content on your website is a factor which helps to determine whether your website is ranked in featured snippets, a highly sought spot in modern-day search results.
Content marketing and SEO are the double act of the modern marketing industry. While both can work well in isolation, together they’re much more powerful, and highly effective in helping one another reach those all-important goals.
Do you need any help with your company’s search and content strategy? Why not get in touch with one of our specialists to offer a hand! Contact us here.