In more ways than one, SEO and Content Marketing are two sides of the same coin. In this evermore digital world, content could not properly function without SEO and SEO would not exist without content.
For most non-marketing businesses, understanding (or even caring about) what SEO is or how it works in collaboration with your content may not rank high on your list of things to learn. And while you don’t need to become an expert, a basic understanding can help inform decisions around your content strategy.
After all, if you are going to use resources to create content, you might as well make sure you’re creating with purpose. Here is a super simple definition of SEO in a nutshell.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an algorithmic process used by all search engines such as Google or Bing to determine the order in which websites are presented on their respective results pages.
In other words, search engines use SEO to determine which websites are the most relevant and useful for certain search terms based on a number of factors. Google doesn’t reveal exactly what goes into rankings, but we know things like keywords, site structure, site speed, time users spend on a site, the number of inbound links to a site and their quality certainly play a significant role.
For many of my financial advisor clients, this actually couldn’t be better news. The financial industry is always relevant and you have plenty of useful information to share as it pertains to people’s personal finances. There is no shortage of topics you can cover with your business blog.
How to Create SEO-Minded Content
The way you structure your content and implement your content marketing strategy revolves around SEO (even if you’re not being intentional about it). A good understanding of this process will help drive organic results and raise your website’s overall ranking in the process. [bctt tweet=”Your content is there to attract and retain an audience, and SEO is used to bring that content to the right audience in the first place. They work together. ” username=”LMHinz”]
Your content is there to attract and retain an audience, and SEO is used to bring that content to the right audience in the first place. They work together. The more people that like your content, visit your content, share your content, the better its ranking will be and the higher up it will go on the results page.
To have a successful content strategy, create quality content that is both timeless and unique so that it sets you apart from your competition. Cover topics in your own original way. Pay attention to what your industry isn’t talking about, rather than echoing your peers. Not only will this attract and maintain your audience’s interest but it will also allow for a better indexation of your content and a potentially higher ranking overall.
And while proper SEO indexing takes some time, it is worth paying attention to as you create and publish new content on your website. The “index” includes not just the terms used in your website URLs, but also all of the content you publish on your website, including texts, images, videos, and basically everything within the HTML code of your URL. So make sure you’re titling everything according to the keywords in your content.
Valuable, evergreen content should see a constant influx of viewers over its lifetime, allowing your website to gain more traction long after you first publish it. If you’re keeping an eye on your website’s analytics, you’ll probably notice certain content remains the most visited. Creating timeless content that helps answer questions or contains searched keywords by your target audience is not just smart business, it’s essential for an effective content marketing strategy. [bctt tweet=”Creating timeless content that helps answer questions or contains searched keywords by your target audience is not just smart business, it’s essential for an effective content marketing strategy.” username=”LMHinz”]
Do you know what your ideal client wants information about as it relates to your area of expertise? If you don’t, diving into Google Keywords should be your immediate “to-do” item before you start or continue creating content.
Keywords & Linkbacks
Speaking of keywords, keywords and linkbacks define the strong bond between SEO and content. As a first step before creating content, understand who your audience is and what their interests are. Figure out what keywords they use when searching the internet for answers.
To get in touch with your audience, use those same keywords in your content to create a match. If you are too jargon-heavy in your terminology, for instance, your content may not reach its intended audience. Use the language your audience uses. For example, you may want to talk about the importance of an estate plan. But your audience could very well be searching for things like, “What happens to my house when I die?”
From the SEO’s perspective, links serve almost equal importance as keywords. It’s through these links that Google and other search engines can determine the relevancy and authority of any given piece of content. Yet, it’s not the links that you put in your content that matter so much (even though they do) but the number of times other websites refer to your own content that’s truly important. To get there, however, you will need to create original, high-quality content so those other websites find it and link to it in the first place.
SEO plays a crucial role in the development and implementation of a successful content marketing strategy. Content and SEO are different fields that require their own set of skills and knowledge. Nevertheless, effectively combining the two can result in your content reaching more of your intended audience. Doing this one thing better can make all the difference in your long-term content marketing success.