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Content Marketing and SEO - How They Work Together

How content marketing and SEO work together

Content marketing is a powerful way to sell.

Content marketers are able to interact with potential customers before they are ready to buy.

Instant connection.

However, just producing content is completely ineffective without a proper distribution strategy.

In this post, I’ll show you why implementing a well-thought-out SEO content marketing strategy could power your business for years to come (and how to get started).

But first...

What is Content Marketing? 

Content marketing is a digital content strategy where the marketer creates content designed to engage with their users during the stages before they are ready to make a purchase. This could include content designed to answer common questions potential customers ask, or even content designed to entertain. The goal of producing content is to generate interest and engagement with a highly targeted audience.

The advantage of this strategy is when the prospect is ready to buy, they already have a relationship with your brand. What’s more, the brand has established trust and authority, which are essential elements in making a sale.

The Content Marketing Challenge 

Imagine this…

You’ve invested myriad hours doing comprehensive research and writing an engaging blog post. Your peers and supervisors love your content.

You upload and publish your blog post confidently, you wait for traffic, and…


Days and weeks go by, and all you have for your donkeywork and unstoppable enthusiasm is just another perfectly written blog post gathering cyber dust in a lonely corner of the Google index.

So what’s the point of creating charmingly written content if it goes unnoticed by the public? Well, to be brutally honest — there is no point at all. The superbly written text needs to be seen and very often. But, search engines act like the ultimate judges deciding which content will live to see the light of day and which will be conveniently ignored. It means that outstanding writing skills aren’t enough when we talk about digital content.

You must have a way to distribute that content online. In other words, how do you get your web page in front of your target audience?

One of your most powerful content distribution tools is SEO. 

==> Discover three ways to create newsworthy content that earns links

How Content and SEO Work Together 

SEO (search engine optimization) is a form of search engine marketing with the goal of having your web pages discovered by your target audience.

The better you can optimize your content for SEO, the better your digital marketing will perform.

Although there are many ways to get your content in front of your target audience, SEO has a big strategic advantage over other channels. As I mentioned above, it's a form of search engine marketing. This means, by creating SEO content, you are helping people who are searching for answers to queries.

In other words, they are an engaged audience, actively seeking out content like yours. By optimizing your SEO, you are helping them by presenting your content as the very answer they are looking for.

A social media audience, on the other hand, is looking at cat videos (or whatever else people do on social media). They are not actively seeking out answers to their questions. By presenting your content on social media, you are in essence interrupting your audience.

This means by optimizing your content for SEO, you will be working with your audience and not against it.

The best way to make this work is to get SEO and content marketing to work together. There is a symbiotic relationship between content marketing and SEO.

For instance, SEO optimization strategies including on-page factors like relevant keywords and off-page factors like high-quality backlinks are extremely important for the SEO success of your web page content. But first, you have to be sure that the content is well written from a technical standpoint, constructed with spotless grammar and rich sentence structure. Be aware that gigantic paragraphs, for instance, might show search engines that the post isn’t mobile-friendly and can lower its Google rank, pushing it to the bottom of the search results.

This means to get the best results, you should ideally create your content with SEO in mind right from the start.

So, good digital marketing means more than just good writing. It’s like a marriage between SEO and content marketing. You can easily understand how SEO and content marketing work together if you get familiar with the three types of SEO:

  • On-page SEO, which refers to content (infographics, videos, blogs, etc.) on your site. This requires optimization and keyword research.
  • Technical SEO refers to the non-content elements you have on your website. This means things like mobile optimization and site speed optimization.
  • Off-page SEO refers to your website’s joint work with other online sites, usually through backlinks. But you must combine all of them to bring a higher rank on the post online.

SEO Benefits for Your Content Strategy 

There are plenty of benefits of SEO-optimized content. One of the most appreciated benefits is the potential to see your post ranked on the first page of Google SERPs (search engine results pages).

Delivering valuable content that you’ve properly optimized with target keywords and top-quality backlinks helps your business reach a higher place in Google search results. In the case of small businesses, this is a perfect way to engage your target audience successfully.

Once you increase search engine visibility, you can relax a bit as your business will generate organic traffic for your target audience.

The way this works is, users are searching for a specific term or keyword online, and your search engine optimized content will show up as a result of their search query. By showing up for these searches, your content will seamlessly enter the conversation in your audience’s heads.

