Consider a potential customer navigating the internet in search of your product. If your website consists only of product pages, there’s only one way in. SEO content marketing can create additional entry points to your website. By adding new access points, you increase the chances web browsers will stop in as they wander the web.
What is search engine optimization?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of tailoring your website to increase its ranking in organic search engine results. Search engines use bots, sometimes called spiders, to crawl websites and gain a general understanding of their content. The search engine then stores this data in a process known as indexing.
When a web user enters a query, a search algorithm flips through indexed pages and delivers results based on what it believes to be the best match. For a web page to be indexed properly, it needs to be written in a way that bots can understand.
Effective search engine optimization has both a technical and a content component. Structural elements of a web page, including its site map and its load speed, affect its search rankings (and, of course, a higher ranking means more traffic). In addition to optimizing these elements, website owners can practice good on-page SEO by writing content that includes keywords, proper title tags, internal links, and meta descriptions.
Elements outside of your site—like backlinks and external mentions—can also affect your search rankings. This is known as off-page SEO.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing involves creating content—often a short video or a blog post that lives on your website—that sparks interest for your product. This content is typically not a direct advertisement—it does not explicitly promote or sell a product. Instead, it spurs curiosity, provides information, and subtly shapes desires.
For example, if you own a novelty candle company, you may choose to create a blog post featuring 12 different birthday cake decoration ideas. Although this story does not directly sell candles, it could inspire a reader to make and decorate a cake with candles like the ones your business makes. Brands often use blogs and social media platforms as the foundation of their content marketing strategy.
Practicing content marketing creates more opportunities to interact with consumers. Instead of pushing sales in every email and post, brands can provide customers with an interesting story or helpful information. Effective content marketing can establish your brand as an authoritative voice in the industry and build deep relationships with customers.
SEO vs. content marketing
Content marketing refers to the creation of original web content designed to engage potential customers and increase your brand’s digital presence. Content marketing is a creative process managed by marketing, content, and social media teams.
SEO, or search engine optimization, on the other hand, is the art of fine-tuning web pages to increase search performance. Not all content created for content marketing is directly related to SEO. Some content, such as a short video published on Instagram, is unlikely to appear in search results but can still benefit your brand.
How do SEO and content marketing work together?
Original web content can help boost your website’s search rankings. Introducing blog content or creating additional pages with supplemental information creates additional entry points to your website. Publishing more content on your website is an opportunity to target additional keywords, including long-tail keywords (or specific phrases people search for), and appear in broader Google search results.
Imagine you own an ecommerce business selling raincoats for dogs. On its own, your website may rank for the search query “Where to buy raincoats for dogs.” However, this may not be the only term that potential customers search for related to your business. Your content team could choose to publish content focused on related search terms, such as “how to dry off a wet dog” or “what to do if your dog won’t walk in the rain.” Implementing this kind of SEO content writing will help direct potential customers to your webpage and ensure that they are aware of your product by the time they are ready to buy.
Benefits of combining SEO and content marketing
An effective SEO content strategy can help drive long-term success for your business. Here are some of the benefits of creating and optimizing high-quality content:
Appearing in organic search results can increase website traffic. Original content creation provides more opportunities for your target audience to discover your product via search. This can lead to increased conversions over time.
Customers who are ready to make a purchase may conduct searches for specific products. However, those who are still in the research phase are more likely to conduct broad, informational queries. Creating content that targets relevant keywords can help your brand reach customers in your target market who are further along the shopping pipeline. When they’re ready to make a purchase, they’ll already be familiar with your product.
Increase time on page
Populating your website with relevant content that complements product pages gives users a reason to stick around. Even if they aren’t immediately interested in making a purchase, consumers can spend time on your website reading material and learning more about your product. This can deepen their relationship with your brand and build loyalty.
How to set up an SEO content marketing strategy
Use these six steps as a guide to start your own SEO content marketing strategy:
1. Set goals
Set your content marketers up for success by establishing a clear set of goals. Goals for content marketing could include boosting web traffic by a specific number of page views per month, decreasing your bounce rate (a measure of how many visitors immediately leave your site), and ranking on the first page of search results for specific keywords.
2. Conduct research
Audience research, keyword research, and market research are all components of a good SEO strategy. Once you’ve identified your target audience, keyword research can help reveal SEO opportunities and identify which terms you should target. Using a keyword research tool can simplify this process. You may also choose to conduct competitor research. Understanding the terms that your competitors rank for can help inform your content strategy.
3. Create content
Brainstorm ideas and set up a content calendar. Be realistic about how many pieces you can create in a month or quarter. Aim to create high-quality content relevant to your brand and include relevant keywords.
4. Address technical SEO
Ensure your website includes the elements search engines use to index each page. Work with web developers to optimize your page’s performance, including loading speed. Free technical SEO tools, like Google Search Console, can help you find and address technical issues. Don’t forget about mobile optimization. More than half of web traffic comes from mobile devices, and poor mobile performance can reduce your website’s overall SEO success.
5. Publish content
Post content following best practices for on-page SEO. Include clear, relevant title tags, inbound links, and external links in each article.
6. Analyze performance
Stay up to date and use analytic tools to track your SEO success, monitoring how well your web content ranks for your target keywords. Keep track of your specific goals and adjust your strategy as you move forward.
SEO content marketing FAQ
Does SEO help with content marketing?
Practicing search engine optimization can help your team get the most out of its content creation efforts. With proper optimization, your website’s content will rank higher in search results and drive more organic traffic.
How does social media marketing overlap with SEO content marketing?
Social media marketing and content marketing are both built on a foundation of quality content. Social media content often includes posting photographs, videos, and short captions, while SEO content marketing requires longer blog posts and website content. Not all content posted to social media platforms will appear in search results.
How can I measure the success of my SEO content marketing efforts?
Your business can evaluate the success of its content marketing SEO strategy by monitoring website traffic and tracking relevant keyword rankings.
Is there an ideal content length for SEO purposes?
In general, longer content containing 800 words or more has a higher chance of ranking in search engine results. Longer content can include more keywords, and search engine algorithms are more likely to view long articles as valuable content.