Many small business owners are bombarded with an overwhelming amount of information regarding how to market their business online. If you haven’t already heard of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or Content Marketing, these two strategies are often explained as completely separate methods to market your business but that is far from the truth. Even though SEO and Content Marketing are two very different disciplines they often overlap and create amazing results when combined.
So let’s start by explaining the two and how they relate.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is all about building trust, authority, and relevance. This is built by having relevant high-quality content and backlinks from reputable sources and it all begins with keyword research. This is because keywords are what ultimately drive qualified traffic to your site and will set the foundation for the rest of your SEO features and website content. It is also these keywords that will help make your site easy to find by search engines and will market the value that your website has to offer.
As you can already tell, SEO requires content; it demands it and Content Marketing supplies it. Content is anything that communicates a message to an audience and can take many forms like text, blog posts, product pages, pdfs, videos, forums, and more. Content Marketing is the use of that content to help meet a marketing goal for your organization. Content and SEO are interrelated, without one your efforts on the other may go unnoticed. For example, your keyword research won’t have much of an impact unless you use those keywords throughout your content. Creating content without knowing what your audience wants is like driving blind and will result in very little traffic that may not even be interested in what you are offering. Beyond that, high-quality content is what earns you backlinks, and it’s also what search engines crawl when they arrive at your site. This will increase your websites domain authority which will then result in higher visibility and ranking
SEO helps your content rank higher and longer by strategically placing keywords throughout your content and your website’s code. Ranking refers to the process search engines use to determine where a particular web page should appear on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). When your page shows up organically on the first page of SERPs it is more likely to be clicked on and trusted by audiences compared to results generated through paid advertising. SEO is one of the only online marketing strategies that can continue to pay off over time and is more effective for local searches because it can grow your online presence even after the work is done.
This is because of the snowball effect, every piece of content you publish will be given a bit of “page authority”. Over time high-quality content will collect more backlinks and social shares and its authority will grow. This is because the authority has a trickle effect, a small amount of authority from one page can trickle down to pages linking to it. So, if you publish a blog and link it to a key website page, that key website page gets a small increase in page & domain authority. Meaning that the more content you publish, the more authority you have to play with, the more the pages you link to get authority, and your entire domain increases in authority. Over time authority will build and the amount of traffic to your website will increase without continuous funding.
As mentioned above, good content improves your SEO efforts by driving more links to your website, this is because creating and sharing relevant content allows your target audience to learn more about your brand, expertise, products, and services will attract those who are genuinely interested in what you have to offer. This increases your organic search traffic and your website’s visibility and rankings. This is especially important because, according to Hubspot’s research, organic search equates to 94% of all web traffic, and the first 5 organic results in the SERPs account for 67.6% of all clicks. This means that if your webpages are not at the top of search results, or at least on the first page, you are losing clicks, leads, and sales to your competitors.
Content marketing can only be successful if it is combined with SEO best practices. Your content will never accomplish any of your marketing goals unless people can find it and in order to get found you need SEO. By combining your content marketing and SEO efforts you’ll find that you are able to increase your qualified search traffic at a faster pace. These two strategies are very important on their own, but bringing these them together can better fuel your online success.