If you’re a business operating in the UK, there’s one thing on your mind: growth. It’s the cornerstone of success, whether diversifying your audience or securing more sales. However, growing your digital presence is becoming more challenging.
As Statista reports, there are 5.56 million businesses in the UK, all competing within their respective niches to win customers and survive. A whopping 60% of UK businesses fail in the first three years of operation, with many failing to understand their market (DCI).
Marketing is one of the most important investments you can make for your business, and the right strategy is key to driving new leads and building relationships with your target audience.
Search engine optimisation is a cost-effective solution to your marketing needs, but changing trends mean the previously popular practices are no longer enough to drive growth.
In this guide, we’ll explore the link between content marketing and SEO, exploring how the two can unite to form a powerful digital strategy.
What is SEO?
Search engine optimisation is a technical process focusing on optimising your website to ensure people can find it. For example, when someone types a query into a search engine, it returns relevant results based on what matches the query and intent.
However, SEO is also about improving the core features of your website, including page speed and navigation, to ensure users have the best possible experience.
In the past, businesses could focus on injecting keywords throughout their website and buying links to boost their rankings, but Google’s recent updates prioritise user experience over everything else.
Today, marketers must find the perfect balance between optimisation and user experience, making content marketing an integral component of any SEO strategy.
What is SEO content marketing?
OK, you need keywords to ensure your audience discovers your website. However, randomly injecting those words throughout your website and hoping people will fall in love with your brand is like getting behind the wheel with a blindfold and no destination in mind.
Content marketing is integral to SEO because it allows you to focus on optimisation while also setting your brand apart with original content AND giving your audience a great experience.
Content marketing is more important today than ever, with Google’s ever-changing algorithms focusing on one main goal: giving users the best possible experience.
The helpful content update
Google’s Helpful Content Update changed how marketers and businesses approach content creation.
The company released the update to give users a better experience without visiting numerous web pages before finding the answer to their query. In simple terms, Google is going after content that fails to meet E-A-T criteria.
Today, content creators must ensure expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness. In simple terms, your content can have lots of keywords, but if it lacks originality authority and fails to answer the searcher’s question, you will be punished for it.
The update means that content creators must:
- Demonstrate their expertise.
- Focus on user experience over optimisation.
- Find the right balance between SEO and helpful content.
- Offer unique content with original perspectives.
- Answer the user’s question.
Optimisation is still a crucial part of your marketing strategy, but aligning SEO with content marketing can elevate your brand’s reputation and set it up for measurable success.
Utilising content marketing to boost your SEO results
Securing a top-ranking SERP spot is becoming increasingly complex, but understanding how to utilise content marketing as part of your SEO strategy can help you succeed.
Great content can attract people to your brand and set you apart from competitors, as you’re providing value and authenticity.
Let’s look at what content marketing can do for your SEO strategy.
Striking the right balance
Creating content for the search engines is no longer enough, and Google will punish websites that don’t offer value to readers. Helpful content is vital to your success, and finding the right balance between optimisation and writing for humans can boost your results.
To ensure you write for readers, everything you create must align with search intent. The four types of intent include:
- Informational: Users want information about a topic and will ask a question. Guides, lists and how-to posts are most popular for informational search intent.
- Navigational: The user is searching for a specific page or brand.
- Commercial: These searches are more about research and often occur before purchasing a product. Reviews are popular forms of commercial content.
- Transactional: Users are ready to purchase a product and will use searches such as “buy X product”.
By understanding search intent, you can create content that will appear to users at the right time and inject your content with the right keywords.
Obtaining more backlinks
Backlinks are still a critical ranking factor, but they’re also one of the hardest elements of SEO. According to Search Logistics, pages that claim the top ranking on Google obtain 3.8 times more backlinks than those in two to ten.
However, only 5% of websites have quality backlinks, which shows the genuine struggle to obtain them. Here’s the thing: content marketing can help you naturally get backlinks through creating quality content.
When you can offer value, originality and practical information, other sites will naturally link back to you, which boosts your authority and secures higher rankings.
The key is to leverage SEO content marketing through a multi-pronged attack. When SEO specialists and writers collaborate, it’s easier to achieve more with content marketing.
Use various forms of content
In today’s always-on society, giving your target audience different forms of content is central to retaining their attention. Not everyone loves blog posts, and some people prefer visual content.
Consumers love video content, and 91% say they want to see more from brands (Oberlo). Infographics can also be beneficial for highlighting statistics and engaging your target audience.
When you create content that people can actively engage with, securing more backlinks and getting traffic through audience members sharing it on social media is easier.
Leverage available channels
Your website isn’t the only place for content marketing, and leveraging different channels can help you maximise results. Social media and email marketing can drive people to your website, which sends positive signals to search engines.
If they notice more people are clicking on your website and interacting with the content, it can boost your rankings.
Combining SEO and content marketing is a proactive step for business growth, but it’s also essential to regularly monitor your campaigns. Once you know how they’re performing, you can adapt them to ensure better results.
For example, your website might have content gaps and creating blog posts, videos, or infographics can close these gaps.
Using Google Search Console enables you to monitor your SEO strategy and identify whether specific keywords aren’t working. Once you have this information, adapting the strategy and improving your rankings is easier.
Future-proof your brand by taking a collaborative approach to SEO and content marketing
Adopting a targeted approach to marketing is great, and SEO is vital for any brand. However, with Google and other search engines focusing on user experience more than anything else, content marketing must play a role in your digital strategy.
Using content marketing to elevate your base SEO strategy, you can form relationships with your target audience and deliver value. Working with an SEO marketing agency can help you use your budget wisely and secure long-term growth.
Once you get the ball rolling, you can look forward to more backlinks and a future-proof SEO strategy.