Content Marketing & SEO: A Guide to Improve Traffic & Conversions
January 4, 2024
What has been updated from the old blog post:
- Updated content information to reflect current changes in Google search
- Added new subheadings for more content depth
- Broke down content in sections for better readability
- Optimized keywords for SEO purposes
- Added internal and external links
Summary: This blog post explores the evolving relationship between content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO). It argues that while SEO and content marketing are distinct, they are increasingly intertwined in digital marketing strategies. The post emphasizes that high-quality, valuable content is now central to SEO success.
Is content marketing the new SEO? This question has been doing rounds in the digital marketing space for years, and the answer is, they are like yin and yang. One cannot be successful without the other.
If you’ve been following SEO news, you know that Google just realised one of its harshest helpful content updates which saw dozens of sites lose their traffic. This is among the four core updates Google had in 2023 compared to two in 2022.
The helpful content update is important if you use content marketing and SEO as the main source of traffic for your website. Without quality content, powered by SEO, you will get no organic traffic. Content is valuable in attracting new prospects and retaining loyal customers, but SEO makes your content visible in the SERPs. It’s, in fact, difficult to discuss content marketing without discussing SEO. Think of the two as a happily married couple who do everything together.
Regardless of the attention content marketing gets, it will never replace SEO entirely, as they aren’t mutually exclusive. So, let’s explore both elements separately and discuss how they overlap in a successful digital marketing strategy.
SEO vs. Content Marketing
Search engine optimisation, or SEO, is a strategy used to optimise websites and web pages in a bid to rank higher in search engine results or SERPs. Ranking above other sites increases visibility, driving more traffic and conversions.
Valuable content keeps users on your site long enough to generate high-quality leads. Search engines like Google use sophisticated tools to determine whether your content is valuable, then decide where to place you on the SERPs.
Additional read: Lead Generation
Content marketing emphasises creating quality content that provides valuable information to your audience and using this content as a marketing tool for your product and services. It’s a way to build authority and trust among your audience through insights and industry expertise. Besides written content, you can create many other forms of content. These include:
Content Marketing Being the New SEO
In the digital marketing landscape, content marketing and SEO have become vital elements for online success. Their relationship is beyond keyword optimisation, which has ushered in a new era where content marketing is now SEO. Let’s look at the dynamics that make content marketing the new SEO and its role in creating brand authority.
Content is now the bridge between search engines and happy users. By creating valuable, informative content that answers real questions and solves problems, you’re boosting SEO and building trust and loyalty with your audience. This user-centric approach is more than a tactic. It’s a commitment to making your website a destination, not just a landing page. In today’s digital world, content is the key that unlocks loyalty, trust, and success.
Imagine you have a website about Women’s handbags that’s ranking well on the SERPs. Then, you write an article on why building a concrete wall is a great way to improve security for third-world countries. This article will probably not see the light of day and will get little to no traffic since it isn’t related to your site. Google may even be confused as to why you have this article on your website.
On the other hand, an article on “best tote bags for summer” is likely to do well and may even rank within a few days, depending on how strong your content marketing and SEO efforts are.
The reason why the article on tote bags does well is Authority. Through SEO, you can position your site as an authority in a given area (women’s handbags) such that when you write content around that topic, google quickly crawls and ranks your blog.
Dwell Time and Bounce Rate
Dwell time is the duration a user stays on a page, and the bounce rate is the percentage of site visitors who leave after viewing one page without engaging. Engaging content meets search intent, captivates users and extends their stay.
Google considered longer dwell times as a signal of relevance and user satisfaction. A higher bounce rate is regarded as a red flag and suggests that users didn’t find what they were looking for, thus impacting rankings negatively.
Social signals are now influential SEO factors in digital marketing. Users create social signals when they share, like, and comment on content posted on social media platforms. This point further confirms social media’s crucial role in SEO.
Social signals indicate relevance and popularity, which search engines use to determine rankings based on the symbiotic relationship between engagement and content quality. By captivating a broader audience on social media, content earns more clicks, shares, and comments, boosting its perceived value and snowballing its impact on search engine visibility.
How SEO and Content Marketing Work Together
The main question is whether content marketing is the new SEO, but the reality is that these two complement and not replace each other. You know, the way an ideal marriage should work. SEO directs people to your content, while the content keeps people on your site and converts them into customers.
