Creating a website does a lot of things for your business and brand. It is one of the best marketing tools in the modern world, where almost everything can be done online. If you want to promote your products and services or simply have a huge audience reach, creating the right content is a priority for your website.
After creating useful information that your readers will learn from, the question becomes, “How to show my website to people searching for it?” This is where SEO will be extremely useful. On the web, you can connect to anyone in the world. The only problem is how to market your website.
How Do SEO And Content Marketing Work Together?
The answer to this is simple. While content marketing provides value to the users, SEO, on the other hand, determines the value of your content. Search engines act as a middleman to filter relevant websites to present to the user when searching for something.
The truth is, while SEO can determine which websites are optimized for user experience, it still has to rely heavily on the content keywords to bring the best results. There is one keyword behind the reason why content marketing and SEO work so well together: algorithms.
A user will not scour every inch of the internet to find the answers to the questions they have. Instead, they rely on search engines to assist them in finding the right webpage for their query. Lucky for them, search engines are continuously optimizing their algorithm to provide the most relevant websites to their users.
Here is a simple process on how it happens.
1. The search engine will crawl through websites and index the content found during the process.
2. The user will type their query on the search engine’s search box.
3. The search engine will take keywords from the query.
4. The search engine will then figure out the intent of the user based on the keywords presented.
5. Finally, the search engine will give rank results based on the indexed content.
6. The user can click on the websites provided on the search results to find what they are looking for.
As you probably know by now, there’s a lot of ways you can optimize your website to rank higher in the SERP. If you are a website owner, it is your job to ensure that you provide the best user experience, which greatly helps with your SEO.
However, one of the SEO techniques you need to do more often than the others is your content. The algorithm of search engines is continuously improving to provide the most accurate results. Because of this, content marketers are always trying to find new ways to get on top of the SERP.
Crawling and Indexing
You might be wondering, “How can search engines find your website among millions of other active websites on the internet?” The answer is easy. It is through crawling and indexing.
As soon as your website is live on the internet, search engines can “crawl” on every webpage it contains to figure out what your website is all about. You have to organize it to make it easier and comprehensive for crawlers to understand the hierarchy of your website.
Search engines will determine what your website is about based on what words appear on your content. Some words will appear more often than others. These are your so-called “keywords.” By understanding what keywords are included in your content, the algorithm can determine what it is about.
When it comes to adding keywords, the general rule is that you should never go beyond the advised keyword density, which is 2%. If your word appears more often than that is known as keyword stuffing, which is bad for your SEO.
Once the search engine has crawled and indexed your content, it is now eligible to be shown when a user types a query on the search bar.
Moz has a great tutorial about how crawling and indexing work. The content you need to have should not be hidden behind a login feature. The content can only see what can be accessed without filling out forms.
Matching Search Query Keywords with Content Keywords
Now that the search engine knows what your content is about, its next job is to understand what the user asks when typing something on the search bar. By matching the keywords on your website with the keywords on the user’s search query, the search engine can give a relevant list of websites that the user might be interested in.
Location of User
When the search engine knows where the user is located, it is easier to narrow down the relevant results. For example, suppose a user is looking for nearby restaurants. In that case, they will usually put “restaurants near me” on the search bar to check for the results.
This signals the search engine to limit the results to a list of restaurant websites within a certain range from where the user is currently located. This is an extremely useful feature that both helps the user and the businesses.
Now, you have to understand that you don’t necessarily have to put “near me” as a keyword in your content. Google will do that for you. All you need to do is make sure that the location of your restaurant is mentioned within the content of your website.
This method is highly applied when your website is being optimized for local SEO. For small business owners, this might be a good way to start. Since you are only competing locally, you might have a better chance of being on the top of the SERP with much fewer competitors than worldwide rankings.
The user can also type in the location instead of putting “near me” in the search bar. This can show you the list of locally optimized websites for that keyword even if you are not in that area. This is just one of the many ways the algorithm of search engines has evolved. It becomes easier for content creators to write about the restaurant without adding weird phrases that seem to be out of place.