To do this effectively, you must present an array of content to invite your visitors through different sections until they feel satisfied to subscribe to your email list, mark your website, or make a purchase.

Another benefit that matches perfectly with lead generation is brand awareness. The larger your organic share of voice for specific keywords that link to your business, the higher chance a customer has of detecting your unique content on Google search engines.

You can easily track your organic share of voice with the Rank Ranger Share of Voice report. The report is designed to show you how much market share your site has in comparison to your competitors. Think of it like a big picture view of your rankings.

Now, let’s look at how you can get started creating your own SEO content marketing strategy.

The Art of Creating an SEO-Friendly Content Marketing Strategy 

Now you are familiar with the value of the so-called marriage between SEO and content marketing, and you know the benefits you can gain from it. The next step is learning how to create a masterpiece using an SEO content strategy.

Here are some SEO tips to get you started with your SEO optimization. However, to truly master SEO you’ll need to read more than this blog post.

I’ll be linking to some resources along the way to help you out.

Recognize Your Audience 

It’s crucial to understand who your audience is and who you are writing content for. Recognizing your clients’ personalities will help you build content for particular types of people who have the potential to become your regular site visitors or buyers.

Knowing your audience will also help you write unique content that’s designed for different stages of the buyer’s journey. For instance, content designed for the buyer’s stage has to be structured differently than content at the awareness stage. Different types of content have varying goals and have to be evaluated in unique ways.

Check out our guide to understanding sales funnels.

Do Keyword Research 

Discovering what keywords your audience is looking for is crucial for gaining more visitors to your content on SERPs. For this purpose, it’s genuinely essential to conduct keyword research to check what types of keywords your competitors use to rank higher on Google. You should also focus on the right keyword research metrics.

Nowadays, in this modern technology era, owning a website packed with various keywords isn’t enough. You have to include the keywords naturally and let them dance through the whole content length.

Perform SERP Analysis for Content Relevance 


Once you’ve done your keyword research, your keyword optimization is far from over. There is a crucial factor that you must get right.


In other words…

Your content must match the user’s search intent. Now, relevance is relatively easy to achieve. Simply search Google for your target keyword and see what’s currently ranking. Google will rank content that it considers the most relevant to the user’s search query at the top of the search results.

Things to consider are:
  • What type of content is ranking on your target results pages.
  • Do the results have a navigational or commercial intent?
  • What stage of the buyer’s funnel is the content speaking to?
  • Is there any content that appears in all the top results?

Answering these questions will help you to easily create content that Google considers high quality and relevant to your audience.

This means, understanding how to create relevant content by looking at the top-ranking content and creating something better and more helpful. 

Which brings me to user experience.

User Experience - Focus on Helping Your Audience 

Just having well-researched content is not enough to convince Google to push your content to the top of the search results. Another aspect is user experience.

To get this right you must try to understand your buyer’s journey and map it to your content. In other words, what kind of content will catch their attention? Once you have their attention, what type of content will help them move towards a buying decision? What content do you need to get them to make a purchase?

Once you understand that, it really helps to create a site structure that allows your audience to find any content that they need and at any stage of their journey they are.

So for instance, if you create a top-of-the-funnel blog post. What would they need to see next? Perhaps you can include an internal link to the next stage of the buyer’s journey.

In other words, make your site helpful and easy to navigate.

Also, another aspect of user experience you should focus on is site speed. Nothing will turn your audience away faster than a painfully slow site.

Build High-Quality Backlinks 

To deliver content that ranks well in Google, you must have backlinks that redirect visitors to your site. The more interesting links you include from top-quality sources, the higher the rank you might score. The effective phrase here is "top-quality,” of course. Links to poor-quality website directories created for link building are a thing of the past and will not help your business in the long term.

SEO, Your Greatest Content Distribution Tool 

By now, you should be aware of how powerful SEO is when plugged into your content marketing strategy. When you get your SEO right, it’s like connecting your house to the power grid. The lights start to burn and your appliances start to work. Without an effective content distribution strategy, your site will look like a ghost town.


The next step is to just get started. Hopefully, the resources I’ve linked to in this post will help you on your way. However, the most effective way to learn SEO is to jump in and experiment.

About The Author
Liraz is an international SEO and content expert, helping brands and publishers grow through search engines. She is Outbrain's former SEO and Content Director and previously worked in the gaming, B2C and B2B industries for more than a decade.

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