In the world of online marketing, two strategies have emerged as key drivers of organic traffic and business growth: search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing. While these strategies are often viewed as separate entities, combining them effectively can result in a powerful online presence and increased visibility in search engine rankings.

Understanding SEO and content marketing

Before we dive into ways to combine SEO and content marketing, let's first understand what each strategy entails.

SEO is a practice that involves optimizing your website and its content to rank higher in search engine results. Its primary goal is to increase organic (non-paid) traffic to your website.

SEO techniques include keyword research, on-page optimization, backlink building, and technical optimization.

Content marketing, on the other hand, is a strategy focused on creating valuable and relevant content to engage and attract a target audience. This content could be in the form of blog posts, articles, videos, infographics, or podcasts. The main objective of content marketing is to drive brand awareness, build trust, and ultimately generate leads or sales.

Both SEO and content marketing are essential components of a successful digital marketing strategy.

While SEO focuses on optimizing your website to rank higher in search engine results, content marketing aims to create valuable content that resonates with your target audience.

By combining the two, you can improve your website's visibility and credibility, ultimately driving more organic traffic and conversions.

Why combine SEO and content marketing?

While SEO and content marketing have distinct objectives, combining them can amplify their effectiveness and drive better results. Here are a few reasons why these strategies go hand-in-hand:

  1. Quality Content as a Foundation for SEO: Search engines like Google prioritize high-quality, relevant content that meets users' needs. By creating valuable content, you lay the foundation for successful SEO practices.
  2. Keywords and SEO optimization Inform Content: Keyword research and on-page optimization can guide your content creation strategy. By targeting relevant keywords in your content and optimizing it for search engines, you increase its visibility and chances of ranking higher.
    1. Pro Tip 1: Begin with On-Page Brilliance Start your SEO journey by focusing on on-page elements. Craft compelling content, strategically place keywords, and ensure a seamless, user-friendly experience. Think of on-page SEO as the introduction to your content for search engines.
  3. Content Generates Backlinks: Backlinks from reputable websites are an essential factor in SEO. By producing compelling content, you increase your chances of earning backlinks, which positively impacts your website's authority and search rankings.
  4. Content Drives Social Shares and Engagement: Engaging and shareable content can play a significant role in SEO. When your content is shared across social media platforms or generates user engagement, search engines perceive it as valuable and may reward it with higher rankings.
    1. It's also important to know that SEO drives 1,000%+ more traffic than organic social media, and SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate—meaning if you are a business, the ROI (return on investment) is worth it.
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Investing in SEO can lead to significant increases in website traffic and conversions. By optimizing your website for search engines, you can attract more organic traffic from users actively searching for products or services like yours.

Additionally, SEO efforts can help improve the overall user experience on your website, making it more user-friendly and accessible.

Combining SEO and Content Marketing: Best Practices

To effectively combine SEO and content marketing, there are a few best practices you should consider:

1. Start with keyword research:

Keyword research is the foundation of SEO and content creation. Identify relevant keywords that align with your target audience's search intent and incorporate them naturally into your content.

Tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or Moz Keyword Explorer can assist in finding suitable keywords.

An intuitive tool I use is the Twinword keyword research tool, which provides comprehensive data and helps optimize my content for better search engine rankings.

Let me give you a simple cheat for doing keyword research on my favorite tool.

SemRush.

Go to SemRush.com.

SemRush simple keyword research tutorial-homepage

Sign in and navigate to the keyword research tool. Or just type in the search bar above, which saves time, to be honest ?

SEMRUSH dashboard-entering seed keyword in search bar

Enter your keyword, and you will be taken to an overview of that keyword, including its search volume, competition level, and related keywords.

keyword overview page after search. showing keyword difficult, volume, location, CPC and many more

Choose which one you need. If you need some informational content, then view the questions, but if you want transactional post ideas based on a seed keyword (paired withbest + [keyword]”), then the “keyword variations” will be of more use.

Keyword Ideas. Keyword Variations, Questions and Keyword clusters

Whichever it is you choose, you will be directed to a list of keywords, filter options, and post ideas that are relevant to your chosen type of content.

