How to Make Content Marketing and SEO Your Best Marketing Tools
Are you looking for ways to improve your marketing to grow your business? If so, implementing a combination of content marketing and SEO could be exactly what you need. These techniques can help you reach new customers, improve your brand visibility, and increase your sales.
Because some marketers use the terms content marketing and SEO almost interchangeably, let’s set the stage with some definitions. These definitions will also make the discussion about using the techniques together simpler.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach that involves creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience which is hopefully comprised of a bunch of your ideal clients. The ultimate goal of content marketing is to drive purchases of your products and services and/or establish you as a thought leader in your industry.
The content you need to create can take many forms. Some to consider include blog posts, videos, social media posts, and e-books. Whatever you choose to create, it should be informative, engaging, and offer value to your audience.
Why is Content Marketing Important?
We’re bombarded by ads and promotional messages everywhere we look. According to Siteefy, at the beginning of 2022, the average person saw about 10,000 ads per day! (And this was double what the average person was exposed to in 2007.) My guess is the numbers are even higher today. So, it probably doesn’t come as a surprise that traditional marketing techniques are losing their effectiveness.
Content marketing is a softer sell than traditional marketing. It doesn’t clammer for attention as ads do. Instead, it offers answers to questions and advice. It’s more subtle.
And when done well, content marketing allows you to connect with your market on a deeper level. By establishing trust and credibility through the valuable information you provide, your target market will be more likely to engage with you. This can lead to increased sales, brand loyalty, and improved customer retention.
How to Implement Content Marketing?
Although there’s a lot to implementing a content marketing campaign, here are the basic steps:
Define your target audience/marketBefore creating any content, you need to understand your target audience. Who are they? What are their interests? What problems do they have that you can solve? Once you know your audience, you can create content that speaks directly to them.
Choose the right channelsThere are many channels you can use to distribute your content. Your choice of channel(s) will depend on your target audience and the type of content you create. Some popular channels include social media, email marketing, blogs, videos, and podcasts.
Create valuable contentThe content you create needs to be valuable and relevant to your target audience. It should offer solutions to their problems, answer their questions, or entertain them. Note that I didn’t say your content should be a bunch of sales pitches because this shifts to focus from your target audience to you. This can be a difficult messaging shift for many businesses to make.
And when you’re creating content, you want to make sure people will want to pay attention to it. Try using storytelling, humor, and other creative techniques to engage your audience.
Consistency is keyConsistency is crucial in content marketing. You need to create and distribute content at regular intervals on the specific channels you’ve chosen. By being predictable, you establish trust with your audience. One way you set yourself up for success with consistently publishing content is to create a content calendar.
Now let’s shift focus to SEO.
What is SEO or Search Engine Optimization?
SEO is the practice of optimizing your website and content so it appears toward the top of search pages. Ideally, you want it to appear right under the ads so people can more easily find your business when they’re searching for information related to your industry, products, or services.
You’ll often hear people explain it with a bit more jargon. Something more along the lines of ranking higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), but it means the same thing.
Why is SEO Important?
SEO can help attract highly targeted traffic to your website. When someone’s searching for something related to your business, they’re often highly motivated to take action. And that action can be anything from making a purchase, signing up for your email list, or filling out a contact form.
SEO can also help you establish your business as a credible authority.
How to Optimize Your Website and Content for SEO?
Again, there’s a lot more to it than I can cover here, but these are the basics:
Conduct keyword researchBefore you can start optimizing your content, you need to know what keywords and phrases your target audience is searching for. Use a keyword research tool like SEMrush, Ahrefs, or Majestic to identify relevant keywords and incorporate them into your content.
Optimize your website structure and functionMake sure your website is organized in a logical, easy-to-navigate way. Use descriptive page titles and meta descriptions to give search engines a clear idea of what each page is about.
And for goodness sake, make sure your site functions well on a mobile device. These days most people search on their phones. That’s not true for every industry, but it’s true enough that Google will penalize sites that don’t work well on mobile.
Create high-quality, optimized contentWhen creating content, make sure it’s high-quality, informative, and optimized for your target keywords. Use header tags, meta descriptions, and other on-page SEO elements to help search engines understand what your content is about.
You probably noticed that implementing SEO and implementing content marketing share a common step: creating high-quality content. This is why many people will talk about the two distinct marketing approaches interchangeably. And it’s this commonality that makes the combination of the two approaches incredibly effective.
How Can You Use Content Marketing and SEO Together to Maximize Your Marketing Efforts?
Here are a few powerful ways to maximize your marketing efforts:
Use content to target specific keywordsOne of the most powerful ways to use content marketing and SEO together is to create content that targets specific keywords. By doing keyword research and identifying high-volume, relevant keywords related to your business, you can create content that’s optimized for those keywords, making it more likely that your content will rank higher in search engine results pages.
For example, let’s say you’re a therapist who specializes in working with couples. You might do keyword research and identify “couples therapist,” “marriage counselor,” and “couples counselor” as high-volume, relevant keywords. You could then create blog posts, social media content, and product or service descriptions that include those keywords, making it more likely that people searching for those terms will find your business.
Create content that’s optimized for featured snippetsFeatured snippets are a special type of search result that appears at the top of Google’s search results pages, providing a quick answer to a user’s query. Featured snippets can be incredibly valuable for driving traffic to your website, as they often appear above traditional search results.
To optimize your content for featured snippets, focus on creating content that answers specific questions related to your business or industry. Use header tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) to break up your content into digestible sections, and include bulleted or numbered lists when possible. By creating content that’s optimized for featured snippets, you’ll increase the likelihood that your content will be featured at the top of search results pages.
(In case you haven’t noticed yet, this post is a great example of one that’s been optimized for featured snippets.)
Create shareable content to build backlinksAnother way to use content marketing and SEO together is to create shareable content that other websites will want to link to. Backlinks, or links from other websites to your website, are an important factor in SEO. They signal to search engines that your website is authoritative and valuable.
To create shareable content, think about what types of content your target audience is likely to share. This could be informative blog posts, infographics, or even videos. Make sure your content is visually appealing, easy to understand, and provides real value to your target audience.
Once you’ve created your shareable content, reach out to other websites in your industry and ask them to link to it. You can also share your content on social media and other platforms to increase its visibility and encourage others to link to it.
Use content to build relationships with your audienceFinally, content marketing and SEO can be used together to build relationships with your target audience. By creating high-quality, informative content, you can establish your business as a thought leader in your industry and build trust with your audience.
To do this, focus on creating content that provides real value to your target audience. This could be in the form of blog posts, white papers, or even webinars. Make sure your content is informative, easy to understand, and provides real solutions to the challenges your target audience is facing.
Once you’ve created your content, share it on social media and other platforms to increase its visibility and encourage engagement. Respond to comments and questions from your audience to build relationships and establish your business as a trusted resource.
Content marketing and SEO are two powerful tools that can help you reach new customers, establish your brand as a thought leader, and grow your business. By using these tools together, you can create a powerful marketing strategy that will help you take your business to the next level.