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The world of digital marketing has gone through so many changes over the years.
In the beginning, SEO was king. And then it was declared that SEO was dead. Then everyone agreed that SEO was not dead, but it has been dethroned; content was now king. But recently, there has been another consensus reached . . .
. . . the real king of digital marketing is an integrated approach towards SEO and content marketing!
If you truly want to succeed in online marketing, you’ll have to learn how to develop an SEO plan that revolves around content marketing. But first, you will have to understand exactly why it is important to give more focus to your content strategy.
What’s in it for you and how do you benefit from it? This is what we hope to clear up in this article.
Dominate Your Niche with Content Marketing
I’m sure you won’t argue when I say that if you want your brand to become a leader in the global market, then you have to dominate your niche. If your brand is deemed the best in your niche, then it could easily become one of the best in the entire market.
Now, did you know that one of the best ways to dominate your niche is to adopt an effective content strategy?
Here are some of the reasons why:
- SEO demands content.
Gone are the days when SEO is merely about using the right codes to land at the top of search results and stuffing your web pages with keywords so you’ll appear at every related search ever conducted. Gone are the days when SEO is all about getting more and more people to click through to your website.
Sure, you still want to land at the top of search results and you still want as many people as possible to visit your site, but it now takes a lot more than codes to achieve top search rankings and what’s more important than getting people to visit your site is getting site visitors to stay on the site for more than a few seconds.
Now guess what can help you attain top search rankings and get people to stay on your site longer? That’s right. High-quality content can. Search engines and people alike appreciate excellent content, and that is why SEO strategies tend to deliver better results when they involve excellent content writing services and an excellent content strategy in general.
- SEO demands keywords.
Your SEO efforts always begin with keyword research, right? There is no argument about the importance of keywords in SEO. You need to determine what the best keywords for your brand are, use them strategically, and track how you rank for them in search results.
The question is: How do you use the keywords you have identified? Why, you use it in your content, of course! You assign each keyword to a particular piece of content and then incorporate it strategically into the content. If you choose to hire article writers, you should instruct them to use keywords such that they flow naturally within the content’s overall narrative.
The use of the right keywords is the part where you strive to please search engines (SEO), while the act of ensuring that it flows naturally within the narrative is where you make sure your content is written with the intended readers in mind (content marketing). If you succeed in creating this balance, you’re on the right track.
- SEO demands links.
When authority sites and industry influencers link back to your content and your site, search engines develop greater respect for your site and your brand, and will likely reward you with much higher rankings. But gone are the days when you could simply buy links to claim the reward of high search rankings.
These days, the best way to get people, organizations, and brands of high authority to link to you is—you guessed it right—by consistently putting out top-notch content. When you hire a content writer who manages to provide you with consistently good material, people are likely to appreciate your content and share it with others on social media. When this happens, industry influencers and authority sites are bound to take notice.
They will likely check out your site and when they find that you have the kind of high-quality content they want to be associated with, they will most definitely link back to you even without being asked. This is why you have to make sure every piece of content you publish is worth linking to.
Now that you have a clearer understanding of why you need to make SEO and content marketing work together, it’s time to look at the how.
Ensure a Successful Integrated Approach by Changing Your Mindset
Many business owners and online marketers are already engaged in content marketing. So why is it working only for some and not for others? Well, the problem begins with the kind of mindset some people have as regards content marketing and SEO.
Even if you hire professional content writers to provide you with a steady stream of web content or pay for website content writing services, you still won’t be able to achieve success if you don’t have the right mindset for effective SEO and content marketing.
A Closer Look at SEO
Ask those who have failed at content marketing or SEO or in their efforts to consolidate these two concepts what SEO is to them, and many would likely give you an answer that shows they think of SEO as being all about website traffic, conversion rates, and revenue. Sure, these three are among the things you hope to improve when you engage in SEO, but they aren’t (or shouldn’t be) the end all and be all of SEO.
There is so much more to optimization than raking in traffic, converting visits to actual sales, and increasing your revenue. These days, there are four elements that help you ensure success in your SEO efforts, and these are:
- Determining what your target customers want and giving it to them.
- Communicating with website visitors even after they’ve left your site.
- Offering special discounts and/or rewards for immediate action.
- Developing a content marketing plan that uses highly-targeted content to ensure you pull in the right people.
What do you notice in those four key SEO elements? None of them is focused solely on traffic and/or clicks, right? Yes, traffic, clicks, and other tactical elements still need to be taken into consideration, but they benefit you most when you understand that they are just a small part of a much bigger plan.
A Closer Look at Content Marketing
Again, ask those who failed in content marketing or in coming up with an integrated SEO/content strategy what content marketing is to them, and you will likely get answers that show a lack of real understanding of what content marketing is supposed to be.
Many business owners and online marketers see content marketing simply as a more sophisticated or gentler way of marketing or selling their products/services. They look at it as just another way to promote a business or a brand. But that is exactly what content marketing is NOT!
Sure, effective content marketing leads to more awareness for your brand and ultimately to more sales and higher revenue for your business, but what you should be aiming for whenever you create content is not to “sell” but to inform, to reach out to your target customers, and to share stories that you know they’ll find interesting.
This may sound weird at best, but you could actually sell more of your products by NOT selling them!
When you focus on sharing relevant stories and providing valuable information, you will gain your readers’ trust, build a relationship with them, convert them into regular customers, and earn their loyalty. This is what will ultimately raise the value and authority of your brand.
In Conclusion . . .
Now you understand why your SEO efforts will never work without content marketing. Where SEO sets requirements, content marketing works to fulfill them. This is how they complement each other.
Before you sit down to adjust your strategies accordingly, let me leave you with these takeaways:
- No one can simply be an SEO practitioner or a content marketer these days. In order to succeed in digital marketing, you have to be both.
- An SEO campaign that fails to take content into account will fail. In the same way, a content marketing campaign that fails to take optimization into account will fail.
- The points at which SEO and content marketing overlap are the points you should be focusing on because it is when you succeed in those overlapping functions that you are able to generate the best digital marketing results.
- Strive to consistently create evergreen content because this is the kind of content that lasts. Even when your campaign is over, for as long as the evergreen content that was part of that campaign is on your site, the leads, the traffic, the sales, and the revenue will keep on coming.
- When you plan your content carefully and promote it properly, you will be able to leverage the true power of an integrated SEO/content marketing campaign.
Alone, SEO and content marketing are great. But together, they could be the best thing that ever happened to your business.