It is every marketing specialist’s dream to finally reap the fruits of what they sow and be able to look at the exceptional ranking metrics of their websites. But having a website rank high on the search engine is not the easiest of tasks, especially if one doesn’t know how to execute a good SEO strategy.
Content marketing seems to be an integral component of any successful SEO strategy. Although considered two different types of marketing, they are two sides of the same coin.
When combined, these two offer endless opportunities for remarkable SEO results. While their fierce power might be undeniable, there are still people who lack the essentials to use the two to their advantage.
It is time to change that. In this post, we will be going over the gist of these two types of marketing and how to create thought-provoking quality content to rank higher on Google.
SEO in a Nutshell
Before we see how these two can work hand-in-hand to produce better results, let us bring to mind what they represent and the ways people use them to benefit their businesses.
For most businesses, websites are and will continue to be the primary source for generating leads, as well as building trust and connections with potential buyers and clients. The only downside is that the first pages of all search engines are available to only a select handful of websites.
Because of the limited opportunities and the fierce competition, getting on top is a long-term battle. By giving access to tools, instruments, and opportunities for experimentation, SEO made it possible for businesses to fight fair and square for getting on the first page of Google (or any of their preferred search engines).
Because of its ever-growing popularity, SEO continues to evolve daily, with new techniques and tools coming to the rescue. To make things neat and clean, we recommend splitting SEO into its four major “pillars”: On-Page, Off-Page, Technical, and Local SEO.
All of these groups target different metrics and share numerous responsibilities. For instance, working on the technical side of your SEO strategy is related to keeping the website mobile-friendly, building an intuitive navigation hierarchy, or making sure your website has impeccable speed and load time.
On the other hand, On-Page SEO is focused on optimizing the content on your websites. And this doesn’t cover just your blog articles. It is the procedure of optimizing every copy on your website top-to-bottom, including descriptions, metadata, headings, etc.
Different aspects of the On-Page SEO are:
- Taking care of metadata
- Keyword research
- Internal or external link building
- Image optimization
- Page formatting
The Essence of Content Marketing
Nowadays, it is more and more apparent to all of us that content is king. Content creation is all about engaging the customers and encouraging them to take action that is not necessarily about sales.
In fact, most content marketing strategies gravitate towards the different stages of the marketing funnel. They suggest using different types of content to answer the customers’ needs. For instance, while we can notice some sales elements in some articles, most blog posts aim to spread awareness and establish expertise.
Planning out what content to create for a website comes with its own set of difficulties. Figuring out the best approaches for content strategies is one of the roughest challenges marketing experts face. Should they develop a long-term content strategy or base it on trends and campaigns?
How do SEO and Content Marketing Overlap?
There are discussions concerning the position of content marketing in the marketing hierarchy. Is it a subcategory of On-Page SEO or another type of marketing on its own?
Regardless of your opinion on the subject, we can all agree that search engines are perpetually hungry for quality content.
There is no competition between these two areas. They work hand-in-hand to make any website visible to the target audience.
But how does this happen? Keywords are the connecting component between SEO and content marketing.
Every time someone uses the Internet to look something up, to find a business, or to get access to certain information, they type in relevant keywords. SEO experts then use different tools that help them find the most commonly used and valuable keywords of all.
These are the keywords to use for optimizing your content, so it will have a shot at ranking higher on the SERPs. Revolving your content around the appropriate keywords while keeping it unique and valuable will let Google know that you are the right fit to answer the searchers’ needs.
The more your content answers the searchers’ questions, the more likely it is for the algorithms to love your website.
However, being a great content writer is not as easy as it may initially seem. For instance, if your content is overstuffed with keywords, Google won’t want to rank your website higher. You have to use them judiciously.
Five Tips to Create SEO-driven Content
Albeit difficult and time-consuming, content creation is not an insurmountable obstacle. It is a creative process that requires lots of technical knowledge, as well as skills that you can acquire with training.
Don’t worry if you dislike your first article draft or the first homepage you create. Focus on the technical aspects of your content and how to improve those, so Google loves it instead.
Here are our tips that can guide you during the production of SEO-driven content.
Follow the Tone of Voice
When creating content for a website, be it blog articles, product descriptions, metadata, or other type of copy, always follow the brand’s tone of voice. While on your website, people will notice if your materials are consistent or not.
You can’t have formally written text on one page and catchy copy in a friendly tone of voice on the other. Identify your target readers, lock down your tone of voice, and create your content with both of these factors in mind.
