If you are planning on starting a digital marketing plan, know the basics on how successful content marketing and SEO go hand-in-hand.
Successful Content Marketing and SEO
It’s best to think of SEO as spaghetti sauce. Not one sits and eats it out of a jar. But when you use it, it touches everything. That is the best way to describe how SEO plays into a successful content marketing campaign.
You may be thinking that you have funds for content marketing, but not SEO. It is important to know that virtually every large business has already learned that Content Marketing and SEO do not compete with each other. In fact, they would tell you SEO is content marketing. That’s not really true as there is more to successful content marketing than SEO, but it does show that large companies don’t serve spaghetti in the their cafeterias without sauce.
Is Content Marketing really just SEO?
When initiating a content marketing program, You create content to support your marketing objectives. If you are doing this wisely, a vital part of your execution strategies should be focused on optimizations that will increase the probability that our content will be discovered via a web search.
Simply put, saying SEO and Content Marketing are two separate marketing tactics, with two separate budgets is akin to saying Newspaper headlines and copy are separate. Ridiculous! You write headlines to get people to read the copy. The same is true online. You then optimize your online marketing content to get people to discover it.
The better argument is that Search Engine Optimization is a misnomer. Anyone trained in SEO disciplines knows that we are not optimizing the search engine. Google doesn’t need our help. But we do optimize content. SEO and Content marketing is man and woman, beer and wings, Cracker Jacks and a baseball game. They go together and work together.
Successful Content Marketing and SEO – How SEO Touches Everything
If the primary objective of Content Marketing is to have the content seen, then you need to apply every SEO tactic possible to insure it reaches the greatest number of people. Again, SEO is the sauce that touches all the pasta.
Let’s look at everything SEO touches.
Keywords, Long-tail searches, images, videos all need SEO. Anytime you are battling for web searches against your competitors, any advantage is a benefit and SEO wins hands down for Google searches. No contest. Expecting to show up for customer searches for anything else other than a direct match for your business name falls into the lap of someone versed in SEO.
Well, beyond hashtags, keep in mind that ever since Google’s Hummingbird update, social signals are having a greater impact on search results than ever before. Simply put, social posts are now showing up on search return pages. It’s not unusual at all to see Tweets, Facebook and for sure, Google Plus posts, in search return listings. That’s because they were optimized for that particular search. Social media SEO and social media management is now more important that ever.
Think of long-tail searches as stacked keywords. More often, these are spoken and not typed. Think “organic food stores in Rochester NY” which cover 2 or more keywords strung together. When you are getting started with content marketing, it’s not realistic to expect traffic from keyword search to grow quickly (which is another reason to incorporate social into your content distribution strategy). However, once you do start to see improvements in traffic due to your search efforts, it will be in long-tail searches. and the benefits can be long-lasting (or at least until your competitors sit up and take notice).
While obsessing over single keywords is certainly not a recommended strategy for successful content marketing, you do want to make sure your efforts are ranking for the terms that are most meaningful to your brand and to your customers. As such, it’s useful to do a bit of basic research and then build a list of relevant keywords and long-tails you will target through your content. Again, the SEO here is from the basic SEO research all the way to optimizing the content with alternate information, H1 and H2, Titles, meta descriptions, keyword, long-tail and media optimization.
But let’s take a deep breath and remember…
While Content Marketing and SEO work in synergy to improve your digital footprint, there is no downside to optimizing your content for SEO. But it should not be your primary consideration when you create and deliver content.
Writing For Customers Always Comes First.
In light of what your customers are likely looking for in the content they choose to consume, not to mention Google’s ever-changing algorithms that aim to keep online content relevant, you can’t go wrong if you follow this golden rule: Write compelling content about the things your target audience would likely be most interested in. And don’t over-stuff with keywords and write for Google. Doesn’t work that way anymore.
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