Where do you begin when you have to buy something online or visit an establishment?
Most people look up a product or service with a quick search on sites like Google and Yahoo. This involves keying in relevant words and phrases like “best restaurants in town” or something similar. They’ll browse through the features and read other people’s opinions before making up their mind.
When it comes to the Internet, being more visible online goes a long way to growing your business. When you’re on the first three pages of the search engine, people are more likely to click your website and trust your content. Being visible online also allows you to engage with prospective clients and loyal customers.
To be more visible online, businesses are hiring digital marketing services to optimize their site and make them more relevant to search engines. Two of the common strategies in digital marketing are SEO and content marketing.
SEO and Content Marketing: What’s the Difference?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a technical process that brings in organic, or free, traffic to the website through search engines. This involves the following strategies:
- Improving the user experience on the website
- Optimizing on-page elements
- Using local keywords
By optimizing your website for search engines, you’ll have improved online visibility. Using relevant keywords, you help prospective and current customers find your brand when they need it.
On the other hand, content marketing is used to create and distribute meaningful, reliable, and valuable website content to drive customer action. By writing high-quality content and demonstrating your expertise, your website’s visitors are encouraged to purchase a product, read another blog, or subscribe to more content. Content is not just limited to blog posts and news articles—they also refer to guides, infographics, and videos.
People often interchange SEO and content marketing since they are two common digital marketing strategies. However, they have distinct points of focus. SEO is more technical since it focuses on understanding the needs and requirements of search engines. Content marketing is broader and more holistic because it focuses on attracting, engaging, and delighting human audiences through content.
How SEO and Content Marketing Work Together
Despite their differences, content marketing is important for SEO to work, and vice versa. When implemented effectively, the two strategies can generate excellent results:
- SEO demands keywords, and content marketing uses these keywords strategically throughout the content. Content marketing ensures that the page is not stuffed with too many keywords, preventing severe penalties from search engines, especially from Google.
- Through optimization, SEO makes your website easily accessible to search engines. This involves making the website user-friendly, making sure there are no broken links, and properly categorizing the different parts of the site. Not only does an optimized website rank well on search engines, but it also makes it easier for users to search, select, and read your content, minimizing bounces.
- High-quality content using relevant keywords generates better traffic, resulting in higher rankings on search engines. Better rankings on search engines drive high traffic, and relevant and valuable content converts visitors into customers. Consistently updating your content also contributes to your rankings on search engines.
- SEO demands linkbacks, and great content attracts valuable links from other websites. This means more organic traffic and higher rankings on search engines.
- Relevant content is shared by prospective and current customers on social media, providing you with more exposure and traffic.
Think of SEO and content marketing as two different people working for the same team. For a project—in this case, your website—to become successful, they have to work hand in hand.
Developing an SEO-Content Marketing Strategy
Businesses now need to integrate SEO with content marketing and other digital marketing strategies. An SEO campaign will not be effective if there is no proper content marketing strategy, and a content marketing strategy will not yield desired results without an effective SEO plan.
These tips will help you in creating an effective and integrated digital marketing plan using SEO and content marketing:
- Defining your goals
First things first—identify the goals for your website. Do you want to increase traffic, boost readership, or monetize your site through ads? These goals will determine what forms of content you should concentrate on. For example, if your goal is for your website to drive product sales, your focus should be attractive and informative product pages.
- Researching your target market
To help you determine the right SEO and content marketing strategy, consider creating buyer personas. These semi-fictionalized characters represent your ideal customers and website visitors.
Creating a persona begins by looking at your current customer base, particularly your repeat purchasers. Use the data you’ve gathered to find out commonalities based on demographics, purchasing behaviors, and interests.
- Using targeted and relevant keywords
Knowing your buyer’s persona makes it easier to find keywords and phrases that your target audience uses to buy on search engines. When doing your research, aim for specific long-term keywords and phrases because it helps you bring in more valuable traffic. Using broader terms means you will face a higher amount of competition.
- Creating great content
Use your list of target keywords to generate content ideas. You shouldn’t limit your content to articles and blog posts because you’ll be missing out on prospective customers who prefer audio, photo, and video content.
Your content needs to be of high quality so that your consumers will stay on your website and act based on your content. Remember these tips to maintain high-quality content:
- Check for grammar, spelling, and readability issues of your content before posting.
- When discussing complex ideas that your reader might find difficult to understand, use relevant examples.
- Write using the tone meant for your target audience. For example, a professional tone meant for business-to-business clients will not resonate with a target audience of housewives.
- Make your content easy to read by using bullet points and short paragraphs.
- Deep dive into your topic. Don’t forget to provide relevant and updated data, facts, and sources to prove that you have authoritative and valuable content.
- Creating an editorial calendar
Having an editorial calendar helps in determining what content you should publish for which day. This helps you stick to a regular basis and prevents you from cramming content at the last minute. When scheduling content, give yourself plenty of lead time, especially for infographics and videos.
- Personalizing for ultra-targeted content
Relevant content involves personalizing it to match the needs of each website visitor. For example, a new visitor will not need the same call to action (CTA) as that of a recurring customer. Using generic content will drive away conversions because customers will feel that the content is irrelevant to them.
- Updating your content over time
Don’t just post content and move on. Each piece of content has the potential to bring more customers for years; so, it’s important to update your posts to stay effective and relevant, as time passes.
- Add content that provides additional value to the reader.
- Optimize the content for new keywords.
- Refresh the language to make the content more interesting.
- Review the metadata to ensure that it is optimized based on the changing rules of search engines.
- Update facts and statistics on your content.
Make it a habit to review your content every three to six months and make the necessary updates. To maximize your content, prioritize updating the pieces that bring you the most traffic.
- Analyzing and reassessing your strategy
Constantly monitoring your site’s analytics helps you identify if your strategy is working, which pages draw in the most traffic, and other key success indicators. Some measures of success include comments on blog posts, links to other sites, shares on social media, and conversion rates. It’s recommended to analyze your website performance at least every month or week, depending on the goals you have set.
Based on your website performance, dedicate time to adjusting your strategies. If you see that a different keyword is getting more traffic than the original one, reorganize your content for the new keyword.
Search engine optimization and content marketing are two important digital marketing strategies that help businesses improve their website performances. Although they differ in goals, some of their features overlap, so it would be wise to integrate both of them in your website strategy. When executed effectively, your SEO and content marketing strategy allows you to create valuable content using optimized keywords, as well as a user-friendly website. This, in turn, brings in more visitors that could become loyal customers.
Grow Your Online Visibility with Third Stage Marketing
The keys to a successful digital marketing strategy are thorough planning and effective execution. For small businesses, you need help from experts to make that happen.
For professional and reliable SEO services in Denver, look no further than Third Stage Marketing. We specialize in all areas of digital marketing, from SEO and content marketing to pay-per-click, web design, and social media marketing. Thanks to our integrated approach and a team of experts, you’ll have an engaging web presence across multiple channels.
We’d love to hear from you. To request a site assessment or ask about our services, visit www.thirdstage-marketing.com.
Tyler design, plan, and execute marketing strategies for business. This includes designing the creative message and developing an online presence to drive leads and sales at a profitable, sustainable rate. He worked with everything from large multi-regional companies to independent start-ups.