A lot of content writers roll their eyes at the mention of SEO.
“Yes, sure, it’s important, but why do I have to butcher my sentences to make your keywords fit? Can’t you find a way to make the existing content work with your SEO strategy?”
“Look, this sentence needs to be structured this way; it just doesn’t work if I shorten it. I don’t care it’s not optimised!”
Others will just blink in confusion… aren’t they basically the same thing?
The truth is that both SEO and content marketing are vital for any digital marketing campaign. They complement each other well, and you almost can’t have one without the other. SEO demands content, and content needs to be optimised.
Let’s see what they are and how to ensure they work together effectively.
Let’s talk about search engine optimisation
This is a very broad term but, put simply, it’s a set of techniques that, if implemented correctly, increase the visibility of a web page to search engines. It can also ensure your content is visible to the right demographic when they type in a specific search term.
Organic search is the best way for people to discover online content, and SEO focuses on improving both the quality and quantity of traffic to your website. After all, just having a lot of people visit the website isn’t enough. They need to stay, engage with content, and do what you want them to. The more quality visitors you can attract, the greater the odds that you’ll see an increase in conversions.
SEO uses a diverse set of tools and techniques to improve the search engine ranking of a page. Everything from the proper placement of right phrases, tags and filenames of pictures, internal link structure, to file size, and backlink profile is important to a page’s search engine placement. And that’s far from an exhaustive list — new technologies and methods are constantly being developed and tasted. Not to mention frequent search engine algorithm updates that upend the game every few years.
Quality of content is increasingly important for SEO. It used to be all about backlinks and trying to “trick” search engines into ranking you high for specific keywords. However, the industry has evolved a lot since then. Good content has become incredibly important for anyone who wants their web pages to rank high in the long term.
Let’s talk about content marketing
Content marketing is a simpler term than SEO. It’s basically what it says on the tin: marketing using content. It’s a foundation of many different types of digital marketing campaigns. Blog posts can be shared on social media to put more eyes on it and increase engagement with the whole campaign.
The content needs to be well-written, readable, and interesting enough to keep the target audience’s attention. There are reams of articles dealing with this very topic, but it all depends on the audience and the purpose. Listicles, long posts with exhaustive information, and brief social media snippets with hashtags all have different applications.
However, while content needs to be good in order to be enjoyed or useful, it also needs SEO to achieve its full potential. It will maximise the number of people who see it and engage with it, and that’s what you should be aiming for.
A blend of the two
Content marketing and SEO can and should be used in concert. When one is not used with the other in mind, is when the trouble starts.
Content should be written with both the audience and search engines in mind. Without one of them, it can’t reach its full potential. So yes, your content needs to contain proper keywords, but they need to be used in a natural way that’s not going to harm its overall quality.
Keep in mind that you’re not pitting SEO and content marketing against each other. You’re improving the visibility of high-quality content with proven and well-executed SEO practices. A search engine needs to be able to figure out what the content is about and who might be interested in it. It does that with keywords and then proceeds to catalogue it accordingly.
In order to ensure your content is ranked in the right categories, you might want to break it into more specific fields, ensuring you give your audience what they want without watering it down. Overlapping content runs the risk of cannibalising the traffic you get and reducing the relevance of each individual page.
How do they work together?
We keep harping on this, but it bears repeating: your SEO and content need to work together. It’s the only way you can provide your prospects with relevant content that will keep their attention long enough for them to engage with it.
If your product or service is exceptional, people need to know about it. They’ll learn about it from your content. In order for your content to be seen by the right people, it needs to be optimised for search engines as a part of a larger digital marketing campaign.
And there you have it, you need to understand your audience, give them what they want, and ensure they know about it. This is not a simple process, it requires a lot of research, dedication, and hard work in order to develop the campaign, identify the target demographic, create the right content, and then place it in front of prospective customers.
It’s complex, and it requires a lot of knowledge and expertise, but when it’s done right, it definitely pays off.
If you’re having trouble with your digital marketing campaign, the EBS Marketing team would be more than happy to help out.