Imagine you have a problem. Maybe you’re in a new place and need a brunch spot recommendation, or maybe your business growth is stalling and you need a solid strategy to revitalise your digital presence.
What’s the first thing you do?
Chances are, you’d go straight to Google. Perhaps that’s what brought you to this very article. (You’ve come to the right place – welcome!)
The point is, if you want to drive traffic and conversions for your business, you need to be ranking well in Google search results.
Knowing how content marketing can help with SEO will boost your chances of rising above the noise.
Let’s take a closer look.
Why is SEO important for a website?
People are spending more time online than ever before, prompting brands to compete for dominance in the digital space. If you want to drive prospects to your website, SEO (short for search engine optimisation) is essential.
“Optimising your website for search engines is a must, regardless of whether you want to rank highly for your business name or be found by people who haven’t heard of you yet,” says Sarah Spence, Founder and Strategic Director of Content Copywriting.
Just under 70% of marketers invested in SEO in 2021 — a 5% jump from the previous year. Considering 89% of customers start their buying process with an internet search, it’s a necessary step for businesses that have a vision to grow in the digital age.
“If you’re selling a product or service but you’re not showing up in search engines, then you just won’t be considered,” Sarah says. “That’s why SEO is important.”
The SEO essentials
In a nutshell, an SEO website has:
- good technical health
- high-quality content
- authority-building measures.
For technical health, make sure your website is fast, optimised and leverages keywords across all content.
If you need a refresher on what SEO keywords are, they’re the terms your ideal audience is searching for. You’ll need to weave them into your content to attract meaningful traffic.
Could content be your secret weapon?
In the race to boost brand awareness, spark engagement and drive conversions, SEO can seem like a silver bullet for businesses looking to capture their audience’s attention.
But with the overwhelming amount of digital content available today, SEO alone isn’t enough: it needs to be backed by a robust content marketing strategy.
“Content marketing, I would argue, is the most fundamental part of SEO,” says Sarah. “Because you can have a healthy website and a strong domain authority. But if the content on your site isn’t tailored to your audience, well-written or engaging — and not properly amplified across multiple channels — then all your efforts will fall short.”
In other words, even if your site traffic is hoppin’, visitors won’t hang around if the content they find there doesn’t meet their needs. And it means you’ll miss out on the conversions you’ve put time and money into securing.
How does content marketing help businesses?
When you invest time in creating quality, personalised content, not only do you attract your target audience, but you foster rapport with them — leading to more conversions. It’s this relationship building that SEO alone won’t provide.
Sarah believes that “if strong SEO is your goal, content marketing should be the central pillar you focus your time and effort on.”
With 86% of B2C marketers already using content marketing as a key part of their strategy, you’ll need to follow suit (or invest more) if you want to get ahead. Learning the difference between a content strategy and a content marketing strategy will start you off on the right foot.
The reason content marketing is so effective is that it’s consensual: site visitors feel compelled to buy from you purely because you haven’t tried to talk them into it. Genius.
Improve brand awareness with a Waterfall Content Strategy
Generating leads through content marketing rather than SEO alone is a smart move, especially if you have a killer content marketing strategy in place.
To draw more qualified leads your way, try pairing a Pillar and Cluster Content Model with a Waterfall Content Strategy. You’ll be able to:
- create content around central content pillars you know provide value to your audience
- use internal linking to improve search engine visibility
- repurpose your content at the point of production to amplify its reach and impact across multiple platforms.
The beauty of reusing content across various touchpoints is that you’re amplifying its value tenfold (or more) and saving time in the process.
When picking the platforms on which you’ll share, consider first where your unique audience spends most of their time. Here are some stats to guide you:
- In 2021, the top format marketers used in their content strategy was video.
- The pandemic caused 40% of content marketers to invest more in social media.
- 56% of content marketers who leverage infographics say it is the most effective content format they use.
Food for thought.
Do SEO companies really work?
Many SEO companies out there will promise to get you to that coveted number-one search position in as little as 90 days.
“And a lot of them can,” says Sarah. “They’ll choose a keyword phrase they can put weight behind with link building and keyword usage on your site. It works, but only temporarily.”
In general, SEO companies work if you want to achieve a singular, narrow goal quickly. Their methods are focused and fast.
“The issue is, Google will figure out your rise to the top wasn’t done in a quality way, and you could be penalised,” says Sarah.
The question is, do you want to limit your search visibility to just one keyword phrase?
“I would argue that’s a short-sighted business plan,” Sarah says. “Any business needs to be found for a wide range of keyword phrases — phrases their ideal audience are searching for when they don’t yet know the brand exists.”
Investing your time and money in a single keyword phrase is kind of like putting all your eggs into one basket. Your ideal audience has a range of problems your business can solve, and so if you remain open to all the potential leads, you’ll come out on top.
Content-led SEO is the way forward
In contrast to SEO companies that offer quick but fleeting results, Content Copywriting does things a little differently: we believe in the enduring power of content-led SEO.
“Content-led SEO is like a snowball,” says Sarah. “If you work to form a solid, structured ball of strategy and then set it rolling, more snow gets added, and it gets bigger and bigger.
“You won’t see big gains initially, but as you keep building on it, the results keep adding onto one another.”
In contrast, with paid ads, the moment you take them down, your clicks are gone. But with content-led SEO, the work you do now will continue to have a positive impact into the future, regardless of if you stop investing in it.
SEO that keeps on giving
When you look at great content marketing examples, there’s no doubt SEO is vital for any business with big ambition. But nesting your SEO efforts in a strong content marketing strategy will yield those intangible benefits like brand reputation and thought leadership, serving you well in the long run.
We’d love to help you get the ball rolling.