Content Strategy and SEO: A Love Story
The early days of search engine optimization (SEO) were fairly simple, identify keywords and ensure that as many of them as possible were part of a website. Those days are over.
The Days of Keyword Focused SEO Are Gone
While Google is fairly opaque with its algorithm, one thing is clear, it is more nuanced and intelligent than ever before.
Jim Keller from Eastern Standard emphasizes that it should be assumed “that Google can understand your content and website at some level, similar to how a human can…simply blitzing your pages with keywords in order to get your “count” up isn’t going to work the way it used to. Google’s too smart for that, so you need to implement a more complete strategy.”
Google (and other search engines) aren’t ranking pages based primarily on keywords anymore; therefore, SEO is much more complicated. User satisfaction has become a major ranking guideline.
How then is user satisfaction achieved? Keywords are still relevant but this shift means that SEO strategy is less about optimizing pages for keywords and is instead focused on the overall experience of the user which leads to user satisfaction.
SEO, Meet Content Strategy, I Think You Two Will Get Along
Content strategy can help achieve user satisfaction by producing quality content that meets the needs of a user. Content strategy is about understanding users and what their needs and pain points are. This helps produce content that is aligned with what users are seeking. Additionally, the content strategy process ensures that content is being delivered to users at the right point in their journey.
However, any effective content strategy relies on SEO to help inform what the users’ needs and pain points are and to ensure that the content is findable. Therefore, a good content strategy and a good SEO strategy must go hand in hand.
Nate Dame from Search Engine Land explains, “Just as wheels without an engine leaves you pedaling, content without an SEO strategy can’t keep up in a digital marketplace. And just like an engine with no wheels, SEO without content is a shiny machine that goes nowhere.”
That’s why content strategy and SEO are the great love story of the modern age.
For a deep dive into the basics of content strategy, check out Creating Better User Experience with Content Strategy.
SEO in 2018: How User Experience and Content Strategy Influence Search Rankings by Jim Keller
The Complete Guide to Optimizing Content for SEO by Nate Dame
UX, Content Quality, and SEO by Eric Enge