There’s a lot to keep track of in digital marketing. From trying to increase traffic and generate leads, to running an A/B test and sending emails. Sometimes it’s hard to put all of the pieces together and see a complete picture. SEO, or search engine optimization, falls under it’s own category, but also impacts the other pieces, and is an important element in making your content marketing strategy successful.
Content Marketing vs. SEO
Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as, “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
Although SEO and content marketing are not the same, they do need to work together. SEO helps with the organic “attracting” part of a marketing strategy. Once you have a content strategy in place, you need your target audience to be able to find you. Your content isn’t doing you any good if no one sees it. When you optimize the content you create for search engines, people can find it more easily.
The first listing of Google search results receives a 34.36% clickthrough rate. Following SEO best practices can get you there.
When you’re trying to drive traffic to your website through content, you need to understand how search engines view your content. This includes the information contained within each page and post; does it deliver what it said it would in the title and meta description? Is the content thorough and high quality?
Search engines are smart, and thanks to recent Google updates, they understand the searchers intent, not just the exact words used. You need to make sure that your content not only contains the keyword, but also answers the question that was posed.
These tips will also help you to optimize your content and work your way up the search engine results:
Keywords are used to tell search engines what your content is about. Start with keyword research that reflects your audience’s needs and interests, and then use a tool such as Google’s Keyword Planner, to determine your ability to rank. You can focus your efforts based on what you learn.
Keywords can also help you when mapping out your content calendar by providing topics for blog posts and other content pieces such as videos, eBooks and infographics.
Best Practices For Keywords:
- Only repeat 3-5 times per blog post or web page (any more and it’s keyword stuffing).
- Go for long-tail keywords that are easier to rank for and that specifically relate to your buyer personas.
- Include your target keyword in the title of your blog posts, as well as in the meta description for each page.
- Use variations of the keyword that relate to the intent behind the search.
Your website needs to be optimized for search engines, and each page should follow the same best practices you would for other forms of content. Make sure the URL is search engine friendly, and that images or video contain alt text.
Include links to internal and outside content in your blog posts and website. This helps search engines further understand what your site is about. Plus, quality links from reputable sites demonstrate that your website is also high quality, which is a positive for search engines.
Mobile is dominating the scene when it comes to search; more than 50% of Google searches are on mobile. Having a mobile-first, or at least a responsive, website design can also help your search engine ranking, and Google favors mobile-friendly content. Make sure the user experience on mobile is just as good as on your website, and that mobile optimization is part of your strategy. Use tools like Google Analytics to see how visitors are finding you on mobile.
If you want the content you’ve worked hard to create to be found, you need to pay attention to how it is optimized for search.