Synopsis: This article discusses what steps you can take to make your current content marketing campaign more SEO-driven.

Why You Should Combine SEO and Content Marketing

Nowadays, it seems like all you hear about in the SEO industry is content marketing. Content is King! Provide value through content. Make engaging content for your audience. Content, content, content! Forget SEO! Google’s different now and we need CONTENT.

The endless demand for content from the biggest search engines makes you wonder if SEO itself and the tactics and craft that go behind it is still valid. To answer that, yes, SEO is still very much alive. Consider it the backbone of every successful online site that ranks on top of Google’s search results.

If one thing that was dead, it would soon be the blackhat strategies that webmasters employ in order to manipulate and game the algorithms. With Google refreshing Panda and Penguin every year, it’s only a matter of time before the big search engine makes spammy sites and shady tactics yesterday’s memory.

So why is content marketing becoming more important? Number 1, the internet is made up of content, information, or data. Google wants to sort that information well. Like really, really well. So every year they do something with their algorithm that allows them to organise data how they like it depending on factors like site age, content age, number of backlinks, keyword focus, site speed, and more. We don’t want to get into that though as it’ll warrant an encyclopaedia set-worth of discussion.

But going back to content, with Google always reiterating its need for value through its search algorithms, it’s only a matter of time before everyone needs to put their big shoes on and get on board the content marketing train.

This doesn’t mean that you can lose sight of your SEO. SEO is still essential for any content marketing to succeed. Which is why in this article, we decided it would be a good idea to talk about how you can make your current content marketing campaign more SEO-focused.

By following these steps, not only are you meeting the needs of your target audience. You’re also giving Google what it wants which in turn propels you to the highest of the highest rankings you can only imagine. Before we begin, you need to understand first the role of keywords in your campaign.

Keywords will serve as your guide to creating content that’s relevant to Google’s search engines as well as your customers. You also need to consider that Google is much smarter now which means they don’t necessarily follow exact keyword match and will look more towards the intent of the searcher and the context of the content. With this in mind, you need to know that doing keyword research properly and writing content accordingly could mean success for your business or site.

Now that you know how important keywords are, it’s time to learn the steps you need to take in making your content marketing more SEO-driven.

1. Keyword research

Keyword Research is important when it comes to creating content for your website.

One of the first things you need to do is look for the right keywords and organise them accordingly. Begin with your Google AdWords Keyword Planner and take a look at the search terms users type in when looking for the kind of product or service you provide. It’s interesting what queries you will find using the Keyword Planner. You can use this later for brainstorming topics to write for your audiences.

Now list down 30 of the keywords that revolve around your business. If you’re very niche specific, 30 keywords should do but if your business runs on a wider scope then you may need to come up with more. Limit yourself to 100 keywords at most.

Using those keywords, go ahead and research the kind of results that will show up when you do a basic search on the search engine. Get some insights at the bottom of the results that say “Searches related”. This should also help give you some insight on what your target audience is looking for.

Remember that Google rewards sites that provide value to users. And if you are constantly putting out valuable content to users interested in your niche, the more traffic you will get. And higher traffic and engagement your site has, the likelier it is that Google will rank you. Don’t ever forget about this when brainstorming for topics to put in your content calendar.

2. Content creation

Content Creation - Actual copywriting is more difficult than it looks! By providing useful content, you are serving the needs of your target audience as well as pleasing Google's ranking algorithm!

Now that you’re equipped with the right keywords and insights, it’s time to create the content. Regardless of how frequently you post content, it’s important to focus on one keyword at a time. Let’s say you post once a week, for every time that you post, make sure that you content is targeted around that one keyword only. Next week, another keyword and so on.

Your content should be relevant to the keyword and contain the exact keyword match. You don’t need to spam your content with keywords as we all know Google isn’t a big fan of keyword stuffing. Instead, drop a few here and there making sure they sound natural in the content. More focus should be placed around the context of the content.

To help you organise all this, you can try using a content calendar such as CoSchedule. This tool allows you to keep track of your content’s schedule as it appears on the calendar. Together with it, you can put important notes such as the target keyword, points, and ideas related to the topic. You can even use it to help enhance the quality of your posts by gathering feedback from your team during content development.

Remember that in order for you to succeed in marketing, you need to consistently release quality content for your audience. So having an editorial calendar helps keep things organised.

3. SEO Check

SEO Check - Make sure your content is always optimised for SEO purposes, such as writing meta titles and descriptions, alt image text, etc.

Once your content is ready and the keywords are in place, it’s time to post it on the CMS tool that you’re using. If you’re using WordPress, Yoast is the go-to SEO tool for all. The tool checks your content for focus keywords that you are targeting for. It checks for the page URL, title page, headers, and meta description.

Before posting, you want to make sure that all fields in the SEO Yoast tool is marked as green meaning your content is now optimised for your focus keyword.

It’s important to take note though that meeting all the focus keyword requirements for SEO isn’t the end-all for succeeding in search rankings. Remember that Google takes the user’s intent into consideration when ranking a site.

In Conclusion

As we move towards an era where content has more weight than technical SEO, it’s important that you begin investing in your content marketing immediately. But, make sure that you never forget SEO. You can get ahead in the content game as much as you like but if you’re not meeting basic SEO requirements, then your efforts become futile.

Take advantage of Google’s tools to gain insight on what your customers are looking for and create content based around those insights making sure it meets the standard SEO requirements. Keep your writers, content, and ideas organised with an editorial calendar that helps ensure you consistently post top-notch content.

These are all the makings of an effective SEO-driven content marketing campaign.

Got anything to add? Let us know in the comments.

SEO Driven Approach to Content Marketing