A robust content marketing strategy involves a mix of valuable content: articles, blogs, case studies, infographics, podcasts, webinars, videos. This content is considered “valuable” because it has been carefully crafted to meet the needs of your target audience. You’ve done adequate research and feel confident that this is the information your users are seeking. However, your due diligence is not done once the drafts are finalized; it’s also your job to make sure your generated content gets noticed and is easy to find. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a vital element in increasing your potential discoverability and guiding users to your content.It is our job as communications professionals to remove the silos between SEO & content marketing.Click To Tweet
All of the hard work you put into creating content to fuel your content marketing strategy will be wasted unless it is reinforced with SEO. It is our job as communications professionals to remove the silos between SEO and content marketing. We must ensure these practices seamlessly integrate throughout the content creation process to achieve the best results for content marketing campaigns. Here are a few tips to help bridge the gap between SEO and content marketing:
Secure Your SEO and Content Marketing Sweet Spot:
Integrate SEO into your content checklist. Most teams implement a marketing campaign checklist to guide their creation process. These checklists must include all SEO-specific steps to ensure this area is covered in the materials produced. Be sure to list everything that’s needed – in the specific order it’s needed – to thoroughly complete a specific type of content. Outlining every step makes it easier to then assign ownership of each task to the appropriate team members.
Conduct keyword research. It is crucial to optimize toward the right organic search terms to earn highly-qualified search traffic and enable your target audience to find your materials. This discoverability potential can be achieved by targeting a quality, skillfully identified keyword. Here are a couple suggestions for determining quality keywords:
- Brainstorm around the content theme and write down a few long-tail keyword ideas relevant to your topic. Long-tail keywords are around 3 to 4 words in length and are very specific to the topic being searched. These keywords tend to get less search traffic than short tail keywords but typically have a higher conversion value. Get in the mind of your target audience and create search term combinations they would use. And don’t hesitate to leverage the Google Search box itself for inspiration and idea generation.
- Once your initial brainstorming is done, plug your keyword ideas into an SEO tool available online. Many of these tools are free, such as the Keyword Tool, though there are also subscription-based tools, including the SEMrush Keyword Magic tool and the Moz Keyword Explorer. This step helps to narrow down your keyword options and choose those with the strongest potential.
Optimize your copy and web implementation. Once your research is complete and you have your designated keyword, make sure your term is incorporated into all of the important spots in your content, front-end and the back-end. It needs to be included in the following areas: headline, sub-headline (at least one), URL, body copy (at least one) and image alt-text to achieve the strongest SEO results.
The “keyword-stuffing” SEO days are long gone. Google is better than ever at recognizing the context of your content. However, this doesn’t mean you can merely create your content without keeping SEO in mind and hope for magical fairies and butterflies to generate high-quality traffic. Following these tips will help ensure your SEO and content marketing reaches its sweet spot.
For more insights on creating – and marketing – effective content, check out our guide.