If you’re interested in marketing your business to a broader audience, you’ve probably heard about content marketing and SEO. While being quite different, they also work in tandem to boost your company’s reach and visibility. Here’s what you need to know about the relationship between content marketing and SEO.
What is content marketing?
In the digital marketing world, you’ll hear a lot about content. In fact, back in 1996, Bill Gates famously stated that “content is king.” He wasn’t wrong, with content making up a huge portion of all online marketing efforts.
Content marketing is essentially the art of marketing your business by creating and sharing online content. This can include social media posts, blogs, infographics, videos and more. The interesting thing about content marketing is that it’s not always specifically designed to sell something. Rather, it provides users with content they want to see and subtly encourages them to connect with a brand.
For example, a building company might create informative blogs about the housing market. They aren’t specifically selling their services but giving their target audience some valuable information. By doing so, they establish themselves as a trusted industry authority and build brand recognition.
But there’s another huge benefit to content marketing – SEO.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and involves optimising websites and web pages to rank higher on search engines. The main goal of SEO is to drive organic traffic to your website. Considering Google has approximately a 95% share of the search market in Australia, we’ll mainly talk about Google when discussing search engines.
Google uses complex algorithms to determine which online content is most relevant to specific search terms. Let’s go back to the building company and their housing market blogs. Ideally, the company will optimise their housing market blogs for keywords that its target audience is looking for. This could be terms such as ‘builders near me’, ‘affordable building companies’ or ‘how to build a house’.
If the SEO is done well, the building company’s blogs start ranking higher on Google. If they can rank on the first page of Google’s search results, they will likely attract more clicks to their website. As long as the website is high-quality, easy to navigate and gives customers what they want, the increased website traffic leads to more sales.
SEO is a broad concept involving on-page, off-page and technical aspects. All of these serve a valuable purpose to ensure Google ranks relevant, informative websites highly.
The differences between content marketing and SEO
Before we look at how content marketing and SEO tie in together, it’s important to understand the key differences between the two.
In very simple terms, SEO is about increasing online visibility and driving more traffic to your website. Conversely, content marketing is about engaging website visitors, building customer relationships and establishing and servicing a customer’s needs once they arrive at your website.
So, while content marketing and SEO certainly tie in together, it’s important to also understand that they aren’t the same thing. Let’s explore in more detail the relationship between content marketing and SEO.
Link building is the process of encouraging other websites to link back to yours. This is often done through guest blog posts, but there are plenty of other ways to build links. Link building is a key part of SEO, because these links give Google some tangible proof that other reputable, high-ranking websites consider your content to be valuable.
So, that’s exactly where content marketing comes in. If your content quality is poor, other websites are less likely to link back to your site. Here’s an example of how this works in practice: solely using content marketing instead of paying for links for following strict guest blog guidelines.
Let’s go back to our building company. They’ve created a detailed and useful infographic showing the steps required to buy land and build a home. Using SEO, the company ensures their infographic is found on Google image searches such as ‘how to build a house’ or ‘steps to build a new home’ (for example).
Other marketers or businesses will likely find this infographic useful. If they use it on their websites, they would commonly share a link to where the infographic came from. And there you have it, your content marketing efforts (creating the infographic) and your SEO efforts (optimising the image to be found on Google) have combined to improve your website’s domain authority and search engine rankings. Plus, the backlink you just acquired may deliver additional traffic to your website.
A massive part of SEO is finding the best keywords to rank for. Ideally, the best keywords are those that appeal to your target audience. But they also need to have a decent volume of searches per month (meaning people are actually searching for them on Google). They also need to have an appropriate level of competition. Some keywords are easier to rank for than others. For example, our building company with a smaller marketing budget may not be able to rank for broad terms like ‘builders’, but they may be able to rank for a more specific term like ‘specialist apartment builders’.
This keyword is perfect because it’s relevant to the company’s services, and if the company ranks well for it, the traffic coming to their website is already interested in their services.
When SEO specialists uncover the right keywords to rank for, they need some content in order to actually rank on Google. It might be an informative landing page or a detailed blog that answers the customer’s questions. It could be a video on YouTube, or, once more, a relevant infographic. Again, we see content marketing and SEO combining to drive more website traffic and convert more leads into sales.
The user experience
We hear a lot about the user experience in today’s marketing world because users simply don’t have the patience for unhelpful online content. Attention spans are lower, and people expect information to be available almost instantly. For example, if you visit a website that takes a long time to load, you’ll likely just head straight back to Google and choose another well-ranking search result.
Technical SEO addresses many of these user experience issues, such as page load speed, mobile responsiveness and site navigation.
But for a positive user experience, your content also needs to be of high quality. Blogs, for example, should answer specific customer questions or provide useful advice on how to do something. A YouTube video should match your customer’s needs and look professional, otherwise, the user has a bad experience and associates that experience with your brand.
Overall, content marketing and SEO go hand-in-hand to drive more website traffic, convert more leads to sales and boost your brand’s online visibility and reputation. If you’d like to know more about how content marketing and SEO can help your business, contact the expert team at RealClicks today.