Content Marketing and SEO
What’s the difference, how do they work together?
When it comes to content and SEO, SEO is the framework and content fills in the body.
A good SEO campaign uses pre-planned content to meet the goals of the shopper, the company and the SEO campaign.
A good SEO strategy will:
- Look at how your buyers search (keywords)
- Think about the questions buyers and shoppers will have as they research solutions (the consumer journey or purchase funnel)
- Include blog posts, articles, guest posts or social media that address these questions using the words and questions searchers have.
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is talked about like it’s one strategy, but creating and sharing content is really part of several online marketing strategies.
For example, you need content in order to:
- Share on Social Media
- Blog on your site
- Post as a guest blogger
- Curate other people’s content
- Post articles online
- Create a new web page
- As landing page content to increase your AdWords Quality Score
Content also educates your prospective customers as they search for information through the Consumer Journey or Purchase Funnel – as they go from looking for a solution, to comparing specific brands and options. Therefore, strategic content has to cover a broad range of uses.
Content is like gasoline - you can put it in many vehicles depending on where you want to go and the type of ground you want to cover.
How Does Content Work in SEO?
Good SEO uses content in all of the examples above. As you plan your SEO campaign, think about what and how you need to communicate to your audience to lead them from discovery of your service to sale.
Content Calendar – The SEO Version
Planning your content can involve a Content Calendar and you can also tie your SEO to the seasonal or promotional timeframes and events in your content calendar.
It’s best to pre-plan for all customer shopping/buying phases and time of year promotions. This way you’re laying a blanket of SEO-optimized content that can be discovered by the right person at the right time.
Consumer Journey / Purchase Funnel
As you can see, it’s important to think ahead and create content for each steps of the consumer journey.
Generally speaking, people research, shop and buy in a certain order. Sometimes this is called the Purchase Funnel and these are the general steps:
- Initially people might not know your product exists, they might just be looking for a solution to their problem.
- As searchers get educated you’ll want to explain why product is superior to your competitors.
- When it comes to making a sale, you might need to have special promotions (often on your website sales page) to push people to buy from you right away.
Your Sales Cycle Content
It’s also important to consider your company’s needs when creating content. You have your own cycles and sales needs to consider.
Most companies have sales requirements related to one or more of the following:
- Peak season sales
- Off season sales
- Model year closeouts
- Tax time
- End of company fiscal year
- Holiday related sales
When creating content for an SEO campaign, which will roll out topics month after month, it’s best to think ahead and create content to cover all these bases.
As part of a separate Content Marketing campaign, your company might create and release content just in time to address these needs.
However, in SEO you want to cover all bases and have it sitting there for when the right person comes across it at the right time.
SEO Links to On-Site Content
The final part of content and SEO is the fact that your off site content being shared in the SEO campaign will link back (or have “backlinks”) to the content on your website.
To use an example from above, if you produce an article talking about your Close Out and Discontinued Inventory options, you’ll want the backlink to link to the page of your site
The content, links and web pages you decide to promote are parts of the larger SEO campaign
Parts of SEO That Don’t Use Content
There are also parts of a good SEO campaign that don’t rely as much on content (though content is often related):
- Keyword selection
- Competitor keywords
- On site keywords
- On site SEO – headlines, title tags, alt tags, elimination of errors and duplicate pages, meta descriptions
- Backlinks / anchor text
But even in the examples above, content plays a part.
For example, SEO is based on getting your site noticed for keywords where you want to be seen by the searcher.
In this case, after you select the keywords content will need to be developed – off site and on-site – to support the keyword a searcher is looking for.
As you can see, good SEO relies on the creation and use of content in a big way.
About the Author Pete Semple is a strategic marketing planner with SEO planning, SEM, Social Media and Content Marketing experience. He has 18 years experience helping small and medium sized business, startups and entrepreneurs meet their marketing goals. He is the owner of Right Hand Planning marketing consultancy.