How Great Content Drives SEO
Introduction to SEO and Content Marketing
Let’s explore how great content drives SEO. In the digital media world, you’ve probably heard the phrase “content is king,” especially with respect to search engine optimization or SEO. Search engine optimization and content marketing are often viewed as separate online marketing strategies. Some marketers only focus on SEO without incorporating content marketing, while others think that doing content marketing eliminates the need for SEO.
SEO and content marketing are two separate and distinct operations, but they are more effective when they are in alignment and used together. When used together, the desired results for the organization providing the information and the target audience receiving the information are attainable. But the delivery of the information, if using organic search results, cannot take place unless the person looking for the information can find the web page. The web page will not be found organically if it is buried in the seventh or eighth page of an organic search result. SEO is critical to searchers finding relevant information, and most searchers are only considering the list of websites served up on the first page of a search result, and will ignore the thousands of pages that follow. To be found, then, the webpage ideally should be on the first page of the search results.
Why Is Content Marketing Important to SEO?
The goal of incorporating a strong content marketing strategy into an SEO campaign is to engage the visitor and delight them with helpful information and a rewarding experience that they will want to share on social media platforms or email. Time spent on a website, the number of pages visited, the number of return visits, sharing website content, and engaging with the website by playing video, clicking buttons and graphics, and downloading files are all actions that increase a website’s SEO ranking.
Gone are the days when SEO was only about keywords and phrases, at times out of context. Google, Bing and Yahoo are now smarter at returning results in a topical manner and at ranking pages with relevant, high-quality content at the top of search results. Google’s Panda update penalizes pages with thin content. This means that the keywords you are targeting that are inserted on the page must be consistent with what the web page is purporting to be about. And the content must have high information value, be understandable, be grammatically correct, and be interesting. Also, there are numerous studies showing that longer articles (articles with more than 450 words) rank higher than shorter articles (articles with less than 450 words).
In a study conducted by MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute, eighty-eight percent (88%) of B2B respondents use content marketing and seventy-six percent (76%) of B2C marketers use content marketing. These percentages give you an idea of the power that content marketing is considered to have on the internet using public — statistics worthy of consideration.
How to Design SEO and Content Marketing to Feed Off Each Other
Early in its evolution, SEO was comprised primarily of the technical aspects of a website (e.g., meta titles, meta descriptions, meta keywords, alt tags, site mapping, URLs, navigation, HTML tags, links, efficient and correct coding, etc.). The early purpose of SEO was to basically prepare your website to be easily crawled by the search engine robots for indexing so that they can provide the most technically relevant and high-quality web pages to searchers. The more compliant with search engine algorithms a web page is, the higher the web page is ranked.
As search engine technology progressed, more emphasis was placed on value to the end-users and user experience. Search engines began penalizing websites and web pages for poor or deceptive content and links, broken links, keyword stuffing, confusing navigation, slow load times, and more. Search engines have the job of serving up the best web pages available on the internet to satisfy their customers and the internet searching public.
In summary, the higher the SEO compliance with Google, Bing and Yahoo search algorithms, the more congruent the keywords are with the content, the higher the quality of the content, and the better the user experience, the higher the web page is ranked.
Let us take a closer look at how to create synergies between SEO and content marketing.
1) First and foremost, make sure your website is compliant with the technical standards of SEO for Google, Bing and Yahoo. Having everything on your website technically correct with respect to the search engines is imperative. It includes optimizing your robots.txt, proper URL structure, use of proper tags, easy-to-understand navigation, quick load time, alt text, and more.
2) Submit a sitemap file with links to the relevant pages for the robots and a human-readable list of links to the related pages on the website. Make sure the If-Modified-Since HTTP header is correctly supported by your web server so the search engines know when a page has been changed.
3) Your users will be accessing information on your website using many different devices. They may be using a desktop computer, a laptop, a tablet, or a smartphone. Make certain that your website performs well and all the functions are operational on all devices and on Google, Bing an Yahoo.
4) Create High Quality Content. Write about the topics people search to find your offerings. When they do find you, make sure they get the information they want. Use targeted keywords that you believe your target audience is using in the copy, but do not stuff or overuse your targeted keywords on your page or your web page will be penalized.
5) Write copy that is interesting and grammatically correct, inserting your target keywords naturally within the content and creating supporting content for the targeted keywords. You want the visitor to remain on your website, so give them the information they expect to find and make the experience enjoyable. The search engines reward websites that provide excellent user experiences.
6) Rich graphics, photographs and video are powerful elements that engage your visitor, by entertaining as well as informing them. Use these elements with your target audience in mind.
7) Check for and correct misspellings and grammatical errors. An error-riddled article does not make for a very good user experience. Errors will cause your visitor to find it hard to comprehend your article. Out of frustration and inconvenience, they will jump off because they cannot easily understand the points being made. Make every effort to assure that each visitor has an excellent user experience so that they spend time on your pages to digest the information and interact with the content.
8) Use anchor text and hyperlinks to tie related pages within your website so that visitors can easily jump to another page of your website, but make it easy for your visitor to find their way back to a previously visited page so they can regain their bearings. Opening up pages with related content in separate tabs is useful in this regard because the visitor still has the previously visited page open.
9) The more time a visitor spends on a website, the higher the website will be ranked by the search engines. By extension, the better the user experience, the longer the visitor will spend on the website, and the higher the website will be ranked by the search engines.
10) Promote, Distribute, Share Your Content, Build Natural Links, and Increase Traffic. Positioning your website on the best internet real estate doesn’t stop with creating high-quality content, you should also share and distribute your content. Make sure that your content is distributed in vertical or niche blogs, video sites, and other web properties, as well as in the social sphere. Social sharing helps you attract natural traffic and links. When people see your content and like it, they will share it with their friends, and in turn, help build natural links and increase your website traffic.
11) Website pages with numerous backlinks (especially from educational, government, and authority websites) are rewarded by the search engines with higher ranking in search results. Educational, government, and authority websites are considered authoritative. If a link exists between these types of sites, the recipient of the link is viewed as, authoritative, in tern, as well as highly regarde.
12) Foster Continuous Growth. SEO and content marketing are continuous processes. With Google, Bing and Yahoo continuously updating their algorithms, you should make sure your SEO is up-to-date and compliant. Also, you cannot just create a website, put content in it, distribute it, and wait for it to rise in the rankings. Instead, you must continuously update your website to comply with Google, Bing and Yahoo updates, as well as create, share and distribute new or updated content ongoingly so the robots keep coming back to crawl, index and display your website in search results.
13) Make Sure Your Service Provider Is Up-to-Date on SEO and Content Marketing. Not all business owners have the bandwidth or are capable of performing SEO and content marketing themselves. In these cases, an SEO and online marketing agency is the recommended solution. However, not all SEO and content marketing agencies are the same. If you decide to hire a marketing agency, make sure you have engaged a reliable SEO professional who will keep your website updated and compliant with Google, Bing and Yahoo search engines and keep your visitors engaged with content marketing that employs best practices.
The SEO methodologies at Breakthrough SEO Marketing comply with the latest Google, Bing and Yahoo algorithms. Also, Breakthrough SEO Marketing professionals create high-quality content that will draw in traffic and invite link building, engagement, and conversions.
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