SEO is a big reason why most of my clients pursue content marketing. Even today I got a query from a German client asking for SEO content that will help them improve their search engine rankings and draw targeted traffic to their website.
SEO and content marketing are related to each other but the problem is most of the small business owners think that the sole purpose of publishing content on their website is to improve their SEO. On the surface there is nothing wrong in this perception, the problem arises when people completely focus on SEO, ignoring the inherent strength of publishing quality, engaging content on the website and elsewhere.
The basic purpose of publishing content and then distributing it using various channels available to you is to provide value to your target audience so that you can establish a long-lasting relationship with them. You need to provide them valuable information. They should hear from you regularly so that they begin to recognise you whenever they come across your content. The purpose of content marketing is creating a recognition space for you and your brand so that it becomes easier to find you, to relate to you and to feel like doing business with you because of a positive association.
Why people use content marketing solely to improve their SEO?
In the beginning content really helped you improve your search engine rankings. Back then the search engine ranking algorithms weren’t as complicated and choosy as they are today. Have 20 webpages talking about a particular topic (with different titles) using your keywords and you could rank well. For straight 2 years in 2004-2005 I used to rank on the 1st page of Google for the phrases “freelance content writer” and “online content writer” because I had published lots of articles on my website talking about these 2 phrases– it was my mistake that I couldn’t take advantage of this privilege and didn’t pay much attention to maintaining my rankings. Maintain an acceptable keyword density, use the keywords in your title and publish 20-30 blog posts and articles and you could enjoy good rankings.
Since then, much has changed, but people’s perception hasn’t. Firstly, they still think that indiscriminately using keywords in their blog posts and articles is going to get them higher search engine rankings and secondly, the confuse content marketing with SEO. Both are partly related and partly unrelated.
Search engines are constantly aiming at indexing high-quality content and while indexing and ranking high quality content, although they take note of the sort of language and words being used, more important is the relevance and the quality of content you are creating and publishing. How is it going to be useful to the search engine users, this is their primary concern. How do they find out whether a particular piece of content is of good quality? There are thousands of factors but the primary factors are:
- How relevant is the title of the blog post or webpage you have just created
- How well-written the content is
- How the keywords have been used (yes, the keywords still matter)
- How easy it is to access the content on the web page
- How easy it is to view your content using different devices
- How many influences are talking about your content
- How many trustworthy inbound links your content attracts
- How much buzz it is creating on social media websites
- How frequently you publish quality content
All these attributes solely depend on the combination of quality, relevance and usability of your content. A well-meaning title naturally contains the subject you are handling. People naturally share content that is useful. Engaging content encourages people to talk about it through blog posts and social media updates. People link to your content if they like it.
All these factors are taken into consideration by the search engines while ranking your content.
So while it is important to take care of SEO (so that people who are meant to find your content can find it easily) this shouldn’t be the sole objective of your content marketing strategy. You use content marketing to improve your conversion rate and draw people to your website naturally.