Content marketing and SEO are two side of the same coin, meaning they are different but yet closely linked to the same idea of increasing brand awareness. Looking at the baseline, great content at high quantities typically results in optimized searches. This isn’t to say that quantity should rank higher than quality, but rather the two coexist together.
Typically, a company’s content marketing goals look something like this:
- Brand awareness or reinforcement
- Lead conversion and nurturing
- Customer conversion
- Customer service
- Customer loyalty/retention
- Customer upsell
- Passionate subscribers
Look familiar to you? Almost any company who is trying to stay afloat as a business (at a minimum) thrives to reach these goals, but why is it that they are so hard to accomplish?
In order for any of these goals to be met, SEO must be an integral part of the plan. Companies must first be ranked high in search engine results by search engines, then easily found and read by users, otherwise none of the above goals matter (according to Google search). But, now the question comes to mind: Okay, I know SEO is important, but how do I do it effectively?
The simple answer is based in link building. Some content marketers cringe at this term, while SEO marketers start drooling like a kid in a candy store. Content marketers feel as though linking puts them in an abyss of competitors, while SEO marketers spend money buying links. Wherever your company falls on the spectrum, listen up.
Unless content gets linked, is linked, and has links, it does not get ranked. If it doesn’t get ranked, it doesn’t get found. If it doesn’t get found, it isn’t read. If it isn’t read…you get the point.
Companies have to think about links. In fact, linking now seems to make more of an impact on SEO than keywords do altogether. But, linking isn’t easy. There are wrong and right ways to draw attention to your site via links. Here’s a few tips to get you started in the right direction:
- Use co-citation. Co-what? Co-citations are when your brand is mentioned, but not linked. Google tracks mentions and not just direct links, therefore simple brand mentions can be just as important.
- Keywords aren’t so key anymore. Google is getting smarter and recognizing quality content over keywords. Influential articles and posts are gaining higher ranks than pages packed with “perfect keywords.”
- Stick to what you’re good at. Stay niche and don’t spread yourself too thin. If you remain niche, you are more likely to get links for quality sites, rather from websites that have little to do with your cause. Even if the quality sites’ links only generate a few clicks, they are likely to be more meaningful and powerful click-throughs.
- Interact directly with other websites and blogs. It’s content marketing common courtesy to return the favor of company’s endorsing and linking your brand. What goes around comes around.
The bottom line is that linking matters. It’s crucial for companies to constantly keep up with what really matters in the SEO world in order to maximize their content marketing strategies. Get creative and happy linking!