This is how to do content marketing for SEO
“You need a blog to do well at SEO!”
“You won’t get traffic without content!”
“When was your website built, the stone age?!”
Chances are, you’ve heard at least one of these before. We wager you’re reading this article, though, because you’re tired of people going full Shia Labeouf and screaming “DO IT”, and just want to sit those people down and yell back, “HOW?”
So soothe those vocal cords a moment. We’re going to walk you through the basics of how to do content marketing for SEO, and give you some practical takeaways along the road.
Tip 1: Create the best content for your chosen topic
Yes, we understand what it sounds like to say “make the best content!” But hear us out.
All things exist already on the internet. It’s best to assume you can’t create content someone hasn’t already made. So instead of making something new, your focus should be on making something better.
This is why “10X content” exists – that is, making content that is 10 times better than your competition. Focusing on betterness is a way to rank higher in Google, which vastly prefers quality over quantity.
But before you get stuck into 10x, it might be easier to start with 2x. This is the idea of researching the competition in your intended SERP (search engine results page), and then producing content that is only better than that.
It makes content that probably won’t go viral, but will certainly out-do your immediate competitors. 2x isn’t fast, either, but helps build results over time (the more 2X content you write, the more relevant SERPs you rank on, the more traffic you receive overall).
– Key takeaway: How can I make my content 2x better?
Ask yourself these questions:
- Could I more directly answer the question?
- Could I create a longer, more in-depth piece?
- Could I add better rich media than my competition? That is, imagery, videos, social media embeds, or interactive content like a quiz or poll?
- Could my headline or meta description be more eye-catching and compelling than the other results?
Tip 2: Create content that Google can crawl
Creating better content is awesome for your audience, but Google has its own needs. These days, though, they’re not too hard to learn.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Understand this extraordinarily important statement:
“Google values quality over quantity!”
If your articles are: clearly answering a need, problem or desire (making them valuable), targeting a relevant audience, and are visually interesting/easy to read, then your content marketing is going to work well for SEO.
This goes for your headlines and meta descriptions, too. If they are eye-catching, clear and compelling, Google will like them as much as your readers!
- Use keywords, but also don’t
Look, everyone will tell you that keywords aren’t what they used to be. They’re the Adam Sandler of content marketing. But keywords are still relevant.
Keywords these days are more about helping Google find the right audience for your content than ranking on those precise terms. Its algorithms are now really good at using synonyms and user intent to figure out what results to display, so directly matching keywords for search terms isn’t necessary.
For example, if you target an article to “how content marketing works” and somebody searches for any iteration of the phrase (or Google believes that it’s the phrase they intend, if not type), you’ll be in for a shot at ranking.
Additionally, Google ranks pages based on relevancy. By using keywords to focus your article on just one or two points, you’ll help ensure it appears highly relevant to the crawlers.
Keyword key tips:
- Always use them naturally. If it sounds like a shoehorned keyword, consider rephrasing.
- Don’t stuff too many in. Try to naturally fit one in your headline, meta description, intro and/or image alt tags, but beyond that just weave them in every so often where appropriate.
- Use them like guides, not targets.
- Use hyperlinks
Your content should always contain hyperlinks, especially to other pages on your website. Google’s crawlers will find these and investigate them, helping more of your pages get found. Additionally, if all of your content is on a similar type of topic, it’ll show Google that you know your stuff and write regularly about it – that’s good for your relevancy and authority.
Hyperlink key tips:
- Treat them like keywords – natural, and only used every so often.
- Don’t be afraid to link to other, high-authority websites. Neil Patel says that linking to other sites shows you care what other people create, and are plugged in to the industry. Google rewards this.
Tip 3: Create content that earns links
Google’s perception of your authority is highly important for your content marketing and SEO prospects. If it reckons that you’re super smart, you’ll rank higher.
Importantly, the way Google determines authority is by checking the backlinks from other domains to your content.
Quick tips about gaining authority:
- If high-quality domains mention your content, that’s a big vote in your favour. The more votes you get, the higher your perceived authority
- If low-quality domains link to your site, that’s a down-vote – this is one way that prior Google updates killed the “black-hat” practice of buying spammy links.
- Gain backlinks by making content that’s worth linking to – it’s that simple.
- There is some debate about whether or not backlinks from social media count. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that they do (at least to some degree), so writing content that users will want to share is a great way to spread the linking love.
- Monitor the internet for people mentioning your brand – you can do this with tools like BuzzSumo. Ask these publications to backlink to your website (most people will be happy to do this). Just consider whether or not you want their domain pointing to your website before reaching out.
Content marketing is a highly important part of SEO. It gets your website ranking across more search terms, and gives users something to engage with, talk about, and share.
Just remember, because we really cannot state this enough: Quality over quantity!