Content marketing helps SEO by creating high quality, engaging content that search engines favor and your readers interact with. Adopting a combined approach to both SEO and content marketing can help you attract more organic visitors and boost your website's authority.
What you will learn
- The relationship between content marketing and search engine optimization
- How content marketing can improve search engine performance using pillar pages and relevant keywords
- The role of content in building brand awareness, authority and trust
- How you can nurture and educate your readers with SEO driven content while showcasing your product
- How combining content marketing with SEO can attract backlinks
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization, or SEO is a common marketing practice to optimize your website's content for higher rankings in search engine result pages for your target keyword. Doing so can make your website easier to find, and lead to higher organic traffic.
The primary goal of SEO is to rank your web pages in the top positions for when users enter related search queries in search engines like Google, Yahoo! or Bing.
This involves several SEO techniques such as keyword research, on-page optimization, link-building and technical SEO to make your website more appealing in the eyes of search engines.
For example, when you search for “how to use surfer content editor” on Google, about 9 million search engine results match this query.
You will find that our guide on using Surfer Content Editor ranks in position number one, because Google's algorithms believes our page to be the most authoritative on the subject, and most appropriately answers the searcher’s query.
Of course it isn't quite as straightforward as that. Google's algorithm also considers SEO compliance like meta data, relevant keywords, links and a bunch of other ranking factors they won't reveal.
SEO is an important part of digital marketing, and it can have a big effect on how visible, popular, and profitable a website is online.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is the practice of creating and promoting engaging content to attract and connect with your target audience, while building brand awareness and credibility. Content marketing can take many forms, including blog posts, videos, podcasts, infographics, social media posts, and even offline events like events.
For example, we took the same blog post and repurposed it as a video, to reach even more users.
The primary goal of content marketing is to convince readers to become paying customers by delivering content that informs, educates, and engages your target audience.
But content marketing isn't just about selling; it's about helping people and making them feel like the brand cares about their challenges.
You want to manage your content marketing to nurture audience's interests, encourage engagement, and foster trust so they can move through the sales funnel and become loyal paying customers.
What is the link between SEO and content marketing?
The link between content marketing and SEO is a complementary relationship where each enhances the qualities of the other. SEO helps people find your content through search engines, while content marketing offers valuable information that keeps them reading.
Both content marketing and search engine optimization are based on sharing high quality articles to attract more website visitors, enhance your authority and build trust with your audience.
Although using a SEO strategy can help you rank your web pages, you still need content to start with.
Think of SEO best practices as your grandmother's recipe that still requires ingredients to prepare her dish. Those ingredients are your content.
When put together, the recipe makes a great piece of content, or dish.
By making your content SEO-friendly, you can improve your website's rank in search results, which can help you get more targeted traffic and make more sales.
As consumers learn to trust and engage with your content, they're more likely to commit to a purchase, thus making an SEO driven content marketing strategy essential to successful content performance.
No surprise that a report from BrightEdge Research highlights organic search's dominance as the primary source of trackable web traffic.
6 ways how content marketing helps SEO
The quickest way to reach a larger audience when writing blog posts is to make sure you are following SEO best practices. If you're already implementing SEO, the best way to show that you are an expert and gain your audience's trust is to make authoritative, high-quality content.
Here are six ways how content marketing helps SEO:
Rank in search engines
How often do you go to the second page of Google after typing in a search query?
Probably not very often.
In fact, an Advanced Web Findings study reveals that just over 9% of clicks make it to page 2 of Google. Although that could yet change with Google's adoption of infinite scrolling, you get the idea.
Web visitors want answers fast and don't want to spend time chasing them.
Google records over 8.5 billion daily searches, or in excess of 99,000 searches per second. Even with all that activity, the top 3 positions account for 50–70% of clicks, depending on which study you prefer.
The point I'm making is that having an online presence is not good enough anymore.
Ideally, you want your page to show up on the first page of organic search results for your target keyword.
The top 3, if possible really.
Poor quality content doesn't fare well on search engines, and showing up on page 2 or further down in the SERPs isn't very helpful.
With the right content for your SEO strategy, you can move up in the search results for your pages.
By including relevant keywords
Including semantically related keywords in your blog post can help search engines grasp context and greater insight into what your topic is about and whether it satisfies user intent.
Here’s an example of semantically relevant keywords along with their suggested frequency for this article using Content Editor.
Besides keyword research, you can also use Google's autocomplete, People Also Ask and related searches at the bottom of SERPs if you prefer a manual approach.
By publishing content hubs
Creating content clusters using a pillar and supporting pages approach can help you cover topical maps and display expertise, which can affect rankings in the SERPs.
Similarweb's Amazon SEO guide is a good example of a content hub's pillar page that links to various supporting articles.
Content hubs signal to search engines that your website knows enough to publish several related articles on a designated topic, thus installing you as a subject matter expert on the material.
Improve brand awareness
Achieving higher page rankings with exceptional content is an effective content strategy to introduce your brand to users who may be unfamiliar with it but are actively seeking your products or services.
