SEO & Content Marketing are two necessary ingredients in a successful online marketing campaign. So, where do you begin?
Search engine optimization, or SEO, has become the key to success for many businesses. In a world where most companies rely on the internet, a tool that gives you online visibility is bound to bring you great results. So, it’s no surprise that SEO has become increasingly popular in businesses online.
But what about content marketing? SEO and content marketing are two sides of the same coin, the most valuable currency today. So, how do you begin, and which one should you focus on more?
While they are both required for an effective digital marketing strategy, you need to blend these two to make it work. Here’s how:
What Is SEO?
Search engine optimization is the act of optimizing your content so that it helps your content gain better visibility on the search engine results page. Every search engine has these index tools called search engine crawlers. Their primary job is to hunt and index content that a user may find valuable.
How do they understand which content is valuable and which is not? Besides critical optimization such as usage of keywords, the content also needs to provide informative value. Meaning the content needs to be concise, crisp, and educational.
But, besides that, content optimization is necessary as well. Besides keyword incorporation, three essential things go into ensuring a search engine crawler finds your content. The first is the title and meta title. The title and headline are the same, whereas a meta-title is an optimized rendition of the headline.
The second is meta-description, aka the summary of your article. It needs to tell the search engine crawler and the reader your content features. Whether an article, guest post, blog, etc., it needs to describe the content’s pulp to the audience.
Here you can see meta-description marked in green
The last element in this optimization factor is the slug. The search engine detects slug before anything else, so it needs to align with your meta-title, meta-description, and the core of your content.
Slug is the URL of content featuring the content’s title. Marked in green
Other key elements such as images, data charts, and visual content require additional optimization. For instance, an image needs to be named the keyword or any related query to help the content stand out in search results. However, these are the three most essential elements in optimizing content for search engines.
For instance, if you were to make a slug for this article, it would look something like this:
Whereas the meta-title would come with an alternate option, such as:
Meta-Title: SEO Optimized Content Marketing for Small Businesses | Things You Need To Know About Search Engine Optimization and Content Marketing for Businesses
Since WordPress or other publishing content management systems don’t accept long titles. The idea behind an alternate title is to make sure you have an alternate to work with while staying true to the theme of your content. Lastly, here’s what a meta description of this article would be:
Meta-Description: This article identifies the importance of SEO and content marketing for smaller businesses. To help the readers understand its intricacies and how-tos.
What Is Content Marketing: How to Make Marketing Content
Content marketing is the act of creating content and using it to draw an audience in the form of traffic to your online platforms. Breaking it into multiple parts involves planning, content creation, optimization, and distribution.
Content planning has to do with various aspects, such as audience research, content types, content goals, marketing calendars, etc. But, of course, the first thing you need to focus on is your audience. Of course, they like the kind of content, etc., but we’ll talk about that later.
The second part is the creation of content. Here, most professional SEO services plan the content you want to make, such as articles, blogs, YouTube videos, social media posts, etc. Once you create that content according to your audience, you optimize it.
This is when SEO comes into play. While it should be your priority initially, SEO is very flexible and allows you to optimize your content, even after you’re done creating it. So, once you think your content is ready for distribution, you move on to the next phase.
Things begin to yield results during and after the distribution of your content. Now, some content takes off right away, while others take a little time to gain impressions and clicks. But, at the same time, some content fails to do all of that entirely. So, what happens if that’s the case?
Back to the drawing board. The problem in content for marketing purposes usually occurs in planning, particularly in understanding the audience. You may not have captured the essence of what your target audience wishes to see. It may not have sent them on a buyer’s journey.
The content may not have even come close to what the buyer was looking for in the first place, even if your product or service is ideal for them. So, how do you make sure they do know that? Is there something you need to focus on mainly?
Yes, the customer’s journey. It would help if you devised the strategy accordingly. So, go back to the drawing board and focus on three things.
- Awareness: Help your audience generate consciousness about your brand\industry.
- Buyer’s journey: Let your audience know why your product or service is the best for them.
- 80/20 approach: Your content needs to feature 80% of its duration and promote your business and products in the remaining 20%.
Making a Content Strategy
A content marketing strategy is one of the necessary pillars of your online campaign. To help you find your audience, distribute the correct content, devise content funnels, and understand the kind of optimization tricks, you need a well-thought-out content strategy.
So, how do you go about making such a strategy?
Studying and analyzing are two chief elements to make a successful content strategy. The first thing you need to do is examine your target audience. For that, you will have to make the ideal customer persona. Start by identifying the demographics. How old is your target customer?
Depending on your industry, product, or service type, you will have to pin down the right demographic. Then, understand more minor things like common occupation among this age group. Then find out if any hobbies interlope with your products or services. Does it mean you can use it in your content?
If so, mark it down. Lastly, understand the type of content they consume the most. For example, are your target customers avid readers? Or, do they spend a lot of their time on YouTube? Answering these questions should help you understand the mind of your customer.
The marketing objective or the goal of any brand in the online world is to gather as many followers\customers as possible. As a result, major brands have gone on a rampage to transform their legacy brands into modern-digital-friendly companies in the past few years.
