By now you should already have realized that SEO and content marketing, while two different strategies, aren’t completely exclusive of each other. By now you should already have realized that in order to bring out the best in your online marketing campaign, you need to carefully weave SEO and content marketing strategies together. High-quality content ensures that your SEO efforts aren’t wasted, and the implementation of SEO best practices helps you bring your content in front of the right kind of people.
So, now that you’ve realized how futile it is to keep wondering whether you should focus more on SEO or on content marketing, the challenge for you is to strike a balance between these two strategies. You will have to learn how to create what is known as SEO content, as this is the kind of content that’ll steer your online marketing campaign towards success.
What Is SEO Content?
Before we get down to the how of creating high-quality SEO content, you should first get a clear understanding of what SEO content really is. Towards this end, let us break the term down into its two components: SEO and content.
SEO – the process of optimizing websites such that it is easy for people to find on search engines such as Google
Content – any piece of information posted on the Internet for the consumption of Internet users
SEO content, therefore, is any piece of web content created specifically to attract traffic from search engines. It is the kind of content that appeals both to people and search engines. Remember, the ultimate goal is not only to get high search rankings and earn search traffic, but also to please your target audience.
Types of SEO Content
SEO content isn’t limited to full text articles, and full text articles aren’t limited to just one type. Here are the types of SEO content you can fill your website with:
1. Articles – This can be anything from a feature piece, a niche-related news item, or an interview with an industry influencer. Check out magazine-style websites; this is the kind of content you’ll likely find.
2. Blog Posts – Most businesses do not just have an official website, but also a blog site. That is because people are more likely to follow blogs than visit business websites. A blog is one of the best ways for you to build authority for your website because it allows you to engage with your audience and is likely to attract more links. Blog posts can be any type of content, provided it is engaging, relevant, and informative.
3. Directories – This is an article that contains a number of useful links to resources related to a particular topic. For example, if you maintain a blog about travel, you could draw up a list of the best resorts/hotels to stay in at a particular destination, with links to their websites.
4. Glossaries – People these days hardly use a dictionary. When there are terms they do not understand, they turn to Google. If you happen to operate a business that belongs to a highly-specialized niche or industry, you could capture some really healthy traffic by publishing a comprehensive glossary.
5. Guides – A guide is a how-to article that provides details on doing certain things. You have the option of posting a full guide on your site or simply posting a summary and then providing the full guide to visitors who fill out a subscription or registration form. Note, however, that while a registration form can be a good way to generate sales leads, it can also reduce the amount of traffic you drive to your guide.
6. Infographics – These are images that contain valuable data, usually presented in bulleted format. If you choose to use this type of content, remember to carefully optimize the web page as a whole because the text on the image cannot be read by search engines.
7. Lists – Surely you’ve seen this kind of content many times before. Whenever you do an online search, there’s bound to be at least one result with this kind of title: “Top 10 Ways to…” or “Top 5 Places to…” People are more likely to click on this kind of title and read the whole post for the simple reason that a list is very easy to scan.
8. Product Pages – If you maintain an e-commerce website, then this type of content is the bread and butter of your site. You have to make sure your product pages are as attractive to your target market as your blog and other web pages are.
9. Slideshows – A slideshow can be the perfect way for you to present related images. If you run an apparel business, for example, and you want to show the trends for the upcoming season, you may do so in slideshow form. Just like an infographic, it is important to properly optimize the title, file name, captions, etc. of your slideshow because search engines cannot read the images you present.
10. Video – Search engines are placing a higher value on video content these days, primarily because people typically prefer watching videos to reading lengthy, full text articles. Videos are more likely to get shared across the web. You can create videos illustrating business-related processes or demonstrating how to use your products.
How to Write Excellent SEO Content
So, how exactly do you make sure your content appeals t both your target audience and search engines? The good news is that it’s not really as difficult as you may think. All you need to do is make sure your content offers real value to your audience and you incorporate the right keywords in it. That should take care of 90% of what’s needed to attain success for your online marketing efforts. Now, what about the remaining 10%? Here are a few tips that should help get you there:
1. Choose interesting and relevant topics.
No matter how carefully you optimize your content, it isn’t likely to bring you much success if the topic covered is uninteresting to begin with. No one’s going to do online searches for topics that are passé or things that have no relevance to them. Test your chosen topic on family and friends. If they don’t find it interesting, do another round of brainstorming.
2. Write excellent titles.
Whenever someone conducts an online search, the titles are the first things they see on search results. If your title doesn’t catch your target audience’s attention, your content won’t be able to do anything for your business. It’s a good idea to incorporate your main keyword in your title, as long as it reads naturally and still makes the title catchy.
3. Format your content for readability.
Most people who search for information on the Internet are busy, on-the-go individuals. They seldom read online content in full. Rather, they just skim through it. When you create web content, therefore, make sure it is easy to skim through, whether you’re writing a full text articles or creating an infographic. If you’re creating video content, make it as short and to-the-point as possible.
4. Include links.
If there are related or relevant content in other pages on your website, link to those pages. This will help get people to stay on your site for longer periods. It will also make site visitors appreciate your site even more. Wherever possible, link to external sites of high authority as well. This will help improve the authority of your own site.
5. Be careful of your keywords.
While keywords are important for earning good search rankings, overdoing them can get you penalized with non-existent rankings, so be very careful when using keywords. Incorporating your main keyword once or twice in a single piece of content should be enough. Your content should only be guided by your keywords, not filled to the brim with them.
6. Don’t forget your call to action.
Yes, web content is meant to provide valuable information. But more than that, it should also help you accomplish your overall business goals, which logically includes generating more sales and revenue. After consuming a particular piece of content, what do you want a site visitor to do? Read more content on your site? Visit your blog? Follow you on social media? Check out your products? It wouldn’t hurt to ask them outright to do just that towards the end of the content.
7. Always create a Meta description.
Other than the title, search results also show the Meta description of your content. This is essentially a quick summary of the content and tells the user exactly what your content is all about. Make your descriptions as catchy and interesting as your titles to maximize the chance of a user clicking through to your site.
By learning how to weave SEO and content marketing strategies together, you can increase your site traffic exponentially. So stop listening to the old SEO vs. content argument and start using both to achieve your business goals NOW.