Content is king. Content marketing is the key to attracting, engaging, and retaining your customers.
But wait–how do you ensure that content reaches the right audience?
The answer, of course, is through SEO.
With that said, if we accept content is king, what does that make SEO?
SEO vs. Content
Both your content marketing and SEO strategies are examples of inbound marketing. When used correctly, they help your customers find you. They even go hand-in-hand as a way to reach your customers at the right stage of the buyers’ journey. However, content marketing is creative while SEO is technical.
SEO itself doesn’t sell customers the virtues or benefits of choosing your brand over the competition. Content, on the other hand–engaging, valuable, I-need-to-read-this-now-content–is what gives customers a reason to not only purchase from you but to want to be a part of your brand. You’re not selling a one-off product or service; you’re selling a lifelong relationship. Therein lies the basic framework for your content strategy.
At the same time, part of your content strategy should involve SEO frameworks, like keyword research, meta descriptions, H1/H2 tags, alt text, and more. Knowing what your customers are searching for, as well as what they’re interacting with, will help your brand create content with those attributes. It all comes down to knowing why you’re creating content–and who you’re creating it for.
In other words, your content should have a purpose–and that purpose is derived partly from SEO strategy. A successful SEO strategy requires high-quality content, and high-quality content requires SEO strategizing. It’s also important to point out that customers can’t interact and engage with your SEO. They need content!
How to Integrate SEO Into Your Content
The good news is that simply by creating high-value content, much of the important SEO work is done for you. While there are myriad technical factors that go into how search engines rank pages, valuable, engaging content written for humans will inherently rank more highly. However, that’s only true if your titles, meta descriptions, H1/H2 tags, alt text, and other SEO components are on-point.
But how do you choose the keywords and key phrases on which you want to focus?
First off, you can utilize free tools like Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, and Google Trends to see what people are searching and what’s moving traffic. If you want to step it up a notch, look at paid tools like SEMrush or Google Ads. In either case, look at things like search volume, search history over time, and all sorts of different trends. The lesson to be learned is data and analytics are some of your strongest assets when it comes to both SEO and content marketing.
What about creating content that works best for SEO?
Remember, search engines aren’t ranking your website, they’re ranking your individual web pages. That means each page–and each piece of content–has a specific purpose, both in SEO terms and where it stands in reaching customers at the appropriate point in their journey.
Instead of creating a bunch of similar web pages, merge and edit them into one highly valuable, interactive, engaging page, if possible. Your customers want simplicity, so make things as simple as possible.
Is There Such Thing as Too Much SEO?
We’ve established that there is such a thing as too much content. Focusing too much on content can confuse or overwhelm your audience and negatively impact your SEO. There’s also such thing as too much SEO. Focusing too much on SEO can sabotage your entire content marketing strategy. If your content is written to SEO standards rather than human comprehension, you might as well publish a blank screen.
Not only does your audience deserve better but search engines will pick up on your dubious habits and ensure your content never gets anywhere near the first page of search results. Things like keyword stuffing, publishing excessively keyword-driven content, repeating page titles, and especially paying for backlinks will get your site exiled to the worldwide beyond, where your only hope of visitors is direct traffic.
Content is king. People are your customers, not search engines. SEO might help customers find your brand, but consistent, on-brand content will keep them coming back for more.
Content is King. What is SEO?
If content is king, what does that make SEO?
While there may be no straight answer, there’s no denying that SEO and content strategy go hand in hand. The best content will perform better on search engines if it’s actually the “best” content–that is, it adds value to your audience.
The key takeaway is to publish your content for customers. More organic engagement means better visibility, which means more opportunities for conversions. Ultimately, your content will get you more conversions than your SEO, especially if it both supplements and complements your SEO strategy!