Learn the difference between content marketing and SEO. Grow your business with these top content marketing tips to help boost your SEO efforts.
A good content marketing strategy cannot be understated when examining your entire marketing strategy. Content marketing plays a pivotal role in creating a sound business with a strong brand identity and will assist you in getting your company on the path to success.
A well-structured content plan will help boost traffic to your site and improve your search engine ranking opportunities. Cleverly constructed content marketing strategies help to support your website by creating new opportunities for customer engagement. They also increase your site authority by bringing fresh and unique content to your pages.
Many marketers believe content marketing is the new approach to conquering SEO (Search Engine Optimization), thereby creating the impression that Google places more emphasis on high-quality content than on SEO. The fact that Google places emphasis on high-quality content is not new and has in fact been a requirement for several years already. While yes, it’s true, Google places an important emphasis on high-quality content, it does not replace SEO altogether. A comprehensive strategy with both SEO and content working in tandem is where the focus should be.
Some of the confusion experienced with these two terms stems from the fact that both are often mentioned together. This paring creates the impression that they are one-in-the-same when in fact, the two elements each serve a unique purpose and when used correctly, enhance the effectiveness and desired results.
Content Marketing vs SEO
Let’s begin by examining the relationship between content marketing and SEO. This partnership, the two puzzle pieces of content marketing and SEO in your strategy provide a holistic solution to your needs.
SEO is more narrow and technical, whereas content marketing is broader and more all-encompassing. Therefore, the tactic used to implement each of these elements must remain unique and geared towards their individual requirements.
In order to use the two techniques effectively, and to maximize their result, marketers need to learn to integrate SEO into their content marketing strategies. When you stop viewing these as the same concept or even as individual concepts separate from each other, and start to rather see the beauty in their partnership, you will begin to enjoy the results of the true power they yield.
Content Marketing Tips to Improve SEO
When examining some content marketing tips, we need to remember that integrating content marketing into your SEO can prove challenging. This is especially true for businesses with multiple teams working on different strategies. Here are some content marketing tips and advice for seamless integration.
1. Focus on Searcher Intent
Of all the content marketing tips you can learn, focusing on searcher intent by answering users’ questions is one of the most important. Google goes through thousands of updates every year in a bid to provide better answers to our search queries. In fact, Google released 3,200 algorithm updates in 2018 alone.
Creating content for real people should always come first. All content created is done so to serve the purpose of helping people, informing people, and teaching people. Therefore, content marketing should not revolve solely around search engines but around people’s queries—their search questions. While it is important to continually look for ways to optimize content for SEO, it should not be the main focus. Attention should rather be geared towards understanding searchers and meeting their needs by answering their questions.
Take time to formulate a content plan that will provide engaging and relevant content to audiences across a range of topics that will interest them. Customers, and potential customers, want content that is real, beneficial and meets their needs. Customers will likely look at or consume content that is relevant and of high quality. When building a content plan around this strategy remember: not only should content be created consistently to meet the needs of customers and prospects, but it must exceed the expectations of competitors too.
Questions To Ask
For example, if you’re planning to write content about the keto diet, just type the keyword in the Google search box and hit Enter. In the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page), scroll down to the ‘people also ask’ section to learn what readers are searching for already.
2. Pick the Right Keywords
Using the right keywords is important for SEO. Long-tail keywords of three words or more provide a more narrowed search result. Users generally type in phrases when searching online, not complete sentences.
Additionally, searchers using specific long-tail keywords are often closer to completing an action, such as buying a product, signing up, or converting into a lead.
Incorporating high-ranking keywords into content boosts the chances of climbing SERP ranks. However, remember to use keywords sparingly and naturally in your content. Do not sprinkle them on every sentence, otherwise, the content could be flagged as spam.
Here are a few keyword research tools to get you started:
3. Optimize for Mobile
Google switched to a mobile-first indexing strategy as early as 2019. Before looking for the desktop version, Google will first look for the mobile version of a website or blog.
SEO efforts will be futile without a fully-optimized mobile version of a website. All aspects of a website should be fully optimized for mobile, including:
- Using high-resolution images
- Ensuring readers don’t have to scroll to the right to see all the content
- Ensuring all hyperlinks are large enough to tap without accidentally hitting something else
4. Don’t Skip the SEO Metadata Basics
On-page SEO provides a foundation for a Google-friendly site, which will give content the additional boost needed to make it easier for online users to find.
Here’s a list of some important on-page SEO metadata basics:
SEO Title Tag
When Google or another search engine pulls up your web page as a result, the element that is displayed is the page’s SEO title tag. This should be the first bait for customers to click through your website. Make sure your SEO title tag defines what they can expect from the link. It should be something that would make the user interested enough to click on the link.
SEO Best Practice: Always try to add the keyword phrase in the SEO title tag near the beginning, as long as it doesn’t sound awkward or forced.
Image Alt Text
Images add great visuals to your content. But the problem is that search engines are not capable of reading images yet. Adding image alt text tells Google what the image is about. It’s important to understand, image alt text is not the same as an image caption.
Aside from the SEO title tag, the SERP also includes a short blurb of the content, which is called the meta description. Optimizing your meta description can improve the possibility of a user clicking through to a website.
SEO Best Practice: Write clear and concise meta descriptions and include the primary keyword to boost a webpage’s SEO efforts.
