SEO and content marketing: An essential combo (explained)

Are you ready to skyrocket your website’s visibility, attract the right audience and enhance user experience? Combining SEO and content marketing to a craft strategy is essential to achieving those goals. In this blog, we’ll guide you through the importance of SEO in content marketing, must-have components of a solid SEO content marketing strategy and different types of content for SEO success. Plus, how to measure and adjust your strategy for optimal results.

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Key takeaways

  • SEO is crucial for successful content marketing, providing increased visibility, targeted audience engagement and improved user experience.
  • Crafting a winning SEO content strategy requires keyword research, quality content creation, on-page optimization and link building.
  • Regular measurement & adjustment of your strategy through key performance metrics tracking & regular audits are necessary to ensure sustained success.

What is the difference between SEO and content marketing?

Confused man with “SEO” and “Content Marketing” written on puzzle pieces behind him

Search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing work together to drive website traffic and improve ranking but they aren’t the same thing.
In a nutshell, here’s how to look at both:

SEO increases the quality of traffic by helping your target audience find your content more easily.

Content marketing is the strategy of consistently providing valuable and relevant content, i.e., blogs, videos, etc., to your audience to attract and engage them and eventually turn them into buyers.

SEO content planning is where the magic happens in creating SEO-friendly content.

The importance of SEO in content marketing

Arrows going from right to left that say, “boost website visibility”, “attract the right audience” and “enhance user experience”

SEO is the backbone of content marketing, as it makes your site more visible, draws in your specific audience and improves user experience.

Optimizing content for search engines elevates your chances of snagging a higher rank in search results and pulling in more organic traffic to your site.

Staying updated with the latest trends and news from search engine land can further improve your SEO & content marketing strategies because search algorithms and what matters to search engines is ever-changing.

So what is SEO content marketing?

Again, SEO is a technical process of increasing the quality of traffic to a website, while content marketing focuses on providing valuable and relevant content to drive profitable customer action.

When combined, SEO helps people find your content while content drives traffic and improves ranking.

Boosting website visibility

Wide open eye

A potent SEO strategy bolsters website visibility by tailoring content for the target keywords of your audience as well as optimizing for both desktop and mobile devices.

Blogging is particularly beneficial to that end as each blog post you create provides an additional opportunity to rank in search engine results pages, or SERPs.

This article, for example, is all about SEO and content marketing, so you’ll find the phrase "SEO and content marketing" and adjacent keywords throughout the page as well as the relevant information about each.

The result?

The potential to rank higher, improve organic search results and generate more traffic than other sites, or in other words, better SEO performance
Another advantage of effective SEO is increased website traffic through Google’s image pack.

Attracting the right audience

Arrows in bullseye with website visitors floating around that represent the target audience

Targeting the right audience is about focusing on the right keywords and addressing user intent.

Understanding your target audience is pivotal to generating content that strikes a chord with them.

Marketing personas, or fictional representations of actual customers, can help you gain insights into your target audience and craft content that improves your site’s ability to rank higher.

The "People also ask" box you’ll see when you do a Google search is a valuable resource for uncovering related questions that users may have which already have some clear search volume, providing an opportunity to answer those queries and bring those folks to your site.

Having a blog for your business can contribute to higher keyword rankings and increased engagement among website users.

Enhancing user experience

User experience survey with man pressing button with a smiley face

SEO isn’t only about drawing in the right crowd, it’s also about amplifying their experience.

Given that 61% of Google searches in the U.S. are on mobile devices, mobile optimization becomes indispensable for enhancing user experience and search success.

Additionally, responsive site design, considering local SEO and creating top-shelf website content for all devices, plays a significant role in enhancing user experience.

Deliver well-structured, informative and engaging content that meets user’s expectations and you’ll create a better overall experience that helps you climb the ranks.

Essential components of an SEO content marketing strategy

Four parts of an SEO content marketing strategy; keywords, content, on-page optimization and links

A successful SEO content marketing strategy consists of several key components:

  1. Keyword research
  2. Quality content creation
  3. On-page optimization
  4. Link building

Incorporating these elements into your strategy enables you to efficiently target pertinent keywords, produce content that resonates and boost your site’s performance in search results.

Keyword research

A key in a search bar with a magnifying glass enlarging it, representing keyword research

Research is a fundamental aspect of SEO for content marketing, as it helps you identify what users find relevant and the high-performing keywords to target in your content.

