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SEO and Content - Why You Shouldn’t Do One Without the Other!

If you’re new to the world of digital marketing, you’re likely finding the sheer volume of how-tos, new jargon, and lists of things you must be doing overwhelming. If so, don’t worry! Digital marketing – specifically Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and content marketing, are both concepts that are easy to understand and will make a huge difference to the results you see online.

In this guide, we’ll be going back to basics to answer thequestions:

  • Whatis SEO?
  • Whatis content marketing?
  • Whyare the two (almost) synonymous?
  • Whyare they so important?
  • Whatkey things do you need to be thinking about when you first start tackling SEOand content marketing?

What is SEO?

SEO is the term online marketers use to describe the practices they implement to get their content and pages to show up on search engines, such as Google.

We all would love our website to appear on the first pagefor certain search terms, as this means we’ll get more organic traffic (i.e.not paid for) and, if you’re doing everything else right, more sales, leads, orclicks, depending on your site’s goal. If you want that, you have to make SEOcentral to your digital strategy.

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is when we use content (blog posts, web pages, videos, podcasts, etc.) to bring people to our site and hopefully into our “world”. This is content which adds value to websites for free to help potential customers answer questions they have. Not every piece of content needs to answer a question directly, it may be a piece simply to entertain, but it’s there to solve a problem, even if that problem is simply not yet knowing your list of the top 20 cowboy films of the 20th century.

When content marketing works at its best, it answers a question for a potential customer and shows them how you can solve their problem in a blog post or video, for example. This can be as literal as answering the question “how can I reduce neck strain at my desk?” with a list of tips and a product you sell to do just that.

It can also be as general as someone searching “how to getstarted in property investing” and stumbling upon your blog post where you don’tsell them anything. Maybe you manage property for investors, but youunderstand that beginners aren’t yet going to need your services. By cateringto them early and being their go-to resource when they’re just starting, you’llbe top of the list when they need your services in the future. That’s thepower of content marketing.

Why must SEO and Content Marketing be used together?

So, they don’t have to be used together, but they do if you want your SEO and content marketing strategy to be effective.

Some sites simply use SEO on their web pages and combine them with ads to gain their traffic. This is a costly way to do this, and they are mostly relying on becoming a name in the industry to be found in search engines, but some local service businesses and ecommerce sites choose to do this.

However, they are missing out.

SEO and content marketing must be used together if you want to get all you can out of both strategies. SEO needs content marketing in order to have the space to build up the use of keywords and show Google (and other search engines) that your site is a resource. If Google doesn't think there’s anything on a site worth showing them, they won’t rank the site – no matter how good your on-page SEO is.

Similarly, if the content marketing strategy doesn’t pay attention to any SEO best practices, it will take a long time to gain traction. By applying SEO techniques to your content marketing strategy then you will acquire traffic faster than if you were to think about them as separate disciplines.

Why is SEO and Content Marketing so important?

You’ll likely have got this by now, but SEO and contentmarketing are so important because they are the best (and one of the only) waysto gain organic traffic. That means you aren’t paying for them to visit.

Paid traffic isn’t something to dismiss, and has a place inyour marketing, but organic traffic will keep coming whether you’ve got any adsrunning or not. And it only builds post after post, year on year.

What do you need to be thinking about when you’re getting started with SEO& Content Marketing?

Now you know what SEO and content marketing is and why itis so valuable, what should you be paying attention to as a beginner? There arethousands of articles out there that tell you laundry lists of things youshould be doing, so let’s boil it down to the most important:

  • Keywords: Keywords are the words and phrases you use within your content and on your web pages to help searchers (and search engines) find it. For example, those suffering from neck strain may benefit from your posture corrector. So your keywords may include things like “posture brace”, “posture corrector”, “how to reduce back pain”, “how to reduce neck strain”, etc.

    If you were once a customer yourself, you’ll have a general idea of what these keywords are, but it’s also worth doing some keyword research to see what your customers are actually searching for. There are paid tools for this, but a few of the best free resources are: Ubersuggest, Answer the Public, and Google Keyword Planner.

    Aim to include each keyword 3-7 times in your content, and don’t overdo it. If it comes up naturally, fine, but if it looks like you’re keyword stuffing, search engines may penalise you.

  • Headers: Use Heading 1, Heading 2, Heading 3 tags to divide up your sections. Pay special attention to these as search engine bots will, and use keywords and phrases in them where possible.

  • Links: Include at least 1 internal link (to another page or post on your site) and 1 external (to another resource that you don’t own).

  • Remember that your reader matters most: Remember that doing all the right SEO best practices will only take you so far – humans actually have to want to read your content and find it valuable. Remember, Google only cares about showing their users the best match for their search, so if your content isn’t helping anyone it won’t matter how many keywords you've got in there, it will sink like a stone.

There are, of course, dozens of other best practices youcan look into – and WordPress plugins like YoastSEOand Rank Math SEO willhelp you hit all of these in your content – but if you remember the importanceof doing both of these and creating new content that uses SEO best practicesregularly, you’ll be well on your way to a successful organic digital marketingstrategy.

If you’re not sure where your site currently stands, why not start with our Free SEO Audit tool or get in touch below. We’ll look at your site and tell you everything you’re doing right, and everything you’re missing.

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