Learn how the content marketing game is changing and why SEO is still necessary for your marketing goals.
It was once believed that good SEO practices were enough to build an audience for a website, but marketers quickly learned that increased visibility alone wasn’t enough to create the readership they wanted.
This led to the (similarly misguided) belief that value-driving content was all a website needed to stand out and that SEO would soon fall by the wayside.
As the marketers of today are learning, neither of these statements are true—content marketing hasn’t replaced SEO, and SEO can’t match the engagement of high-quality content. Instead, the two are slowly combining into a marketing hybrid to achieve the best of both worlds. SEO and content marketing may have fundamental differences in their implementation—but they’re two sides of the same coin.
Percentage of Search Marketers that believe Content and SEO need to work together, from Conductor.
SEO and Content Go Hand-in-Hand
Your content and SEO work together to improve the effectiveness of your marketing. On the SEO side, this involves optimizing your keyword density, ALT tags, or sitemaps to supplement your content and help improve the outreach of your material.
For content marketing, the relationship comes from the fact that addressing the pain points of your readers with high-quality content will naturally lead to better search engine visibility. It’s not necessarily optimized for search—but will ideally provide enough value that readers will actively seek it out anyway.
Understanding the symbiotic relationship between content and SEO is essential for modern marketing success.
Improving the Synergy of Your Marketing
Though content marketing and SEO follow different paths, they have the same end goal—better and more effective outreach for your material. New opportunities are developing that allow marketers to improve their SEO impact and content all at once.
Be Original—Creating original content helps your SEO value by giving search algorithms unique terms to index, helping you stand out from the crowd (and be more useful for your readers). When you offer content that can’t be found elsewhere, SEO value and increased traffic come as a matter of course.
Importance of page length in search position, from SerpIQ
Be Timeless—Evergreen content can greatly enhance the impact of your SEO, provided that the information included drives continual engagement over time. Google has recently begun prioritizing articles they consider to be in-depth, meaning that lengthy content that attracts authority-adding backlinks will appear first in organic search. Research by SerpIQ confirmed this by revealing that the average length of pages in the top 10 organic search results have 2,000 words or more—with the highest ranking pages providing the most value-driving content. Take advantage of this and create cornerstone content that will provide value to your readers for years.
Do Research—Keyword research helps guarantee that your content gets exposure. The goal here is to increase the impact of your writing without breaking your back creating endless amounts of content. Using the right keywords in your URLs, headings, and metadata is just as essential now as it was in the old days of SEO. Do your homework on what terms are being searched for by users in your industry, and include those keywords in your content.
- Remember that keyword research isn’t a “set it and forget it” goal—for the most impact, you’ll need to keep up with your research and see what terms deliver the best returns on traffic and engagement. These will likely change over time, making it essential that you update your content every so often.
Link it—Few concepts demonstrate the interconnected nature of content and SEO better than link building for SEO value. Quality content attracts backlinks—links increase the authority of your website during indexing, and cause your page to rank better in search. This draws more viewers to your page, which creates more opportunities for links, and so on. This cycle that can yield big improvements to your content traffic and page authority over time.
Putting the Pieces Together
With its continual Penguin and Panda algorithm updates, Google is becoming increasingly efficient at judging the relevancy of a piece of content for its target market. The days of black-hat SEO tricks are over—but that doesn’t mean that SEO is dead. It only means that its role has changed in how we’ll consider content marketing in the future.
Content and SEO are two wings of your marketing plane: you can’t have one without the other. While it may seem like these are occasionally competing goals, it’s certainly possible to produce high-quality content while still maintaining SEO value. All it takes is a bit of research, originality, and quality material to see the impact that content-driven SEO can have on your marketing goals.
What other ways have your marketers combined SEO and content marketing to provide high-quality material for your readers? Let us know in the comments below!