Whenever one talks about SEO, it can’t be helped that content marketing is also discussed. This has led to many people believing these two are actually the same thing. Some people also believe the opposite: that sooner or later one of these two will cause the death of the other. The truth, however, is this:
- SEO and content marketing are two entirely different things.
- There is no danger at all of one causing the death of the other.
- Content marketing complements SEO the same way ham complements cheese in a sandwich.
Why They Complement
Why do we say SEO and content marketing complement each other? Well, consider this: Will your site content really be any use to you if it doesn’t help drive organic traffic to your site? And what good are your SEO strategies if people don’t find valuable information on your site? Other than this, here are some of the best reasons why we say content marketing perfectly complements SEO:
1. The Google Panda
There used to be a time when SEO specialists took shortcuts and engaged in what is known as black-hat SEO practices. They would take a poorly-worded article, spin it as many times as they could, and then submit the versions to various article directories without regard to the needs of their intended audience. In fact, they don’t really have a target audience at all. They just wanted their websites to rank high on search results pages and get their target market to visit their site.
This tactic may have worked for a while, but people soon got tired of visiting a website only to find low-quality content they can’t really use. Google also caught on and started implementing a series of algorithm updates to penalize those who use black-hat SEO strategies. The Panda update, in particular, forced online marketers to rethink their content strategies. The update cracked down on sites that published poor-quality and duplicate content.
As a result of the Panda update, SEO specialists and online marketers started going back to the fundamentals. They realized that a successful SEO campaign now necessitates publishing high-quality content on their site. They also realized that content isn’t limited to text articles and started making use of videos and images in their content marketing strategies. To gain top rankings these days, you need to offer content that’s deemed valuable by your target market.
2. The Value of Content
As mentioned above, you shouldn’t limit your content marketing strategies to article marketing. It involves so much more than that. Content can come in the form of videos, infographics, memes, case studies, or even something as simple as a social media status update. (And yes, social media should definitely be part of your content marketing strategy. Offering valuable content not only on your official website, but also in a blog and in your social media pages helps you engage new leads and increase web traffic. It even helps you gain some valuable natural links.)
Think about it. Finding leads, boosting site traffic, building a natural link network; isn’t this the whole point of SEO? Can you imagine how successful you can be in promoting your brand when you create the kind of content that complements SEO?
3. Fine Tuning
Content creators and marketing experts may not really think about SEO at all. When they create and/or publish content these days, their focus is likely on making sure their target audience appreciates the content they put out. When you plan your content together with your SEO team, however, you’re bound to see even better results. The SEO specialists can help you ensure your content has the right set of keywords so you can make sure each piece of content you post pleases not just your audience, but search engines as well.
The SEO team can also help you determine where and when to post your content so as to gain maximum success. Remember as well that SEO specialists are very adept in getting data about the target market, which can help you in consistently coming up with content that’s sure to please your audience.
Combining Content Marketing with SEO
Now you know just how beneficial it is to complement your SEO efforts with your content marketing strategies and vice versa. It’s time to find out exactly how you can successfully make these two concepts work together.
1. Create the kind of content everyone would want to link to
When you focus on publishing content that contains fresh, interesting, and useful information, you’re able to ensure not only that your audience will want to come back for more of the same, but also that other industry players will want to link to your content. When those who are considered as authorities in your niche start linking to your content, you improve your chances of being deemed an industry authority as well.
In time, you may even catch the attention of Wikipedia and get them to link to your content. Why is this important? Well, have you noticed how Wikipedia ranks on top of practically all Google searches? When you get links from Wikipedia, therefore, you get the chance of earning relevant traffic from their site. There are those who get thousands of site visitors a month from Wikipedia clickthroughs. Wouldn’t you want to enjoy the same benefits?
2. Use keyword data to your advantage
Of course you need to create content based on the needs of your target audience. This involves not only giving them the information they seek, but also targeting the keywords and terms they’re likely to use when they do an online search. Google may be penalizing sites that resort to keyword stuffing, but this doesn’t mean you can’t insert a keyword or two in each piece of content you post.
Now, you may be concerned about Google’s “not provided” update, but that particular update really shouldn’t stop you. There are other ways for you to determine which keywords can successfully drive traffic to your site. Google Analytics, for one, can still be a very useful resource for finding out which keywords you should be targeting. You may also want to check Google Trends to make sure the topics you write about are still trending.
3. Think quality before quantity
Did you know that the average length of content that gets a web page to rank high on Google is 2000 words? This is why it is very important for you to focus on creating a few well-written in-depth articles, as opposed to churning out one short mediocre article after another. An analysis conducted by Moz has even concluded that in-depth content brings in more backlinks. As you well know, getting more backlinks increases your chance of ranking high on Google. As soon as you’ve mastered creating in-depth content of excellent quality, that’s the time you can start thinking about increasing the number of content pieces you publish on a regular basis.
4. Use guest posting wisely
There are some who say guest posting is dead, but that’s not really true. You can still use guest posting as a content marketing strategy, provided you know how. Guest post only on blogs that are related to your niche or industry, and NEVER guest post for the sole purpose of getting links. Although link building is undeniably one of the reasons for guest posting, providing valuable information to your audience should still be your primary goal.
Think of guest posting as a way for you to extend your reach beyond your own website or blog. It can also be a way for you to establish relationships with industry authorities and build your own reputation as an authority in the field. As a bonus, you’ll be sure to get the kind of links Google is likely to appreciate.
5. Don’t forget cross-linking
You don’t expect your website to remain stagnant as the years go by, do you? The number of web pages on your site will eventually grow as you continue to add content. Some of the content pieces you publish will likely complement each other and site visitors are likely to appreciate learning more than what they originally came to your website for. This is where the importance of cross-linking your web pages lies. As a bonus, cross-linking also increases your chance of ranking high on Google.
Content marketing and SEO are two different things. You can work on your content marketing strategy without giving much thought to SEO and you’ll probably do just fine. You could also work on your SEO campaign without really focusing too much on content and you could achieve a bit of success. But it’s when you design your content marketing and SEO strategies such that they work seamlessly together that you’re bound to see the best results. So make sure you content and SEO teams are perfectly in tune with each other so you’ll finally achieve the results you want.