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Did You Know Content Marketing and SEO Overlap?

Today I seriously doubt that any website can thrive without Content Marketing.

SEO has morphed to fit this as well.  Today, SEO is all about social media, value add content and relationship building.

SEO has definitely moved far away from back link building, keywords and other aspects of purely technical SEO.

I often encounter the following question from SMEs at various meetups I attend.

Question: Should we pay for SEO or should we pay for Content Creation?

This really shouldn’t be the question at all, because SEO and content creation must work together in perfect harmony to market your website.

A ton of people say that SEO is all about value add, content creation.  Perhaps that is true, BUT great content with zero regard for keywords and other SEO necessities will never be as successful as content that pays attention to all aspects of a sound and well thought through, SEO strategy as well.

Okay, there are key differences between implementing an SEO strategy and a content marketing strategy, BUT these two pillars of digital marketing are closely interlinked.

Implementing an SEO strategy requires some technical (coding) skills and discipline and is fairly narrow focus.  Implementing Content marketing requires a more holistic approach that’s much broader than SEO processes.

Applying the perfect blend of SEO and Content marketing to any website will always deliver terrific, site marketing results.

Great Content And Great SEO = Terrific Digital Marketing

When creating site content, too few site owners pay careful attention to the following:

  • Excellent spelling and grammar
  • Relevance to your industry niche
  • Readability
  • Usefulness
  • Ability to be shared easily

Great content, that has great SEO blended in will contain, keywords and/or key phrases, judiciously scattered (not stuffed) throughout the content.

The focus keyword will be in the page title, its first paragraph and at least within one sub-headline.

Today using the same keyword / key phrase again and again, looking for density, is inadvisable. Instead use contextual phrases and synonyms to give search engines a good idea what the content is all about.

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Poorly Constructed Bad Quality Thin Content

Content

Please remember that today Google’s algorithms have become increasingly sophisticated. They can spot poorly constructed content almost perfectly.

Keep this firmly in mind when choosing a content creator either from your own staff or a freelancer.  Your readers will be grateful to you when you do.   The content created is going to seriously impact your SEO whether you like it or not.

Far too may site owners create short, promotional, Blog posts, which are completely uninteresting to site visitors. They seem to be blissfully unaware of this fact, even though their content experiences zero engagement from their site visitors.

Take a step back and figure out if it’s worthwhile creating 300 to 400 word Blog posts covering company news, or 300 to 400 word Blog posts that talk about your products and what they achieve.

Create a short survey, offer a tempting freebie if the survey is filled in and ask your site visitors for their feedback on what content they want. Additionally, pay close attention to your site analytics particularly your site bounce rate. You may find that there is precious little attention being paid to any Blog content.

No site visitor likes to read Blog posts that do not add measurable value to them, or have a significant value proposition for them. Ask yourself, would you read multiple Blog posts delivering such content?  Such content bores site visitors and actively discourages repeat visits.

Getting content created by people who understand:

  • Your Internet driven business intimately
  • SEO principles thoroughly, Keywords, key phrases, backlinks and more

They will always give you terrific content for the money (and time) you are investing.

Is Your Content Relevant?

Whenever content is created make absolutely sure that the content is relevant to your industry niche.  This helps search engines when they need to contextualize your website.

Taking care that your content is relevant to your industry / site visitor’s niche helps in building brand recall, leadership, and increases trust in your site visitors.

Is Proper Content Formatting Important?

Formatting Content

Very few content creators realize how important proper content formatting is.

Using the most readable font family, font size, so that the content is perfectly readable across display devices of various sizes is an absolute must.  Especially since more and more site visitors are using mobile devices to access site content.

Google has introduced its Mobile Friendly algorithm when indexing websites, which makes this all the more important.  That said, don’t do this for Google, do this for your site visitors. Ensure that they have a delightful experience. Then watch your website engagement multiply.

Ensure that your content reader does not have to do a lot of pinching and scrolling in order to read the post on their mobile devices.

