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How to Integrate SEO into your Content Marketing Strategy
When it comes to reaching the top of Google’s search results, there are many crucial things to take into account.
Among the most important considerations for you as a business owner is how to implement Search Engine Optimisation into your content strategy. High-quality content and an optimised SEO strategy go hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other. Writing good content and hoping for the best is simply not enough in the current competitive SEO environment.
Similarly, using cheap SEO tactics to try and boost the ranking of low-quality content is a losing battle. Whether you’re new to SEO, or an experienced professional, it’s crucial to remain up-to-date on key trends to make sure you’re getting the most out of your content marketing strategy.
In this blog post, we’ll go in-depth on eight of the best ways to integrate SEO into your content marketing strategy.
- SEO content is a type of content designed to reach a high position in Google’s website rankings.
- It’s necessary to understand your target audience so that you can identify the keywords that fit your customer’s needs.
- It’s essential to strike a balance when including keywords in your article. Keyword stuffing looks unnatural and is often penalised in Google’s algorithm.
- It’s vital to be detail-oriented when integrating SEO into your content. Focus on optimising structure, quality and usability at all times.
- SEO integration is about more than just your on-page content. Use link-building tactics to secure backlinks from other websites. This shows that your content is reputable and authoritative.
What is SEO Content?
Understanding the SEO process is key to ensuring your top-class content reaches a high number of people. Content SEO involves creating content designed to reach a high position in Google’s search engines.
SEO is complex. There are many different factors that Google uses to decide whether they will recommend your website to users.
With that said, with careful planning, consistency and determination, creating quality SEO content is achievable for everyone. Let’s look at eight of the most effective strategies to incorporate SEO into your content strategy.
1) Pinpoint your target audience
Pinning down your target audience is the most practical way to start building an effective SEO content strategy.
Your goal is to write content that is helpful and relevant. To do that, you need to understand to who you want your content to appeal to.
Without an understanding of who you’re aiming for, your content will lack direction, and you’ll fail to include relevant keywords that will drive high-intent search traffic to your site.
To identify your target audience, analyse your current customer base to look for trends. You should also consider the clientele of your competitors and key industry trends. Conducting extensive research allows you to make relevant, quality content tailored to your audience. This is one of the foundational blocks of a quality SEO content strategy.
Identify words that explicitly relate to your topic and have a high search volume.
2) Understand the importance of keywords
Keyword research remains a vital part of any SEO strategy. Before creating content, it’s crucial to compile a list of keywords that you want your website to be ranked for in Google search results.
To generate organic traffic, you must know which keywords your customers are searching for. Including commonly searched keyword phrases and queries on your website increases the likelihood that Google will recommend your content to users.
Before carrying out keyword research as part of your SEO content strategy, it’s essential to know the different keyword types and how they function.
Short-tail vs long-tail keywords
Keywords can contain any number of words.
Those that contain 1-3 words are known as ‘short-tail keywords’. Those consisting of over three words are known as ‘long-tail keywords’.
Short-tail keywords typically have a high search volume because they are broader in scope.
In contrast, long-tail keywords are precise and usually have a low search volume.
While it may initially seem like short-tail keywords are the obvious choice, this is not necessarily the case. A broad search term comes with downsides.
While short-tail keywords may generate traffic for your site, it’s less likely that your content will satisfy the intent of the user’s search query.
For example, the short-tail keyword ‘steak tips’ is likely to have a much higher search volume than the long-tail ‘how to cook the perfect medium-rare steak’.
However, users who search ‘steak tips’ may visit multiple blog posts before they find a site telling them how to cook their steak medium-rare.
If the user has a specific query and your website doesn’t answer it, the user will likely leave. Too many short-tail keywords are known to contribute to a low conversion rate.
In contrast, a user searching for instructions to cook ‘the perfect medium-rare steak’ is likely to find the website they are looking for immediately.
This is because the search engine will rank websites based on how well they match up with the user’s high-intent keywords.
Therefore, while long-tail keywords may get less search traffic, it’s more likely that users with specific search queries will be recommended your website.
3) Identify keywords that suit your niche
Now that you’ve pinpointed your audience, it’s time to identify the keywords that will suit your business.
Step 1: Make a list of broad search topics.
Begin by choosing a broad search term that is related to your business. This is your target keyword. It’s best to stick to a short-tail keyword here.
For example, if you worked as a baker, you might identify the keyword ‘bakery’.
Step 2: Narrow it down.
Now that you have your broad terms carry out preliminary keyword research and note down what you find.
It’s necessary to think like a customer here.
Ask yourself these three common questions to put yourself in the mind of your users.
- What might the customer search for concerning my keyword?
- Which other words might the customer use to search for my keyword?
