The nature of the internet is that content is king. The search engines favor it. Users are looking for it. Brands are producing it in droves. And yet, many companies still struggle to get their content marketing and SEO strategies working together.
It’s not that these two online marketing strategies don’t complement each other — they absolutely do. It’s just that there’s a lot of confusion about how best to bring them together, what each of them is responsible for, and why they need to work together in the first place.
At the beginning of 2016, I wrote an article about the importance of content marketing for SEO success. In it, I talked about how Google is using content to determine its search rankings and that marketers need to understand where SEO and content marketing overlap.
How do we make these two strategies work together?
Building out your content marketing strategy will be useful for a long time to come. But if you want to see real results from it, you have to have a plan for making it work with your SEO efforts.
The rise of content marketing has led to the establishment of a number of new roles and departments, each with its own unique set of responsibilities. At the same time, search engine optimization (SEO) has continued to evolve.
Websites need both SEO and content marketing to be successful. You can’t have one without the other, so it’s essential that your teams work together. But how do you get them to collaborate?
Here are some tips for aligning your SEO and content marketing strategies:
If content is king, why does your business need SEO?
SEO (search engine optimization) is one of those things that’s hard to get excited about as a marketer, but it’s absolutely crucial to any digital business. You see, SEO is more than just keywords; it’s an entire strategy that involves creating content people want to read, optimizing the site so Google can understand what it’s all about and building links from other sites back to yours.
Keyword research is essential for creating great content
Content without keywords is just stuff you write. And if you’re producing stuff that no-one’s searching for, then it’s not going to generate much traffic or leads.
Keyword research is an essential part of SEO and helps to inform which topics your audience is interested in and what words they use when they’re searching for them. It also shows how competitive a topic is and which search phrases are likely to get you the best results.
One of the biggest benefits of content marketing is the organic traffic it brings in. The more you publish, the more likely people are to find you through search engines. But there’s one big challenge to this approach:
It’s not enough to just publish consistently. If your content doesn’t match what people are searching for, it won’t get found. That’s where keywords come in.
Market research is one of the most important elements of a successful SEO marketing strategy. It gives you a clear understanding of your customers, how they think, and what makes them tick.
In short, keyword research provides the inspiration for good content creation.
Build Your Content Marketing Strategy Around Keywords
The days are long gone where you could create a piece of content, publish it and hope that people find it. If you want high-converting organic traffic, you have to understand how people search for your product or service, and then deliver content that meets their needs.
We call this process “creating content around keywords.” You’ll come up with topics based on what people are searching for in Google, which will inform the type of content you’ll create.
According to Search Engine Journal and the Content Marketing Institute, 93% of marketers use content marketing.
If you are one of those 93%, then you probably understand the importance of planning your marketing strategy around keywords.
The right keyword strategy has the power to:
● Increase organic traffic and conversions by up to 100%.
● Boost average visitor time on page by up to 10.8%.
● Increase inbound links by up to 7.5%.
The wrong keyword strategy, on the other hand, can have a negative impact on your marketing efforts. For example:
● It can reduce organic traffic by up to 80%.
● It can increase bounce rates by up to 65%
Here’s how you can build your content marketing strategy around keywords for maximum ROI.
If you’re not doing market research, you probably don’t understand your customer’s needs and pain points. As a result, it’s much harder to create content that speaks to their problems and resonates with them. Without understanding your audience, you won’t get very far when it comes to building brand awareness or generating leads.
Example for understanding your audience
For example, let’s say you sell yoga mats online and have noticed an increase in sales on mats designed for hot yoga. You might assume that people don’t like the feel of normal yoga mats in hot conditions and decide to focus on creating content centered around this issue.
However, you could be missing out on a crucial piece of information: People who practice hot yoga might dislike the odor of their mat after sweating during class. If you’re creating content based on your first assumption instead of researching your ideal customer more thoroughly, you’ll end up talking about the wrong things — even if your original idea was partially correct.
Understand your target audience
When you’re creating your content, you need to speak directly to your audience’s wants and needs. That means you have to figure out what they’re searching for online. You can do this by using keyword research tools like the one HubSpot provides.
Figure out what your audience is searching for by using a tool like the HubSpot Keywords tool. Then, create content that answers their questions or solves their problems — and make sure you include those keywords in your writing!
The point of a content marketing strategy is to create content that will attract your target audience. That way they’ll be able to find what they’re looking for when they need it and you can generate more leads and sales. You want to create content that speaks to your customers and potential customers, but how do you know what questions or concerns to address? This is where keyword research comes in.
Keyword research is the process of finding what words and phrases people are searching for on search engines. It gives you insights into how people think about a particular topic, product or service.