Spoiler alert, the pair’s eponymous film concludes with a high-speed chase and the heroines hurtling off the Grand Canyon in a convertible. The final freezeframe of the car in flight allows viewers to make up their own optimistic (or pessimistic) finale.
Plug in SEO as your Geena Davis, content marketing as Susan Sarandon, your competitors as the in-pursuit police, and press play: Does your Thunderbird defy gravity and soar into the sunset? Or is there discord between your star actors, resulting in a nosedive to the chasm of irrelevance below?
To get the most out of your content and SEO strategy, they should be best friends to complement the other. Here’s exactly how they should fit together, plus a few tips to make sure your website is destined for greatness.
How Does Content Marketing Improve Search Engine Optimization?
A solid content marketing strategy improves your SEO by creating quality content around in-demand keywords. Visitors, whether they’re looking for you or not, can find you through their search engine of choice, move through your website, and explore your business.
A keyword-first approach to content is a great first step in ensuring that you’re writing about topics that people are actually curious about and searching for. For example, while you may be passionate about a niche topic in your industry, if the search volume is zero or you’re up against tough competition, you may need to either reword your keyword choice or abandon the topic for the time being. When you do this, your content marketing improves your search engine optimization because you’re funneling your resources into topics that’ll get you noticed. The way to grab readers or a potential customer is to get as high on the search engine results page as possible.
The ultimate goal is to secure the answer box or appear “above the fold.” When you’re quickly Googling something, how often do you click to page two? Probably, not that often, and your readers won’t either. Every six months or so, check out the keyword rankings for your blogs. Consider making further optimizations to boost their ranking and score a better search result position. Focus first on pillar blogs, which are the gateway to your website and your company. It is most important that those are ranked highly to capture top-of-the-funnel organic views.
Another way content improves your SEO is with content that’s extremely relevant to the keyword’s SERP, or search engine results page. Make sure to match your content to the search intent. Semrush, a keyword-finding tool, even denotes the intent of the keyword as either informational, navigational, commercial, or transactional.
What Are the Benefits of Content Marketing?
A robust content strategy can earn you more than eyes on your content. Over time, you can expect to gain a higher domain authority thanks to your increased visibility and perhaps more referrals and backlinks from others who see you have valuable content.
A great content strategy contributes to your bottom line when it leads to conversions, aka purchases or signing up for a trial or contacting sales. One way to encourage conversions is to end each content piece with a crystal-clear call to action. A less tangible, but no less important benefit of content marketing is the way it can boost your reputation. If you have a hub of high-quality, accurate, and oft-updated content, potential and existing customers may trust you more than a brand that doesn’t invest in their website content.
What’s the Best SEO Content Marketing Strategy?
The best SEO content marketing strategy requires quality content. Stale, superficial blurbs aren’t going to draw in an audience and won’t inspire confidence or display your competence to keep your audience around.
Quality, freshly written content is much more important than quantity. It’s a better use of your energy and dollars to invest in twenty excellent, 1,000+ word, optimized blog posts versus a hundred mediocre ones. Google prioritizes recently published content, so when you’re looking for new content ideas, consider updating your existing content. This could mean removing a dated reference, sweeping for broken links, or swapping old statistics with the latest research. It may surprise you how out-of-date a blog post can be after one year. Bake it into your content creation operations to audit your entire website’s content at minimum every two years to ensure accurate and relevant content.
Another way to boost each article’s SEO value is to insert rich media, such as video content, an infographic, illustration, podcast widget, or pull quotes. Not only does this add visual interest and keep your new potential customer on your page longer, but Google also prioritizes content with rich media within it.
Finally, whenever you integrate a keyword into a piece of content, make sure you can tick off every item on this SEO checklist:
- Include the keyword in the title, preferably as close to the beginning as possible.
- Include the keyword at least once in the meta description. Meta descriptions should not exceed 160 characters.
- Place the keyword at least once in the first 100 words of the article, and two more times throughout the optimized content. Avoid “keyword stuffing,” or inserting the keyword more than three total times in one article.
- Crosslinking is great for SEO, but do not include more than 10 links in one article. Google may list it as spam.
- If possible, include the keyword in the featured image meta data.
- Add subheads and bulleted lists, which boost SEO and make your article easy to read.
Above all, make sure to write for humans, not Google’s algorithm. Readers are savvy and know when they are being marketed to, so only make natural-sounding keyword and SEO decisions.
Go Grab That Horizon
Before you embark upon any content marketing journey, make sure your pal SEO buckles in for the joy ride. A relevant keyword paired with high quality content will put you on the road to success: grabbing new potential customers, moving readers through your site, and building brand awareness and trust.
Does your website need a content and SEO compass? Team LEWIS can guide you with our integrated content marketing and SEO services. Contact our SEO team today!