How do you balance SEO and good content?

Recently, many of my clients seem obsessed with search engine optimization (SEO). Sometimes to the point where they sacrifice good, readable content that will engage their audiences.

We all know SEO is important, especially if you’re trying to move up in search engine rankings. We also know that good content is key to engaging your target audience.

Why do SEO and good content seem to oppose each other? Because SEO involves optimizing website content to rank higher in search engine results, in turn increasing traffic. And a good marketing content strategy is about creating relevant, engaging content that meets the needs of your buyers.

Here’s an example: An organization might determine that its main SEO search term is “digital transformation.” To make that work, content on the site must mention that term a certain number of times. That often makes content clunky, turning off readers.

So, is it really possible to balance SEO and good content? In a word, yes. Here are 3 tips for integrating your SEO and content strategies so that neither suffers:

  • Align your SEO and content planning.
  • Balance SEO with writing that will engage your audience.
  • Analyze metrics and adjust accordingly.

Plan your SEO and your content calendar at the same time

Often, especially in larger companies, the marketers who specialize in SEO are different from the ones who specialize in content. Get them together at the same time to plan the strategy for both and agree on the keywords that should be used in content and SEO.

Discuss not only what you need to do for good SEO and good content, but also why. What results are you aiming for with each strategy?

When you co-create the SEO and content strategy together, each team understands the goals of the other and can agree together on keywords. Co-creation creates buy-in and a greater likelihood of success.

Balance SEO with writing that engages

Have your SEO specialists educate your content team on how many times and where keywords should appear. And encourage your content team to educate your SEO team on why the content needs to ensure it engages your target audience. It is possible to meet in the middle.

In fact, I spoke with my colleague and SEO expert, Harry Semerjian, President of Infinium Marketing Group. Here’s what he had to say:

“While SEOs lay the foundation for visibility, content writers craft the narrative that captivates and resonates with our audience. The synergy between these two disciplines is the cornerstone of an effective website user experience.

“In collaboration, they create a digital landscape where discoverability meets compelling storytelling, forming the pathway to not just attract, but truly engage and connect with our site visitors. And it’s user experience collaboration that helps websites convert targeted traffic into a desired action on a website, such as a purchase, form fill or phone call.”

Continuously analyze and adjust content

Getting the right balance between SEO optimization and engaging content takes continuous refinement. Search engine algorithms can change frequently. Monitoring SEO changes and user behavior can help you adapt your strategy over time to ensure you’re getting the best of both worlds.

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