Why Content and SEO Need to Get Along in 2013

Angry.JPGA few months ago, I told readers that content is greater than SEO. Today, I want to change my stance and say that in order for your B2B site to be successful in search, content and SEO must be equals.

That’s right. No more arguments about keyword density. No more rock-paper-scissor-shootouts over article length. And certainly, there can be no more heated discussions over “h tags.”

Take it from me, a girl who’s been both #TeamContent and #TeamSEO – we all need to work together. Here’s why:

Content is the flesh. But SEO is the backbone

The holidays are over, so I know everyone is pretty familiar with eating lots of food. So I’m going to tackle this one in terms I know everyone can relate to: food!

The first reason content professionals need SEOers is because they need the support SEO provides.

For instance, I can write an incredible, mind-blowing article that my mother can brag to her spinning class about. But, if I don’t throw in some SEO best practices to make up that article, she may be the only one who reads it.

So yes, you need great content (that your mother can brag about); but you also need a strong SEO skeleton that Google and other search engines can pick up. Once Google finds it and ranks it well, so will new visitors; new visitors that can potentially turn into new leads.

That article just went from an appetizer to a full-on entrée that everyone can enjoy.

SEO helps writers stay focused.

My worst skill throughout college was brainstorming article topics. I was terrible, awful and just straight up lame when it came to thinking of what to write. And brainstorming engaging B2B content ideas isn’t easy either.

However, after a few weeks on the SEO team at BuyerZone, I learned about this new process called “keyword research,” which is basically every writer’s cure to writer’s block.

For instance, if you’re a content professional given an assignment to write about apartment security alarms – well, you’re not exactly going to be inspired. So, instead of sitting at your desk stressing over article ideas that you think people might be interested in, why not actually find out what terms people are searching for.

And you can, with keyword research!

Don’t know how to do it? Well, ask your SEO colleague to help you out! But basically, you use a keyword research tool like Wordtracker, type in a keyword that relates to your topic (ie. apartment security), and hit ENTER.

apartment_security_example.jpgBefore you know it, dozens of phrases that real people are searching for appear before your eyes. And after looking at these keyword phrases, article topics will just start writing themselves.

In this example, after searching for “apartment security,” I see that a lot of people are interested in entry-way security advice, security systems for apartments, and DIY security solutions. That’s three RELEVANT content topics that people actually want to know about.

You can do keyword research with almost any B2B or lead gen topic. Writer’s. Block. Solved.

Content Helps SEO Stay Catchy

SEO best practices (aka Google Guidelines) can honestly be just as annoying as Twitter’s 140-character rule count. Except, I would even say the rules are worse.

  • Title tags need to be fewer than 70 characters.
  • Meta descriptions need to have keywords but also need to be between 150-160 characters.
  • Every article should have an image – but DON’T use a stock photo lookalike.
  • Anchor text diversity… JFDI.
  • EVERY SINGLE PAGE on your site needs to have rich, unique content…. or else.

Although extremely frustrating, it’s important for your business to follow these rules or else you’ll leave your search results looking like a hot mess. But you don’t have to fear, that’s when your content teammate can help!

Content professionals love making every word count — and they’re good at it. That’s the type of attitude your SEO team should have when sculpting your site.

Don’t settle for a good title tag under 70 characters. Have an engaging one that people would be silly not to notice. Not sure which image should coincide with an article? Ask! Anchor text diversity? No problem! Your content teammate is probably a human thesaurus.

Marketing makes it happen

There was no way I was going to leave out marketers because honestly, marketing is the cherry on top of this whole process. Let’s recap:

  1. Write a great article my mom will enjoy.
  2. Make sure the article is SEO-approved so it ranks well and more people (besides Mrs. Rosen) read it.Final step….
  3. Market it so that more people and my mom read it… FASTER.

Before I started hanging out with the marketing team at BuyerZone, I would often be frustrated that my quality-content and SEO-approved articles weren’t getting the “viral status” I thought they deserved. But then I asked my super smart marketing team to give an article some TLC, and that’s when things went viral.

By the marketing team mentioning my article in a press release, sending out a few extra tweets to the right people and including it in a newsletter, my article went from 50 page views to 378 after the second day.

Yes, over the course of a month my article might have gone viral but I’m impatient and didn’t want to wait that long – and neither will business owners trying to attract new clients. As long as your SEO, content and marketing team work together, you won’t have to.

What other ways do your content, SEO and marketing teams mingle? Share stories in the comment section below!

Happy.JPG

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Sylvia Rosen

About Sylvia Rosen

As Senior Online Marketing Analyst and Writer, Sylvia uses her journalism background to connect with industry professionals to write on the latest industry trends.

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2 Responses to Why Content and SEO Need to Get Along in 2013

  1. Sian Phillips January 16, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

    Love this – I would be more into content than SEO but I’m learning and realise, as you say, they are both very important. I’ll be checking out Wordtracker too – great tip. Thanks for sharing on Bizsugar.com

  2. Jack Hard February 3, 2013 at 11:45 pm #

    It would be more about SEO content, but I’m learning and I understand, as you say, both very important. I will also try Wordtracker – great advice.