Content marketing can be described as a strategic approach that focuses primarily on both creating and distributing relevant and consistent data to appeal to, and capture a defined audience. The idea is to turn ultimately the audience into a commercial prospect. Another school of thought will define content marketing as the art of communicating with a perceived audience by providing valuable material that duly informs prospects about a particular product. It must be delivered consistently for customers to understand and eventually become loyal partners.
WHAT IS SEO (SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION)?
SEO is simply the process used by search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing among others to optimize a website so that online visitors can easily find it. It involves a set of guidelines meant for all sites to follow, to ensure there is a level ground for all stakeholders. With the Internet becoming the largest business platform on the planet, the scramble for space has become real. Measures to curb malpractices by some companies had to be put across to protect bulging and existing businesses, and to a larger extent; the customers.
The Significance of SEO
Google has made a lot of changes, and many might be wondering why SEO is still relevant in marketing. For the longest time, tactics and tricks for optimizing and creating opportunity were the order but that has since changed. Content is now king. Depending on the nature of content posted, high levels of discipline must be ensured. Google, for example, has laid out strict rules that are aimed at streamlining the market, and ensuring that customers looking for information online are guaranteed of getting the best.
Today, it makes more sense for writers to use tactics driven by SEO. With some addition of science to content marketing, expectations are high, and the future is really bright for online business. These things cannot be compromised which is why they must be done right. The consequences of not doing what search engines require are dire in relation to the expected success obtained from quality content marketing.
WHO SAID CONTENT MARKETING AND SEO ARE NOT INTEGRATED?
There will be arguments about whether SEO is dead, and how content marketing has come of age to eliminate its relevance. The truth of the matter is, while these are two different entities, they blend, overlap, and cohere. There is no basis for saying that SEO has been overtaken by content marketing because the success of the latter depends on the platform set by the former. SEO cannot be defined as anything tangible, and that is where the problem comes in. It is more of a service that cannot be seen while content marketing is more of what people see whenever they open a page on the Internet.
Are There Differences Between SEO and Content Marketing?
There are several critical issues that distinguish the two, but they remain inseparable in a lot more ways. The elemental contrast between SEO and content marketing is that SEO is narrower and requires more technique to execute, while content writing, on the other hand, is broader and holistic. It is said to be broader because of the fact that it involves several entities besides text, images, and videos.
Application of SEO is done via channeling of its technical endeavors into content marketing while successful content marketing is only through application and implementation of SEO techniques. This only goes to prove how none of them can work independently without the involvement of the other.
Another way to look at how the two integrate is by thinking about how content marketing fulfills demands made by SEO. A practical example would be an active conversation between two people. It is referred to as a conversation only when both parties are participating, and in this case, both strategies must be equally engaged to make it count.
There can never be SEO without content because you need substantial words and articles, keywords, and verbiage. While content marketing involves broadcasting information and remaining relevant, SEO is what facilitates the broadcast, and is what determines the value and relevance of the information.
SEO requires keywords while content marketing means using them. Keywords are a fundamental component of SEO, and no one can dispute that. It is all about researching, utilizing, and tracking their ranking in SERPs.
Practical Application of Keywords
It is not easy to understand as a layman how research of these keywords is funneled into its practical application, but that is the basis of content marketing. Keywords must be employed professionally and strategically throughout the content. The quality must be top-notch and targeted for humans who will easily find it through your targeted keywords.
The secret to gaining top ranking is through integrating both content marketing and SEO in a manner that is acceptable among search engines. Optimizing and stuffing your content with keywords is detrimental, as you will be found out by Panda, and chances are your ranking will drop, or your pages will be banned. Google and other search engines have smart ways of looking into which parts of your content consist of unnecessarily too many keywords.
When SEO demands back-links, content marketing introduces them. Your dream of SEO can only materialize if you provide stellar content throughout your marketing. There are several link-building ways, but the most efficient way is by the creation of organic content. Once you have sorted that, there’ll be no question about whether your page will be considered or not. Provided everything has been put in order, it becomes a sure sale. It is advantageous too, in the sense that you will not be required to pay a dime because that is your effort as opposed to building links through advertisements. Prospective affiliates will assess the quality of your content first, and if it satisfies them, relax, they’ll look for you. Essentially, provide material worth linking to and sit back.
While SEO demands output consistently, content marketing needs to be consistent. Search engines such as Google have for a long period been attracted by fresh content. Older low-value stuff does not get the same indexing as new high-value one, and if you have been around SEO, you must already be aware of that. Publishing fresh content that commands immense authority is a sure recipe for SERP boost.
Success in SEO, then, is all about ensuring a consistent output of content, and that means that you’re doing everything right with your content marketing. It should be a continuous process whereby you keep posting fresh, valuable material as demanded by the prevailing industry needs.
HOW TO COMBINE SEO WITH CONTENT MARKETING FOR MORE ONLINE TRAFFIC
Running content marketing and SEO as independent marketing campaigns is not likely to have the same effect on your online business as combining them. You’re likely to use more resources and also spend a lot of time that you would have used in integrating them. Here are some smart ways you can use to combine both to your advantage:
1. Create stellar content that will attract even Wikipedia
Wikipedia remains one of the most relevant sources of traffic today because it accounts for almost everything searched on Google. With the right content updated regularly, you are having a claim for links on the world’s most visited websites. Remember that you will be required to provide active content as required by the Internet spies’ otherwise, you will be marked as a “dead link.”