Why Is High Quality, Value Add, Useful Content Important?

High quality, value add, useful content, focused on your ideal site visitor always encourages repeat visits. In order for content to add value to site visitors it must address and provide workable solutions for problems that readers are experiencing.

For example, if you own a florist shop, you could create blog posts on how to create simple, elegant, floral arrangements. You could provide expert tips to extend the life of cut flowers and so on.

This kind of content should prove useful to your readers. They will come back to see if you’ve published further tips.

Content like this can also be described as ‘evergreen’.  Such content is not time sensitive.  It can be accessed and enjoyed by readers for years with little need for updation.

Make Content Sharing Simple

Content Sharing

Even today, there are tons of Blogs I encounter which have no social sharing buttons on their Blog posts, even when they post regularly.  What a waste of superb content.

To get your content exposed to the widest readership possible, there’s nothing like social media.

Please ensure that there are social sharing buttons on each Blog post published. It is vital to give your readers a quick and easy way to share any content they’ve liked with friends.

Keywords And Content Marketing

Since you are working hard at delivering value add content to your readers ensure you carry out keyword research prior content creation.  This ensures that your content gets discovered organically, i.e. via Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).

For a start use a tool like Ahref’s Content Explorer, which allows you to search for and discover popular content and see the keywords used within such content.

Use this tool to see how often great content was shared on social media streams, as well as the date such content was published on.

Check how many back links this content has attracted. Use this tool in addition to your other favourite keyword research tools and come up with the perfect keywords to use in the content you are creating.

Irrespective of the business niche you are in, don’t use jargon as keywords. It’s highly unlikely that someone will type jargon as a search term in a search engine.

Content and Keywords

All About Link Building

Link Building

Great content naturally attracts backlinks. Backlinks are great for SEO.

With this in mind, get your content out on as many social platforms as possible.  Today, the plethora of tools make this automatic and relatively simple to do.

Consider contacting other blogs within your niche to check if they would be interested in your content – some Blog sites are happy to post a snippet of your content within a Blog post with a link back to your site.

Evergreen content is especially useful for attracting backlinks. Such content does not have a limited shelf life. Hence, consider how you can craft evergreen content as part of your content creation strategy.  Do your best to create at least one such post every fortnight.

Infographics are terrific for getting backlinks. Always post embed code with the infographic, whenever you add an infographic as a post. If you don’t know how to do this, you can use an embed code generator, there are plenty around.

Oh Yes! Internal Links Have Importance

Blend carefully chosen internal links into your content. This is great for directing a reader to related content in your Blog site. It also helps search engines to crawl site content easier.

Keep a spreadsheet with all of your content titles and the keywords and key phrases used in posts. This is really useful when you want to internally link to related content on your site. This always helps in planning what content can be linked to when writing a new post.

Ensure that links are not just stuck into content without an overall strategy. Consider what terms you want to rank for in each post and link accordingly.  This approach definitely improves search engine indexing, and will help you to rank well for search terms that you want.

Your Site Needs Strong Social Signals

Social Media

Having a well thought through social media marketing strategy has become paramount today. A sound SMM strategy is a must for content marketing and is very supportive of SEO.

If you do not have a social media marketing strategy in place, your content is just not going to be seen by your target audience.

It will not be shared by them on their social streams and finally search engines will fail to notice the excellent content you’ve painstakingly created.

Make planned use of all social platforms that your customers hang out on. There are a ton of tools available to help you to slash the time it takes to auto schedule posts.

That said, it’s important to remember that social media does require some degree of personal engagement. It’s mandatory that you set aside a fixed block of time, at least 5 days a week (or more) to engage with your followers on all the social streams in use.

It is time consuming, but because you spent time engaging with people on your social streams, replying to the issues they’ve raised, acknowledging their praise and so on, your returns in brand recall and increased sales will be so worth it.

Keep social media titles relatively short and succinct. Use relevant keywords in the title and the hashtags you use.

