The prime reason many small businesses give up on content marketing is that they think it does not work. This conclusion is not without good reason. In fact, various studies have shown that most content will not get seen and does not attract new visitors to websites. Even if you are publishing informative and useful content, it only has value if it helps you get found by prospective customers. Consequently, it is not enough to just create content. Your small business needs to produce SEO content.
What is SEO content?
Essentially, the shared goal of both search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing is to attract natural, organic traffic to your website. In recent years, there has been a convergence of these two disciplines and strategies. The prime focus of search engines is to understand their users’ intent and serve them with results that are reliable and relevant. Accordingly, the changes being made to their algorithms are working toward fully understanding and evaluating the content published on your website.
Despite the advancements in technology, search engine algorithms still cannot interpret your content in the same manner that a human does. Nevertheless, they do represent the closest thing we have today to real artificial intelligence. Algorithms can evaluate a page’s readability, the content’s context in relation to keywords, and the reliability and trustworthiness based on user signals. As a result, good SEO and good content will go hand-in-hand. In some respects, this all resembles the question about the chicken and the egg. A high search rank will attract more visitors and user engagement, but you need visitors and user engagement for a good rank. All the technical SEO in the world will not make up for weak content.
How do you write SEO content?
SEO content marries the science of search engine optimization with the creative work of content creation. In order to generate traffic through organic search, you will need to research the top performing keywords. But, in order to maximize the search-ability, you also need an understanding of the user intent within those queries. The focus keyword is merely the basis of your content’s topic. Your only goal cannot be just a single click-through.
Good content is content that feeds a demand and inspires an action. It will encourage people to go deeper into your website and will generate link-backs and social shares. If after evaluating your content, a user returns to Google to find a better result, it has missed its mark. Weak content can rank and get clicks, at least initially. Regardless, as search algorithms process online signals that determine authority and popularity, a web page’s rank is adjusted accordingly.
What is an SEO content strategy?
If you are creating content just to create more content, the results will fall flat. In order to drive traffic to your website, you must have defined goals and produce content in line with your core principles. Your prime focus should be to publish the content that your ideal customer will want to read, giving a person a reason to stay on the site, bookmark the website, subscribe, or follow on social media. Depending on which study you look at, on any given day, roughly 98 percent of all website visitors are not yet ready to make a purchase. So, 80 percent of all content should focus on building authority, creating trust, and feeding visitor demand. The secondary focus is creating helpful content that highlights your products or services.
Many articles about creating content will talk about the need to know your audience. You are going to create very different content for the teen market than if your target consists of business executives. That said, all content should be created with one question in mind, “Why should the reader care?” While you are publishing content for the purpose of achieving your own goals, it must be written for your target audience. If it is not meaningful or does not bring value to your reader, it will not produce results.