One of the biggest challenges that companies face is writing content that’s guaranteed to show up first on search engines’ results pages. Read on to find out why this is important for businesses and how they can improve their content using SEO.
Search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing are two of the most used digital marketing strategies by companies nowadays.
According to a Hubspot report, 69% of companies have actively invested in SEO in 2021 (up from 64% in 2020), while 82% claim to have actively used content marketing in 2021 (up from 70% in 2020).
To reach their intended targets, businesses optimize their content so that they appear first before the content provided by their competitors. Without SEO, it would be hard for businesses to reach their target audience and attract those customers who might be genuinely interested in their products.
This beginner’s guide is designed to answer four questions:
- What is “SEO” and “Content Marketing?”
- What types of SEO content are there?
- Why is SEO in content marketing important?
- How can businesses improve their content marketing using SEO?
For a more comprehensive discussion on this topic, check out Eight Media’s Guide to Content Marketing.
Let’s get started.
What is SEO and Content Marketing?
Search engine optimization is the process of optimizing a business website so that it would rank high on search engines like Google. Ranking high means that when users type in queries or keywords on the search engine, the website (or webpage) would appear first over other websites (or webpages).
Content marketing is the process of creating relevant and valuable content to attract, convert, and engage the target audience. Content can take the form of videos, blogs, infographics, case studies, interviews, and eBooks, among others.
When these two concepts are put together, it results in SEO content, which is any content created with the goal of attracting customers via search engines.
With content marketing improved using SEO, businesses can establish brand awareness in the market and encourage the target audience to make desirable actions like making a purchase or recommending the brand to others.
Types of SEO Content
The following are types of SEO content:
Videos are the #1 content type in 2020 and 2021, with over 60% of companies using it as a primary form of media within their content strategy.
The global pandemic has a lot to do with this. While people are staying at home, the amount of time they spend watching videos online increased. In 2020, people watched an estimated 12.2 billion minutes of video, an increase of 85%.
The short-form video category (0- to 30-second long videos) dominated the kind of videos businesses created— over 4.8 million short-form videos were uploaded in 2020.
However, long-form videos (30 to 60-minute videos) are also growing in popularity. The category had a reported 140% growth in 2020 (compared to 2019).
Blog posts are anything you write on a blog. It can include texts, photos, infographics, or videos to provide information, entertain, or inspire audiences.
Companies typically use blog posts to explain in detail how their products and services can benefit consumers, address specific needs, and solve problems. Companies also use blog posts to reach out to the market and persuade potential customers to make a purchase.
With the use of social media platforms, blog posts can reach thousands of readers in no time. This helps companies establish brand awareness fast and boost sales revenues at a minimal cost.
A product page is a page on an eCommerce website that is dedicated to explaining the product, its features, manufacturer, and other details related to the product.
Unlike blogs, product pages are static content that doesn’t have to be regularly updated. They are also typically more detailed and technical than blog posts.
Articles are more formal than blog posts. They are less about individual opinions and more about research and unbiased perspective.
Articles include news articles, interviews, and feature pieces— the kind of content you will find on newspaper or magazine websites.
“Listicles” is a portmanteau of the words “list” and “articles.” As the words suggest, these are articles presented in the form of a list.
“9 Ways to Enjoy Wine” or “10 Tips for a More Productive Work” are examples of a listicle. Listicles are more clickable than other types of content as they are easier to scan and read.
Guides are a type of content that explains in detail how to do something. “How to Increase Your Sales” or “How to Capture More Customers on the Internet” are examples of guides that instruct readers on how to achieve a goal.
Guides can be written as a long piece of content in a single webpage, but they can also be written and broken up into multiple web pages. They’re also excellent lead magnets— where you require web visitors to fill out a registration form to download the complete and more comprehensive guide.
Infographics are large-format images that contain data on a subject that are displayed through graphs or charts.
They are popular as readers can easily understand and have a quick overview of a topic using the combined images, charts, and minimal text in an infographic.
They are also 30x more likely to be read than a purely textual article. In 2021, over 40% of companies report having used infographics as a primary form of media within their content strategy.
Why is SEO in Content Marketing Important?
Combining both SEO and content marketing allows businesses to successfully deliver relevant and valuable information to target customers.
With SEO, companies can ensure that their content will reach their target readers, which allows companies to do the following:
- Quickly gain customers’ trust
- Build customer loyalty with ease
- Gain a deeper understanding of target customers
- Have an edge over competitors
- Have a significant return on investment (ROI)
- Support other digital marketing strategies
- Adapt to changing consumer standards
- Capture more leads and convert them into customers
For a more comprehensive discussion on why content marketing is important, check out this article: What is Content Marketing and Why is it Important?
How to Improve Content Marketing Using SEO
So how can businesses improve their content marketing using SEO? Here are four steps to consider:
Get a better understanding of your brand, your target market, and the search engine of your choice
Let’s start first with the basics:
- Brand – Consider what and how you want to communicate your brand, your vision, your value proposition, and what your brand stands for.
- Target Market – Study your target audience, customer needs and demands, and their interests. Use keyword research to determine what people are searching for.
- Search Engine – Understand what the search engine of your choice (for example, Google) considers as the most relevant answer to questions and keywords. Replicate these articles and improve them.
Learn more about the 6 elements that matter in SEO copywriting
The following are six elements in SEO copywriting that you should be familiar with:
- Site speed – refers to how quickly users are able to see and interact with content on your website. It is one of the signals used by search engines’ algorithms to rank pages.
- Headlines – are the titles of your written content. They attract people’s attention and cause them to click on your link and be directed to your website or webpage that has your content.
- Content – is the information displayed on your website or webpage. To ensure that the target audience keeps on reading the content, your content should be relevant to their needs, valuable, and engaging.
- Meta Description – is what helps search engines and users to easily understand the contents of your page. It describes and summarizes the contents of your page in up to 155 characters.
- Keyword Frequency – refers to how many times your chosen keyword appears on your web page. Keyword frequency helps search engines like Google know that your content is relevant to a query.
Knowing the keyword frequency can also help you avoid getting flagged by Google for spamming or keyword stuffing.
- Page Links – are the building blocks of your webpage. They give an impression to search engines like Google that your webpage is connected, “sociable,” and reliable.
Links indicate that you value what other people create, especially when you’re linking to authority sites or sites that are considered a respected and trusted source of information.
There’s more to SEO (i.e. technical SEO, on-site SEO, and off-site SEO), but learning these six elements should at least get you covered.
Study the user experience
How users interact with your website can affect your SEO too. If your readers leave your site too quickly, search engines might consider your site as unreliable and lacking valuable information, giving your site a low ranking in terms of search results.
More importantly, understanding how users behave while consuming your content allows you to identify sales opportunities and drive profitable customer actions.
Assess and evaluate
Keep track of your site’s analytics. Analyzing your site’s performance lets you determine what’s working and what isn’t. This helps you evaluate your next move to improve your performance and reach your business objective or goal.
Optimizing your content for search engines guarantees good results. It has helped companies reach their target audiences before and boost their sales revenues.
As long as you understand your brand, your target market, and how search engines work, you can rest assured that your content will be delivered to the right people.
Want to know more about SEO content and how your business can benefit from it? Partner with us here at Eight Media now by booking a free 15-minute consultation here.