Can content marketing improve your SEO?

can-content-marketing-improve-your-SEOMany businesses are attracted towards content marketing because they think that it will improve their SEO. Is it true? Does content marketing really improve your SEO?

Yes, it does. Strategic content marketing definitely improves your SEO.

Better SEO is a byproduct of efficient and persistent content marketing.

What do you do when you use content marketing to promote your business?

  • You publish content that helps your visitors.
  • Your content provides answers to questions your customers and clients seek.
  • You are continuously providing content to search engine crawlers to crawl, index and rank.
  • By promoting your content using all available channels you earn social validation for your website (which is used by search engines to rank your website).
  • You are continuously using your keywords and key phrases to generate content.
  • The more quality content you publish the greater are the chances that other websites will link back to you.

If you notice, all these content marketing tactics are exactly the things you need to do to improve your SEO.

How content marketing improves your SEO

Search engines like Google and Bing are all about content. When people use these search engines your landing pages and the main website rarely show up. It’s your content pages and blog posts that show up in the search results. The entire process of content marketing is such that it automatically improves your SEO.

Take for example Google. What does Google consider to rank your individual webpages?

  • The overall quality and relevance of your content.
  • The keyword and key phrases that you have used in the title, in the body text and in the headlines.
  • The contextual analysis of your content.
  • The number of external websites linking to your content.
  • The number of social shares of your content.
  • The overall quality and quantity of your website or blog.

All these can only be achieved through content marketing.

This is how content marketing improves your SEO

  • You publish relevant content that solves your customers’ and clients’ problems.
  • You publish content on an ongoing basis so that you are constantly feeding the search engines with good quality content (this alone improves your SEO).
  • Strategic content marketing makes you create content around your relevant keywords and key phrases consistently, increasing your overall website keyword density.
  • Since you are creating valuable content, it is often shared on social networking websites, providing validation, which further improves your SEO.
  • When you publish quality content that is relevant and helps people, other websites and blogs link to your content, again contributing to your SEO.
  • Improved SEO makes it easier for people to find your content, link to it, share it and talk about it, further improving your SEO.

Your average SEO agency may beg to differ, good content marketing automatically leads to an improved SEO.

Are there times when content marketing doesn’t improve your SEO?

Although I repeatedly stress on my website that good content marketing always improves your SEO there can be instances when content marketing does not improve your SEO.

To understand why sometimes content marketing may not lead to improved SEO you first need to understand what is content marketing and what is SEO.

What is content marketing?

In layman’s terms, content marketing is publishing lots of useful, relevant content that helps your customers and clients so that they begin to trust you and readily do business with you. Content marketing includes

  • Publishing quality content on a consistent basis.
  • Using social networking channels to distribute your content.
  • Publishing content on all available channels so that it becomes easier to come across your business name, brand or your own name.

This is the basic crux of content marketing. Read more on What is content marketing? Explained in detail.

What is SEO?

Search engine optimization. The concept is as old as search engines themselves. SEO means creating content so that it’s easier for search engines to

  • Find it
  • Crawl it
  • Index it
  • Rank it higher compared to other links for your desired keywords

The last point is the most important to people who are trying to improve their SEO. They want their content to be found, on the first page, for their preferred keywords. Keywords and key phrases are the most important when it comes to improving your SEO. If your content is being found for all the wrong reasons, it doesn’t help you.

This is very important: your content needs to be found for the right keywords and search terms. Read more on What is Organic SEO?

Content marketing can exist without giving you SEO benefits

This is because you can create quality content without using your keywords. You can use heavy images and complicated JavaScript on your website so that it’s very difficult for the search engine crawlers to crawl your content despite the content being of exceptional quality.

For an improved SEO the source code of your website matters a lot. The source code of your website should be in such a way that it makes it easier for search engines to access your content as soon as possible. The crawlers shouldn’t have to sift through a ton of gibberish before it can reach your main content.

When you don’t use proper tags, when you don’t hyperlink to your relevant pages using the right anchor text, when you don’t have a site map, when the other websites linking to your content don’t use the right anchor text, you don’t get much SEO benefit from your content marketing.

When does content marketing improve your SEO?

Your content marketing can be exceptional but you also need to help search engines crawl, index and rank your content, either from your own website, or external websites.

Here are a few things to keep in mind in order to help your content marketing improve your SEO:

  • Do comprehensive keyword research – create a long list of keywords and key phrases that your customers and clients are likely to use when trying to look for your service.
  • Without overdoing it, use your keywords and key phrases while creating and publishing your content.
  • People these days normally use questions on the search engines, so provide answers to these questions.
  • Don’t use lots of JavaScript, at least in the beginning of your webpages and blog posts. If using JavaScript is unavoidable, use it in such a manner that you include the JavaScript code at the end of your webpages and blog posts.
  • Try to follow W3C guidelines to create an accessible website because an accessible website automatically improves your SEO on the technical side.
  • Use proper tags like h1, h2, h3, ul, li, etc. to organize your content.
  • Get quality back links to your website on the strength of your quality content.

Although quality content marketing in itself improves your SEO, you just saw above that good content marketing can exist without giving you any SEO benefits. But if you maintain a website or blog that doesn’t stop the search engine crawlers from accessing your main content as early as possible, then persistent content marketing definitely improves your SEO.

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