By consistently appearing in the top search results for related topics, you can effectively position your brand as a market leader, bringing them into your content marketing funnel.
Take the example of Dash who's ranking on the first page for a high keyword difficulty search term among massive websites like NY Times, Zillow and Realtor. What makes this even more impressive is that Dash has a domain authority of just 27 and only about a dozen backlinks while the average domain rating is in the high eighties.
As users repeatedly encounter your brand's high-quality content over and over again, they get to know and like it and start to associate it with value and expertise. This familiarity can ultimately lead to increased trust, loyalty, and conversion rates.
Nurture and educate your readers
Most people who use the Internet are not in the decision stage of their buyer's journey, so they are not ready to buy right away. Most of the time, they are still doing research and learning more about their needs and how to meet them by evaluating possible tools and services.
Think of your content as a guide they can benefit from during this learning process. You can effectively grow your audience and meet their needs at each stage by giving them content that is tailored to that stage.
During the awareness stage, you can get their attention by giving them information that helps them figure out what their problems are.
In the consideration stage, your content can show different ways to solve a problem while subtly pointing out your products or services.
As they move on to the decision stage, you can show the benefits of your product through detailed comparisons, case studies, and testimonials.
Once they are paying customers, you can retain them with fantastic customer support and encourage referrals.
Content can keep your brand at the top of people's minds.
So, when your audience is ready to make a choice and take action, they are more likely to choose your products because they're familiar with your company.
For example, Monday.com, a project management solution has a blog that helps readers with problems they may have with Agile project management, building customer loyalty, creating a budget and so on.
Build trust and credibility with your target audience
Content marketing is a powerful way to show that you are a thought leader and an expert in your field.
Insightful content in the form of industry commentary, white papers and thought leadership style articles can demonstrate your authority and help you earn the trust of both search engines and readers.
You can use customer data or unique perspectives to create content that your niche will find relevant. This ebook and reports from Slack are good examples of thought leadership content.
Thought leadership content can lead to industry recognition, as peers and competitors acknowledge your brand's insights and expertise. As well as differentiate your brand from competitors in the eyes of potential customers.
Earning trust and credibility with your target audience can lead to several positive outcomes.
Higher conversion rates
Customers are more likely to choose your products or services when they trust your expertise so you can expect a higher conversion.
Additionally, Google's E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) guidelines make authority and trust crucial factors to consider when evaluating content marketing SEO.
By complying with E-E-A-T, your site's content tells search engines that it is a reliable, informative source.
Original research and high-quality content can be powerful magnets for backlinks from other authoritative sites which are more likely to reference and link to your content as a reliable source of information.
Since backlinks are a critical ranking factor, these endorsements from authoritative sources signal to search engines that your content is credible and valuable.
We have implemented a content marketing strategy attract backlinks for our blog quite successfully in the past year or so.
As your content earns more backlinks, your search engine rankings improve, leading to higher search visibility.
This increased visibility brings more people to your website, which keeps the growth cycle going. The more high-quality content you make, the more backlinks and mentions you get, which then boosts your rankings and brings in even more traffic.
This cycle creates a positive feedback loop that lets your website gain authority and credibility over time and reach a larger and larger audience.
Showcase your product
Each year, companies spend more than $600 billion trying to convince people to buy from them, yet consumers have become insensitive to blatant advertising.
Content marketing offers an excellent opportunity to present your products and services as solutions to user challenges, subtly conveying their benefits without being intrusive like traditional advertisements.
By making useful content that addresses the problems of your audience and works in your products or services in a natural, organic manner, you can demonstrate how your products or services can genuinely help your readers.
This approach allows you to seamlessly introduce your products within the context of useful and engaging content. Instead of blatantly trying to sell your products, you present them as useful resources that add to the blog post's information.
Your audience is more likely to view your products and services positively in this manner, as they see them in the context of problem-solving and value addition rather than as an interruption or hard sell.
With content, you can show off your products and services in a way that doesn't bother users and is focused on their needs. This builds trust and brand loyalty while also getting the word out about the benefits of your products and services.
- Adopting a combined approach to both SEO and content marketing can help you perform better in search rankings, improve brand awareness, build trust and website authority in the eyes of search engines and potential customers
- Having a solid SEO driven content marketing strategy for your website that includes creating content hubs with semantically relevant content can help you establish topical authority which in turn, means better rankings and more website traffic
- Thought leadership content like original research in the form of reports and white papers can help you establish authority and build industry credibility leading to improved conversions and E-E-A-T approval.
- High quality content can nurture your readers through their buyer journey and earn their trust so that your products or services are top of mind when they're ready to make a decision
- Content can natively showcase your product and services in organic, meaningful, and non intrusive ways as potential solutions to your readers' pain points.
When you think of content, think of SEO. And vice versa.
Both strategies are essential to drive organic traffic and establish a strong online presence. SEO makes your content more visible and easier to find, while content marketing creates high-quality content that search engines and users favor. Integrating the two into one cohesive strategy is the most efficient way to achieve your content goals successfully.