There have been a lot of changes in web content in regard to how it is done and formatted, all with the goal of netting those precious top spots on search engine rankings, generating leads and increasing conversions. There has been speculation and claims about a long-used method of optimizing content for search engines SEO becoming obsolete. This is far from the truth. If anything, content marketing and SEO can and should be done together to create and optimize web content.
The two are closely intertwined but there are key differences;
- SEO has more technical aspects to it. It includes the use of sitemaps, URLs, title and ALT tags and other technical features.
- Content marketing is broader and SEO is just one of the techniques that is used to optimize it.
Combining the two
It is not true that SEO is just about creating content that search engines will pick up and index. Poorly done content may be optimized with SEO but it won't get picked up and ranked on search engines. This is why content creators and SEO experts need to collaborate to get the desired results.
Collaboration will achieve;
1) Creation of content that is original and high quality
The top search engine Google has set high standards for what is considered quality content and they keep raising the bar every now and again with reviews and revisions of their algorithms. Irrelevant, repetitive low quality content has no place any more. Marketers and publishers should work on creating great content then pass it on to SEO experts to optimize so that it is picked up and indexed by search engines.
2) Creation of evergreen, SEO content
Evergreen content will get better rankings and mark your site as a current, helpful one. Adding news items and recent research findings will keep your content evergreen while SEO that includes the keywords that are used for search for these news items will give your high rankings. Here’s an demonstrative example of evergreen content published on 'Search Engine Watch'. It was published in 2012 but has remained evergreen with constant updates which has kept traffic steady which will keep it highly ranked on search engines for a long time to come.
3) Updating keywords
Keywords are a pillar of both content marketing and SEO. Content should have the search terms browsers are using and SEO need to keep updating these keywords in the content as they change. Keyword research can be done with Google Analytics. Soolve is another good tool for generating keywords.
4) Staying on top of keyword goals
One you generate keywords and phrases, it is necessary to monitor them because they change over time, sometimes in a few days. You need to monitor whether your rankings are improving with the inclusion of keywords. Note that this may take time and that some keywords are very competitive such as those related to celebrities, popular holiday destinations and entertainment spots about which there is always a lot of content. Beware that there are regulations to using keywords. Google can penalize content that is overstuffed with them. Concentrate on creating high quality content then including keywords in such a natural way that flows well.
5) Building links
Good content will bring in links. You just need to ensure good distribution to attract the cast the net as wide as possible in terms of audience. Just do high quality content and people will want to link to it. It really is as simple as that with link building.
6) Internal links
Internal links are another easy way to achieve content marketing and SEO goals. They also give users a better experience by directing them to the content that is relevant in an article or post. Google and other search engines are able to crawl a site more effectively which means better rankings.
7) Taking stock
If you goal is better rankings, there are a number of tools that you can use to track your position. You can make use of tools that will show you how your traffic is changing over time and the pages and articles that are bringing you the highest traffic. There are also metrics that can be used to measure how effective your content marketing endeavors are. This include bounce rates, time spent on site and number of visitors viewing multiple pages.
8) Effective headlines
Headlines are a very big part of content marketing and SEO. They must be captivating enough to make a user delve into the content and they have to be optimized for search engines. They should hit the nail on the head in describing to a reader what they will get out of an article. Headlines also have to be short. Long titles are truncated by Google in search results which defeats the goal of their being prominent and inviting. Headlines also have to be short enough to allow people to share your content such as on Twitter without having to edit them and to add a comment if they have one. Also, in the case of newsletters, titles have to be visible in the subject line.
There really shouldn't be any competition between content marketing and SEO. These two go together, with priority being given to creating good quality content and then optimizing it for search engines. This approach results in a win-win situation where your target audience gets the information they are looking for in relevant, interesting content and search engines pick it up because it is optimized with keywords in a way that is natural.
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