An arresting headline is what makes people click through. Make your headlines punchy but above all, ensure that it tells the reader what the article’s content is about.

Clever, long-blown headlines are great for those sites that are well-established enough to get away with them, but these can and (often) do put your readers off.

Work on social media channels every day. Add people to your accounts. Engage with people at every opportunity you get.

While how much time you spend on social streams depend on the time you have available, you should remember that social media makes a huge difference to whether your content marketing efforts are a success or a failure.

User Experience (UX) Has Become Critical Today

User Experience Design

User experience (UX) has become critical today, for good reason. Mobile displays have forced us to create web page content such that this looks terrific to users with small display screens and various types of screen resolution.

Another pressure point in UX is that the Google Mobile Friendly algorithm was introduced to penalise sites which don’t have a great mobile UX.

For SEO, great UX is desirable. This shows that a site has been set up well on a technical level.

Technical SEO has been neglected by many digital marketing professionals in recent times. To be successful today a site needs:

  • Great structure
  • Simple intuitive navigation
  • Excellent internal linking
  • Planned meta information
  • Terrific performance

Technical SEO been made a lot easier by the huge number of excellent, responsive, themes and templates available for WordPress, Wix, Joomla and other CMSs.

Optimise Your Website Design

Resposive Design

All too often site designers don’t consider adding the most appropriate Meta information to design, as they believe that this is the job of the SEO specialist. This is so untrue.

Today, the best designers are those who are competent coders as well.  They are intimate with page load speed issues, Meta tag content and so on. All of which is connected to the technical side of SEO.

Honestly, the job profile of a designer has undergone tremendous change. Today, optimizing the look, feel and functionality of the website is the job of the designer.

Unfortunately, far too many designers don’t possess the technical ability to understand or tweak website performance related issues such as Gzip compression, minifying HTML and CSS, ensuring images are fully optimized, ensuring that images are responsive and in the use of media queries.

Designers must have these abilities in abundance today. They must make website performance a top priority because today this has a large influence on how a site performs in SERPs.

Whether a designer should work on keyword research is debatable. Ideally, a website must employ a SEO copywriter who knows how to use keywords to craft copy that’s optimised for search engines.

Did You Know Search Engines Love Fresh Content?

Of course you did.

Search engines love fresh content to crawl and index, hence creating and executing a content marketing plan is essential for any website to rank well in search engines.

When search engines recognize that you regularly update / freshen your website content, they come back and crawl your site regularly at short intervals.

Simply put, if you consistently create fresh, relevant content, then you will see higher website rankings in SERPs.

The days of paying SEO agencies to do nothing more than chase links all day are now over.  Great SEO is so much more than just back links.

There cannot be great SEO without great content creation and content marketing.   Content marketing and SEO overlap because content is an integral part of SEO.

Without it, search engines would have nothing to crawl and social media would be just endless personal opinions or product links.

Hence the more value add content you create and deliver regularly via your website, the more your webpages get better optimized for search engines.

A complete win:win for both the website owner and search engines.

Please Leave Your Comments They Are A Huge Help

If you liked this Blog post, I’d love to read your comments. If you thought that this Blog post was not up to your expectations, I’d love to read your comments.

It’s your comments that helps me get better each day. Please pass on your bouquets or brickbats in the comments section right below.

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I've been an entrepreneur for more than 33 years.

I've taught marketing and finance at a few MBA schools in Mumbai, India. These subjects are like a horse and carriage. You can't have one without the other.

I am technology savvy too as I am armed with an M.Tech from Manchester University, UK. In that sense, you could call me a geek-marketer, as I’m comfortable with both technology and marketing.

I have written and published 83+ books in tech and digital marketing. Many of these are available on Amazon.

I've been working in digital marketing for around 24+ years. I love to teach the subject, plus define, execute, and tweak digital marketing strategies for my own websites and my clients.

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May 29, 2017

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