Content marketing is a proven strategy for creating brand awareness, increasing trust and offering value to your target prospect.
There is no content marketing without SEO, and this is because your content is likely discovered on search engines, so you need SEO to get your content seen.
On the flip side, SEO needs content marketing too. Most digital marketers will agree with me that there’s no on-page SEO without content because you need content to perform keyword optimization, build links and create meta tags.
With this understanding, we can claim that there is a mutual relationship between content marketing and SEO that you should consider in your strategy.
But how easy Is it to integrate both content marketing and SEO into your strategy?
This article offers a simple, yet, valuable technique for integrating SEO into your content marketing.
By the end of this read, you should have a clear idea of how you and your team can create better content and win Google’s heart.
There is no quick way to get results in content marketing, the strategies listed below require your effort and empathy for searchers' queries.
The rule of thumb here is to always create content for your target audience, not search engine bots.
Content marketing is all about sharing relevant content to make life easy for your prospects, the reward you get in return is brand trust, web traffic and more sales.
This concept is very simple, avoid other complications with your content strategy.
Here are my best strategies that combine content marketing and SEO for better results.
User intent Is often ignored in the content creation process of most brands.
If you are not studying the user intent behind the contents you create, then you are missing out on the real deal, let me show you what you’re missing.
Let’s take this topic for example, “how to integrate content marketing with SEO” your intent for reading this article involves…
Now, your intent for reading this article will certainly fall on one of those options, which means you have an idea of what you should expect from reading this article.
Imagine I started this blog post with the history of content marketing, the definition of SEO and other information unrelated to the initial user intent?
You will leave this page and swear never to read any content from bloom media again.
That’s exactly the way your audience will feel whenever you create a blog post without understanding their true intent.
We covered a section of user intent in our SEO for beginners’ guide but we’ll go deeper here.
The first step to understanding user intent is knowing your audience and how they search on Google.
A brand with an audience report or buyer persona is a brand with a better content marketing strategy and a brand with a higher chance of creating valuable content.
Creating a customer report will offer clarity on what your prospects want from you.
A customer report takes into account all the psychographic and demographic data of your potential customer, details like:
Thoughtfully feeling these data with the right information will give you a clear perspective of your audience's needs.
Next is to understand how your prospect input queries on a search engine.
There are three main types of prospects on a search engine:
The primary user intent behind the awareness stage is discovery. Contents like how-to guides, listicles and other educational content are grouped under the awareness stage.
Have in mind that your audience expects to learn exactly what you promise in your headline or hook.
They will detest you if you use click baits (headlines filled with promises that don’t deliver).
Your go-to source for content ideas is the contents already ranking at the top SERP of the query you intend to create.
Study what they are talking about and create more in-depth content, this practice is important for SEO too.
Another organic way to get new content ideas is by asking your audience.
Create short surveys or polls on your social platform to discover what your audience cares about.
You can also join online forums and open communities to study the posts with the highest interactions.
In this stage, users aren’t looking to learn the basics of a query anymore, they are now interested in getting specific details about a topic.
This is where a prospect is likely to think about buying an offer, create value-focused content and strategically add internal links to your landing page. Examples of articles in the interest stage include product reviews and case studies.
The user intent behind the decision stage is no other than to make a purchase. At this stage, the searcher’s primary intent is to get the best product or service before making a buying decision.
The best way to close sales for this category is to find out the key terms your audience uses when searching for the product or service you offer.
Sometimes searchers already have a preferred brand in mind. This happens when a brand consistently feeds its audience with quality content. This is why you need to be consistent in your content creation.
Your content marketing strategy is completely useless if you’re not consistent with your content creation.
Optimizing keywords at the right places of your articles still works.
Even with the steady algorithm updates made by Google’s algorithm software. Google will continuously depend on keywords to understand a page.
As a small business new to SEO, optimizing keywords with high search difficulty will only attract a lesser amount of traffic because the big brands in your industry are already competing for these keywords.
Your best bet is looking out for long-tail keywords with a decent search volume.
These are SEO tools I now rely on for my keyword research.
Note: We are not affiliated with any of the SEO tools mentioned above, they are tools I have used and deem fit for this post.
We get this question from brand owners and content creators all the time. Yes, there are strategic places you can input keywords but this shouldn’t be abused at all.
Putting keywords in these places makes it easier for search bugs to discover what your content is about (indexing).
See the best sections here:
The simple truth most marketers don’t know is the danger of mass-producing incompetent content all over their websites.
This is a dangerous strategy and should be frowned upon because you will end up losing customer loyalty.
The last thing you want is to get your business marked for half-baked, shallow content by your audience and Google.
Always remember your brand content before your brand name, service or product.
Most times, your content is the first interaction people make with your brand.
Don’t hurry to hit publish. Take the necessary time
needed to create the best content that will solve real problems for your prospect.
This is why you need to invest in a professional value-oriented content agency or make sure you hire a competent content writer for your business.
Your content is too important to be controlled by an amateur.
You put your brand at huge risk whenever you allow shallow content with no value.
Pillar content is a wiki-style content flow where you break down broad content topics into bite-sized articles, guides, ebooks, infographics, videos or webinars.
Focusing on pillar contents will do the following for your marketing:
Make people see your brand as a specialist in that area/topic
Provide all necessary information to your audience, and prepare them for making a buying decision
Make Google see you as an expert and increase your chance of ranking for that content topic
Improve your internal link structure
An article published by upland software defines a content pillar as a “substantive and information piece of content on a specific topic or theme that can be broken into many derivative sections, pieces and materials.”
In the earlier days of marketing, creating pillar content was an option. Now, you can’t avoid it.
Think of it this way, the same way you’d niche down your brand to specific services for targeting, that’s the same way you should niche down your content creation to specific topics relating to your brand.
I am a huge fan of creating pillar content, my favourite SEO brand—Search Engine Journal—does this a lot. You’ll always see their contents appearing on the SERPs.
If there’s one vital lesson we’ve learnt in recent years, then that should be the ever-evolving wants of our target prospects.
This taught us to always monitor our content KPI to learn about our customer’s interests. There might be flaws in your content strategy if you’re not keeping tabs on your content performance.
You need to be in the know of what your customers want by looking at trends, checking bounce rate, average page time and other metrics with content analytic tools.
You need both SEO & content marketing to compete for relevance in your industry. If you integrate both strategies into your marketing, then you can compete for relevance with the bigger dogs in your industry.
Remember, both strategies focus on users, SEO is all about creating relevant content with an excellent user experience, not writing for lifeless crawl bots that don’t have needs.
Also, content marketing is all about sharing what your audience wants, not what you feel like creating.
Go out there and produce the best content your industry has ever seen.
Hiring cheap content creators will only do you more harm than good, the peak responsibility of an entrepreneur or marketing lead is making the best hiring decision for your business.
Chuks Wesley is a Website Content/Copywriter that has been fascinated with marketing and SEO since 2018, he spends most of his waking hours consuming marketing reports, blog posts and books on these topics. He is also a certified SEO expert.