- What questions might someone ask to find my keyword?
Next, let’s answer these queries in relation to our original broad search topic, ‘bakery’:
- What might the customer search for concerning my keyword?
- Bakery near me
- Best bakery
- Cake bakery
- Which other words might the customer use to search for my keyword?
- Pastry shop
- Cake shop
- What questions might someone ask regarding my keyword?
- What are the best bakeries in London?
- Which bakeries are open now?
- Where is my nearest bakery?
Repeat this process for each of your initial broad keywords. The more high-quality keywords you can find, the more choices you have for content creation.
Step 3: Use a keyword tool
Once you have a preliminary list of keywords, use a keyword tool to find more information and narrow down your choices.
A quality keyword tool can provide an extensive range of statistics related to a given word.
Some tools will even tell you which specific keywords your competitors are using.
Some of the best tools available online are:
- Ahrefs Keyword Explorer
Warning: don't overdo it.
While keywords are still an important part of an SEO strategy, try to avoid keyword stuffing. A high keyword density looks unnatural and will detract from the quality of your article.
Furthermore, Google now penalises businesses with an overabundance of keywords in their content.
Instead, try to incorporate keywords into your content naturally.
4) Design high-quality, unique content
After establishing your keywords, it’s time to start creating content.
Attempt to answer critical questions that users might have. It’s important to be thorough, informative and helpful.
Ensure that you’re writing quality blog content to maximise your online visibility
Remind yourself of your audience and their search intent. Try to imagine the difficulties they may be having and how you can offer solutions to their problems.
Google now rewards businesses that provide value to customers. Trying to reach the top of search engines with unethical tactics is no longer effective.
The only authentic way to reach number one in the search results is to offer the best content on your given topic.
5) Create the perfect title
After spending hours researching, planning and creating on-page SEO content, it’s easy to forget just how important it is to nail the little things.
You’ve done the hard work. Don’t ruin your chance of reaching the top of the search engine rankings by titling your content poorly.
Even the most exciting blog post will miss out on the first page if it’s advertised with a dull, long-winded title that doesn’t compel users to click.
The title tag of your blog post is the first thing a user sees when conducting a search query, so it needs to be impactful.
Search engines keep track of how much engagement your content is getting. If users aren’t clicking on your content, your ranking will deteriorate.
In contrast, if your title encourages high user engagement, your web page will generate high organic traffic. This will help your site climb to the top of the search results.
While creating a great title may seem self-explanatory, there’s actually quite a lot that needs to be considered.
A quality title needs to be informative, engaging and exciting.
Follow these steps to ensure your title tag brings more traffic to your online content and helps your web page appear in more search results.
Choose the right length.
Generally speaking, titles should be long enough to accurately describe the contents of a website, but short enough to catch a reader’s attention.
If your title is too short, it risks being too vague. Users with a niche search intent are more likely to have a positive experience with highly specific titles.
A reader visiting your website that doesn’t find what they were looking for may leave the site, contributing to a high bounce-back rate for your SEO content.
Therefore, it’s essential to be specific about what you’re providing.
That said, it’s also important that your title is brief.
Most desktop and mobile browsers can only display the first 50-60 characters of a title tag.
Web pages with titles that are longer than that will cut off the remainder of their title. This can confuse the user.
For the best chance in the google search results, it’s best to aim for a title between 30-60 characters.
Include your top keywords
Make sure to incorporate exact keyword matches into your title.
It’s best to include only one target keyword in your title. Include too many and your page risks looking confusing and untrustworthy.
If possible, include a long-tail variation of your target keyword to give your page a boost when it comes to high-intent queries.
Write your title for the users, not for a search engine
You should design your content to appeal to your site’s users, not the algorithm.
When writing a title for your SEO content, remind yourself of the audience that you’re writing for.
Put yourself in your audience’s shoes and ask yourself questions: What would they like to know? What are they looking for? How might they be feeling?
Remember: understanding a user’s problem allows you to advertise the perfect solution within your title.
6) Structure your website effectively
Now that you have a wealth of high-quality content, you need somewhere to put it.
Effective site structuring is an essential part of any successful SEO content.
Having well-structured data helps search engines understand your content.
The easier it is for Google to find relevant information on your website, the more likely it is your site will appear near the top of the search results.
Quality website architecture also helps to ensure a great user experience.
Users who can find product information quickly are more likely to make purchases.
To structure your website effectively, try these simple techniques:
When creating a website from scratch, remember to plan carefully.
Intelligent organisation allows for quick navigation, improving the user’s experience.
It’s important to have a well-designed homepage that indicates the most important things your site can offer.
