How Much Should SEO Drive Your Content Marketing Strategies?

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Search Engine Optimization and Content Marketing strategies go hand in hand more often these days; and while the combination can make for truly valuable content, too strong a focus on SEO can actually hurt your ability to make a genuine connection with consumers. Here are a few tips that ensure your SEO and content marketing tactics are in harmony with each other:

Don’t Get Keyword Crazy: Building a piece of content around a particular idea, phrase or buzzword is a method used frequently by marketers for the obvious motive of SEO optimization. However, when content is written with only a few select keywords in mind, you lose out on the opportunity to tell a real, human story. After all, the goal of content marketing is to connect with consumers, which is difficult to do when all the emphasis is placed on SEO ranking. Build content with keywords in mind, but don’t let it dictate the story.

Remember to Refresh: Google and other search engines typically show more love to new content because they want to give consumers access to the latest understanding and/or new ideas relevant to their query. This means publishing fresh (or freshened) content is a way to send a signal that your ideas are up-to-date and relevant to searchers’ lives in a way, say, an encyclopedia cannot be! By updating your evergreen content and/or making event-based articles a piece of your content strategy, you’re serving both content and SEO goals.

Audience Interest over All: Yes, you want to tell a compelling story, but you can’t do that if your audience doesn’t have an interest in what you’re saying. It may seem like a good short term win to focus on specific keywords or phrases, but longer term value is found in content that aligns with consumer’s priorities and interests. Take some time to accurately understand the topics that your audience gravitates to, and weave them into your content.

In the past, we’ve stressed that we need to think more deeply about optimizing our marketing for relationship building – and the way to do that is through creating for people, not search engines. Now is the new age of content, and it’s time to break down the silos and change the traditional concepts of SEO, in order to fuel organic advocacy and convert customers.

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