Therefore, a successful SEO strategy requires content marketing and vice versa. The surefire way to get the best results from your marketing campaigns is by building a strategy that blends Content marketing and SEO, as highlighted below.
Know your Target Audience
Both your SEO and content marketing strategies are only successful if you know your audience well. Through audience research, you ensure your content is available to interested people so you don’t waste valuable resources writing to people who aren’t interested in what you have to say.
When researching your audience, try to be as specific as possible by knowing everything about them. For instance, if you are selling a handbag, you can ask yourself these questions about your audience:
- Are you targeting a teen, mid-twenties, or older women? Better still, exactly how old is the woman you would like to target?
- How much do they earn? Where do they live?
- Do they have a family? Where do they hang out? Are they on social media? If yes, which one?
- Where do they get their information from? Social media, webpages, or from friends?
This may seem like a lot, but it tells you the kind of content to create, where to post it, and how to design your product or service as the solution to your audience’s pain point.
Remember to continually improve your strategies by gathering data from your content marketing and SEO efforts.
Find the Right Keywords
Keywords are the heartbeat of SEO. Without them, search engines wouldn’t know what your content is about, and thus, you wouldn’t rank. This makes content optimisation crucial if you are to see any results. Think about it. Will you sell any product if you have great content that never gets found? Highly unlikely.
Search engine optimisation is more than sprinkling keywords here and there in your content. Instead, you have to be strategic in how you use these keywords. First, identify your primary keyword, which is the main focus of your content.
Then, find semantic keywords, which are words related to the primary keywords that Google expect you to use when writing about a subject. For instance, if your primary keyword for the example we gave above is “best ladies’ handbag,” Google might expect to see words like “designer bags and women’s bags” in your content.
Of course, you must avoid keyword stuffing, as that will lower your content quality. Google punishes websites with valueless content by de-ranking them and sending that sweet traffic to websites with more valuable information.
There are numerous ways to find keywords you can write for, including using keyword research tools like Ahrefs, Lowfruit, and SEMrush. However, you can always use an SEO marketing company like us. After all, we have done this for years, with evidence, so you can trust that we know our way around it. Check out our SEO services here.
Create High-Quality, Informative Content
Quality content refers to well-written, easy-to-read, well-structured, and well-targeted content. Google sends results it feels answers a query in the best way. In their helpful content system document, Google says it rewards content that satisfies readers.
Although numerous factors impact how well your content ranks, relevance impacts how satisfied readers are when they visit your site. If they dwell on your page and your bounce rate is low, Google will take this as a positive sign and send you more traffic.
If they bounce as soon as they read the first paragraph, you are likely to be on the wrong side of Google. Quality content also tends to attract backlinks from other sites naturally. Backlinks show Google that other people trust you and your information. This is crucial and one of the major ranking factors. Learn more about backlinks and why they matter here.
The Perfect Balance Between Quality and Strategy
Content is still king, but every king needs a crown. That’s what SEO is to content. While quality content is the heart of a successful online presence, SEO provides the strength your content needs to attract traffic. They work seamlessly to attract and retain readers, driving the desired result.
If you find this content helpful and ready to take your SEO to the next level, give us a call to get you started. Our professionals will help you get the best of SEO and content marketing to position your content on top in the SERP.
How is content marketing evolving into the new SEO?
Traditional SEO was like shouting keywords into a void, hoping search engines would hear. Today, content marketing is like building a bridge, connecting valuable content with engaged audiences. We naturally attract organic traffic by prioritising user experience and relevance, fostering deeper connections and driving success.
What differentiates content marketing from SEO?
While SEO uses keywords to guide search engines, content marketing prioritizes user engagement and building long-term relationships. For instance, when creating a blog post about “healthy smoothie recipes for weight loss.” content marketing focuses on delivering delicious recipes. SEO ensures keywords like “smoothies,” “weight loss,” and “healthy” are used strategically to attract relevant readers.
Does content help SEO?
Content and SEO are two sides of the same coin. High-quality, relevant content naturally incorporates keywords and user intent, attracting organic traffic through search engines. While SEO boosts initial visibility, it’s the compelling content that keeps users engaged and drives business success.