WHAT IS MODERN CONTENT MARKETING AND SEO

Matthew Carter
Hello friends, my name is Matthew Carter. I’m a professional link builder for a large SEO agency in New York City.

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In turn, good content marketing with proper SEO can get you into a better neighborhood – and fast!

There is a certain synergy that exists between SEO and content marketing, especially when both are done well and coordinated. This is why top-notch content marketing firms have relationships with SEO experts; they know they need SEO to make content work.

To get a clearer understanding of how they complement each other, let us break them down individually first.

Content marketing is precisely what it implies: marketing using content. It is the basis of all sorts of digital marketing campaigns. That blog post from last week can be used on social media platforms to gain more traction, but the real rocket fuel of most content marketing is the SEO work done in the background.

Where SEO plays a part here is in making sure the content is balanced for your site and that you are not relying too hard on one element of your business and ignoring others that also need attention.

Keep Up with Continual Content.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a set of techniques that ensures that content and web pages are visible to a specific audience that a marketer wishes to target. Simply put, it is what helps match your particular web page with your target demographic’s search query.

After all, all those results for “How Does SEO Work?” do not appear by magic; there are real people on the other end, helping a search engine better understand how to categorize content.

SEO specialists use analytics and other technical tools to ensure that the gaps continue to remain filled and that any new areas you would like to explore are being addressed appropriately within the framework of your site.

Although this is mostly a part of content marketing strategy, there is SEO in there, too. One of the factors search engines look at is how often you publish new content. This is great for a blog or site that gets regular updates, but if you have been slacking off or are just starting to produce content, establishing a content publication schedule helps tremendously.

Content and SEO need to work together to provide users with relevant, attention-grabbing content. If you sell a great product, you need to write content that attracts users. That requires a solid SEO strategy. SEO should be a substantial part of the planning that goes into developing a proper content marketing plan; it is not meant to be an afterthought or an option. If no one can see your content, is it content marketing?

SEO can help you figure out what neighborhoods are most desirable for your purposes, and which ones you would rather not be caught in. It is not just about link monitoring, but this is an integral part of the process. After all, a link from a transmission repair website is not likely to be seen as very relevant (read: valuable) to your recipe blog.

Without content, be it web pages, blogs, product descriptions, articles, or even images and videos, SEO would struggle. SEO cannot work by itself – it needs content to help match those specific search queries utilizing keywords.

One of the many factors that search engines consider when looking at content is quality. If your content marketing is full of errors, inconsistencies, or is poorly written, there is not enough SEO in the world to fix that.

Each new piece not only signals that you are still publishing and relevant, but it also adds more potential topics and keywords to your list of searches that can bring in traffic. This helps increase your authority, as well, with more articles written on a range of topics and subtopics.

From a content marketing standpoint, this might mean breaking your content into individual topic areas, with each as narrowly focused as possible.

Evaluate the Value of Your Links.

The goal of SEO is to get the right eyes on the right piece of content, each time. Through targeted optimization, technical tune-ups, and regular adjustments to these things, an SEO expert helps drive traffic through more organic sources, like search engines.

It is not a question of SEO versus content marketing. It is a question of how you are going to improve the visibility of your already excellent content with strong SEO. If you are just getting started with either one, here are some ways you can use content marketing and SEO together to get better results:

It is easy to see how someone would be confused since they often appear in articles and blogs as separate entities, and many marketing specialists draw a line in the sand somewhere between the two.

There seems to be a lot of confusion in the marketing world about two vital, but different, digital marketing techniques: SEO and content marketing.

Having great SEO does not mean that your content can be lackluster, though. SEO is not a potion that fixes bad blogs and websites and makes them magically appear on page one of search results.

You have probably read elsewhere that when you are getting linkbacks from “bad neighborhoods,” it does very little for your SEO and can even be damaging under some circumstances.

This does not mean you should stuff your content with keywords, circa 2005. Instead, it means being mindful of how a search engine works. A search engine tries to figure out what a page or blog is about, then catalogs it accordingly.

What is Search Engine Optimization?

You need to produce content that your specific target audience will enjoy, content that will provide a solution or entertainment to a searcher.

If you are doing your own marketing, you need to approach it just like a professional content marketer would, especially when it comes to SEO. That means knowing your audience, understanding your topic, having an idea of your overall strategy, all while optimizing your content for search.

The truth is a lot more complicated. Content marketing and SEO are natural complements to each other. They both fuel each other and act as the necessary gears of any successful digital marketing campaign.

When your content starts showing up higher in the search engine results, which many people use to find high-quality information sources, you are going to see your backlink numbers begin to swell. As more significant and more reputable sites start linking to you, the search engines’ algorithms will recognize this and reward your pages’ rankings accordingly.

