Search engine optimisation (SEO) continues to baffle many businesses, especially with algorithms and rules updating frequently, and competitors using quick-and-dirty tactics like keyword stuffing to achieve a higher web ranking, even if their content is not entirely relevant to the search. Whilst SEO plays a distinct role in online traffic generation, its blurred lines with content marketing means many business owners are unclear how the two work separately and together to maximise a website’s visibility.

Yet, given that two thirds of internet users never make it past the second page of a Google search and over 40 percent of revenue is captured by organic traffic, no business should downplay the importance of SEO as part of their overall marketing strategy. The trick is to stop compartmentalising SEO and content marketing and instead see the two as an integrated instrument that can be used effectively without compromising the quality of your content.

Leave the black hat on the rack

A staggering number of businesses will use any means possible to push their website up the search ranking list, overloading their websites with keyword heavy content, hidden links, tiny text and spam blogs. These low-road techniques might temporarily trick a search engine into increasing the site ranking, but the algorithms used by search engines are constantly evolving, so it’s only a matter of time before this approach fails. This is not a desirable path by any stretch, which is why as an integrated marketing agency, we promote the high road – a purist approach that gives your website the SEO boost it deserves without damaging your business’s reputation or trading its integrity.

Understand how content marketing works

Content marketing is a strategy that can be executed through many media channels, including social media, video, blogging, syndication and much more. While SEO is a narrower, more technical discipline, content marketing can be interpreted and customised on a business-by-business basis. Yet, unbeknown to many, content marketing in all its diversity can integrate specific technical SEO strategies into its broad strokes, blending the two systems together seamlessly. In simplistic terms, while SEO is about making your content more easily found, content marketing is the delivery system that gets your content in front of people where they already are.

Content marketing uses keywords organically

The use of SEO keywords in content marketing is undoubtedly vital. Businesses are wise to utilise keyword research to best understand how users search for and interact with their websites. But what’s often misunderstood is that these keywords should be distributed into content consciously and strategically. The temptation can be to use a bot to write keyword-rich, almost unreadable blog posts and similar pieces of extended, keyword loaded content. But this is a shortcut that won’t favour businesses digital presence in the long run. No audience wants to read jargon content and the algorithms used by search engines are quick to pick up on such tactics. It is crucial therefore that humans with expertise in content marketing write content for a business, so that audiences understand and engage with the content and subsequently respond and share.

The importance of consistently fresh content

It has been accepted for some time that fresh content gets frequently indexed and ranks better than tired, stagnant content. But what you may not have considered is that up-to-date, interesting content improves the likelihood that your website will receive a high number of linkbacks. It takes only one authoritative website to link to your content for you to reap the inevitable benefits. So, whilst it helps to have a constant stream of new content being published on your a website, focusing on quality and relevance will ensure real benefits. This can be achieved through blogging, social media engagement, updated testimonials and video content (AKA content marketing) which, in turn, boosts SEO and organically attracts traffic.

How The Walk can help

As an integrated marketing agency with a focus on solving business problems using our 3-step process (Insights, Strategy, Content), almost everything we do results in quality content of some form.

What makes us different is that we factor in the complete picture with our content. Our content will not only be enjoyed by humans and search robots alike, but it will be on strategy and on brand. And as with all our work, we’ll aim to impact your bottom line. From conducting keyword research to formulating content strategies that solve even the most complex problems, we take steps to guarantee your audiences have a positive experience with your content, whether on your website or elsewhere. And with an understanding of the interchangeable dynamic between SEO and content marketing, we naturally make sure our web content is SEO optimised while remaining meaningful, high quality and fully customised to the needs of your business. The result? Return on imagination.