Guest post by Sam Allcock.
Content marketing and SEO are often written about and addressed separately. But both are actually essential, and work in tandem as part of a broad web presence optimization (WPO) strategy.
There have been theories surrounding Google’s algorithm that question if content marketing as important as people think it is for a business’ rankings for years, but there’s no doubting that efficiently marketing quality copy is beneficial to any SEO strategy.
There are many ways in which you can combine content marketing with SEO for more search traffic, but what effect can it actually have on your rankings and why is an integrated strategy beneficial to your business?
Here are a few distinctions between content marketing and SEO, as well as the effect they can have on your online visibility.
What is the difference?
Although your business may experience slight benefits from using separate SEO and content marketing strategies, each have their own respective differences.
Technical SEO is tailored more toward on-site changes that can enhance your chances of appearing higher in natural search results. Efficient use of meta data, URL addresses and sitemaps all fall under this category and can help to naturally increase your chances of naturally appearing high in search results.
Content marketing is broader than this and can take many different forms. It usually spreads across a variety of websites and is best done when receiving “earned” editorial links from reputable websites. This is accomplished through writing, distributing and sharing articles from your site to others.
How do they work together?
There are many ways content marketing and SEO can complement each other. Here are a few examples:
SEO requires inbound links
The number one aim of any company’s SEO strategy is to increase the number of natural links back to a website. This “link juice” conveys authority when search engine spiders are crawling your pages and ,when other factors are combined, the more high-quality links you have linking back to your site the more likely it is to rank well in organic search results.
Editorially-given links are considered the most valuable from a search engine, but how exactly do you get these? The answer: through content marketing.
PR agencies using white-hat SEO techniques aim to get these types of links as they add more weight to a website’s link profile.
They begin by creating a unique piece of content (often using survey data) and pitching it to national publications in the hopes they will publish it. By giving them something new in the form of new data or statistical information, they’re more likely to publish your content. As courtesy for conducting the survey, you have the chance of claiming a citation into an inbound link to your website.
Although you may have excellent editorial links pointing back to your website from trustworthy high-domain-authority websites, it won’t be as great a benefit if your website is poorly designed and doesn’t have a responsive design that displays and performs well across devices. This is why content marketing and SEO work best when a strategy is put in place to implement both simultaneously.
SEO requires great content
We all know that your business’s keywords need to be featured in a number of places on your website in order to have a better chance ranking for them. Content marketing can do this for you.
Quality content is key to Google rankings, there’s no doubt about it. But it needs to be crafted with your audience in mind. From a website visitor’s perspective, they want to view a site with clear and consistent copy that is user-friendly—not one built using keyword stuffing and other spammy techniques.
Achieving good organic rankings isn’t possible without having an optimized website. Carrying out simple maintenance on your website is important for the upkeep of your position, which is where the blend of technical on-site SEO and content marketing comes into play.
SEO requires consistency
Google Fellow Amit Singhal explained back in 2011 that Google likes fresh content. You could interpret that as “consistency is key” when it comes to optimizing a website for higher ranking.
Regularly producing content increases your site’s chances of being crawled and indexed more frequently. This means that a search engine is able to quickly identify that nature of your page, giving it more of a chance to be featured in recent results.
Although it is a best practice for SEOs, creating fresh content on a regular basis can also positively impact on your customer base as your social media schedule can be filled with this new content.
Whether it be a blog post, a how-to article, or just some website copy explaining the nature of your business, sharing it on your social page will drive traffic back to your website. A well-optimized site designed with user experience as a priority will more effectively convert visits into leads, generating more income.
When both SEO and content marketing strategies are used individually, you aren’t able to harness the full power they can bring to your business. Combining them in a mutual strategy, however, creates powerful synergy in driving relevant website traffic and conversions.
Sam Allcock is an SEO and content marketing professional and founder of Custard Online Marketing. He has industry-leading expertise in online PR, social strategy, e-commerce and database marketing. Twitter: @CustardMedia