It sounds like a lot of work, but your analytics data will show you just how big the payoff is down the road.

Modern SEO is more about writing for a specific audience than chasing the highest search volume terms. That’s especially true in B2B, says Adriana Stein, because frequently we’re talking to small but influential audiences. The right terms to target might have only double-digit search volume, but an outsized impact on decision-making.

A content calendar makes your content more strategic, and success more repeatable, says Fio Dossetto. It also adds efficiency and effectiveness: “Once you’ve planned out the steps required to publish a specific piece of content, you can simply repeat them with every new piece instead of having to start from scratch; this not only saves you time, but makes it easier to estimate how long each task might take and make sure no step is skipped.”

According to TopRank Marketing’s Lee Odden, it’s all about adding trusted subject matter experts (or ‘influencers’). Find folks who are influential and authoritative about your subject, start a relationship, and co-create content together. The key is to match your content with both search demand and influencer expertise. “The topics your customers are looking for should drive both content optimization for search as well as the effort to find the right experts to collaborate with,” says Lee.

What Marketers Were Reading and Sharing Most Last Month:

“That lead you are trying to reach has to make an ‘informed’ buying decision. Getting that person to purchase will require time, effort and facts. Here the e-book delivers, as B2B customers are looking for authoritative sources to inform, confirm and validate,” says William.

The last 16 months have been full of disruption and upheaval for everyone, and marketers aren’t immune from the fallout. The key to surviving whatever comes next: Agility and resiliency, says Michael Brenner.

Another major benefit of new-style SEO: It can map directly to business outcomes. For this roundup of most-shared marketing content, I focused on how to upgrade your content marketing strategy for the new SEO, and how to focus on goals that make the business case for content. Along the way, you’ll learn how to create a more effective content calendar, use subject matter experts to add credibility, punch up your prose, and more.

My favorite tip: “Hook your readers, and fast. The goal is to immediately heighten your reader’s interest, whether emotionally, intellectually, or both. Quickly provide insight only you can, from your experience, in whatever subject you’re discussing.”

After six entries about how to refine your content marketing, here’s Joe Pulizzi with a more radical recommendation. Why is the famous founder of the Content Marketing Institute, the guy whose name is synonymous with content marketing, ready to pull the plug?

One key component of successful, ROI-generating content marketing: A thoughtful content strategy. A content marketing calendar helps focus your content efforts to create the most useful experience for your audience, as well as the most productive to meeting your goals.

Fortunately, he’s not talking about ending the practice of content marketing altogether. Rather, it’s about “killing” the channels that aren’t working and focusing on one or two that are most effective. “The greatest audience-building entities of all time selected one primary channel in which to build their platform,” Joe says, listing everything from Fortune Magazine to PewDiePie’s YouTube channel as proof.

Every artist knows the irritation of being asked to work for “exposure” instead of actual payment. And just like you can’t pay your rent in “exposure,” you can’t run a business on “awareness.” Marketers need to get better at speaking the language of executives who are focused on the bottom line.

As video, social-first, and interactive content becomes more commonplace, it may seem like the humble e-book is headed for extinction. But according to William Terdoslavich, there’s plenty of value still in static, even gated, PDF eBooks.

“By targeting low search volume keywords, you rank faster for more intent-specific keywords, and can eventually leverage this to go after more competitive ones,” Adriana says.

Oh, to be an SEO specialist in the late ‘90s/early ‘00s! It was such a simple job back then. Find your keyword, repeat it a dozen times in the text, add a few extra mentions in invisible white text at the bottom. Then create a few sites to link back to your post, and link to them, and build a little insular empire of bot-fooling content.

“To remain agile during uncertain times, you should focus on short-term planning, consider outsourcing to fill talent gaps, be proactive, and prioritize building brand loyalty over winning new customers,” Michael says. “Creativity, resilience, technology and reconstruction are four buzzwords that help define the role of marketing organizations in the ‘new normal.’”

One aspect of SEO is creating the type of content that Google recognizes as valuable. That means content with E.A.T.: Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness. It’s easy to optimize content for keyword topics or clusters, but how do we get the E.A.T. that makes content truly rank-worthy?

Granted, none of the above was about bringing any value to the audience, just about tricking the search engine into serving up your homepage. Modern SEO may be more labor-intensive, but it gets better results for everyone involved. It’s far more about creating quality, trustworthy content that brings true value to readers. These readers, in turn, send signals to search engines that your content is the real deal.

There are plenty of folks who would say that print journalism is dead, but its core concepts are as pertinent as ever. When you fold the discipline into marketing, journalism skills can bring your content back to life. Journalists are trained to write clearly, simply, and to hook a reader in the first paragraph. All of these are instincts content marketers could stand to develop, says Ron Lieback.

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