Thorough research ensures your content reaches your target audiences and, over time, improves its visibility in search results.

Both short-tail and long-tail keywords play a role in your strategy, with long-tail keywords enabling you to target more qualified leads due to their specificity.

Researching keywords involves compiling a list of words and phrases associated with your product or service and evaluating their performance. SEO-friendly content is born out of incorporating these clutch keywords into your content.

While there are some free tools for this, if you’re serious about improving your search results, it’s worth exploring paid software options as they allow you to get way more granular and comprehensive with your research.

In addition, including relevant keywords in alt text for images can further optimize your content for search engines.

Create top-notch content

Blog with an A+ rating and 5 stars

Creating quality content is a combo of the aforementioned research, creativity and a bit of old-fashioned hard work.

With the keyword research in tow and a deep understanding of your audience, you can start building out valuable content that addresses users’ needs and ultimately keeps them on your site longer.

No matter the type of content you’re creating, which we’ll touch on later, your results will only improve if it’s what your audience is truly looking for.

Whether it’s written content or a video, it needs to be well done and thoughtful. Content for the sake of content isn’t helpful and can actually be a detriment to your brand.

Perhaps less obvious is that everything you produce is an opportunity to demonstrate your thought leadership and should be crafted to tell Google that you are the best answer.

On-page optimization

Important on-page SEO elements including internal links, title tags, headers, meta description and keywords

On-page optimization is the process of optimizing various web page components to make them more visible to search engines. This includes:

  • Internal links
  • Title tags
  • Headers
  • Meta descriptions
  • Keywords

By optimizing these components, you can ensure that your content is more rapidly indexed and easier to discover, which will help your ranking in the search results.

In addition to these on-page SEO opportunities, it’s imperative to provide a positive user experience by making sure your website is easy to navigate and understand.

Optimizing everything from your content to page speed to web page elements can enhance your site’s overall performance in search results and draw in more people.

Links between multiple webpages

Building links plays a critical role in improving your website’s authority and trustworthiness, leading to higher search rankings and increased organic traffic.

Acquiring inbound links from other websites, another element of off-page SEO, can be achieved through some of these strategies:

  • Exchanging links with local businesses
  • Producing blog posts and sharing them across your social media platforms
  • Approaching other blogs for guest blogging opportunities that include a link back to your website
  • Identifying and fixing broken links on your website to enhance user experience and maintain link equity

Internal linking of your own content site is also essential for SEO, as it creates a navigable network for Google to follow, demonstrating that your website covers specific topics comprehensively and is thus an authoritative source.

Incorporating a thoughtful link-building strategy into your content marketing strategy can elevate your site’s authority, reliability and performance in search results.

Leveraging different types of content for SEO success

Symbols for various types of content in front of a laptop

To accommodate diverse user preferences and boost overall engagement, you have to utilize various types of SEO content to climb to the top of the search pages, including things like:

  • Blog posts
  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • Long-form content

Each content type has its unique benefits and can contribute to a well-rounded SEO content marketing strategy.

Blog posts

Generic example of a standard blog post

Blog posts are an effective way to target specific keywords, provide valuable information and engage users with a consistent stream of fresh and relevant content.

Regularly publishing blog posts that connect with your target audience can enhance your site’s visibility in search results and pull in more traffic.

A blog post may not directly lead to conversions but regularly writing content helps keep you top of mind for when a visitor is ready to pull the trigger on your product or service.


14 videos

Videos can help improve user engagement, increase dwell time and provide an alternative way for users to consume information.

In this day and age, to build customer loyalty you need to be meeting your audience where they are, so if they prefer learning via video, you better provide some videos.

In other words, incorporating videos into your content marketing strategy allows you to cater to diverse user preferences and enhance the overall user experience on your site.

Dwell time, by the way, is an important ranking factor. The more time someone spends on your page, the more valuable it appears to Google and other search engines who see that as a crucial ranking factor.

So offering a variety of content formats, including videos, can help you reach a wider audience and improve your website’s overall SEO performance.


Generic example of an infographic

Infographics are visually appealing and easily shareable, making them an excellent tool for presenting complex information in a digestible format.

By incorporating infographics into your SEO content marketing strategy, you can simplify intricate data and make it more accessible to your audience.

