SEO and Content marketing go together. They help online businesses grow fast if done right. Let’s talk about what they are and how your e-commerce can use them.
We often meet new e-commerce businesses who ask about SEO and Content marketing. Further conversations reveal that SEO and Content Marketing are unknown to these companies. These businesses may not always know what stands behind these terms. Let’s dive into this area of digital marketing and explain how they can shape the success of an online business.
First, let’s define SEO and Content Marketing in simple terms.
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a set of technical processes and practices meant to attract more relevant visitors to the site. This is achieved through making the site more relevant and easier to crawl for search engines.
Content marketing focuses on providing relevant content to the target audience. Relevant content helps drive potential customers’ interest. Content market also serves to introduce your site or your brand to new and potential clients.
Why do SEO and Content marketing come together?
Let’s put it this way. SEO is the body, but Content marketing is its soul. SEO includes strategies, tactics, recommendations, research about what users search. In other words, SEO helps answer questions about market demand. What do perspective customers search for? What questions are they asking on search engines? What’s the volume of their searches?
Content marketing helps provide solutions to client needs expressed in searches. These solutions are not limited to articles and blog posts. They include infographics, video tutorials, podcasts, white papers. Content marketing is all about providing expertise, value, and insight to the reader.
After these definitions, let’s explore the most important elements that come into SEO and Content marketing.
The essential part of SEO rotates around keyword research. This activity is about finding keywords and keyword phrases that are relevant for an online business. Our approach to keyword research includes several steps.
- We learn about the product or the service.
- We find the pain points related to the industry.
- We identify top industry terms.
- We assess their search volume and competition (how many sites show for such searches).
- We collect other relevant terms: different speech turns, synonyms.
- We also get competitive data – how competitive sites get their organic search traffic.
An extensive keyword universe helps drive content creation for the site. From product pages to blog posts, relevant keywords become part of the on-page copy, titles, descriptions, URLs. But it’s not about random inclusion of keywords. There should be a strategy. We call it a keyword hierarchy.
A solid taxonomy is our next important step. Usually, e-commerce sites built with Shopify or WordPress already have a good initial structure. With the keyword research in hand, it’s now about optimizing the site’s sections and pages. Keyword research also helps identify gaps in the current organizational structure.
In building taxonomies, we recommend using the deductive approach. Organize and optimize top level pages like your homepage and top category pages to top industry terms. Top terms see high search volumes, but they are competitive. We recommend optimizing pages located one or two levels below in the hierarchy to terms with less search volume.
For instance, a music collaboration site will see its homepage optimized for “music collaboration” and its descriptive derivatives: “remote music collaboration” and “real-time music collaboration”. Its app signup page may be optimized for “music collaboration tool” and “music collaboration app”. Landing pages may be optimized for other industry terms like “music collaboration software”, “music collaboration song creation”.
Keyword Research for Content Marketing
SEO feeds Content marketing when it comes to keyword research. Keyword research helps answer a lot of questions about what customers need.
Over the last years search engines like Google and Bing include freshness of content as an important ranking factor. So, the creation of fresh and relevant content is now part of any solid SEO strategy. Keyword research is often geared to this end. Fresh, deep, thoughtful content gets indexed faster and helps with rankings. In their turn, high rankings ensure a constant flow of visitors to the site.
Keyword research is a starting point for brainstorms and creative ideas to use in content marketing.
If you sell video production services to businesses, it’s not only to optimize your home page for “video product in [your city]”. It’s also about content that helps your perspective customers. Answering simple questions like “how to create a corporate video” or “where to hire a video editor in New York” is a good start. Well, your content will not be a literal answer, but a story. “Ten Lessons I Learned from Hiring a Bad Video Editor in New York” will be a great title for your site. Stories sell and good content marketing is there to help with it.
Back to SEO. We’ve mentioned SEO is not only about keyword research, blog posts, taxonomies, and site organization. SEO also includes a set of technical activities.
These activities include technical recommendations and changes to crucial areas on the site. Say, robots.txt – a file with directives for search engine bots – is an area that falls under SEO. Sitemaps – both HTML and XML – are also in SEO. Recommendations about internal links and work to get external backlinks falls under SEO, too.
Writing page titles, organizing content on pages with H-tags, optimizing page descriptions – these are the other important areas for SEO.
Why are these technical optimizations needed? Technical SEO optimizations make an e-commerce site friendlier for search engines. Search engine bots can crawl an optimized site faster, which, paired with quality and fresh content, helps with indexing and ranking.
SEO and Content marketing go hand in hand. They are not separate activities. SEO thrives with high-quality content marketing. Content marketing can be efficient when based on SEO research and recommendations.