I don’t think I need to tell you that content is king. Content marketing positions you as an authority in your particular niche, building trust and developing long-lasting relationships with your readers.
However, there is another benefit of content marketing: SEO or Search Engine Optimisation.
In a nutshell, SEO is the process of moving a website higher up the organic listings on the search engine results page. Generally speaking, websites that appear higher up get most of the referral traffic from search engines.
In this post, I’m going to share with you the 7 ways content marketing will help you improve your SEO efforts and get more traffic to your website.
1. Content that answers questions is valuable
“Google it” is a common term these days. Google is even a verb, and it means to use a search engine to find out information. It’s become the easiest and fastest way to find answers to nagging questions.
If you are an expert in your space then you should be providing answers to all the possible questions your clients might have. Aside from being extremely helpful to people already on your website, it’s also a great way to get new visitors looking for answers to their questions via Google.
For example, here is a recent blog post by Chris talking about the cost of running a conference. As you can see, he’s ranked first for that particular phrase and other related search terms.
Top Tip! The simplest way to think of content that answers questions is to take note of what your customers ask you. I’ve gained so many content ideas just from the questions my clients have asked. If they’re asking, I’d bet a lot of others are too.
2. Targeted keywords
You can use your blog content to target specific keywords that you’d like to rank highly for.
For instance, if you are a local restaurant and would like to rank on the first page for your local town or city then you can use a blog post to target “restaurant” + “your town”.
- 9 of the best “restaurants” in “Edinburgh”
- Dog friendly “Restaurants” in “Edinburgh”
- “Edinburgh” Thai “Restaurants”
Choose the words you want to rank highly for and create a great piece of content around that topic. Make sure the content is valuable, as well as keyword rich and you should see some great results.
3. Reach long tail searches
Following on from the previous point, there is a great side effect of your targeted blog posts.
Did you know that more than 70% of Google searches are classed as “long tail”? What I mean by that is, most people don’t go to Google and type in a basic two-word search like “Restaurant Edinburgh”. Instead they search for…
- “Edinburgh places to eat for cheap”
- “Vegan food near Edinburgh Castle”
- “Starving in Scotland and don’t like haggis”
If you provide high quality, relevant content around the general topic that people search for, then Google are more likely to send you some of that traffic.
4. Reduce bounce rate
Bounce rate is a strong indicator to Google of the value of a website. Get it right, and it could significantly impact your search engine rankings.
For me, bounce rate is all about user experience. It’s Google’s way of ranking the usability and usefulness of your website.
It’s calculated as a percentage and you can see your bounce rate in Google Analytics. It looks like this:
You are given a bounce rate based on the number of people who visit more than one page on your website. Ideally, you want people to stay for a while, so it’s your job to keep the bounce rate low.
By creating engaging content you encourage your readers to stay on the website for as long as possible. The longer they remain on your website and reading your content, the better it is for SEO. Simple.
Top Tip! One good way of improving your bounce rate is by having good internal links throughout your site, encouraging your users to read your other content.
5. Increase backlinks
Gaining links from other websites to your site is arguably the most important aspect for SEO.
Search engines can see how credible your website is by looking at the number of high-quality websites linking back to yours. The better the links, the more chance of ranking higher and getting more traffic. Think of links like little votes of confidence.
Generally, other websites won’t link back to your site if you don’t have good quality content. They are even less likely to link back if you are not providing consistent, helpful content that’s valuable.
The more useful or entertaining your content is, the more chance you have of people linking back to your content and sending you some of their traffic.
6. Increase social shares
We all know that content marketing will increase your chances of getting more social interaction such as likes, comments, and shares. But how does this help your rankings?
There is a very strong correlation between the amount of social shares of your content and the “authority” of your website.
Every website has a Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA) and they are given to every website/web page based on a number of factors, one of which is the number of social shares.
DA and PA are provided by MOZ (formerly SEO MOZ) and are not calculated by search engines, but they are still one of the most important factors that you can use to determine how credible your website is.
If you don’t get much social media interaction then you can bet your DA and PA will take a lot longer to build, which means it will take you longer to rank highly in search results.
Top Tip! Providing helpful, entertaining and thought provoking content is the best way to increase social media attention and gives you the best chance of SEO success. Plus, don’t forget to include your social sharing links on your web pages!
7. Google loves regular content
Search engines prefer to see that you’re adding fresh content to your website. It’s the best way to show that your website is active and up-to-date. Google would much rather show someone a piece of content from 2 days ago rather than 2 years ago. This is why recent news articles are always showing up highly on search results, because they’re current and that’s what people want.
Top Tip! With that being said, you don’t want to get into the habit of writing lots of thin content just for the sake of it. But from experience, I would aim for a minimum of 2 new pieces of new content per month.
Search engines care about what their users want and users care about engaging content.
Everything I’ve listed above is a just Google’s way of working it out.
My advice is to spend some time and effort creating compelling content that your readers actually want and you’ll be on your way to SEO success!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic too. Do you know of any other ways that content marketing can increase your exposure online? Have you noticed any extra traffic coming to your site because of a piece of content you produced?
Please share your experiences below and feel free to ask if you have any questions.
- 11 ways to reduce bounce rate and improve website performance
- Getting to grips with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
- How can I make my website rank highly in Google?
About Martin Huntbach
He also teaches small to medium-sized businesses how to improve their online presence via an online training program & live in-person workshops.