How to Unite Your Content Marketing and SEO Strategies

How to Unite Your Content Marketing and SEO Strategies

The secret to success in content marketing is to produce engaging content. That particular piece of advice has been offered by just about every expert in the industry.

But the only way you can engage your audience is if you get website traffic to begin with.

In fact, getting website traffic is so important that a majority of B2B and B2C content marketers rate website traffic as the most important metric for success.

content marketing and seo strategy

content marketing and seo strategy unity

Curiously, only about 40% of content marketers consider SEO ranking to be an important metric of success. This suggests that many content marketers don’t fully appreciate the synergistic relationship between an optimized SEO strategy and website traffic.

Optimizing SEO isn’t a new idea, but due to the constantly changing standards that search engines like Google use to identify quality content, your strategy for optimization needs to be constantly evolving. Almost every content marketer makes a few SEO mistakes, but one of the most common mistakes that many content marketers make is relying on outdated strategies and metrics.

The following tips will help you avoid common pitfalls and develop an up-to-date SEO strategy that will improve website traffic.

1. Make Keywords Count But Don’t Actually Count Them

A common request from my clients is to use a keyword a specific number of times. This was standard operating procedure a few years ago after many search engine modified their ranking metrics to try to counteract keyword stuffing, but ranking metrics have since improved.

While keyword density is still a small part of determining the rank of a web page, the quality of that content is even more important.

If you are using keywords organically, you don’t generally need to worry about total number, though replacing a few with synonyms probably won’t hurt (see below).

2. Trust the Robots

Technically Google, Yahoo, and Bing rankings aren’t controlled by robots, but there is a significant amount of automation involved in search engine ranking. One of the nice things about that automation is that it is remarkably good at recognizing query term synonyms and co-occurrence.

Thus, even if your blog uses the keyword “dog walking service” repeatedly, every major search engine will recognize that the term is synonymous with “dog walker” and probably even “pet walker” and “pet care service.”

This is another area where I have found that the knowledge of many of my clients is out of date. I commonly receive requests to use specific keywords, with no room for variation.

You can and should use variations on your keywords if you want to improve your ranking. For similar reasons, you shouldn’t overload your metadata with keywords that are synonyms or co-occurring.

3. The Search Engine Wars Are Over

…and Google won. Google is used by roughly 4 times as many people as the rest of the competition combined.

google dominates search
Image Credit: Global Stats

That means that you want to adhere to Google’s guidelines for creating high quality content if you want to improve traffic. Thankfully, those guidelines were leaked and it is easy to find guides on how to adhere to Google content quality guidelines precisely.

One of the most important takeaways of this leak is that human beings adjust the rankings after the robots have done their job. Appealing to the human reader is just as important as appealing to the robots, if not more so.

And the secret to that is value, variety, and volume. The first two are particularly important for the human analysts who will be judging whether or not your content should be considered high quality or expert.

Always produce top quality work and the volume will automatically come with time.

4. A Picture is Worth a Thousand Clicks

Words aren’t the only metric being used to judge your content. Images and links also need to be a part of your SEO strategy. Good link usage is actually quite easy, because the rules for good links are pretty much identical to the rules for good keyword usage.

Use them organically and always make sure they are high quality.

Images are a little different, though, because they are used to provide a visual break for the readers almost as much as they are used to support your content. One of the best examples of excellent image use on the internet is Cracked.com.

For example, in this article about the environment, note the third image on item #5. It breaks up the monotony of nature images, adds humor, and makes a meaningful statement about the content.

While every use of images won’t live up to this gold standard, you want your images to create a mental break for the reader whenever possible, even if just by adding a little color to your content.

A Great Marriage is Built Over Time

No matter how much you optimize your SEO strategy, and no matter how many advanced concepts you implement, you won’t see drastic results overnight.

It will take time for your content marketing to net positive results from your optimized SEO strategy. Be patient and the results will be worth the effort.

Mickey David

Article by

Mickey has degrees in linguistics and logic from a top 25 university. He has been writing online for the approximately five years, specializing in gaming, hobbies, and media. He has never missed a deadline. Quality and speed are equally important to Mickey and he'll never sacrifice one for the other.

Content Creation for Your Blog

Learn more
Content Marketing

Crowd Content at Content Marketing World 2015

Continue reading

Content Marketing

How to Pull the Trigger: Perfecting Your Sales Fun …

Continue reading

Leave a Reply

avatar
Georgia Potts
Guest
Georgia Potts

Well, Bing has consistently grown its market share. Yes, Google is on top right now, but Bing is closing in. I wouldn’t discount other search engines just yet.

cpatgibson
Guest
cpatgibson

Bing is constantly improving, however I like the simple functionality of Google and I’ve grown used to Google.

Natalya Ward
Guest
Natalya Ward

I’ve grown to love search engines that aggregate results from Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. Why? As a researcher, I’ve grown tired of certain search engines (ahem…Google), customizing my results, even if I don’t log in. But I do agree, Bing is preferred by many and honestly, I find it as simple to use as Google.

cpatgibson
Guest
cpatgibson

I love the simple functionality of Google and therefore I’m not surprised that it is ranked number on in the most used search engines.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

Google is probably going to remain at the top of the list of the most used search engines for a long time. It’s going to take something special to knock Google off its throne.

Natalya Ward
Guest
Natalya Ward

Thank you for pointing out the need for keyword variation. I’ve had many clients who are still diehard keyword density fans. In many cases, the keyword doesn’t fit in organically at all. Adding more variation helps far more than sticking to using Keyword A five times and Keyword B three times.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

Keyword density is an idea that has outlived its usefulness, if it ever had any usefulness at all.

Georgia Potts
Guest
Georgia Potts

It once did. The algorithms were once so different than they are today. I remember people wanting 15% keyword densities, if you can imagine that. And you know what? It worked!

Cricket
Guest
Cricket

I have a few clients who are still really wrapped up in using keyword X this many times per 100 words. I’ve tried educating them, but they’re not ready for anything new yet. Personally, I love using bing, but since it’s such a personal choice I’m painfully aware that I have to make my content work in all the search engines for the best results. If Google ain’t happy…. 🙂

Georgia Potts
Guest
Georgia Potts

I can’t stand that- use this keyword five times in the copy! It’s silly, and it won’t help them.

Tay H
Guest
Tay H

Your tip on variations on keywords is great but, as mentioned your clients need to be open to the idea as well. Thank you for sharing googles guidelines. Interesting read.

Bethany A.
Guest
Bethany A.

Love the tip about making keywords count without counting them! Too much keyword stuffing is never good.

More in Content Marketing
Content Marketing World Crowd Content
Crowd Content at Content Marketing World 2015

Another year has passed and Content Marketing World (CMWorld) is just around the corner. If you aren't familiar with CMWorld, it...

Close