How Content Marketing Helps SEO
Did you know that 63% of all buying journeys, whether it’s for a tangible or a digital product, start online? What’s more, 68% of all online experiences begin with a search engine.
That just goes to show how important search engines are when it comes to digital marketing. That’s why one of the fiercest forms of market competition these days is the race to the top of Google’s search results.
Any business that wants to survive long term needs to make sure its website is ranking as high as possible for relevant keywords.
And that’s especially true for SaaS businesses. Offering digital and on-the-cloud products means that you could best reach your target audience using the internet as well.
That’s why some of the most effective marketing initiatives in the SaaS industry include content marketing, social media marketing, and email marketing.
But what if I told you that your content marketing efforts can also help bring your website to the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs)?
In this article, we will talk about how content marketing helps SEO.
But first, let’s define what these two are.
What Is Content Marketing?
In a nutshell, content marketing is the creation and distribution of valuable, relevant, and engaging content. Its goal is to attract and retain a defined audience with the goal of driving profitable customer action.
You do this through different types of content, such as blog posts, videos, and more.
While video content is making headway as the most effective content type for engaging your target audience, blog posts are still the most prominent ones.
That’s because blog posts are easier and faster to produce. And besides, you can always repurpose blog posts for other content types like videos and podcasts.
What Is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
SEO or search engine optimization is the process of optimizing a website for Google’s search algorithm. The goal is to rank higher in the SERPs for relevant keywords.
To do this, you need to make sure your website and its content are relevant and engaging for both your target audience and Google’s search algorithm.
Some of the most common SEO practices include:
- Keyword research
- Creating keyword-rich titles and meta descriptions
- Researching and using the right keywords throughout your content
- Optimizing your website’s loading speed
- Creating backlinks from high-quality websites
Let’s have an example. Let’s say you’re selling a sales automation SaaS solution. Now, imagine a random person looking up “sales automation software” on Google. Conveniently, the link to your website is one of the first things they see on the results.
How awesome would that be?
But sadly, that probably isn’t going to be the case, especially if your SaaS business is still in its startup stages.
If your SaaS product isn’t very popular yet, it’s likely that your website will be buried somewhere on the 3rd or 5th, or even the 10th page of Google’s search results.
Unless you’re nailing your SEO strategy.
With the right SEO practices combined with good content, you can slowly but surely start to rank higher on Google’s search results.
This gives even SaaS startups and newbie content marketers the chance to rank high in the SERPs.
And as you do, you’ll start to see more website visitors, leads, and customers.
How Content Marketing Helps SEO
Content marketing and SEO have always worked together when it comes to building your brand and engaging your target audience.
SEO helps in getting your blog posts to the top of the SERPs. And in turn, high-quality content can help build credibility for your website.
Below are some more specific ways how content marketing helps SEO:
- High-Quality Content Gets Backlinks
- Content Marketing Helps You Target More Keywords
- More Content Means Longer Website Visit Durations
- Pillar Pages And Topic Clusters Improve Website Structure
Let’s talk about them one by one.
High-Quality Content Gets Backlinks
Backlinks, also called inbound links, are links from another website that points back to your own site. They help improve your website’s SEO ranking.
They are sort of “votes of confidence” from these websites.
The higher the quality of the websites linking back to yours, the more authoritative your website becomes in Google’s eyes.
This is why link building, or getting backlinks from high-quality websites, should be one of your top priorities when trying to improve your website SEO efforts.
But how do you get other websites to link back to your content? There are a few ways:
Write Reliable, Relevant, and Engaging Content: This is the most organic way to get other websites to link back to your site.
If you produce great content that people can trust, they will be more likely to link to it.
Still, there are other things that you can proactively do for your link building efforts. Let’s talk about some of them.
Do Guest Blog Posts On High-Quality Sites: This is a great way to get your name and your website’s URL out there.
When you guest post on high-profile sites, make sure to include a link back to your website in your author bio.
You may also want to include some references to a few blog posts on your site and add the corresponding links.
Find Unlinked Mentions Of Your Brand: This is a bit more advanced but definitely doable.
There are certain tools like Google Alerts and BuzzSumo that can help you track down unlinked mentions of your brand or website.
Once you find them, reach out to the author or website owner and politely ask them to include a link back to your site.
Form Partnerships With Other Blog Sites: You can also try to form partnerships with other blog sites in your industry.
For instance, you can agree to feature each other’s blog posts on your respective sites and include a link back to the original article.
This is a great way to build relationships with other players in your industry while also getting some high-quality backlinks for your website.
Content Marketing Helps You Target More Keywords
One of the best things about content marketing is that it gives you the opportunity to target a wide range of keywords.
This is important because it allows you to attract more website visitors, leads, and customers from different stages in the buyer’s journey.
Let’s go back to our earlier example where you have a sales automation solution. With your main website, you might only be targeting “sales automation software” as a keyword.