To get the most out of your links, put more emphasis on creating pages that are keyword-driven and have that visitor perspective. As much as you would wish to create hundreds of links, avoid getting over ambitious as this might drive you to put up numerous irrelevant pages in the name of link building.
2. Relate content with keywords
Blogging is not meant just for bringing traffic to your website, but rather having these visitors getting the information they need from the content. Always ensure that your content focuses mainly on the keywords highlighted. One mistake you’d not want to do is to knock your audience the wrong way. That is a business suicide that can take all your energy trying to rebuild. SEO is keen on the relevance of material provided, which takes you back to the relationship between the two. As earlier mentioned, SEO cannot survive without content, and content marketing cannot prevail without SEO-passed content. There is just no way to escape that.
3. Aim for quality rather than quantity
Initially, before Google brought about the stringent rules to have the quality of content checked, people would publish all kinds of below-par stuff and still attain numbers in traffic. Their algorithm, however, became smart, and they discovered ways of ranking pages according to quality. Today, you can barely see pages with low-quality content attaining high ranking; they do not appear at all. To this effect, your focus should be on providing quality and something that will appeal to the readers. It would be a waste of time publishing long articles that bear only very little information, or are irrelevant to what target groups are likely to search. Also, with in-depth articles you are assured of an increase in traffic.
Once you have ascertained that you can provide short but high-quality articles, you can now start focusing on creating more detailed ones. Details go hand in hand with word count, and if you must know, Google prioritizes longer blogs. Articles with a word count of above 2,000 words sell more, and if their standards are acceptable by SERPs, then they provide a perfect platform for linking.
WHEN CONTENT MARKETING BECOMES INEFFECTIVE
Quite often, clients will make mistakes without knowing, and the obvious question will be why it’s not working for them. In such scenarios, the answers are simple and obvious.
1. Weak planning
SEO experts have always been keen on content marketing as a major player in the industry. Planning is what makes it work and, therefore, it must be done professionally. It has been around for many years, and although it is now more popular, content marketing involves smart planning.
2. Failure to integrate content marketing into the right digital channels
Proper planning of digital channel marketing is not so common among many organizations, and that is where the problem comes in. The process of getting equipped with fresh and relevant content is compromised. If you’re to get the most out of your SEO content, the secret lies in developing what people are interested in reading or seeing. Such content converts much better, and in record time.
3. Failing to distinguish between content marketing and advertising
Most online investors perceive content marketing as just producing content, publishing it for people to see, and waiting to get orders from customers who have been convinced. What they forget is what matters most; content marketing is a continuous process that involves the following:
- Creating a connection with your audience
- Building a reputation and trust
- Becoming an authority
- Being the name they can trust when they want to place an order
If your concentration is on writing and distributing of content advertorials, try changing your strategy. You’re likely to pay a lot of money for getting your pages linked, and this is a temporary campaign that dies down only after a short time. Publish content that is more inclined on informing the public, rather than advertising to them. To ensure that you remain relevant, there is need to keep feeding them with more information based on what they would like to know. The FAQ segment should try as much as possible to cover much of the customer concerns.
4. Lack of foresight about digital content marketing
It is a common occurrence that online advertising agencies have been taking advantage of market rookies. They provide them with solutions for their businesses without taking their time to acquire an in-depth knowledge of what their businesses entail. Some of these agencies are out to do business, and they’ll do whatever it takes to get clients, even if it means duping them to get into partnership with them.
As a newbie in the online market, there is an etiquette that you’ll need to subscribe to, and that is following the set criteria. No one was born with the knowledge they have, so there’s no harm taking some time to learn the basics of the industry, and associating with the most reputable service providers.
5. Making irrational decisions
Always remember that SEO has its rules and regulations that must be adhered to by all means. The type of content you publish cannot be a product of a hasty decision just because you have a deadline to beat, or you want your products to start selling as quickly as possible. The truth is, you’ll be making a gross mistake that might be costly to correct. Take all the time in the world and have your content thoroughly verified before publishing because you’d not wish to kick-off your business at loggerheads with search engines.
VARIOUS TYPES OF SEO CONTENT
SEO content for content marketing can include the following:
Product Pages – They form the basis of any e-commerce site. A well-executed product page can have two uses: a PPC landing page and SEO content.
Articles – Think along the lines of news articles or a feature piece and you will have glued someone to your site. Those are what you’ll find mostly in newspapers and magazines.
Blog Posts – This is one of the surest ways to create traffic to your website today. People love them because they are more interactive and, therefore, are likely to create more links than product pages. They are also known to create authority for your page, and luckily for you, they are flexible and can be utilized to host other types of content.
Videos – It is a fact that text pages form the bulk of web content, but that does not mean that you cannot attain high ranking through videos. Although it depends on the type of business you run, ‘How-To’ videos can be very powerful. Video tutorials of how to use your products can be instant hits.
Other types of SEO content include:
All said and done; there is no tangible justification as to whether SEO has been outdone by content marketing because all the information available tends to co-relate the two. Whatever the type of SEO content you opt to use in content marketing, it must follow the rules set out by the SEO. What could have prompted analysts to overlook the significance of SEO in online business is because it operates from behind. Content is what online audience view and regard, but it is easy to forget the backroom operations that are carried out silently.
If there were a way of posting a challenge of submitting content for marketing, without the need for SEO, that would be like taking many steps back to when Google accepted any content without vetting. Truth be told, online business has blossomed largely due to the streamlining it has received from search engines. Supposing there were no rules, and content posted was to go out there for customers to verify what they want. There would be high levels of plagiarism, and some businesses would be taking advantage of others by benefiting from the efforts of others.