Creating consistent content that resonates with the audience helps them have a better user experience (UX). A better UX will encourage them to spend more time scrolling through your pages. Average session duration is a metric that plays a crucial role in a website’s SEO performance.
Include Internal and External Links
Link building can skyrocket your SEO metrics. It doesn’t matter if you’ve just started your SEO journey or have been working hard on it for years.
Stop for a moment and consider putting links to your content, particularly your blog posts. The reason why link building is crucial revolves around appearing trustworthy and authoritative.
You can insert two different types of links into your content – internal and external. Linking to external sources from your website helps the search engines figure out your niche and even your SEO focal areas.
On the other hand, internal linking is all about redirecting the viewer to a reputable page of your website. Due to the more pleasant user experience, internal links help retain customers for longer.
Furthermore, they are responsible for building a logical hierarchy of your website. When you include internal links in your content, you help the algorithms crawl, find, and show your important pages and posts to the right target audience.
Check the Keyword Density
How do you know when you have used the right amount of keywords and have not overstuffed or understuffed your content? Measuring the keyword density can be a lifesaver when you create content.
Keyword density shows the exact number of times a particular keyword appears in a text as a percentage of the overall word count. Google hasn’t released any official statements with recommended keyword densities for different types of content, so you’ll need to use common sense and good judgment to get it right.
However, the amount of keywords you include should depend on the specific piece of text.
Some experts suggest that you can use a single keyword per every 200 words of text. Take this with a grain of salt.
You may be able to include more keywords without being sanctioned by Google, but don’t force them in your copy too much. Use synonyms and semantic variations as much as you can, to ensure that Google understands the context in addition to the keywords themselves.
Strive for a Longform Copy Whenever Possible
A lot of content creators swear by longform content for improving SEO performance. And it’s also accepted as fact in the SEO circles.
Why do SEOs line up behind this opinion? It seems that the algorithms like it as well, as they tend to rank content with larger word counts higher.
This comes as a pleasant surprise for content creators who, despite the additional efforts they need to put in, are huge fans of this practice. That is their one opportunity to include more keywords in their text.
Of course, the type of content is a huge factor on whether or not this works as intended.
After all, you can’t write 3,000 words worth of text for a product description. But you CAN write the same amount of words for an informational and detailed blog post on a valuable and/or complex topic.
Always consider the type of content you need to produce and what valuable information you have to share with the audience. If possible, go for longer word counts, but never force it artificially unless you want your ranking to suffer.
Optimize Your Content
The content creation process doesn’t end with finishing the last sentence of your text. Optimize all of your content pieces before publishing them on your website.
Proofread the Copy and Check for Accuracy
Double and triple-check your sources. Make sure you’ve used reputable sources and have cited them correctly.
Never forget to proofread your content to eliminate spelling mistakes or grammatical errors. Even if you are a native English speaker, it’s best to use spell check software to polish your final copy.
Ensure it’s Readable
Check the content’s readability score before go-live. This is an important step to take before finalizing any post or page.
There are many free software services that can evaluate the texts’ difficulty so that you make sure it is clear and easily understandable – both for the readers and the artificial algorithms.
For WordPress websites, the free Yoast SEO plugin comes standard with a readability analysis in addition to the SEO features.
Check for Plagiarism
Never publish duplicate content on your website. Not only is it disappointing for your readers to look at content that is nowhere near unique, but it will also negatively affect your ranking on the search engines.
The Importance of Content Revision
Outdated content won’t help your SEO. For your pages and posts to claim valuable positions on top of the SERPs, you need to generate the most relevant and engaging materials possible.
Remember to update your content pieces every so often, adding new information or removing stale and broken links.
Content revision is a necessary evil, so to say. It can be very time-consuming, especially when the content is so outdated that whole paragraphs need removing or rewriting.
In situations like that, some writers do the corrections manually, while others rely on the help of different artificial intelligence content generators.
Regardless of which approach you choose to optimize your content, never miss the opportunity to stay up-to-date.
SEO and content marketing are a pair like no other. Your SEO efforts drive traffic to your website, and your content efforts make people stay on your website and revisit it later. At the same time, you need content to drive traffic to a page in the first place.
So it looks like the relationship between the two is based on the perpetual battle for reaching people and engaging them with your business.
As long as you create SEO-driven content for your pages, you will fuel your SEO strategy for a successful ride to the top results on the search engine.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions stated in this post are that of the author, and Return On Now may or may not agree with any or all of the commentary.
Feature Image provided by the author under his or her own license.
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