Content marketing has created a lot of hype and buzz, and businesses everywhere are trying to take advantage of it.
Does Content Marketing replace SEO ?
It’s a misguided perception that content marketing replaces Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), it couldn’t be further from the truth. SEO in content marketing campaigns is more important than ever.
The history of SEO
In order to understand SEO and how it affects Content Marketing, it’s necessary that we review it’s history , why it ‘s used and we’ll understand that it will continue to play an important role.
The driving inspiration behind the internet innovation, was basically man’s desire to share information and knowledge. The original purpose was designed to share research papers and provide the ability to link documents to other documents.
This concept proved immensely popular, resulting in hundreds and thousands of research papers being uploaded and the use and popularity of the internet grew and reach continued to increase outside of academia. The content continued to grow exponentially.
The growth of content introduced another issue, how would people find content needed when needed ? This introduced the concept of Search Engines, with a number of aspiring companies introducing innovative solutions to this particular business problem. The most notable of these companies and probably the most widely used Search Engine being Google.
Google’s founding mission is to organise all the worlds information and make it universally accessible. To satisfy this goal, Google has created a host of algorithms and utilities that search and index all the webpages, documents, videos and host of other media objects. Enabling users to search for content making use of contextual keyword phrases.
In order for content to found and index correctly prompted the birth of an industry of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The theory behind SEO, is to ensure the structure and organisation of media content contains sufficient common keyword phrases to assist the search engine index utilities to correctly index documents using the keywords that users will search for them.
Unfortunately, this also spawned a cottage industry of nefarious organisations which claimed they had found the secrets to tricking search engines into indexing their media objects with higher Search Engine Rankings than others.
With all technologies and software solutions there are backdoors and bugs, which these organisations have attempted to target over the years. This has resulted in all Search engines working hard to fine tune their algorithms to close these gaps to ensure their users are delivered only the most useful, valuable, relevant content based on desired search keyword phrases.
No money in Search
The vast majority of Search Engines are free to use models however they are not free to build and maintain which has prompted them to search for the much needed revenue models. The most obvious candidates to target for revenue are advertisers, and in fact it was only when Google launched Adwords back in October 2000, that it really started making money.
How Google really makes money
Google makes a vast majority of its money by getting people to a page full of relevant, useful content and making it easy and productive for 3-5% of them to click on an ad on that same page. End of story!
The truth is, that for your content marketing efforts to be successful, you need to be mindful of how of Google makes money and how it relates to your content.
SEO the strategic element
In order for your website to be effective as a marketing tool, you need to consider your customers journey and how you intend to convert their casual visit to a business transaction. This is where SEO practices start, assisting in defining the structure of a website, page content, categories and posts.
Keyword research offers us additional insight, enabling us to research the world of the customer. Allowing us to refine our definition of our ideal customer, better understand their problems they are trying to solve and their intent they have when using a search engine. These are vitally important when crafting your core message and designing your customer journey.
SEO research helps to define your most potent opportunities and competitive advantages. This is the strategic element and advantages of using an SEO based approach to your content creation.
Content is the output of your SEO strategy
Your SEO research is the key to helping you determine your editorial priorities. Helping to define which articles should be used to flow into each other or connected.
Effective content is less about great writing but more about having exacting relevance and intent. Once you have defined and developed your SEO strategy, you can begin to construct the architecture of your site based on priority keywords and messaging that answers your prospective clients biggest challenges.
You can further expand on your content themes to create complete blog posts, guest posts and your editorial calendar. Combining an SEO strategy and structured approach to content creations, helps to ensure your content is relevant to your intended market.
The use of SEO techniques does not end there. Ensuring you continue to follow guidelines and best practices of on and off page optimisation, link networking and ongoing conversion optimisation are the real keys to success.
SEO is the art of helping Google and others to deliver relevant, useful and valuable content based on the intent of users search query. Using SEO techniques, strategies and research will help you to craft useful and valuable content to help your prospects find the information they need to make a purchase with confidence.