Why Content Marketing is Essential for SEO

Date: March 24, 2021

Content Marketing vs. SEO: Which Do You Need?

If you’re here, it’s probably because you’re looking into techniques you can incorporate into your digital marketing strategy to improve your organic search visibility, traffic and keyword rankings. Throughout your research, you’ve likely landed on content marketing and search engine optimization as the top strategies that will help you fulfill this goal, and you may be wondering which you should focus on, right?

The short answer is both – they go hand-in-hand.

According to the 2021 annual content marketing study by the Content Marketing Institute, 73% of B2C marketers use keyword research tools for SEO as a part of their organization’s content creation process.

Essentially, you can’t have optimized content without incorporating SEO, and you can’t completely implement a full SEO strategy without any content. We’ll dive deeper into this below.

What is Content Marketing, and Why is it Important?

Content marketing focuses on creating and publishing valuable, relevant and targeted content that attracts your ideal audience, and keeps this audience coming back to your site. The overall goal of content marketing is to turn these visitors into leads and converting those leads into paying customers.

Producing and distributing quality content consistently is important because it…

  • Drives more qualified traffic to your website
  • Helps your pages appear higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) by improving keyword rankings
  • Can increase the domain authority of your website
  • Builds a loyal, returning audience
  • Assists in converting visitors into leads or paying customers
  • Further positions your brand as thought leaders in your industry, i.e. there’s a higher chance that a visitor will convert into a client for a law firm if they see the firm’s attorneys are regularly publishing pertinent articles

Types of Content

Okay, so, we covered what content marketing is and why it is important, but what does content mean? Content in itself is a loose term that encompasses a multitude of ways to share useful information.

Here are seven examples of the most popular different types of content used in content marketing:

  • Web Pages: Think product pages, service pages and history/about us pages. All of these are considered content, they’re just more copy-heavy.
  • Blog Posts: Blog posts are typically a mix of visual content and copy, and they’re an excellent way to drive users to your website and see your brand as a trusted source for information.
  • Landing Pages: This type of content is similar to a web page, but they’re generally unique pages that are created to capture visitors who have entered your website through an ad, social media post or, if it makes sense, a link from another website. Your company’s first impression will show through your landing page. Whether they followed a link from Google or a guest blog, a unique landing page is a chance to show what sets you apart from similar companies in the industry.
  • Podcasts: Podcasts are audio recordings that you can listen to via a streaming platform. This type of content can be embedded on a web page, blog or landing page. Releasing a weekly podcast where you answer frequently asked questions or talk about hot topics within your industry will help you build an audience.
  • Videos: As you know, videos are visual recordings with audio included. This type of content is more popular now than ever before, and it’s only going to continue gaining steam – especially in our current remote-first world.
  • Infographics: Infographics are helpful visuals that can explain data sets, processes and more with the help of rich imagery, graphics, etc. These can be added to blogs, sent in email newsletters and included in long-form content pieces.
  • E-Guides: E-guides are long-form pieces of content that typically revolve around covering all pieces of one topic. These types of content pieces are typically used as lead-magnets on landing pages.

The above list isn’t exhaustive – pretty much anything you create can be classified as content.

What Exactly is Search Engine Optimization, and How Does it Work?

Search engine optimization (SEO) in a nutshell is: the process of optimizing digital content in the hopes that search engines will display your page as a top result when certain queries (keywords) are searched. Unlike pay-per-click (PPC) advertising (which also uses content), SEO generates organic traffic rather than paid traffic to your website. Optimized, informative and well-written content consistently published to your website can help drive more qualified website visitors and leads to your website over time as your keyword rankings improve.

Types of SEO Tactics

There are a number of tactics you can incorporate into your SEO strategy after you conduct your initial keyword research – the most popular types include:

  • Focusing on long-tail keywords
  • Building backlinks
  • Keyword-focused meta data
  • Internal linking
  • Schema implementation
  • Conversion rate optimization
  • Optimized URL structures
  • Breadcrumbs implementation

Differences Between SEO and Content

SEO uses keyword research and backlinks to move your website up onto the search engine’s first page. Without content marketing, that could bring the user to a page filled with “restaurants near me” written repeatedly but not providing much information. Even if those keywords helped with the SEO piece, it’s not going to keep a potential customer’s attention for too long. 

Content marketing uses strategies like providing relevant copy, imagery, media, etc. and knowing the target audience. All of this is great once you get to the website, but without an SEO strategy, how will anyone ever find your company?

How SEO and Content Marketing Work Together

SEO and content work in unison. Content is essential for SEO and SEO is essential for content to rank – you really can’t have one without the other. Keyword research and implementing specific keyword strategies are a necessity for content and SEO can hardly be done if content doesn’t exist.

Tips for Creating a SEO Content Marketing Strategy

  • Conduct an Audit of Your Existing Content: You don’t have to add brand new material every day. Sometimes it just takes updating your existing content with new keywords or advancements that have come up. 
  • Add a Recurring Blog: The great thing about a weekly or monthly blog is it gives you a schedule to stick to when it comes to publishing new content. As you post on hot topics surrounding new remodeling trends for your contracting company’s blog or current news within your industry, current and potential customers will find interest in your articles and stay on your website longer. 
  • Volunteer As a Guest Blogger: Increase your backlinks by guest blogging on other related websites in the industry. 

Create Amazing Results When You Combine SEO and Content

At 9Sail, our team is here to help when it comes to digital marketing. We can build a plan to implement SEO and content marketing into your business strategy. Do not hesitate to give us a call and start on your marketing plan today.