Content without SEO, simply will not work and conversely SEO without content just won’t do the trick.
Having them both work together in harmony is what is going to rank your website and rank it well on Google. Essentially, it’s like a marriage one cannot exist without the other.
Many people often tell me that SEO is dead and that it’s all about content marketing. Well, I’m here to tell you that this is totally wrong. Without the power of an SEO campaign your web pages ( and I don’t care how well written they are) are simply not going to get to the top of Google. They will linger on page 4 or 5 and never reach page 1. I know this because I see this happen all the time. People think that simply because they write about a topic it will get to page 1 – this is an illusion and it rarely happens. It’s just far too competitive online.
Why do you need to have content as well as an SEO campaign to rank on Google?
Probably the best way to answer this is if I give you an example. Just suppose you were a new business starting out or even an established company and wanted to rank for keywords like ‘cosmetic surgery’ or ‘ Bali villas ’. Both are super competitive spaces ( medical and travel) and really sort after by many businesses. Getting to page 1 here is a big ask and a monumental task, especially for new websites. But if you get there, the rewards are going to be worth the effort. Both keywords have well over 1000 searches per month…..just imagine being in the top 5 positions.
Now I know that these are two completely different industries but when it comes to internet marketing, especially SEO, then the formula for success is exactly the same.
If I intend to write a content-heavy page all about my business and it was very subject-specific, (in this case anything to do with cosmetic surgery or holiday villas in Bali) this would be all well and good in terms of getting this content out and informing my existing customer base.
But in 99% of the cases, it would never get to page 1 of Google. If all I needed to do was to pop this new page on my website with great juicy content, then everyone would be doing it and be expecting great rankings….this DOES NOT HAPPEN.
You need to back this up with a relevant and diversified backlinking campaign. Anything else is just daydreaming and wishful thinking.
Many clients I speak to are told that all they have to do is to keep publishing content and the rankings will surely follow. This is true if you want to rank for some very what is termed ‘long tail keywords’. But, if you want to be up there where the web traffic is, you need to combine content marketing with a solid and continuous SEO campaign. And this must be done by an agency with a proven background.
WHY? Because web pages are not going to get to page 1 of Google, in competitive areas just because you think that it has been well written. If this was the case then everyone would be contracting out a copywriter and publishing pages en masse. If only it were this easy? Google has made it very difficult for individual pages to rank without them having some authority.
This is why your web page must have a targeted SEO backlinking campaign if you want it to rank. It’s as simple as that and there is no way around this.
There are a few companies out there in the search engine space that will dispute this and tell would-be customers that SEO is completely dead. They will tell you that the only ranking signals that now matter (post-Penguin and Panda update) are adding web pages, in the hope that these will get syndicated by other websites which in turn will boost your authority. This is complete and utter nonsense! It’s not how it works and the end result is a huge website, with many pages that have little or no site visits. This is not how to run a business. Search Engine Watch tells us that with over 40,000 search queries every second and an estimated 62.19 billion visitors annually, Google is the behemoth that rules the internet. Without it, or indeed any other well-functioning search engine, how would we find the content we need?
Based on the above numbers you would have to be crazy to think that SEO is irrelevant or not worth the money as being on page one of Google is the only space where you will get sales.
So how does a business go about starting this process of combining content marketing and SEO?
This is not as simple as it looks. Unfortunately, there are not too many agencies out there that can offer this service. These two disciplines are often fragmented and outsourced and generally speaking you only end up dealing with an agency that does one or the other. This can be expensive and cause issues if they are implemented without a strategy and without a plan. The end result is again, poor web rankings and you are really back in the same position where you started.
Ideally, you need to be partnering with an SEO agency that has an in house copy team as well as the ability to rank your individual specific content pages through their SEO skills.
To make it easier for small businesses and companies reading this article to find the right agency that can handle both SEO and content I thought I would list 5 of the most relevant questions to ask a potential digital provider.
They need to be able to answer all of these with confidence – when you are doing the ring around.
Related article: Must ask questions for your SEO agency
ONE: How long has the agency been in business? Essentially, you do not want to work with an internet start-up. You want an established, seasoned team on your side. Plus you need to be working with a proper agency NEVER a freelancer or someone who does not have an actual physical office address – people that work from home ( unfortunately for SEO purposes) are probably going to outsource all your work – they are just middlemen. Meet them in their office. This is a critical point to start with. Make sure you can meet with the copywriter and SEO team in one sitting.
TWO: Do they outsource their copywriting or is it done house. You are an Australian business and you want local copywriters that have local market knowledge. Someone in India or the USA will NOT know how to write for the Aust market. An outsourced copy can be picked a mile away. Your customers will smell it and it will turn them off. It’s seriously bad for business.
THREE: Do you know how to write copy for the search engines as well as your customer base? A lot of content written has been done so purely for Google’s algorithm, without a concern for the readers. This is really damaging on 2 fronts. Firstly, the copy will generally be keyword stuffed in the hope of achieving better rankings and secondly, it won’t read well which will have a negative effect on customer conversion rates. Think about it for a moment. What will happen when a potential client lands on your web page and it’s full of spammy content? They will see through this poor attempt and simply leave the site. It’s called having a high bounce rate and it is essentially a sales and revenue killer. People are far far too web savvy nowadays and expect NOT to see this type of activity. They want web pages to funnel them through the site without unnecessary waffle or content specifically worded for Google. Conversion is now king. Anything that turns people off or hinders their conversion from the browser to the buyer (such as spammy copy) will kill any chance you have of making that sale.
FOUR: Ideally, you want to work with an SEO agency that can rank their own website. NEVER EVER go for companies that are paying to get on Google. So for example if you look at the rankings we have been able to achieve for our own website, SEO Sydney Experts, you can immediately see that we know what we are doing – W H Y ? Because if we are able to rank our own site organically, imagine what we can do for your website. It’s simple logic. Why on earth would any business choose an SEO or digital agency that was unable to rank their own website or had to rely on Google Adwords for rankings. It still astounds me the number of businesses that do not pick up on this point. In fact, it’s very critical that you understand how important this is. The logic is quite basic if you really think about it. Let me spell it out for you. Anyone can pay to be up there on page 1 of Google for the keywords ‘ SEO’ or ‘ SEO Specialists’. People see these ads and think, they must be a legitimate company if they are on Google. WRONG! These guys are paying a fortune to be there for the simple reason that they cannot rank their own website organically. You will be stepping into very dangerous territory if you let them get their hands on your website. BE WARNED! Go with an SEO or Digital Agency with a solid track record.
FIVE: Are they able to show you some examples of targeted web pages they have been able to rank using the combination of copy and SEO. Plus can they also show you how once they have done this, ways in which they have utilised Analytics to improve the websites entire conversion rates? The reason I say this is because the way the digital landscape has evolved over the past 5 years makes it virtually impossible to be successful online unless you have covered everything to do with customer conversion. All boxes must be ticked off if the fickle consumer is going to buy from you. SEO and web copy are two very important ranking signals but you need to add a whole lot more into the mix here ( design, graphics, conversion points, social media and video) if you think that you are going to make it online and dominate your niche.
If you have noticed a drop in sales and a considerable drop in website traffic, I suggest you get onto this early as these problems will not fix themselves. You need to tackle this head-on by speaking with an SEO and content marketing agency that can look at your website and come up with tangible solutions that will solve a lot of your online marketing problems.