The most important filter for us is the Keyword Difficult (highlighted in a green color—check image below). It is titled “KD: Easy.” We want to write for new emergent keywords. Choose post ideas that have a low keyword difficulty score, but those with potential for good traffic volume.

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IThe keyword Magic Tool

If you have a paid account, you can add these to your list within SemRush. If you are like me, just copy them and add them to a spreadsheet like this:

Keyword Google Sheet Planner Template

2. Create high-quality, valuable content:

Focus on creating informative, engaging, and well-structured content that addresses users' needs and interests.

Make sure your content is unique, relevant, and adds value to your audience. Content that solves problems, educates, or entertains has a higher chance of attracting both readers and search engines.

For example, let's say you are running a travel blog and you notice a low keyword difficulty score for the phrase “best hiking trails in Europe.” Despite the low competition, you know that this topic has the potential to attract a large volume of traffic from avid hikers and travelers.

To make the most of this opportunity, you create a comprehensive article that includes detailed trail descriptions, helpful tips, stunning photographs, and even personal anecdotes from your own hiking experiences.

When you provide valuable information and cater to the interests and needs of your target audience, your article becomes more shareable and recommendable by readers.

Additionally, optimizing your article with relevant keywords and meta tags can help improve its visibility on search engine result pages, further driving organic traffic to your blog.

3. Optimize on-page elements:

Optimize your content for search engines by optimizing on-page elements. This includes writing compelling title tags and meta descriptions, using relevant headers, and incorporating keywords naturally throughout the content.

Don't forget to optimize your URLs, alt tags for images, and internal linking structure.

4. Promote and Share Your Content:

Once you've created valuable content, promote and distribute it across various channels. Share it on social media, email newsletters, or relevant online communities. Encourage others to link to your content, increasing its visibility and potential for gaining backlinks.

5. Monitor and adjust:

Regularly monitor your content's performance through analytics tools like Google Analytics. Identify patterns, trends, and areas for improvement. Make data-driven decisions and adjust your content and SEO strategies accordingly.

Miscellaneous tips

The magic unfolds when SEO seamlessly intertwines with your content marketing strategy.

  1. Design content with dual purposes. Craft content that appeals to your users while maintaining SEO friendliness. Engage your audience with valuable information while subtly incorporating relevant keywords to enhance discoverability.
  2. Optimize for intent, not just keywords. Go beyond merely targeting keywords. Understand the intent behind user queries. Your content should align with specific keywords and, more importantly, resonate with what users are seeking—answering questions or providing solutions.
  3. Earn those backlinks and social shares. Consider your content's life beyond publication. Actively seek opportunities for quality backlinks and encourage social sharing. These are valuable signals that amplify your content's impact on search engine rankings.
  4. Content as a Resource Library Transform your content into a valuable resource hub. This not only caters to users looking for comprehensive information but also positions you as an authority in your niche. An authoritative stance contributes significantly to SEO credibility.
  5. Diversify your distribution channels. Avoid over-reliance on a single distribution channel. Explore diverse avenues, from social media platforms to industry forums. This widens your reach and diversifies traffic sources, contributing to a robust and sustainable online presence.
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Pro Tip 2: Cultivate Patience In the world of SEO and content marketing, success is a marathon, not a sprint. Consistent, high-quality efforts over time tend to yield more sustainable and enduring results.

Take away

The fusion of SEO and content marketing is an art, requiring balance and authenticity. It's about creating content that not only ranks highly on search engines but also resonates with your audience. As you navigate this intricate journey, remember—it's a process that demands patience. Embrace the synergy, stay authentic, and witness your online presence flourish organically. Remember, in the end, it's all worth it.

Conclusion

SEO and content marketing are complementary strategies that, when combined effectively, can bring significant benefits to your online presence and visibility.

By leveraging SEO optimization techniques in your content creation process and creating high-quality, valuable content, you can achieve higher rankings, increased organic traffic, and improved user engagement. Remember to continue monitoring, adjusting, and optimizing your approach to stay ahead in this niche where change is constant.

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