People tend to underestimate the value of content marketing as part of an SEO strategy. It takes time to create high-quality content, so many businesses fail to see why they should invest so much effort into it. However, in reality, content marketing generates 3x as many leads as traditional marketing and costs significantly less, so the return on investment is immense!
In 2023, roughly 70% of companies use content marketing because a strong, content-focused strategy is one of the most sure-fire ways to get to the top of the SERPs. This article will cover how content marketing is valuable to SEO, and what you can do to craft high-quality content that both users and search engines will love.
Your written content doesn’t always have to be optimised for SEO - blog articles can celebrate individual or company achievements, show off the team, recount recent events or conferences you’ve attended, share important news, and more. This kind of content wouldn’t be searched for by users, and instead keeps your company transparent, showcasing the people behind the business and engaging with users.
However, content marketing should always be a foundational part of your SEO strategy. Both content marketing and SEO, by design, work to prove to Google that your business is trustworthy and help you to better understand your market and how to reach them organically.
Content marketing is used in SEO to:
SEO is a broad field, encompassing a wide variety of methods to optimise websites for search engines. Writing content is a great way to implement SEO practices with new pages - while optimising existing pages for keywords, fixing and redirecting broken pages, and using metrics to see how changes are performing.
Once you have a strong grip on your target market and the kind of things they may search for, content marketing is a great way to reel them in. Hopes Grove Nurseries, a supplier of hedging and garden plants in Kent, started writing informative content to draw in users who may be interested in purchasing hedging plants and gardening tools. Their article about Bee Friendly Flowers is a great example of strong SEO content because it is tailored around several common search queries. If you see below, a fair number of people search for “bee-friendly flowers”, and related queries like “what are bee-friendly flowers”, so Hopes Grove produced strong, high-quality content that can draw in those queries year after year, and as such it continues to perform exceptionally well.
So, you’ve been consistently writing exhaustive blog posts about garden plants - you’ve left no stone unturned, providing descriptive care advice and telling users about their origins, qualities and ideal planting conditions.
This activity signals to readers (as well as search engines) that you are an expert on garden plants - therefore, when they’re looking to buy plants for their own gardens, they will be more likely to recall your brand. You have already established your credibility through the amazing things you’ve written, so they are far more likely to trust your products and buy from you.
If your content is unique enough, it will be shared, helping to establish a healthy backlink profile that will improve your website’s authority score. Note that this is only true if the backlinks come from good sources; Google can tell the difference between a spammy source to an authoritative one that is related to your industry, so never try to force backlinks.
To stick with the previous example, the blog post from Hopes Grove Nurseries above has been picked up by journalists several times, for instance with Stamford Mercury’s World Bee Day 2022 article. Some other great backlinks for a business selling garden plants could be from:
Now let’s delve into why content marketing plays this role in SEO, and how you have to write to get the best results.
In order to write amazing content that will play an important role in an SEO strategy, you have to make sure it is valuable. “Valuable” is a fairly subjective word, but Google’s Helpful Content Update established the clear criteria they use to assess whether or not content is valuable. Google says content should show:
So this is valuable content - how do we make it search-friendly?
In order to write search-friendly content as part of your SEO strategy, you have to think about user experience and user intent. Here at Reflect Digital, we use behavioural science to successfully encourage desired actions. Here are a couple of questions you can ask yourself to ensure your content is tailored to your target market:
Content marketing is important to SEO because it is a clear way to show that your brand has unique insights that users will find useful. Valuable content should strive to actually help its readers, and clear, accessible SEO content is primed to assist the user journey by consciously responding to what your target market wants and needs.
If you’re looking for some extra support writing content geared for SEO, get in touch - our team would love to help your brand get things moving in the right direction!
As SEO Copywriter, Ella is primarily responsible with planning and writing engaging blog content, as well as implementing on-page SEO strategies to optimise the copy on clients' websites.More about Ella