How come SEO doesn’t work without content marketing? Why do you need both?
When you have only SEO: You get content that appears in search, but users don’t care about it. Do you want site users to be more than just viewers and bystanders? Do content marketing.
When you have only content marketing: You get content that nobody ever finds online. Your content and your audience; do you want these two to meet? Do SEO.
Content marketing is about making your content work and making content that works. With SEO in the equation, there’s also making your content rank. It’s clear that content is at the crux of all of this business, and that a successful union of content marketing and SEO requires fulfilling those three requirements.
And here’s how you meet them.
Let’s define “the best content” first. The devil is in the details, so let’s grab him by the horns and drag him out into the light.
So the goal is to create content which has these three traits. All of them, even the third one, boil down to pleasing your audience. How do we do that?
Obviously, in order to be popular with your audience, you need to be intimately familiar with them. What they like and what they don’t, what they want, how they think – that’s the bare minimum. All these things are on your users’ minds every time they search for some specific content and can be summarized in three words: user search intent.
So, how do you satisfy search intent?
That should help you form a clear vision of what your content should be like. Proceed to create what you envision and make it better than whatever is ranking on Google’s page #1.
The next step is to give your content the ability to convert users.
Converting means making users perform a specific action on your site (such as subscribing or buying a product). As you can imagine, this is one of the most vital parts of content marketing; it’s where you sell your content. For this part, you are going to need careful planning and experience in using websites similar to your own.
Not only is this really good for your SEO, it’s also the best way to let the users know you have the content they need.
Users will never do what you ask if they don’t get anything out of it. If they come to solve a problem, say the solution is behind a call-to-action. If they’ll want more content like the page they are viewing, let them know they will have more if they subscribe, and so on.
Place yourself in the users’ shoes. How would they use your content? Where would be the best spots to put CTAs?
You can try to play the guessing game, or you can analyze the pages on your site that have already attempted to convert users. Use a heat map generator both on the pages that succeeded and the pages that failed to see what works and what doesn’t.
Learning from the superior is a sign of wisdom. And the best part about imitating websites with high CTR scores is that they don’t have to be your direct competitors. For example, you can safely pick an ecommerce site which sells different products than yours and see what it does better.
Find what works for others and start doing it on your own site. And if you can make improvements to their tricks, that’s even better.
Content marketing and SEO both play an equally large role in putting your site on the first page of Google. If content marketing can be described as the social aspect of conquering the search, then SEO is the technical aspect. So what do you do on the SEO side of things?
You can find keywords for your site with WebCEO’s Keyword Suggestions tool. But how do you know a keyword is good?
You know how Google works: you type in a few words, and the search engine shows sites which have them. But the search results don’t always have the exact match of your query; they may have synonyms or even be missing some of the words you used. What does this all mean?
The best keywords have these traits:
If you have connected your Google Search Console account to your WebCEO project, you can check the effectiveness of your keywords in the Google Search Queries report, namely:
Everyone has a mobile phone with an Internet connection these days. To make a long story short, make your website and its content work as well on mobile devices as on PCs – or even better.
Test your site with WebCEO’s Mobile Optimization tool to see how well you are doing.
Promoting a site full of errors is like trying to win a race in a broken car. You’ll never finish first, if at all.
Now, you can’t know when something might break on your site, but you must fix all errors no matter where and when they appear. A few examples of what could happen to your site:
Use WebCEO’s Technical Audit tools to check if everything is all right with your site. If there are problems, see to them immediately!
Unlike technical errors, optimization errors don’t cause your site to malfunction; in some cases, they might not affect a user’s experience at all. They simply mean you are squandering your site’s SEO potential. Googlebots can pass over your site and not really know what it’s about if you don’t optimize.
Here are a few examples of SEO errors you can fix to increase your rankings.
Find these errors on your site with WebCEO’s On-Site SEO Issues Overview tool.
Long content can be a chore to take in all at once. If yours is like that, make it easier to consume by dividing it into parts. Here’s what you can use:
Pictures and videos are among the decisive elements that shaped the Internet as we know it. They play a major role in driving conversions, too. What are the best ways to use them?
Other than helping you rank, site speed is the decisive factor in keeping users on your site. Here’s what you can do:
Test your site with WebCEO’s Page Speed tool and see what needs improvement.
Now comes the “marketing” part of content marketing. Everybody says high-quality content is the key to ranking in Google. And of course, there’s a catch. Even the best content doesn’t go places on its own; it needs your help to make it happen.
See, content isn’t restricted to being Internet pages. Content, first and foremost, is information that motivates a person to become your customer. Anything that falls under this definition can be considered as content: an email, a Google ad, a TV commercial, even shouting in the streets. It’s only a matter of reaching your target audience.
Let’s assume you have picked your audience carefully and that your content matches their interests. Here are the next steps.
Link building is where SEO and content marketing intersect the closest. Everyone will tell you that in order to build links, you need to create high-quality content. But when you try it, the best you get is a few nofollow backlinks from social media. Why does it work for your competitors and not for you?
Because this plan is missing several crucial steps.
You’ll be lucky to get any backlinks by doing nothing other than making content. Other sites, especially the authoritative ones, won’t stumble upon it by chance and just decide to link to it on a whim. The best link building technique is to create content which has value for the audience and for the linking sites.
Simply put, here’s the plan:
1. Expose other sites to your content
2. Give them an incentive to link to it
What possible incentives are there? Here are a few instances when link building turns into a mutually beneficial exchange:
The most efficient way to build links is to target specific sites where you want to create backlinks. And for that, you need to pick your targets first. Find the most authoritative sites in your niche through Google – or, even better, with WebCEO’s Dangerous Competitors tool. This tool finds your competitors for your chosen keywords. They are not all going to be your direct business competitors, so you’ll want to be listed on these sites to get more traffic for your chosen keywords.
Featured snippets, quick answers, Knowledge Panel, voice search. All of them can generate traffic, but they were mainly designed to give users the content they want without making them click. Even so, if you don’t appear in those search results, someone else will.
The same applies to pay-per-click ads. They occupy so much space above the organic results, it’s a wonder SEO is still relevant.
How else are you going to get traffic from there in the first place?
Still, not all of your social media followers will engage with your content. That’s why you need a large audience: the more followers you have, the better your chances. How do you get more?
Remember how content comes in many more forms other than site pages? Email is another one of those forms. Quite powerful, too, even despite the risk of getting stuck in spam filters. If you are subscribed to somebody’s updates, you know how true this is.
How do you make this method work for you?
It turns out there’s a lot of extra oomph your SEO needs to be effective. You will want to check if your content marketing strategy is working, too. How?
By checking these metrics in Google Analytics.
And, of course, the Google site rankings for your keywords. Those can be seen with WebCEO’s Rank Tracking tool.
But the easiest way to tell if it’s all worked is to check your goals. The desired number of user registrations, the amount of profits, the ranking positions and so on – have you got them? And if you’ve gone above your hoped-for success numbers, how far above was it? If all your hard work has set a trend for growth, that’s how you will know you have become good at content marketing.