Search engine optimization (or SEO) is a continually changing field. But throughout all recent changes, one thing has remained constant, and that’s the importance of content to SEO.
Content and SEO go hand-in-hand
People use search engines to find answers or solutions to their questions and search engines serve up the most relevant content they can find. While the top search result might be a blog post, a YouTube video or product description – it’s all content.s
There is a deep relationship between content and SEO, and it can be difficult to understand the nuances of they relate. This guide explores that relationship and provides actionable insights for how businesses can use content to support their SEO efforts.
- The Relationship between SEO and Content
- On-Page Content Optimization
- Link Optimization
- Topical Optimization
- A Simple but Effective SEO Checklist
- Free Actionable Bonus: Looking to elevate your SEO strategy? We partnered with Jay Baer of Convince & Convert to create this free ebook on 6 Ways to Fix Your Barebones SEO Strategy
The Relationship between SEO and Content Marketing
Simply put, great content is the basis for SEO success.
High quality, original content is the foundation for all your other SEO efforts. That’s precisely why the Periodic Table of SEO Success starts with the content “elements,” with content quality as the leading element.
What is SEO Content?
To understand what SEO content means, it’s useful to look at the phrase in two parts:
The first part – “SEO” (search engine optimization) – is the process of optimizing your website and content so that it shows up higher in search engine results pages for specific search terms.
The second part – “content” – is any information that you publish online that can be indexed by search engines. This includes website content, blog posts, images, graphics, and videos.
So, taken as a whole, SEO content is any content that is created to increase search engine rankings and therefore traffic to your website.
Search engines display their organic search results according to the relevance and authority of a web page. Relevance is determined by how often you use specific keywords and phrases within the content of a web page, and authority is determined by the number of trustworthy backlinks that point to that page.
To make your content more SEO-friendly, your content should be organized logically, contain relevant keywords, and be written with your audience in mind.
The Difference Between SEO and Content Marketing
Generally speaking, SEO is more technical with a focus on website design and structure. It involves making a website more user-friendly, using relevant keywords, optimizing metadata, and building high-quality links. All these things work together to help each web page rank higher in search engines for specific search terms.
Content marketing, on the other hand, involves the publishing of useful content across your website, blog, and social media accounts to attract and retain your target audience and ultimately stimulate interest in your products and services.
Optimizing your content for search engines helps it rank better, so you’ll achieve more of your content marketing goals. Publishing quality content will improve your website’s authority and relevance and therefore increase its SEO power.
On-Page Content Optimization
Good content and SEO work hand in hand. Without one, you won’t have much success with the other – if you don’t have the high-quality content that search engines want, your SEO rankings and readership are likely to be low. At the same time, even the best content doesn’t do you much good if your target shoppers aren’t able to find it when they’re searching.
That’s why it’s important to be able to consistently write SEO-friendly content that people enjoy reading. With that in mind, here are a few tips and best practices to get great content and SEO.
Focus on Keywords– But Not Too Much
Keywords still have a place in your SEO strategy, just be sure to use them thoughtfully and organically in your content while trying to use keyword phrases in addition to individual keywords. Using a keyword phrase in your title might not make for the most exciting or witty headline, but it will make your article more likely to be viewed by your target audience.
Use Headings Properly
Headings are an essential but often overlooked aspect of good SEO. Header tags are the HTML tags that range from H1 to H6 and are used to create an outline and add structure to an article or blog post. Using headings wisely can help Google parse the main topic of longer articles.
For example, it’s critical to include an H1 tag on each page, but only use one. Multiple H1 tags can confuse search engines by implying that the content is about several main topics. Also, don’t use the same text in the header for every page.
Optimize the Length of Your Posts
Google tends to prefer longer articles. One study shows that the average length of a first-page search result on Google is 2000 words.
While it’s not necessary to churn out a post of that length each time you update your blog, you’ll probably have better luck if you tend to create longer posts in general. Breaking up your lengthy posts into manageable chunks for your readers (using bullet points, subheadings, and lists) can help prevent the dreaded “wall of text.”
Use Location-Specific Phrases
When people perform online searches, they’re frequently looking for local businesses. This is especially true when they’re searching on their mobile devices.
If you have a local company, make sure to include geo-specific terms in your keyword phrases to ensure that your content shows up prominently in those searches. Use these location-specific keyword phrases in your titles and within your H1 tags, and you’ll see your local SEO improve rapidly.