What Is the Relationship Between SEO and Content Marketing

January 2, 2024

SEO and content marketing are so intertwined that it’s hard to figure out where one ends and the other begins. This is a challenging task even for seasoned digital marketing professionals.

Focus on SEO without content marketing, and you’ll end up with a bland website, created for machines that no human wants to look at. Contrary, focus only on content marketing, and your carefully crafted articles will stay buried in the depths of your website.

If you manage to combine the two in just the right way - you’ll end up with a website that both search engines and readers love. But first…

What is SEO?

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) refers to a set of actions you do on and off your website to increase organic traffic. It’s a wide term covering these three pillars:

3 Pillars of SEO

What is content marketing?

Content marketing refers to all kinds of content distributed online - from newsletters to blog posts, to videos, and even to memes! Great content should attract attention, educate, and inform readers who stumble upon your website.

In this article, we’ll explore the relationship between content marketing and on-page SEO.

Why are SEO and content marketing important for your online business?

Do you know that Google processes around 3.5 billion searches every single day? And that’s just Google! By creating incredible content, you have an opportunity to grasp the attention of a certain portion of these searches.

When you write about things that you and your business know a lot about, you start building relationships of trust with those that visit your website. Your content sends a message to the readers. If you give them exactly the right piece of information they’re looking for, the message says: “This person/website/business is a trustworthy source of information.”

This way, a reader becomes a fan. When that fan needs a product or service you’re providing, they’ll be more likely to purchase it from you. Why wouldn’t they? The trust is there already!

Okay, but what does that have to do with SEO?

Beautifully written content won’t stand out on its own. You need to optimize it for the keywords people are looking for, and that’s where SEO comes in. If you don’t get that part right, your content won’t show up in the search results. No matter how good, informative, or creative it is. That, unfortunately, leads to low organic traffic to your website.

How to make SEO and content marketing work together

By now, you’re aware of the importance that SEO and content marketing can have on your business. But what can you actually do to help them work together? Don’t worry, we prepared some great tips for you!

Tip 1: Do keyword research as you ideate the article topics

When you start planning content you’ll write for your website, make sure to do keyword research alongside brainstorming. That doesn’t have to be a daunting task, and you start in a very simple way. What about looking at the results that Google suggests when you start typing in the search box?

You can start there, and move on to more complex tools once you feel the need for them. Keyword research is a topic on its own, and if you’d like to dig deeper, we recommend having a look at this resource: How to Do Keyword Research for SEO: A Beginner’s Guide | HubSpot.

Tip 2: Answer the search intent

Search intent is the reason why someone is searching for that exact term, the information they’re trying to find out about. Once you crack what this information is, it’ll be easy to create something that respects the search intent.

Example: Let’s say you’re a company that creates SEO tools. You find a keyword that says “What is SEO?”, and you think that’s the perfect opportunity to promote one of your products, so you create a landing page that promotes it.

But, the searcher has no idea what SEO is, and how your product fits into that. Your page doesn’t answer the question, so they leave and go to another source that does. In this case, an example of a correctly answered search intent would be an informational blog post about what SEO is. You can include information about the three pillars of SEO, how they work together, what is local SEO, and why SEO is important for online businesses.

On the other hand, you can also find a keyword that says “SEO tool for keyword research” - and that’s the page you should optimize with information about your product.

Tip 3: Write for humans, optimize for engines

A common mistake you can make as a content creator is to write primarily for search engines. This is going to make your articles sound generic, robotic, and heartless. With the rise of AI tools, authentic content will stand out among the crowd.

To make your writing sound better, try to imagine that you’re talking to someone who’s sitting next to you. Once you’re done writing, then you can optimize the article by following some of the best on-page optimization practices.

Tip 4: Follow the best On-Page Optimization practices

The purpose of on-page optimization is to give signs to search engines about the main topic of the article. This helps the algorithm better understand and rank your page.

By now, you should have a carefully crafted article that answers the search intent. It’s time to go back to the keyword you’re targeting and optimize it according to best on-page practices. These practices involve sets of rules you can follow to make sure your content is understood by the algorithms.

Lucky for us, there are checklists we can follow to make sure we’ve done everything correctly. We recommend these resources:

SEMrush's on-page SEO checklist

Tip 5: Support your article with relevant internal and external links

The final tip we have for you today is to spice your content up with some internal and external links. The purpose of internal links is to boost other pages on your website and indicate to search engines where they can find other content.

When you use internal links, you should make it as clear as possible to the reader and the crawl bot what your article is about. Instead, of using phrases like click here for an article about email marketing, it’s a lot better to use descriptive words like email marketing.

When it comes to external links, they help the reader out by providing additional resources that you find trustworthy. By adding links to other websites with high-quality content, you also indicate that you’ve done your research and you know what you’re talking about.

5 tips to make SEO and content marketing work together

Bonus section: How to use content marketing for your off-page SEO/link-building efforts?

We didn’t talk a lot about off-page SEO, SEO Checker and link building in this article, but content marketing can be very effective for getting some juicy links, too!

There are many ways you can do this, and here are a few suggestions:

Mix SEO and content marketing for the best results

To sum things up, SEO and content marketing are separate terms, but should be inseparable in your strategy! If you choose to focus only on one of them, you’ll lose out on a ton of organic traffic and loyal readership. Focus on both, and your website will support the growth of your business.

Author’s bio:

Aleksandra Beka Jovicic is a Freelance SEO Content Writer and Outreach Specialist.

She specializes in writing about SEO, travel, and personal development. Throughout her career, she worked with B2B SaaS companies, as well as eCommerce two-sided marketplaces.

When she’s not working, Aleksandra is pursuing her hobbies and writing about her hometown VisitBelgradeCity.com.

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