Categories and Keyword Tagging
Assign blog content by categories and utilize keyword tagging to help Google map the website and properly index it. Organizing content also helps readers find more related content by simply clicking a particular tag,
5. Use Pillar Pages and Topic Clusters
Pairing pillar content with topic clusters is the most overlooked content strategy by most companies.
Pillar content is a structure on which topic clusters are built. Pillar content is longer-form content than a typical single-topic blog post. It covers multiple aspects of a topic on a single page. It provides for more in-depth reporting using the detailed cluster blog posts that are linked back to the pillar content page.
Pillar pages generally cover a broad topic in depth. While cluster content drills down to address information about one single topic. For instance, a pillar post about the keto diet would cover multiple sub-topics, whereas a cluster post would only address one sub-topic about the keto diet, such as the dangers of the keto diet or which foods should be avoided when in keto.
This approach allows you to include several cluster articles that tie back to a larger pillar piece of content, signaling to Google that you are an authority site for the topic. When constructed correctly, this strategy indicates to Google that the content is comprehensive on the topic. As a result, Google will rank more pages from your site and readers can easily find the information about the topic because of the linking strategy in place.
6. Craft Compelling Headlines
There are several online tools, such as Coschedule to help analyze topics to come up with headlines that will gain more engagement. You can run your topic through a content analyzer to find out what other people have published about the topic
The ultimate goal of ranking on Google is to provide content that is new, fresh, and more comprehensive than competitors. General topics might be too broad, so you must prove that your content can offer something fresh that readers haven’t seen before.
7. Build External Backlinks
There are so many ways to build backlinks to your website. Several content distribution channels also help get your content out there for other websites to link to.
An old-but-gold technique is email outreach. Don’t be discouraged by the fact that 91.5% of outreach emails are ignored or discarded. Even though the majority of emails are not read or immediately deleted, those that do open them are really interested in what you have to say. This is why email has the highest conversion rate and ROI among other digital marketing techniques.
The best way to use email marketing to get backlinks is to reach out to people or brands that already know about you. They may be your followers or might have mentioned you in a social media post or their articles.
8. Don’t Forget Internal Links
Just like backlinks, internal links are essential for optimizing your content. Whenever you write content, such as a blog article, add links to topics that you have discussed before. Link back to your old posts to give new readers an opportunity to explore previous content.
Interlinking your website pages also spread out traffic to the other parts of the website. This helps with SEO by drawing more attention to articles that might have been buried by new articles.
9. Update Older Content
One of the most useful content marketing tips for companies is to update older content, especially if that content was ranking well in Google before.
Google likes fresh content, but what are you going to do with all the old content that you’ve published? Going back to your old blog posts is a great idea for boosting SEO. Look for outdated facts you can update and places where you can add new information. You can also convert your content into a different format.
Make sure to develop your own content marketing playbook to maintain the consistency of your content across different formats.
10. Consider Readability
SEO articles that get the best ranking in the SERPs have a few things in common, and readability is one of them.
To be able to attract the attention of your users and Google itself, your content must be comprehensive, accessible, and skimmable. When readers land on a webpage, every element on that webpage must compel them to consume as much content as available.
Visitors who linger longer on a webpage registers well with Google. The time spent clicking through the content—to actual read time sends a signal to Google that the user has found your content relevant to the search query and that they found the information sought after. This signal refers to dwell time.
Readability results in longer dwell times because the content is considered clear, organized, logical, and simple to digest.
To be readable, your content should deliver all types of content in a way that is easy to understand. When more people understand your content, readers will stay longer and help with your Google rankings.
11. Invest in Visuals
Skyword research revealed that articles with relevant images get 94% more views than those without images. This is because we are drawn to images and are wired to respond to them, especially if the images are colorful and aesthetically pleasing.
But the impact of using relevant and high-quality photos in your content is much bigger than inserting a couple of overused stock photos. You need to ensure that you take the time to source images that relate to your topic. Your content will look more cohesive and authoritative with the right images.
12. Become an Industry Authority
Being seen as an expert takes more than publishing one or two articles about a certain topic. Experts provide unique content backed by thorough research and data. The key to trustworthy content is credible research with proper source credit or citations. Avoid plagiarism and give credit where credit is due.
You can also provide your own expertise by using authoritative techniques, such as providing the best and deepest answers to your market’s biggest problems or questions, in a consumable format. Authority content is a vital component of a content marketing strategy and it is one of the best ways to establish expertise in your industry.
The key here is to choose a relevant topic and perform deep research on the subject. You can also include case studies to show proof of experience in the industry. The content should present a depth of information beyond the surface level.
Authoritative content must define customer challenges and provide recommended solutions for the best ways to overcome them. Though many brands use this opportunity to talk about their products, it would be best to provide your audience with objective solutions that may or may not include your brand.
Anyone can provide authority-level content, however, incorporating industry-specific knowledge, expertise, experience, along with a unique point of view will elevate the content. And should influence readers to act or take the next step in their buying journey.
Final Thoughts on Content Marketing Tips
SEO and content marketing have a complementary relationship, and each one has a role to play in your overall digital marketing strategy. The best way to make Google and your users notice your content is by integrating SEO techniques into your content, but all this optimizing won’t have an effect unless your content is amazing. When SEO and content marketing work seamlessly together, you’ll be able to amplify the results of your efforts.
These content marketing tips will help you create a content marketing strategy that will engage your audience and bring more ROI.
If you need more content marketing tips to help boost your SEO efforts, Contact WriteForMe, and get started with some great content marketing strategies.