Is SEO still important to drive a successful content marketing strategy?

By Gabrielle Narcy | 01 Mar 2015

After the Panda and Penguin updates, and all the recent major changes that led to the massive reduction of search spam and what is now known as the 'content is king' era, one of the most frequently asked questions in the SEO industry was; 'is SEO really dead?'. The short answer is no; SEO is not dead, it has just changed, and this is good news. It means we have now entered an era of great content and kicked out questionable SEO practices.

Here are three top-level key elements for getting your content marketing strategy right:

1. Create content for your audience first, not for SEO 

Whilst it is important to optimise your content for SEO, this should not be the main force driving your content strategy. Think of what great content your core audience will be looking for on Google, and then optimise it for SEO.

2. Keywords are still important

Top-level keyword research is still important in order to make sure your content is ranking for the terms that are most relevant to your audience and brand. Don't hesitate to throw a few long tail keywords in the mix. Long tail keywords are not as competitive, which means you have a bigger chance of reaching position 1 for that sentence.  

3. See beyond SEO

Search will get you an important amount of traffic to your site, but other traffic sources should not be overlooked. Matt Cutts is always saying that companies should diversify the way they reach their audiences as much as possible, and not just rely on SEO. Direct and referral traffic, email marketing, paid search and social media should all be part of your overall strategy to complement the traffic coming from search. In particular, a strong social strategy is important, as social signals are still helping ranking factors. 

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