Engagement, Not Keywords: The Merging of SEO and Content Marketing

SEO used to be pure science. Earning high search rankings meant striking the right keyword density, maximizing backlinks and making sure each element of your website was as optimized as possible. Recently, though, the nature of SEO has shifted. Content relevance is in, and keyword density is out. What does this paradigm shift mean for business owners? That’s what we’ll review in this post.

Although content marketing and SEO are different beasts, the two are undeniably intertwined. To illustrate this relationship, consider the benefits of maintaining a blog and sharing posts on Facebook. Your Facebook followers might share your posts, and links might be reposted on forums, in the media or on personal websites. This widens the exposure of your brand, increasing the chances of organic clicks when your website appears in search results.

Also, with a good content marketing strategy you’ll be creating content that’s hyper-relevant to your customers’ needs. For example, if you owned a roofing business, you’d generate content in the spring about how to clean moss-covered shingles. Content that’s both timely and compelling is far more likely to be indexed and clicked in addition to being shared on social media or picked up by other sources.

And this is where content marketing and SEO collide.

All those additional likes, shares, views and clicks that come from content marketing result in a slew of favorable SEO signals. A solid content marketing strategy leads to lower bounce rates, more quality backlinks, higher-quality pages being indexed and an overall increase in your website’s credibility.

Tips for Shaping Your Content Marketing Strategies

Crafting a content marketing strategy might seem overwhelming, but this is a must if you want to maximize your website’s SEO. These tips can help you shape your content marketing efforts:

1. Use Google Analytics.

With Google Analytics, you can see how people arrive at your website and how different types of content drive their behavior. Did a certain blog post cause more people to view specific parts of your site, or did one of your Facebook posts result in a spike in leads or purchases? Keeping close tabs on analytics data can help you discover your most effective content strategies.

2. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes.

Are you creating content for all of your customers’ needs? If you’re only using your blog to promote sales and special offers, then you’re probably failing to connect with people who are researching which goods and services to purchase.

3. Find out what your customers want.

Your customers are your best sources of information for the most relevant consumer trends. Never stop listening to them. Talk to them in your store and read (and respond to) their comments on social media. You could even follow up on purchases with quick email surveys.

4. Give Your Content a Purpose

Marketing isn’t worthwhile if it fails to yield results. That’s why each piece of content you create should have a predetermined goal. Are you hoping to expand the audience of your blog? Add to your Facebook followers? Drive sales of a new product? Setting measurable goals will help to ensure a positive return on your content marketing investment.

Conclusion

The old rules of SEO aren’t obsolete. Far from it, in fact. Many of the SEO signals that were valuable 10 years ago are still important today, all the way from building up backlinks to optimizing your title tags, headers and meta descriptions.

That said, your SEO won’t fully thrive without a carefully planned, well-executed content marketing strategy. Content marketing requires an ongoing effort — there’s no shortcut for holding people’s attention in today’s fast-paced world of social media and in-the-moment smartphone searches — but the payoffs of good content marketing outweigh the costs.

Want more tips to improve your SEO?  Click here to grab your copy of our Ultimate SEO Checklist.

Learn even more about the convergence of technology and branded content at the FUSE Enterprise summit. Artificial intelligence and personalization will be featured among many other techniques and technologies.

Author: Phil Frost

Phil is Founder and COO of Main Street ROI. Phil leads the company’s operations and is primary creator of Main Street ROI’s marketing training programs. He is an expert in search engine marketing, website analytics, and sales funnel optimization. Phil’s marketing thought leadership has been published on Forbes.com, Inc.com, MSN.com, and many other major business media outlets.

Phil earned his Master of Engineering Management degree from Thayer School of Engineering and Tuck School of Business and his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Engineering degrees from Dartmouth College. While attending Dartmouth, Phil started every game on the varsity football team as the defensive safety.

Want more SEO tips? Get your free copy of Phil’s Ultimate SEO Checklist. Want more AdWords tips? Get your free copy of Phil’s Ultimate Google AdWords Checklist.

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