Content marketers often struggle with two things namely, getting the content before targeted, hungry audiences; and getting “guaranteed”, long-term traffic rather than hit-or-miss social media promotions. SEO can be helpful for content marketers to deal with both of these issues. By assisting in ranking the content in a better manner, SEO ensures that marketers often have targeted traffic.
On the other hand, content marketing can help SEO to come up with better contents. This thing, therefore, helps the content marketers to win followers, subscribers, and readers, who can be tapped for shares and back-links to improve rankings further.
Here Are The Best Practices To Align Content and SEO For Search Success:
- Integrating Workflows: Developing a foundation for collaboration works as the first step towards aligning SEO and content. So, if you have two completely different departments that execute SEO and content, it is important to integrate the workflow. Join meetings are effective yet simple ways to enhance collaboration. There is no requirement of wide-reaching and long brainstorming sessions together. But quickly monthly or weekly updates between both of these departments can work like wonders. It is also possible to encourage collaboration through aligning KPIs for both the departments. While each team would have the same success measurements, they would be more open to cooperation naturally. Each team prefers to be successful and should demonstrate the value. Therefore, both of the teams share a common goal that makes both of them equally responsible for organic search. This success would bring both SEO and content teams together.
- SEO Research Informs The Creation Of Content: It is important to have proper coordination between both SEO and content teams long before developing contents. Content teams must be offered creative freedom for ideation of topic. These people are creative and experts. But the SEO team of your company can help to create more knowledgeable decisions. Most of the niche and keyword research SEO can inform the content marketing to be more positioned and strategic to capitalize on the search. So, if you are planning to earn organic traffic, you will need the right type of content. And the SEO team of your company can guide this strategy to target the right opportunities. SEO mainly guides content strategy in two main ways- audience and competitor analysis through search lens.
- Analyzing Competitor for Creating Content: SEO is capable of analyzing competitor content for understanding the pages that are performing best as well as attracting visitors to the competition. SEO identifies the competitor pages by using a number of tools like Majestic, SEMrush, MOZ, Ahrefs, etc. with organic traffic and the top linked pages available on the competitor websites.
By identifying the top posts of the competitors, the SEO team of the companies can get strategic approach into:
- Unique opportunities for SERP (knowledge box, snippets, carousel, etc.)
- Optimal content formats (checklists, video, image heavy, etc.)
- Prospective linking audiences
- Ideal structure and length of contents
- Ideas for related and alternative keywords
- Prospective promotional opportunities
This information is vital for the content team as the competitor pages symbolize opportunities. These are the topics that the audience has an interest and in case you don’t have any similar pages, it is necessary to create those. This information actually empowers the content team of your organization to craft pages, which can earn visibility for your website while having the potentiality to reclaim the audience share from the competition.
- Analyzing Audience For Creating Content: SEO teams that analyze the audience are suited uniquely to deliver can also benefit the content creators before developing contents. The keyword research that the SEOs perform offers helpful insights, which can assist the content team to prioritize both topics and opportunities. This type of research then uncovers the right opportunity that is associated with top themes and keywords on the basis of competition level, search volume and most importantly the intent of the searcher.
So, understanding the intent is necessary for developing a complete marketing funnel for the website. It is also important to craft content for each funnel stage and the related intent with each stage. In a number of niches, the commercial pages are considered to be the most competitive ones regarding organic search performance, especially while it comes to the eCommerce websites. Offering valuable contents on the website, which focus on various areas of the marketing funnel and targeted to the keywords with a great opportunity is important for the success of SEO. Here the best opportunities are the combination of:
- High search volume
- Low competition
- Search results where the present ranking pages lack and you can produce something better.
- Involving SEO Throughout the Creation of Contents: The job of the SEO team doesn’t complete after handing off the researched data. SEO needs to be involved throughout the creation of content to consult on content optimization. So, you can consider building up a template checklist of your content and the SEO teams can try out together while addressing the vital optimization questions for each piece of content that you create. Specifically for some of the SEO focused items, the SEO team needs to review the performance of the content after publishing. So, it is necessary to ensure that every team member is well aware of the content calendar of the company. It is also important to set reminders for both content and SEO team members to review every post after they have had several weeks to perform.
- Include SEO Metrics In The Reporting: To align SEO with content marketing, it is important to include SEO metrics in the reporting. So, if you are presently using traffic and engagement metrics like unique page views, time on site, bounce rates, etc. to assess the success of the content marketing efforts, then you must expand the reporting to add the following:
- Domain authority
- Ranking for the targeted keywords
- Organic traffic
- Referring domains and back-links
- Develop Off-Site Content Assets: The SEO focused content strategy must have an off-site component of content. There are mainly two-fold purposes of contents, namely to develop authority and to get back-links. The former helps to develop awareness while the later helps to enhance SEO. Here are some of the assets of off-site content that you can create as a part of your present content strategy:
- Infographics on important topics that can be republished later on various websites with the link back to your website in return of back-links and readership.
- Guest posts on appropriate blogs with existing large audiences. You can share the best contents on the blogs.
- To repurpose your present content into Quora answers, videos and Slideshare presentations. Here your main objective should be to get back-links to your website while improving your brand visibility.
Both content marketing and SEO are more related to each other than ever before. With strong content, you can rank better while with strong SEO, you can increase the content to reach successfully. So, by aligning content marketing strategy and SEO, you can get more traffic to the older content, better rankings and a bigger audience for all the new contents that you create.