So, the trend of digital transformation for existing brands is their goal. It competes against rivals with higher profiles and better search engine ranks for a smaller business. This is when you need to identify your goal.
Your goal must be to create a content strategy to help you stand out against the fierce competition. On top of that, online marketing moves at a rapid pace. So, you need to stay up to date with significant brands’ latest trends and strategies.
Lastly, to make a brand identity, you need a brand voice. One of the primary jobs of a content strategy is to help you find that. Is your brand friendly? Is it casual? Is it professional? What kind of a picture does your target customer paint when they read, see or hear your content?
Identifying this is essential since this will be your key to creating a viable brand strategy. It will also help you with your content tone throughout your written, verbal or visual content.
A content calendar is your schedule to create, optimize and distribute content. It also helps you comprehend the right time for using CRM, CMS, and various other content systems. The content calendar features a few key things:
- Dates: Day and date you plan to post this content, as well as the day and date you need it completed
- Content-type: Helps you understand the type of content you will be creating. I.e., videos, articles, blog posts, social media posts, etc.
- Goals: What do you hope to achieve with this content? Is it about increasing your outreach or selling your products? Not to be confused with the marketing objective of the strategy, since this section only mentions the goal of one particular content
- Content guidelines: If you are not creating the content yourself, then this will serve as the parameter for the content creator
- Target audience: Who is the target audience for this particular type of content?
- Follow-up content: Is there any follow-up content to this? If so, you can backlink additional doc-files or mention the content type here
- Feedback: Once your post the content, you will record the input here, such as clicks, impressions, etc.
This is just a general idea of what the content calendar must entail. However, various companies and businesses make it according to their plans and goals. So, feel free to take any liberty with the content calendar format. However, the purposes and principles should remain the same.
What You Will Need:
So, where do you begin? Which platforms do you need to focus on? Let’s start with top-of-the-funnel content that you will need.
1. Crisp Copywriting
Copywriting is your top-of-the-funnel, aka first-encounter content. This is your first chance to engage your target audience. After that, you need to sell your brand correctly. But, don’t commit the mistakes many smaller\newer businesses do, which is to sell the products instead of the benefits.
If you were to sell a hammock, don’t sell how strong it is; sell the peace of mind the customer will feel. The idea is to make them feel how strong your hammock is, so what you’re selling is the feeling of peace and comfort. In simple words, don’t sell the product; sell the benefit.
Besides creating good content, your copy needs to be up to the mark as well. So how do you find out which copy works the best? First, find out what your competition is doing. Set a benchmark, then study their composition and the results they yield. Lastly, make sure you optimize your copy for search engines as well.
You need a good design, besides a good copy for your website. It needs to be easy, tell a story, and lead your customer on a journey. The copy should do the rest. So, how does that happen? By creating an easy UI design, along with a simple website map.
Don’t overcomplicate or oversell your products. Keep it simple, in the design just as much in the copy. They both should intertwine seamlessly and lead your customers through your offers. Lastly, make sure the colors and themes you use interlock with your brand’s identity.
3. Social Media
Social media presence is something that helps with both content marketing and SEO. Some of the search results you see might have been on social media. This is the result of proper optimization tactics. So, that’s why you need to focus on creating a viable social media presence.
4. Email Marketing
Email marketing has become the core of many marketing strategies lately. Not only because they help you connect with your customers directly, but they also help you drive traffic to your online platforms. So, make sure you connect with your target customers directly.
5. Key SEO Elements
You must never overlook a few key SEO elements, no matter what form of content marketing strategies you use and what platforms you use. First, you need to be discovered through the search engine bar to optimize your copies, not just your content. This means all your content, from business descriptions to web copies and backend content; all your SEO deliverables should be of high quality.
● Optimizing Copy (Not Just Content)
You need copies that convert; thus, you need to ensure everything from your title to the body is thoroughly optimized with keywords, backlinks, internal and HTML tags where needed. This means your backend content, landing pages, text, images, or even videos are optimized.
● Unique & Concise Content
The internet is overflowing with an abundance of content. However, if you want to make any difference with your content, you should make it unique, concise, informational, and trustable.
● Info Driven Approach
The audience is looking for valuable information; your sales and promotions will not bring any traffic to you. Moreover, Google also emphasizes quality content, which is why you need to include highly valuable information. With an info-driven approach, you can include valuable resources like authoritative websites, researches, case studies, and more to offer more value for the readers with fact-based content.
SEO is the most important factor to influence your rankings and bring more traffic to your website. Therefore, if you are thinking of up your game with content marketing and copywriting, SEO is something you must never overlook. From text to images and videos; all content elements can yield great benefits.
With compelling writing, valuable information targeted keywords, and exclusive guides you can create a massive impact. But optimizing it for search engines with the best ranking keywords, you will be able to achieve greater results, higher authority, and increased visibility on the SERPs.
This guide will tell you all about the importance of SEO for content marketing and the best ways to optimize your content.
Digital Prasen is a Blogger, SEO expert, CEO & Founder of @copyproblogger.com/ & @digitalprasen.com/ Experienced in Website Designing, internet marketing, search engine optimization, social media, and affiliate marketing.
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