Search engine optimized (SEO) content is any form of online content (e.g., a web page, article, blog, video, press release, etc.) that’s created, designed, and formatted to be found easily by people searching for that kind of content online.
The best way to achieve this is by understanding what people are searching for and structuring your content around those search terms (called keywords). When you match the right keywords to the right content, you end up with SEO content that gets more people to visit your site and elevates the visibility of your company.
Think about it this way: When you have a question or run into a problem, what do you do? Thirty years ago, most people would have replied that they visit a library, call a friend or family member, or turn to the phone book to find an expert. The internet has changed all that, and for many today, the first thing they do is search the question or problem on a search engine like Google, Bing, or DuckDuckGo.
Few people have to go any farther than the first page of the search engine results page (SERP) to find the answer to their question or a solution for their problem. But if you’ve ever wondered where those results come from, the answer is SEO. Someone somewhere noticed that people like you are searching for that question, problem, or phrase, and they created content with the goal of ensuring their site is the first you see.
Ultimately, it’s important to remember that this process doesn’t happen overnight, and it rarely happens by accident.
Who Needs SEO Content?
If you want to grow your business in 2021, you need SEO content.
More people than ever are using search engines to find quick answers to their questions and solutions to their problems. That trend is only going to continue as technology becomes more integrated into our daily lives. Does your business offer straightforward answers to industry questions or solve complex problems with simple solutions? If you’re nodding yes but aren’t publishing SEO content, you’re missing out on opportunities to grow your brand’s reach and gain readers.
By increasing reach and gaining readership, you increase the number of new opportunities and partnerships available to your business because people recognize you as the obvious choice for their needs. Whether you’re in roofing or IT, the more helpful you are with your content, the more likely readers are to seek out your help. In fact, your content should be so valuable and relevant that readers thank you for it by partnering with you.
At the same time, businesses that aren’t necessarily looking to drive growth can still benefit from SEO content. Maybe your goal isn’t to immediately improve your B2B lead generation strategies or grow your customer base. Even so, SEO content can help you achieve your broader organizational goals.
For example, if you want to be recognized as a leader by other businesses in your industry, putting out regular SEO content should be the cornerstone of your approach. What if instead you strive to ensure that your services align with what your customer base is looking for? SEO content provides the perfect place to start. Lastly, SEO content can help you standardize branding and messaging across your company while ensuring it remains helpful and accessible to customers.
In short, virtually any business can leverage SEO content to not only grow but also to improve what they’re doing on an operational level.
The Two Most Common Types of SEO Content
In the world of SEO content, the written word remains the most prevalent form of content and commonly exists in one of two forms: sales copy and informative content. At a minimum, you need both to grow your business.
Sales copy is everything on your website that explains who you are, what you do, and why a visitor should choose you over your competitors. While sales copy can do much more than that, it should at least do these three things. Unfortunately, sales copy alone often isn’t enough to convert readers into customers.
Enter informative content (what you’re reading now). As discussed above, people are looking for straightforward answers to their questions and simple solutions to their problems. SEO sales copy can help achieve that, but if that’s all you’re relying on, you’ll still leave many readers wondering why they should trust you. After all, talk is cheap. Publishing informative content is how you build that trust and credibility. It shows you know what you’re talking about and gets readers to convert because it enables you to position yourself as the clear choice for solving their problem or answering their questions.
If you want SEO content to grow your business, you need to balance these two forms of content to achieve your goals, at the very least. If you want to achieve even more, there are other forms of content you can explore, and we’ll discuss that below.
Is More Content Always Better?
Better SEO content is generally longer (the more you have to say about a topic, the more search engines recognize you as an expert), but longer content isn’t necessarily better.
Here’s why that isn’t always the case. Search engines look at other factors on a page to gauge its value and determine where it should land (or rank) on a SERP. For example, they look at word count along with formatting, how long users stay on a page, what people do after visiting the page, and more.
As we’ve already discussed, many people rely on search engines to find solutions and answers, but let’s use a real-world example. If someone searches “What is a TPO roof?” and lands on your page, but the content is so long they can’t navigate to the answer quickly, what do they do? Hit the back button and find another page that answers their question faster.
When that happens, search engines notice that users aren’t spending very long on your page searching for an answer to that question. As a result, your page either won’t rank or will start showing up lower and lower on rankings as other pages better serve the needs of readers. That’s why structuring content to provide answers and solutions as efficiently as possible is often a better determinant of ranking than content length alone.
Tips for Growing Your Business With SEO Content
As noted earlier, success with SEO content doesn’t happen overnight. If you want to grow your business with SEO content, you have to be willing to accept a three- to six-month lag between project launch and measurable keyword growth. Search engines rely on algorithms to crawl website pages and assess their value while determining where those pages should rank when users search specific terms. It often takes several months simply for published content to start appearing in search results and even more time to climb the rankings.
