Use Content-Marketing to improve your SEO Rankings
How to use Content Marketing to Improve Your SEO Ranking
A lot of marketing professionals view their content strategy and SEO as two separate tasks that need tackling in different ways. However, what many don’t understand is that successful SEO requires content marketing, and a successful content strategy requires good SEO.
How Content and SEO Can Work TogetherSearch engine optimization (SEO) is the process of getting your web pages to rank in higher positions in search engines such as Google and Bing. Whilst there is no set in stone factors that these search engines use to determine which web pages they should present to the user, there are certain factors that have been shown to be of large importance to their algorithms.
As these search engine algorithms have changed, they have placed a bigger importance on content creation strategies. Search engines used to place massive importance on technical SEO factors such as website architecture, page loading speed, site navigation, and rendering time. Whilst these are still important to allow search engines to find your site at all, they are not the make or break factor of ranking highly. Search engines focus has now turned to content. Content in all its varieties: Written content, images, infographics, PDF’s to download, explainer videos or even audio.
The search engine’s main goal is to provide users with the most relatable, in-depth piece of content that they are searching for. To find this, they use a three-step process every time a search query is made:
- Crawl: they search the internet to find any relatable content to what the user has searched for
- Index: they then organize these results found, ready to be displayed to the user.
- Rank: results in the index are then ranked from most to least relevant, and that is how we see them on the results page.
So, the question then becomes: how can you make sure your content is ranked high on the search engines?
Content Strategies to Improve SEO RankingTo be able to rank high on Google, you now need a good content strategy. Let’s look at some strategies you should implement into your content production to improve your SEO rankings.
SEO-Factor I - Keyword AnalysisAccording to Google’s very own “How search algorithms work” report: “The most basic signal that information is relevant is when a webpage contains the same keywords as your search query. If those keywords appear on the page, or if they appear in the headings or body of the text, the information is more likely to be relevant.” In other words, make sure your content includes the same phrases that your customers are searching for. Moreover, make sure that the main content, the h1 tag and the meta are consistent or Google will get confused what your page is about, and you won’t rank higher.
Conducting keyword analysis will help you find out what your target customers are searching for online. Once you know this information, you can begin adjusting your content to include these keywords both in the title tag as well as within the text body a few times.
Despite this, repeating a keyword too many times (known as keyword stuffing) can actually flag up to a search engine and decrease the chances of your article ranking highly. Instead, include it in your title, in the first 100 words, and a few more times throughout your article. The key is to find the right mixture between keywords and natural language.
SEO-Factor II - Write Long-Form ContentSearch engines show a preference for long-form content as these tend to be more in-depth and informative to the user. serpIQ conducted a study of 20,000 keywords and found that the average content length of each of the top 10 ranking articles was 2,000 words. Brian Dean at Backlinko also analyzed 11.8 million Google search results and found the average first-page result to contain 1,447 words.
Not only does long-form content appear higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), but they also allow a chance for you to use more outgoing links as you will be writing more in-depth and researched content. Reboot Online found that websites with outgoing links to other high authority domain websites rank higher than those that do not.
Long-form content also keeps users on your page longer. This can help your dwell time (the time users spend on your web before returning to the SERP) by keeping readers engaged for longer. Your dwell time tells Google whether the web page your visitors are reading offers value to them or not. A study found that increasing time on site by 3 seconds correlates to a single position higher in the search results.
There is a trade-off between content quantity and User Experience. Thus, we recommend you follow the main UI/UX rules on your main page and dock a content backbone to your page in the form of a state-of-the-art blog. The blog then sets the foundation to have massive content and provide the user- and conversion-friendly main webpage with fresh leads.
SEO-Factor III - Create a lot of ContentFirstly, the more content you create, the more opportunities you have, to use relevant keywords. Search engines are not able to read web pages like me and you, so they must crawl them to figure out what they are talking about. By giving yourself more opportunity to use keywords that your target customers are searching for, you will be able to reach more leads.
Additionally, creating more content can help reduce your bounce rate (the percentage of visitors who return to the SERP after reading the one web page). Whilst studies provided conflicting evidence of how much bounce rate affects SEO, by having more of your own content that you can link to within your articles, you can keep visitors on your website for longer.
If you have a low dwell time and a high bounce rate, this is sending a clear message to search engines: people hate this web page.
We also recommend publishing updates regularly and create new content pieces minimum on a weekly basis. This way, long-form content can be connected to smaller bits and pieces of content reinforcing your content strategy. You can think of it as a tree: Firstly, you need a stable tree root before you can build the stem. The root is your keyword analysis, the stem is your long-form content and now you’re moving towards building the branches and leaves. Without fresh branches and new leaves, your tree will appear vulnerable and weak to the audience. Making sure that your community keeps engaged, you are required to keep content up to date.
If you start proper Blog-Marketing, you will also have to start setting up a Content-Strategy. Here’s a sample graphic showing some content trees of our Blog Zweistein:
SEO-Factor IV - Use Visual ContentSearch engines have typically examined a block of text and then ranked it based on the content and technical SEO factors. Now, visuals can greatly help your page rank higher.
For starters, adding visual content such as infographics to your articles as a way to make in-depth ideas more understandable is a great way to build extra backlinks. If someone reads your article and likes your diagram, data chart, flow diagram, or infographic, they can share it and credit you as the ‘image source’.
Visual content also can help increase your dwell time and decrease your bounce rate. According to MarketingSherpa, up to 50% of visitors determine whether they should continue reading or not after just 8 seconds. If visitors land on a web page and see a 2,000-word block of text, the likelihood is they will return to the SERP straight away. Try to break up the text with engaging visuals that keep the visitors either entertained or informed in your article.
When putting images into your articles, make sure to implement the technical SEO strategies. Firstly, images can increase page loading speed which is proven to be a factor of SEO ranking. Studies found that just a one-second delay in load time can decrease customer conversions by 7% and that 47% of visitors expect sites to load in under 2 seconds. Try to decrease the image size without sacrificing image quality to help improve the load speed, and then use PageSpeed Insights to view the load speed of your site. Also please define image sizes in your programming code which will help browsers to load them faster too.
Search engines are unable to see images, so rely on tags to read what the image is about. Make sure to implement keywords into the images title tags, alt tags, and captions so the search engines know you are providing visual content related to the article.
Create a Compelling Content Marketing Strategy to Nail Your SEOThe way digital marketing has developed has created something unique:
SEO needs content marketing, and content marketing is all about SEO.
The two things overlap and are an important part of any sales funnel, with the only difference being that SEO focuses on more technical aspects whilst content focuses on a wider, personal aspect with the lead.
We’ve presented four out of many contributing factors that do play a role in generating SEO-friendly content. Now you are fully aware of the need for a detailed content strategy that compliments both content marketing and SEO, allow us at Marketing Monkeys to do the rest. We understand successful marketing as an integrative networking of strategy, data intelligence, and digital development.
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