The shareability of infographics also contributes to their effectiveness in your overall strategy.

By creating and sharing visually appealing infographics on various platforms, you can increase your website’s reach, attract more visitors, and improve your search rankings.

Long-form content

Two generic examples of long-form content

Long-form content offers digital marketers an opportunity to write content that provides deeper insights and analysis on topics that matter to your audience, allowing you to establish thought leadership in your industry.

The more authority you can create that way, the more likely you are to rank higher in search.

In addition to providing in-depth information, long-form content can also help engage readers and keep them on your site for longer periods.

As you now know, search engines are big fans of dwell time and long-form content is a solid option for that.

To know which type of content to use, and when, proper website content planning is a necessity.

Measuring and adjusting your SEO content strategy

A man explaining SEO content strategy to his team of two in front of a whiteboard

To ensure the success of your SEO content marketing strategy, it’s crucial to:

  • Measure and adjust your efforts regularly
  • Track key performance indicators (KPIs)
  • Conduct regular content audits
  • Stay updated with SEO trends

Constant evaluation and adjustment of your strategy can maximize its efficiency and bring superior results.

Key performance indicators

Various metrics and KPIs used to measure content marketing success

KPIs, such as organic traffic, bounce rate and conversion rate, help you evaluate the effectiveness of your SEO content strategy and identify areas for improvement. Tracking these metrics enables you to make informed decisions to optimize your strategy and more effectively meet your target audience’s needs.

Monitoring and analyzing key performance metrics also provide valuable insights into the success of your SEO initiatives. By understanding which aspects of your content strategy are working well and which areas need improvement, you can make informed decisions to enhance your overall performance.

Regular content audits

A laptop with a magnifying glass looking at content, representing a content audit

Regular content audits allow you to assess the performance of your existing content, identify gaps and opportunities, and make data-driven decisions to optimize your strategy.

By evaluating the effectiveness of your content and identifying areas for improvement, you can make necessary adjustments to your game plan and improve your site’s performance in search engine results.

Content audits also provide an opportunity to analyze the competition and research industry trends.

By staying informed about what’s going on in your industry and understanding what your competitors are doing, you can make strategic decisions that help you stay ahead in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

Man with one hand on laptop and other on tablet with holographic bar chart floating on top

Staying updated with SEO trends ensures that your content marketing SEO strategy stays relevant and effective, some of the most recent trends include:

  • Emphasizing first-hand experience on a subject
  • Creating content tailored to the audience
  • The increasing prevalence of AI in SEO
  • Optimizing for voice search
  • Implementing video SEO strategies
  • Optimizing for search intent
  • Adapting to the mobile-first index

Keeping up with these trends and integrating them into your SEO strategy helps your content stay relevant and gives you the best shot at continuing to draw in and engage your target audience. In turn, you can improve your site’s visibility and attract more organic traffic.

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Crafting a winning SEO strategy involves understanding how content marketing helps SEO and incorporating essential components such as keyword research, quality content creation, on-page optimization and building links, as well as leveraging different types of content for SEO success.

By measuring and adjusting your strategy using key performance metrics, content audits and staying updated with the latest SEO trends, you can ensure your content remains topical and effective in the constantly changing digital landscape.

If you’re ready to unleash your inner SEO content marketer, get started with Slickplan’s Content Planner now.

Frequently asked questions

  • What is SEO and content marketing?

    SEO is a technical process of increasing the quality of traffic to a website, while content marketing focuses on providing valuable and relevant content to drive profitable customer action. When combined, SEO helps people find your content while content drives traffic and improves ranking.

  • Is SEO considered content marketing?

    SEO & content marketing are related, as SEO brings targeted traffic to your site with a set of optimization actions. Thus, S EO can be considered as part of content marketing.

  • How do you combine SEO and content marketing?

    By doing keyword research, being consistent, focusing on quality content over quantity, planning ahead and building links, one can successfully combine SEO and content marketing for maximum impact.

  • What is an example of SEO?

    Submitting a sitemap to Google Search Console, adding structured data to your site, improving page loading speeds and increasing mobile-friendliness are all examples of SEO.

  • What are the essential components of an SEO content marketing strategy?

    Keyword research, creating valuable content, on-page and off-page SEO optimization, and link building are essential components of an SEO content marketing strategy to help boost website visibility and ranking.

Steve Tsentserensky

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