Here are some ways to expedite the process:
You Have To Start With the Right Keywords
Keywords are the terms and phrases prospective customers are already searching for. In order to create SEO content, you need to know what readers are searching for and ensure the information you provide caters to their needs. When you identify the right keywords and integrate them into your online content, you’ll appear in the right searches and gain readers.
How can you figure out what prospective customers are searching for? It’s actually simpler than you may think. You can find a multitude of keyword research tools online, and some of the most popular are Semrush, Moz, and KWFinder. While most options aren’t free, they eliminate the guesswork that would otherwise go into creating content relevant to your customer base.
If you’re going through the trouble of creating content, you may as well make sure it’s going to show up for readers searching for that kind of content, and starting with the right keywords is the easiest way to achieve that.
See What Your Competitors Are Doing
In just about every industry, someone is trying to rank for something, and there’s a good chance at least one of your competitors is already using SEO to drive traffic and new opportunities to their website.
Fortunately, the same keyword tools we mentioned above provide you with tools to perform a competitive analysis of your competitors’ websites and see what they’re ranking for. This can help you identify not only which keywords to target but also how you should be positioning your content strategy. When your content ranks higher than your competitors’, you have a better chance of capturing and converting prospective customers than they do.
Build Links With the Content You Already Have
We discussed ranking factors earlier, but one we didn’t mention was the importance of links. Links are vital for SEO content because they help search engines build context and understand the relationship between pages on your website and how those pages add to related content already on the internet.
If you have a few pages of content on your website, you might be surprised to learn that you can start optimizing it for search engines simply by adding links to your content. There are two types of links that add value to your content in the eyes of search engines: internal links and external links. Internal links connect the pages within your website, while external links direct readers to other helpful websites or sources that aren’t on your website.
Both types are beneficial. Internal links enable search engines to understand how pages on your website relate to each other and pass on keyword value from one page to another. You might think external links are a bad thing on your website (after all, why would you want someone to leave when they’re already on your site?). While it may seem counterintuitive at first, external links are ultimately beneficial when used correctly. When you link to sources that search engines already deem credible, it can help your website rank higher on searches for relevant topics.
To keep users on your website, you should make sure external links always open in a new tab or window. If you play your cards right, those websites may even choose to link back to your content, which can drastically improve the credibility and rankings of your website.
Promote Your Content on Social Media
Social media is an excellent supplement to SEO content. When you spotlight new content on your business’s social media platforms, it helps drive readers to that content and can catch the attention of search engines earlier than they would otherwise. You may also gain readers who aren’t searching for specific keywords but still experience problems your business aims to solve.
Supplement SEO Content With Outbound Efforts
Focusing marketing efforts on SEO content is an excellent place to start growing your business, but it doesn’t have to end there. With an inbound marketing tactic like SEO content, one of the benefits is that prospective customers come to you—but that’s also one of the downsides. It can be difficult to build predictable sales around SEO content alone.
Pairing SEO content with outbound marketing efforts provides an opportunity to take a double-edged approach to your B2B lead generation strategies. Because SEO content helps your company build credibility in the industry, it can be an excellent resource for someone wanting to do more research after learning about your company through an outbound campaign. At the same time, SEO content helps your business cast a wider net and capitalize on opportunities you may not have identified through outbound efforts alone.
Create a Variety of Content to Provide Something for Everyone
Some people prefer reading, some people like infographics, and others like video. But at the end of the day, 70% of people would rather learn about your company through helpful content than they would through a direct advertisement. If you can reach someone indirectly with valuable information relevant to what they’re looking for, you have a better opportunity to convert them into a customer.
Wondering what else you can do besides publishing sales copy and informative content? We explore that in the next section.
Other Types of SEO Content
Written words are far from the only type of SEO content your business should explore. Other options include:
Many users prefer to watch a video explaining something than reading. If you want to take user engagement to the next level, consider partnering with a B2B video production company. Video content is the perfect supplement to long-form content and can make it much easier for readers to understand what you do than written content alone.
Visual content includes photos, infographics, and illustrations. Search engines are increasingly looking to visual content on a page as a ranking factor. Creating and publishing original visual content instead of using stock images already on the internet can significantly increase the SEO value of a page.
Interactive content is anything that enables users to have a more hands-on virtual experience with your company. Some common options include webinars, virtual events, and online quizzes. While they may not immediately convert a visitor into a customer, they’re invaluable when it comes to establishing your company as the go-to expert in a specific field. Your company can also capture users looking for specific types of interactive content that may not yet exist anywhere else on the internet.
Podcasts continue to gain popularity, and many businesses are using them as an opportunity to grow their audience. While audio content doesn’t necessarily have inherent SEO value, you can structure other forms of content around audio content to drive traffic and make information more accessible to a broader range of audiences.
That Was a Lot—Need Any Help?
We covered a lot in this post. Hopefully, you found it helpful enough to get this far. If you did, do us a favor and let us know if you have any questions or ideas about how you can leverage SEO content to grow your business. We’ve gotten pretty good at it, and we’re always looking to get better by enhancing your B2B lead generation efforts with SEO content. If that’s something you could use help with, let us know.