Traditional marketing has changed a lot over the past couple of decades. It’s getting much more refined and customer-driven. This evolution is largely due to Google’s mission, “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
Search engines have become an advertising and marketing tool, but they exist to help people find information online. Knowing this can help your small business SEO and content marketing strategies.
Content marketing and SEO were once thought of as two entities that co-existed separately. Many people believe that content strategy eliminates the need for SEO. But when it comes to internet marketing, SEO and content marketing for small business go together like ham and eggs, cookies and milk or fish and chips. Why do SEO and content marketing work together? To answer that question, you should understand each one on its own merits.
What Is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization – SEO is the technical aspect of your website that increases traffic and boosts your ranking on Google and other search engines.
It includes everything from building your website to be mobile-friendly to how you title your pages.
SEO is like the foundation and structure of your website. It’s about setting up a strategic sitemap, using proper title tags and creating the right information for the robots.txt. SEO ensures that algorithms developed by the search engines can measure your site’s information as it pertains to the user’s search parameters. In simpler terms, SEO is what ensures your small business appears on search results pages.
SEO is the optimization of your site, so it’s easy for search engines like Google to find and index your website, so it shows up in search results. You make sure all the pieces of content use things like keywords that match the phrases and questions that people search for. You also ensure that all the links work correctly and that the meta-description – a short paragraph that tells search engines what a web page is about – and headers clearly outline what the page is about.
Good SEO for small businesses means setting up the structure of your website so that it supports the content that you have on it. Good SEO means that you’ll attract your target audience — the people who are looking for the products and services you provide. That’s because the user knows what kind of information will be on the page before they ever get there since they found it in their search queries.
Content Marketing Is Different from SEO
If SEO is the foundation of a website, content marketing is the interior design and curb appeal of the site. It’s what draws customers into your platform and makes them look around to buy.
Content lures potential buyers by helping to solve problems. Content makes your site a hub of information. It’s not always about your product or service, but about who you are and what you do.
Content is what keeps people coming back to your site. It helps your business builds its brand. And it’s what gets shared by influencers and your clients. Your content isn’t just creating content for the sake of having the most content online. It’s about creating web pages, blog posts and other resources like white papers, case studies, and e-books that your customers want to engage with. More and more it also includes things like images, infographics, webinars, podcasts, and videos.
Years ago, you could just throw up any content and get visitors, but the search engines have gotten much smarter. Today, small business content marketing relies on high-quality content that benefits your potential customer, and that generates leads for your business.
Connecting Content Marketing and SEO Strategies
Keywords and keyword research are the most obvious link between content and SEO. Keywords are what your customers are searching for to find your product or service. But you can’t just write an article stuffed with keywords to rank. The keywords have to be inserted in content that makes sense to the user.
SEO and content marketing overlap. You can’t have SEO without content. However, without SEO, your content won’t be ranked in search engines.
Content and SEO work together in harmony to ensure that the content you create and your small business show up in search engine results. More importantly, they’re the critical aspects of local marketing that bring new customers to your business and help you increase revenue.
How To Increase Your Content Marketing Efforts
1. Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is an effective tactic and another channel where you can promote your content and your business. Furthermore, social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are excellent places to engage with your customers where they spend their time. Social media is another element of content strategy that small business owners shouldn’t ignore.
2. Content Strategy
Content is what provides value to your customers. The search engine bots measure how long readers stay on your site. When they read one article after another, it adds to your site credibility.
Having quality content is what makes them stick around. But they won’t get to your website unless you have quality content that gets them there.
3. SEO Strategy
SEO is like a supercharger for content marketing. It helps your content rank higher organically, which gives you exposure in the search results. When customers come to your site and stick around, the search engines know that your site is credible and provides value to the reader. SEO strategy helps you create 10x content, and that helps increase the amount of time visitors spend on your site which boosts your ranking.
4. Link Building
High-quality content also offers opportunities for other websites to link back to you. Inbound links or linkbacks are another factor in SEO. When your site is connected to other authoritative sites, it increases traffic and your ranking. Natural, organic links that you don’t pay for mean much more than using a link-building agency. The best way to develop links back to your content is to create quality content.
SEO and Content Marketing work together
SEO requires certain elements that content marketing fulfills. SEO uses keywords, and so does content marketing. SEO asks for inbound links. Content marketing provides opportunities to earn those links. SEO sets up a good user experience. High-quality 10x content is what creates that experience.
SEO and content marketing support each other. If your business isn’t using smart strategies that connect the two, then you’re missing out. You’ll only be successful if you have both SEO and content marketing in your local online marketing plan.
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Annette is a film school dropout and former child therapist. As a child, she was in the Oakland Ballet’s Nutcracker two years in a row and wanted to be a professional chorus girl. Annette is the resident copywriter at BizIQ. She likes sci-fi and horror movies, her dog, and is obsessed with the tv show, “Supernatural.”