Divide the content of your website into a hierarchy. Organising your information into several pillar pages makes it simpler for users and search engines to find information.
Refrain from linking too many things on your homepage, as this will clutter the interface.
If necessary, divide your categories into further subcategories to avoid confusion.
Aim to have approximately the same number of pages within each category. This helps your website feel balanced and organised.
Don’t be afraid to go back and edit your categories as you add more content to your site.
Include internal links.
An internal link is a link that connects two pages on your website.
Internal linking is a crucial technique to maximise the potential of your SEO content.
Using internal links helps search engines locate your content. It also helps Google to understand how different pages on your website intertwine.
There are many different ways to effectively internal link.
- Contextual links between similar articles
- Links to further information
- Linking to your most recent posts
It’s important not to oversaturate your page with internal links.
Pestering readers with constant requests to visit other pages on your website is a guaranteed way to lose customers.
Each internal link should feel natural and add value to the user’s experience.
Get rid of outdated content.
One of the most effective ways to improve the structure of an established website is to remove existing content that has run its course.
Whether it be products that are no longer available or blog posts that are no longer relevant, it’s important to keep on top of site management and remove pages that are no longer necessary.
Be sure to take care of broken URLs after deleting your pages. Either remove them completely or use a simple tool to redirect the URLs to another page on your site that contains similar information.
7) Increase your page's load speeds
Site speed is an often overlooked aspect of SEO strategy.
To understand why having an optimised website is essential, take a look at some of these startling statistics:
- A one-second delay in loading a web page can drop the page’s views by up to 11%
- On average, website conversion rates drop by 4.42% with each extra second spent loading pages.
- 40% of users will leave a web page if it takes 3 seconds or more to load.
Consider optimising your site’s visual content to improve your page load speeds. Compressing images and changing file formats is a simple way to make pages load noticeably quicker.
If you’re still having trouble with your site, try limiting plugins that might be slowing down your page.
Remember: your site speed is only as fast as your host. Choosing a cheap host often leads to disappointment.
Ensure you’re picking a platform that can handle your website comfortably and that you aren’t opting for a shared hosting plan.
8) Incorporate link-building into your SEO content
Link building is the process of securing backlinks that link from an external webpage to your own site.
Securing backlinks is a crucial part of any off-page SEO strategy because Google treats each backlink as a ‘vote’ from another website.
Each vote lets search engines know that your content is authoritative, valuable and trustworthy.
More backlinks mean more votes. More votes mean a better position in Google’s rankings and more traffic directed toward your content.
There are many ways to build valuable backlinks. Here are just a few of the best methods available.
Use the skyscraper method.
This technique involves creating better content than your competitors and marketing it to those that cite your competitor’s work.
To accomplish this, find reputable, high-ranking content with many backlinks directed toward it.
Next, make something better than that.
After this, send emails to the site owners who backlinked to your competitor’s work.
Show the site owner your excellent work and tell them why your content would be better suited for their website.
If they agree with you, you may receive a high-quality new backlink.
Guest blogging is the method of writing unique content for someone else’s website.
This is a great way to build connections and generate organic traffic. They get a piece of well-written content, and you can insert backlinks to your website.
The more reputable the website you can write a guest blog for, the higher quality the backlink will be. Remember: quality over quantity!
Create linkable assets
It’s important to include assets on your website that encourage others to backlink to you.
Add case studies, graphs, comprehensive guides and data-driven studies to your work.
Many site owners don’t have the time to replicate in-depth studies. This means that they are more likely to reference your detailed work.
Want to take your SEO content marketing strategy to the next level?
At Bough Digital, we can help design and implement a high-quality SEO campaign to drive traffic to your website.
We know that no two businesses are the same. That’s why all of our campaigns are unique to you. We develop tailored strategies designed to complement your business’s model and ambitions.
Ready to reach out and find out more? Contact us to see how we can create an effective SEO campaign for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the golden rule of SEO?
When writing for SEO, the golden rule is to create high-quality, informative content that provides value to users.
Aim to make your content the best in the field. If you can write content that adds value to the user experience, other SEO strategies will fall into place following hard work and consistency.
Which SEO technique should be avoided?
There are many pitfalls when it comes to SEO.
Some of the most important things to avoid are:
- Not knowing your audience
- Poor website structuring
- Keyword stuffing
- Duplicate content
- Slow website speed
- Unoriginal content
- Overuse of internal links
Is SEO writing easy?
Creating SEO content may seem straightforward, but it requires patience, dedication and commitment. It’s impossible to be lazy when it comes to SEO.
There is no easy way to reach the top of the search results.
Google’s algorithm is complex and takes a lot of factors into account, so it’s important to be diligent, stay up to date and engage in best practices to give your business the best chance of success.