5 Tips for Using Content Marketing to Boost SEO
Integrating content marketing into your SEO strategy can bring more traffic to your website while also converting more of that traffic into customers, but be sure to have a solid plan before you start. The Content Marketing Institute’s 2015 Benchmark Report found of the most effective content marketers, 47 percent had a documented strategy, while only 5 percent of the least effective do. Devising a content marketing strategy to support your SEO efforts makes sense in order to expose new customers to your brand and improve search engine results, but not having a plan is a great way to waste money.
Whatever content strategy you decide on, ensure that content is designed to be viewed easily on any type of device, including smartphones and tablets. In 2015, Google Search announced mobile-friendliness will serve as a search engine ranking signal. Once the website is designed to effectively work on mobile devices, use these steps to use content marketing to improve search engine optimization for a brand.
1. Keep These Basic SEO Guidelines in Mind
No matter what type of content you’re producing or having other people produce for your site — a written blog post, a video, a podcast, a photo slideshow, an infographic, or something different — it’s vital to keep these basic SEO principles in mind:
- Do your keyword research. Use Google’s free keyword planner tool to discover keywords people are searching for when looking for the types of products or services you offer, and use these keywords to drive your website’s content strategy.
- Optimize your copy. Now that you have keywords you want to rank for in order for more relevant visitors to get to your site, use these keywords in post titles and headlines, meta-descriptions, and title tags.
Don’t just try to write clever and catchy copy. Write clever and catchy copy that also has valuable keywords related to your brand.
2. Create Useful Content for Your Site
Possibilities are endless when it comes to determining stellar content for your site. The more valuable the content you produce, the more likely it will be read or watched, which increases time spent on the site, which positively relates to search results. Compelling content also makes it more likely to be shared, which leads to increased page view numbers that also benefit search results.
Digital Current recommends striving to create search engine optimized content that is unique, relevant, and substantive in order to best attract the positive attention of search engines. If you’re stumped about what to share with your Web visitors, think in terms of:
- What are their interests? Determine audience demographics and what types of content will keep them engaged.
- How can I share something unique that’s product-related? If you’re working on a site for a food product, for example, you could create recipe infographics. If your product is geared toward business owners, a blog with useful business tips is helpful.
- What type of content do my Web visitors want to consume? A round-up of studies by Xerox Corporation found colored visuals can make people more likely to consume content by 80 percent, while expert marketer Jeff Bullas reports articles with images receive 94 percent more total views than articles without images. Color photography and videos are ever-increasing in popularity with Web visitors, making them essential elements of your content.
Don’t create spammy content by peppering keywords throughout the post where they don’t belong, but don’t be afraid to link to other content on your site throughout new content — but only if it’s relevant and done sparingly. Write and create with user benefit in mind first, and relevancy will be rewarded by search engines.
3. Create Useful Content for Other Sites
As a new content creating expert, sharing your knowledge and expertise with other great minds and audiences in your field is an effective way to help your own search engine optimization. Guest blogging provides the following benefits:
- Credible backlinks through a link to your website within the content or via an author bio
- Exposure to your website for new visitors, via direct traffic and traffic from social networks, email campaigns, and other sites the guest post may be shared through
- Increased page views to your website through referrals
- Improved reputation as a subject matter expert, which may lead to more business
- The possibility of new partnerships through other outlets with the business you’re guest blogging for
- Content creation practice and the learning of new skills through learning other sites’ sharing strategies
Don’t be afraid to reach out to webmasters of sites you love reading and offer to create guest content for them in exchange for a link back to your website. You’re creating free, useful content, and reaping the rewards of a link and increased referrals and page views to your website that search engines will look favorably upon.
4. Get Others to Create Useful Content for Your Site
It’s also wise to solicit other brand experts to contribute content to your website, or to interview prominent subject matter professionals and feature them in your content. Showing off others on your site through hosting guest posts or by highlighting them in your content provides these advantages to a business and its search results:
- Contributors are likely to share your content. This exposes your brand to potential new customers and increases your page views, which benefits search results.
- Hosting links to reputable sites on your own site is positive. This increases the relevancy of content on your site, which boosts search.
- Your site will be viewed as authoritative. By featuring experts in spaces that relate to your business, your content will become attractive to Web visitors, which may drive up direct traffic, which is positive for search engine optimization.
If you’d like to ask someone to contribute to your site, offer to include a link back to the reputable site of their choosing within the content. Remember not to link to low-quality, spammy sites, because that can damage your site’s search results.
5. Share Your Useful Content With the Masses
Now that you’ve put energy into producing and optimizing content for search engines, it’s time to give that content extra juice that will extend its reach — and the reach of your brand. Free and paid options abound, but remember only quality, relevant, non-spammy content will be likely to be shared and engaged with. Here are some marketing avenues you can use to share your content:
- Social media
- Email marketing
- Sending it to influences and asking them to share it with their audiences if it’s relevant — and offering to do the same for them if they have useful content your followers would find enjoyable
- Paid ads
Include calls to action when you share your content, or ask questions to further encourage engagement. Include social sharing buttons on all your content to allow viewers to easily click and share with their social networks, and work on building up your followings on social media and in your email list to elevate your reach and improve your search engine rankings for the keywords you want to be associated with.