A vague keyword like that will likely have you competing against tens, if not hundreds, of other content marketers who are targeting that same keyword.
But with content marketing, you can target more specific audiences with more detailed keywords. You can target ones like “sales automation software for small businesses” or “how to improve sales performance.”
Just make sure that your keywords are relevant to your target audience.
More Content Means Longer Visit Durations
Another great thing about content marketing is that it helps you keep people on your website for a longer time.
This is important because it signals to Google that your website is providing a good user experience.
Moreover, the longer someone stays on your site, the more likely they are to convert into a paying customer.
There are a few things you can do to keep people on your site for longer:
Write Longer Blog Posts: A 2021 study by HubSpot shows that the ideal word count for SEO blog posts should be 2,100 to 2,400 words.
But don’t worry. Blog posts really tend to reach those word counts, especially those that talk about SaaS or other business-related topics.
These concepts are usually so technical that you would need a lot of detailed descriptions and examples to best explain them.
Just be careful not to fill your blog posts with fluff content and unnecessary fillers just for the sake of meeting that word count. That would only hurt your content marketing strategy.
Remember that having high-quality content is still the most organic way to attract potential customers and help your SEO strategy using content marketing.
Your content pieces should be reliable and engaging from top to bottom.
Make Your Blog Post More Readable: The thing about long-form blog posts is that they can be tedious to read if you don’t organize your points well.
Just imagine having to read large blocks of paragraphs in one go. It may be intimidating for some readers. And chances are, they will get tired of it even before they start reading.
Instead, break down your blog post into little bite-sized pieces.
One way you can do that is by taking advantage of subheadings. They enable you to better structure your thoughts and present them in an easily digestible format.
Another way is by using bullet points or numbered lists. They help highlight the most important takeaways from your blog post so that readers can quickly scan through them.
Moreover, shorter paragraphs tend to be easier to read.
This highly depends on your target audience and writing style. But paragraphs that take up three lines or less are generally more readable than bulky ones.
Again, your target audience is a huge factor in this. If you’re 100% sure that they are the types of people that enjoy long paragraphs, then go for it.
Use Visuals: People are more likely to remember and engage with content that includes visuals like images, infographics, and videos.
Include visual elements in your blog posts and on your website to keep people engaged and help them better understand your message.
Sprinkle Your Blog Content With Internal Links: When you’re writing a blog post, include links to other relevant articles on your website.
This will encourage people to click through to other pages on your site and spend more time there.
Just make sure that the internal links are relevant to the topic at hand and add value to the reader.
Add A Comments Section To Your Content Pages: Adding comment sections to your blog posts and other website pages encourages people to interact with your content and spend more time on your site.
Not only that, but it also gives you an opportunity to engage with your readers directly.
If you’re going to do this, though, you need to make it easy for your readers to leave comments on your site. One of the most common ways to do this is to enable users to comment using their Facebook accounts.
This method requires you to add a social plugin to your blog page. While it may take some work to set it up, more engagement and longer page visits may very well be worth it.
Pillar Pages And Topic Clusters Improve Website Structure
When it comes to the technical side of SEO, you need to have web crawlers in mind.
Web crawlers, also known as spider bots, are programs that “crawl” all the websites on the world wide web to collect data about their pages. This data is then used to index the site’s content so it can be included in SERPs.
Now, technical SEO is all about making it easier for these web crawlers to browse your site and index your content.
One of the best ways you can do that is to optimize your website hierarchy.
After all, a well-structured website is easy to navigate and understand not just for web crawlers. But for us humans too.
One way you can optimize your website structure is by using pillar pages and topic clusters.
Pillar pages are basically long-form pieces of content that act as a foundation for your other blog posts and articles.
They’re usually around 2,000 to 3,000 words and cover a specific topic in-depth.
Pillar pages are great for SEO because they help you target a wide range of keywords.
They also give you an opportunity to rank for long-tail keywords, which have lower search volume but are usually more specific (and therefore have higher conversion rates).
To further improve your website’s structure, you can link your pillar pages to your other blog posts and articles using internal links. These are called topic clusters.
Topic clusters help search engines understand the relationship between your pillar page and your other blog posts.
They also make it easier for people to navigate your site.
Both pillar pages and topic clusters improve the overall structure of your website.
That makes it easier for web crawlers to index your content and for people to find the information they’re looking for.
Final Thoughts About Content Marketing & SEO
Content marketing and SEO are two sides of the same coin.
One is focused on creating high-quality content while the other is focused on making sure that your content is seen and ranked by search engines.
But they both need each other to work. After all, what’s the point of creating great content if no one will ever see it?
And what’s the point in optimizing your website for SEO if you don’t have any good content in the first place?
The bottom line is that you need both content marketing and SEO to succeed online.
And when you use them together, you can create a powerful digital marketing strategy that will help you attract more visitors, get more leads, and close more sales.
Looking for more ideas on how to grow your SaaS business? Check out our blog here.