Content marketers need to anticipate what the people in their local area are searching for. There’s a lot of online tools that they can use to find which searches are popular in an area. After knowing what keywords to use, they should tailor those keywords to the content relevant to their website.
Another thing that search engines can do is detect languages. SEO can detect these keywords and check in the index which websites contain the same keywords of the same language. This is another way that the algorithm of SEO ties it with content marketing.
When users are using a specific language when searching the web, the results page should show a list of websites of the same language. This makes the results much more precise and relevant to what the user is searching for.
Previous Search History
It’s no secret that a lot of the technology we use today stores certain information about us. As a user, you can quickly check on Google what information they have on you. Based on these data, they can provide you with personalized results.
Aside from the data they already have, Google also has the autofill function in their search bar. This provides the user the most popular searches based on the words that the user has already typed in. With this, it’s far easier to check which contents are relevant and should be pushed to the top of SERP.
Content marketers sometimes use these Google prompts to optimize the keywords they have on their existing content. Usually, these prompts are in the form of a question. This is because people have the habit of “asking” Google when they are searching.
This is arguably the most important aspect of content marketing and SEO. The keywords serve as the bridge that connects the users to their relevant audience.
When a user asks Google about something, they have to word their question so that it will bring relevant results. Sometimes, they even ask the question directly. The main keyword is not the only thing that search engines look for. The way the user phrases their search query can also show what the user wants to read about.
Users can also search for content about recent events. For example, they might want to know about the 2021 Olympics and don’t want to read about the previous 2016 Olympics. In this case, they will input the year on their search query to get a more specified result.
If the user does not know what year the recent Olympics was, they can simply input “last Olympic games” and will be presented with results about the most recent games held. Again, you don’t have to add the exact keywords on your content, but you have to input the year.
Content marketers know where to put these keywords. Aside from the text itself, it should also be present in the headings, titles, and even URLs. Some SEO experts also advise that the alt texts and filename of images and other media should include the keywords.
Search Engines Algorithm
You have to understand the process of the algorithm to optimize your website. As mentioned in the previous section, search engines compare and match the keywords from the user’s query with the keywords in the content.
But there’s more to it. Besides having the right keywords, a content marketer should also know what is being searched by people interested in the content.
Not all search engines are created equal. For example, your website might be on the top result in Bing’s SERP but not even featured on the first page of Google’s SERP. This can be a huge loss for your brand since a lot more people are using Google than Bing, which means that you are losing out on a lot of possible traffic on your web.
Nobody knows exactly how the algorithm works. They update it constantly, and thus, SEO experts need to constantly test new techniques. Google does, however, provide a short beginner course to make it much easier for people to understand SEO.
Content marketers and SEO experts continue to help each other find new strategies that can boost the rankings of their websites.
Through the algorithm, the search engine can provide relevant results. However, you have to note that there are a lot of other websites that might have similar content as you. At the beginning of 2021, there are already over a billion live websites on the internet.
Other competitors are probably using the same playbook when it comes to SEO. Even if you have made your website load really fast, organized your content properly, and applied every SEO technique you can find, you might still not appear on the first page of the SERP.
This sounds like an impossible task in the beginning, especially if you are just a small business owner. But you have nothing to worry about as there’s a lot of tools that help you beat your competitors.
One way you can beat your competitors is by checking their content and their keywords. You can use the existing SEO rankings to optimize the keywords in your content.
First, you should type a search query on the internet containing the keywords relevant to your content. Then, check the top website on the SERP. You can use tools to study which keywords work for them. These keywords can be integrated into your own content.
Why Do You Need to Focus on Both SEO and Content Marketing?
You can definitely write a blog with useful information and still be successful. However, you miss out on a lot of potential traffic if you do not optimize your website for search engines.
Needless to say, these two need to be applied to your website simultaneously to achieve wonderful results in terms of achieving your goals. Content marketing and SEO always go hand-in-hand and you need a professional project management solution. Both are integral to creating a successful website.
In short, you might have every answer to a specific question. Still, without SEO, there is almost no chance that your target audience can reach your website.