Content and search engine optimization are two very important elements of digital marketing. While the two are vastly different, content and search marketing often work in unison, piggybacking off each other’s strengths to create a solid marketing strategy.
Knowing these two elements of digital marketing is crucial for businesses to improve their online presence. This is why we are covering the fundamentals of content and search marketing to give you a general idea of how they work, but more importantly, how they work together.
What Is Search Marketing?
At its core, search marketing is all about making your website more visible in search results. The more visible your website is, the more reach your products and services have, thus increasing sales numbers and improving conversion rates. Ideally, you want your website to rank first in search results; however, this is very hard to do, especially in saturated markets.
There are two methods of search marketing, pay-per-click (PPC) and search engine optimization (SEO). PPC involves paying search engines to feature your website on the first page of search results. SEO, on the other hand, does not require payment, instead relying on various technical practices that optimize the website and its content to receive higher search rankings.
And How About Content Marketing?
Content marketing uses text, images, videos, and audio to achieve marketing goals, which can vary. Some websites use content marketing to optimize their websites for search engines, while others educate visitors with valuable and useful information. There are also plenty of websites that publish content purely for entertainment. Depending on your website, business, or product, you will use different kinds of content for marketing purposes.
For example, in eCommerce digital marketing, high-quality visual content, such as product photos or demonstrative videos, is important. Companies working in SaaS (software as a service) opt for technical and accurately worded written content that provides all the necessary information to would-be clients.
How Content and Search Engine Marketing Work Together
Content and search marketing go hand in hand. SEO drives traffic towards specific websites and pages, while content increases interest and navigates clients through the sales funnel. SEO also needs well-optimized content to help the website rank higher. There is a lot of interdependence between SEO and content — here are just a few ways this process works.
Simply posting any blog article or video helps SEO ranking to some extent, since it’s better than having no content at all. But to properly optimize for search engines, published content needs to be relevant to the website and topic. Your content must make a promise and then fulfill it. For example, if the title of your blog article is “The Benefits of Going Vegan” but the content simply features vegan recipes, search engines will deem this article misleading and irrelevant, thus ranking it lower.
The foundation of SEO content is relevancy, so ask yourself the following questions before publishing any material:
- How is this content relevant to my website or platform?
- What does the content promise the viewers, readers, or listeners?
- Does it fulfill this promise?
If you think you hate clickbait, you’ll be surprised by how much search engines do too. So create content that is relevant, has a purpose, and has something to offer your viewers.
The Magic of Keywords
Search engines are programmed to detect words and phrases within a search prompt and find web pages that are relevant to them. When you type in “benefits of going vegan,” the search engine will look for web pages with these matching keywords and present you the results. For example, a blog all about horror movies would use keywords like “horror,” “horror movies,” and “scary films.”
The trick with keywords is not to overuse them or cram them into places where they don’t naturally flow with the text. Modern search engines are programmed to detect artificially overused or out-of-place keywords, and in some cases, even use an AI detector to spot “spammy” content. So, if you use too many keywords or they sound unnatural within the text, your content is not optimized for search engines and will rank lower.
While keywords are very important, you must use them in moderation and insert them in places where they seamlessly fit the context and grammar of the text. If you don’t know what keywords work for your SEO strategy, try web scraping websites similar to your own and see which keywords work best for them.
Let’s imagine once more that you search for “benefits of going vegan” and click on a link. When you read through the article, you realize that the first half of the content is just a bunch of recipes and the actual benefits are all the way at the bottom of the article. This occurs because the creators of the article did not optimize the structure enough. The result is content that viewers may see as somewhat misleading.
Good SEO practice is to structure articles by keeping relevant information at the top and auxiliary content below. This approach is just one example of content structuring for SEO. There are plenty of other nuances to optimizing your content for search engines, but structure is one aspect you should always nail down.
To Finish Things Off
This general overview should give you an idea of how content and search marketing work together. There’s obviously more we didn’t cover, but that would take a lot more than a single article to do.
If you’re expanding the digital marketing of your business, consider how optimizing your content for search engines can drive more traffic to your website and keep people interested in what you do. This strategy is sure to have a positive impact on your sales figures and conversion rate.