SEO 101: Content Marketing as an SEO Strategy
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a busy and dynamic market. As search engines regularly change their algorithms to take new factors into account when calculating a website’s rank, positioning sites is becoming more challenging.
Today, SEO is no longer about low-quality content spiked with keywords to please search engine crawlers.
In reality, the smartest approach to SEO comes in the form of content marketing. For SEO to work, we need a human touch, but also financial and creative resources.
Fortunately, SEO experts can take advantage of tools that were designed to match these new requirements. One of them is a content marketing platform called marketin9 which helps marketers streamline the process of publishing sponsored articles on websites.
Read on to find out how SEO and content marketing can work together to make a website successful.
Is content marketing about to replace SEO?
Some say that content marketing is on its way to overtaking SEO completely. That claim is clearly exaggerated. It just doesn’t make sense to pull SEO and content marketing apart when they go together so seamlessly — and with such amazing results.
While SEO is a narrow and technical discipline, content marketing suggests a more holistic approach and is generally broader (includes many types of content: blog posts, videos, infographics, presentations and more).
But that doesn’t mean they should be separated. In fact, they converge smoothly. We get the technical specifications from SEO and implement them in our content marketing campaign, ensuring its success. That success translates to both fields, bringing websites not only a higher rank, but also new traffic, higher engagement and a conversion rate boost.
Here’s how content marketing and SEO fit one another:
- SEO can’t work without content. It needs keywords, words and articles. Content marketing supplies that, bearing in mind the requirements first established by SEO. Think of content marketing as a practical application of SEO in the form of content.
- SEO is based on keywords. SEO experts dedicate a lot of time to researching and utilizing keywords. But how can they apply these keywords? Stuffing websites with keywords doesn’t lead anywhere; search engines are perfectly aware of these tactics and often punish sites that do so. The safest solution is content marketing. Content marketing means producing content which is written for humans to enjoy but also targeting particular keywords.
- SEO needs backlinks. One of the most powerful SEO tactics is link building. Having a high-authority website or portal include a link to your site is a huge boost. There are two ways in which you can get backlinks: by writing amazing content and hoping someone links to it or by using platforms like marketin9 that help reach publishers successfully.
If you’re still not convinced that content marketing plays an essential role in SEO, here’s a case study from our team to show you what good content can do to a website’s rank.
Case study: Insurance company in the UK
To illustrate the results of regular publication of content on quality domains, here’s an example of a client who used the potential of marketing platform.
A company operating in the insurance industry in the UK. This industry is among the most expensive when it comes to PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns, generating rates between $2.00 and $6.00 per click. It’s also one of the most competitive in terms of SEO, which results from a huge market fighting for a very limited number of converting phrases.
The insurer’s marketing department reached out to marketin9, asking for help in developing and implementing a long-term strategy to obtain links and create content that would result in an increase of its position on the most important and high-converting phrases. The goal was increasing traffic from organic search results, which in turn was supposed to increase sales through the website. Until now, by means of intensive SEO activities, the company managed to get to the top 10 results for two phrases. However, that result did not provide the company with the conversion rate they wanted.
Thanks to the support of the marketin9 platform, the company published over 300 publications on websites with very high authority within 12 months. Each month, there was an increase not only in its position in search rankings, but also in website traffic.
Targeting the B2C sector, the publications were not limited only to advertising the insurer’s services, but mainly served to communicate curious facts, latest industry trends, education and advice for the users of smartphones, laptops, tablets and other types of the latest technologies.
Thanks to that focus, it was possible to extend the subject of domains on which the publication was placed and to reach a wider range of users through not only technology-related websites, but also general-information and local portals.
Already, two months after the start of the campaign, there was a visible improvement of the organic results situation, which, together with the peak months in the e-commerce industry, resulted in a significant increase in traffic on sub-pages, generating more sales inquiries.
Here’s a table presenting the number of clicks from organic results on subpages only related to these phrases – excluding other traffic channels, as well as the home page and subpages that were not taken into account when running campaigns and obtaining links.
The peak of traffic and sales happened initially during the holiday season in December and January, due to the initial rise in position. To sum up the campaign, after 12 months, the number of inquiries tripled (over specific months) and the company achieved a 187 percent increase in traffic compared to the peak.
We achieved the best results on three priority phrases: mobile phone insurance, phone insurance and iPhone insurance, which significantly contributed to the increase in traffic and sales despite their high difficulty.
Here are the average positions, together with the number of impressions and clicks, month to month.
As a result, the campaign achieved the ROI of 255 percent at the end of 2017. The company reduced the average cost of user acquisition and made the sale partially independent of investments in PPC. Another benefit the company noted was the increased brand awareness. The mentions appearing in publications translated into increased traffic on brand phrases and direct visits to the site, in addition to direct visits from links included in publications.
Invest in content marketing now
Five years ago, only the most prominent brands with multimillion-dollar marketing budgets could afford content marketing. They published on high-authority websites and portals as a way to acquire valuable links. Back then, that type of promotional campaign was well outside the financial reach of small and mid-sized businesses. An average marketer or SEO expert could only dream about such sophisticated link-building strategy.
But today, the situation looks completely different, and getting in touch with publishers is easier than ever, thanks to dedicated tools like marketin9.
Marketin9 is a platform that helps companies reach the right publishers and offers easily. Companies launching content marketing strategies can use the platform to order sponsored content, choose publishers by category and get discounted pricing when placing a larger order from particular publishers. The cost of publishing a sponsored article can be up to 50 percent lower than if the advertiser contacted such a website directly.
Content marketing is of great value to link building as a proven and fail-safe way of acquiring quality backlinks. If you’ve been considering investing in a content marketing strategy, now is the best time.
Source: Search Engine Land | Here’s why you should start thinking of content marketing as an SEO strategy