We’ve all heard it before—content is king. But if content is king, then search engine optimization (SEO) should be king, too. While digital content strategies and SEO are continuously changing, there is one thing that holds true: Content strategy and SEO are better together.
You and your team are already aware of the importance of these powerful digital strategies working together, but perhaps there is a gap between the work your content strategists and SEO specialists do. Or maybe your team just doesn’t have time to focus on it all. Well, here are five reasons your organization should make sure your content and SEO strategies align:
1. Search Engines Care About Providing the Best User Experience
Chances are user experience is already a consideration with your content. You want to provide the most valuable, relevant information through your articles and blog posts. Search engines also want to provide users the best experience, which is why quality websites and quality information is so important to search engines.
How much quality control is factored into your articles? Is your site considered an authority on the topic? Are your articles complete and comprehensive for the topics you write about? Quality should be a main factor with your content, especially when optimizing for search engines. Want to know more about quality for SEO? Check out Google’s blog post on the importance of quality websites.
2. Highly Shareable Content Equals Better SEO
The better your content, the more likely people will share on social media, link to it on their own websites/blogs, and write about it. The more social shares and credible sites linking to your site, the more likely your content will rank higher for that particular subject. So it’s truly a content and SEO win!
While you don’t necessarily need to focus on the SEO portion to make a highly shareable piece of content or blog post, SEO should be a part of the thought process throughout. What topics do you want to rank for, and what keywords are people using to find this topic? Do your research before writing a piece of content and make sure to incorporate the right words and topics into your writing.
3. Keywords Still Matter
Speaking of the right words, keywords are still an important part of SEO. Search engines want to serve up the best results for their searchers, and if a searcher is using a particular word or phrase, then the search engine’s job is to provide the best results including that keyword or keyword phrase.
So along with #1 in this post, you need to include focus keywords in each piece of digital content. Search engines also crawl PDF documents, so don’t overlook the importance of creating SEO-friendly PDFs. Your keyword strategy should be a part of the research process for any piece of content you're writing.
4. Well Written Meta Descriptions Create a Better User Experience
Think filling out the meta description field is a pesky, unimportant task? Think again. Not only should your meta description include your page’s focus keywords, you should also focus on quality, concise writing for this description. By providing a brief, yet comprehensive description, searchers will know exactly what they are getting into when they click on your article. It’s basically like an ad space for your content—so make it count! Also, the meta description is automatically pulled as a description when sharing on social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn, helping potential web visitors instantly understand what your content is about.
The meta description is just one example of many important optimization aspects for your content, but one that might often be overlooked. On-page factors from title tag to outbound links should also be considered for each piece of content you create as a part of your overall content strategy. Check out Back Linko’s on-page SEO infographic for more information.
5. Content Strategy Goals Are Often the Same as SEO Goals
Most marketing efforts have the end goal of helping meet overall business objectives. Whether your team’s goals are to drive more awareness, gather more leads, or get more conversions, both SEO and content strategy can help. So doesn’t it make sense for them to be a joint effort? SEO shouldn’t be an afterthought for your writers, and content strategy shouldn’t be overlooked as a way to drive more of the right organic traffic.
If these positions happen to be separate at your organization, team members should be meeting regularly to discuss goals and strategies and how they can work together to make them align. If your writers are also your SEO specialists, then they should be doing research by diving into analytics data on organic search terms, researching possible keywords, and creating an overall strategy for content that includes SEO.
Want more tips and easy fixes for your SEO strategy? Check out our 17 Killers of Your SEO Efforts – and How to Fix Them web guide.
This article was updated February 2, 2018.