“Why should I write blogs?”
This is usually the first question a client asks when I start speaking about Content Marketing or Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
Probably you’ve heard enough for the importance of SEO for online success, therefore I won’t discuss this now. Instead, I will focus on the occurrence of how much SEO has changed over the years, up to the level that some claimed “SEO was dead”. Truth is it has changed dramatically in the last few years which led some people to think in a similar way.
What happened recently is that Google has started rewarding great content and penalising low quality websites which were using spam techniques to get quicker higher rankings and traffic.
The Content Marketing Wave
In recent years there’s been a lot of buzz around Content Marketing because of its ability to attract and convert customers. It all comes down to creating and distributing valuable and relevant content to the right audience, which will in turn guide them through the full buyer life-cycle until they become loyal customers and brand advocates.
However, what is the value of having such brilliant content if no one can find it and read it? Here is where SEO and content become inseparable.
Why you can’t have SEO strategy without Content Marketing?
People have changed the way they behave and purchase online.
Since people are becoming more and more immune to “traditional marketing” techniques such as cold calling, spam emails, annoying/ irrelevant ads and other disturbing messages, businesses have started thinking of new ways to reach prospects.
For that reason more and more marketers have started using Content Marketing as a way to attract, convert and retain customers. This approach has proved to be effective through all stages of the buyer’s lifecycle, while establishing you as a thought leader and a credible source in the online market place.
Therefore, even if you wanted to spend tons of money on old outbound approaches, most likely you won’ succeed, simply because people have changed.
Hence, instead of sending useless messages to your prospects, make sure to bring them value through useful and informative content. In the end all they want is to find an answer to their question.
When it comes to SEO, great content, distributed on a continuous basis will be much more likely to rank higher in SERPs as opposed to duplicated, low-quality one.
In a competitive and saturated online market, this is said to be the most effective way of attracting the right target audience and retaining it.
Google is focusing more and more on UX.
Google has always been focused on creating value for users.
When the company observed the changing behaviour of users they started rolling out algorithms to contribute to better user experience online, while penalising those who don’t.
For example in 2012 Google launched Penguin algorithm to fight websites trying to manipulate search rankings, while in 2014 Panda 4.1 hit websites with low quality and duplicate content. The objective behind those updates were to call for better user experience through finding the most relevant and useful results.
More recently, Google started blocking Flash to make ad experience better. In the end, it’s that simple – it’s all about being user-focused.
Hence, marketers saw the need to adapt a different approach if they wanted to keep up with changing behaviours and needs of consumers. This is where old black-hat techniques became less common and Content Marketing came in as a main tool to create better value for users.
In the end, SEO is all about Content Marketing.
The cliché “Content is King” still holds true.
SEO has always been closely related to content.
Here is why. Since SEO is all about keywords, phrases, content and most importantly user experience, therefore no matter how optimised your website is for SEO, it will never rank well if you provide content of little value. The contrary holds equally true, no matter how great your content is, if you don’t apply SEO techniques, you have little to none chances to be found online.
Secondly, Google has become smarter in identifying contextual information as opposed to only looking at exact keywords. This means that old “spammy” techniques of keyword stuffing have no chance at all.
You might also ask how content marketing aids with link building which is essential for SEO success?
Truth is, if you create purpose-build, relevant and problem-solving content that has been optimised for search engines, you will naturally build links because websites will want to link to you.
After all, I am not trying to say that SEO and Content Marketing are the same thing but that they complement each other; There is no SEO without content and content is not as effective without using optimisation techniques.
As a final point, it is important to remember that SEO has a technical side which is again all about creating better user experience, so that users can find the content they are looking for on your website.
The key takeaway from this article is to make Content Marketing an integral part for achieving SEO results.
Whether you will create blogs, infographics, funny memes, videos or any other type of content you should always keep in mind your target audience. Being helpful and providing the best UX will reward you with more and relevant leads but this can only be achieved through integrating Content Marketing and SEO, as opposed to seeing them as two completely different functions.
Should you need advice on how to create a winning Content Marketing Strategy that brings tangible results feel free to get in touch with us.