SEO plus Content Marketing is a match made in heaven

It’s likely you worry about SEO plus Content Marketing and whether your business is coming up in search If you have a business website you probably fret a lot about search. However, it’s not a case of “beating the algorithm” it’s all about producing high quality content that people are searching for. Yes, really it’s that basic.

Content marketing is key

The way we buy has changed. No one wants to be bombarded by adverts. Content marketing started way back in magazines when you would see an advertorial. It would look like the magazine but it was sponsored by a brand. Think of content marketing as being a little like that. Certainly the difference is you cannot create content for the sake of it. Oh no, that is not the way. If you create content marketing that fits your target audiences’ needs and answers their specific questions that’s going to help enormously. Why? Well consider this, if your content marketing answers the questions being asked you’re more likely to get seen.

However, and this is a very significant however, your content needs to be optimised for search engines too

Gone are the days when you had to stuff keywords all over the article. Yet, thinking about search is very important. The key combination is SEO plus Content Marketing or Content Marketing plus SEO if you prefer.

SEO and Content Marketing takes considerable time and effort to get right

SEO and Content Marketing takes considerable time and effort to get right

Search engines need great quality content

You need search engines. It’s basically a very cosy symbiotic relationship. But do you remember the days when a website could reach the top of a Google search but was filled with nonsense? That was the time of black hat SEO techniques or “cheating” if you like. Search engines’ reputation is built on providing useful information. Without this people will not use them. They need information now. As a consequence those kind of techniques had to stop. Google introduced updates: Penguin and Panda for example. Many websites were penalized for bad practices and dropped like a stone in the rankings. What a great day that was! Moz has a great list showing the history of Google’s algorithm updates and actually make fascinating reading – honest!

Google knows what’s happening, knows everything (but that is a very different story)

It can even tell you what you searched for at 3.30 on the 21st May 2013. So it has a long memory and actually knows what people look for. Therefore your website has to fit that type of niche criteria. It has to be worthwhile and it has to have a legitimate purpose. It might sound like hard work but remember the Internet is a network, it joins us together so why should we try to cheat the people around us?

Strangely SEO is not a dark art it’s based on developing human relationships

This is especially true when we consider that content marketing and to a certain extent, SEO is all about relationships. We need to be transparent, show people they actually matter. We must reach out and offer help, advice, ideas and information. There’s no point in pretending, otherwise you will be called out as a business. People talk. Digital word of mouth has never been so important and so potentially devastating. What you don’t want to do is piss people off. It really is that simple. So you can see that SEO plus Content Marketing is a combination you can’t ignore.

SEO plus Content marketing means good search results for humans

SEO plus Content marketing means good search results for humans

Is your content actually adding anything to the body of knowledge and wealth of existing information?

Therefore content marketing has to be well thought out if it’s got any chance of pleasing people and also working in terms of SEO. You have to see both aspects as part of the same project. Google wants to see results from search that answer questions. They want content that is unique, that represents your brand’s voice and is of the highest quality.

Yes, you can commission content from content farms but ask yourself: is it doing a good enough job?

Content Marketing Checklist

  • Would you want to read/watch/listen to this?
  • Is it adding anything to the experience or debate?
  • If you look at your own content does it answer a query?
  • Does it inform, engage or entertain?
  • Have you worked hard to make it easy to read?
  • Do all your images have alt tags so they can be found?
  • Are your treating your content like it really matters to people searching for help?
  • Can you carefully repurpose content to update, develop or skew to fit another niche?

Also think about how and when people search.

We know people are using mobile devices and speech recognition devices too. That means the way they search has changed. You can forget the old fashioned Boolean search:

apple+tart+recipe.

Remember that? OMG! Now people ask questions that sound like real speech and it’s called ‘semantic search’. It’s far more personal. Therefore to please the SEO algorithms and the people they are serving you have to work hard on both sides. Voice search is a key SEO trend in 2018. So, a piece of content cannot and should not be rattled off in minutes. That’s missing the whole point. It takes me almost as long to undertake the SEO work as it does to write the article in the first place. Commissioning a writer who can create engaging and high quality content alongside understanding SEO really is the way forward.

Take time to craft your content marketing messages; they really matter

Take time to craft your content marketing messages; they really matter

Remember: search traffic is usually good quality traffic

How do we know this? If you have a question you’re likely to have a need? How do I fix the sound on my LED TV? You may well give a serious and detailed response to a technical question but it also gives you the opportunity to discuss new types of TV (if you are a retailer) and whether it would be worth fixing the existing one or buying new.

Quite often a purchase starts with what appears to be an unrelated search. Maybe they have asked a question on a forum. Your detailed and thoughtful answer may be the beginning of a relationship that ends with the sale of a top spec TV. You are much likely to sell than using a banner ad or producing spammy content. It makes sense doesn’t it? By offering a solution to the question you sound helpful and knowledgeable. You sound fair and generous by giving out your knowledge. Therefore if I was buying a new TV who would I be likely to buy it from? Exactly.

Google, Bing and other search engines reward authority and that takes time and effort

Google and other search engines know this too and they want to reward those with authority who appear trustworthy and helpful. So ask yourself, is it likely that search engines will rank your post as authoritative? How does the whole website seem to people who land on it? Don’t thin you can suss this out and that’s the job done. There are changes regularly. What was working a few months back may not work now and will probably not work in the future. That’s why you need to partner with a team that can help you to create content that will be useful and undertake associated and ongoing SEO. Here is a link to a simple infographic you can use as a reminder of what you should be considering for SEO trends in 2018

Remember, SEO plus Content Marketing means an increase in business

Finally, if you think there is no one to help you with both aspects you’d be wrong. We have a team of SEO experts who work very closely with top quality UK English copywriters who understand what contemporary SEO and content  needs are right now.

You cannot afford to ignore SEO plus content marketing if you want your content marketing to succeed.

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