Content marketing today is no longer just about production. If you want your content to reach your desired audience, you’ve got to start investing time and resources in promotion. As any marketer could attest to, increased budget comes with increased pressure to perform. As your competition steps up its content marketing efforts, thus increasing the amount of content targeted to your audiences, it not only gets harder to reach those audiences, it gets harder to meet your goals. So how can you ensure your content gets shared socially, earns citations from the media, drives conversions, and meets your content KPIs? Easy: get back to your SEO roots.

The quickest route from point A (content) to point B (leads) is still a straight line (search visibility)


Appealing to customers is first and foremost, but earning Google’s respect is what really drives search visibility, and thus, new organic traffic. With links still playing an integral role in influencing search rankings with Google, you still need to focus on building links to get results. But as Google continues to increase quality standards, content marketers will have to adjust their expectations for the types of links that should be built.Bear with me now – the internet hasn’t changed all that much. Sure, it’s more crowded and it’s harder to stand out in that crowd. But when it comes down to it, you’re still trying to drive leads as you were before. Traffic drives visitors and qualified traffic drives leads. So what drives qualified leads? Organic search. As of 2014, organic search is still driving the most visitors, leads, and conversions of all online marketing channels.

Earning goes farther than buying

“Great content is incredibly important because links are the biggest driver of rankings,” said David Whitworth, SEO Manager at Rackspace. “There is no better way to get links than to naturally acquire them with great content.”

As SEOs have embraced content marketing, content marketers must also embrace SEO. With a little bit of foresight, content can actually mark Google’s two biggest authority indicators off the list: Content & Links. When building content, you not only need to appeal to your audience, you need to appeal to your industry’s social influencers and top media publications. Building content to not only be useful, but also linkable, will position you to earn social shares and media coverage. Pair that with some targeted outreach to influencers and media, and you’ve got yourself an organic search home run.

Where should you start?

  • Audience: Always start here. Audience research ensures you’re creating content that will connect with potential customers. Build use cases that help identify all the questions and pain points your audience has.
  • Media: Rather than narrowing content topics with on-site data, check out what the topics that media outlets are discussing. Look at the top shared posts on your industry’s popular publications and the subject matter influencers are discussing on social. What are common themes? What questions aren’t being answered?
  • Content crossroads: Notice any overlaps? The intersection areas between audience and media research can hold the key to creating content that engages your audience while reaching individuals through media coverage and social shares; in other words, earned media. This is your sweet spot!

Keeping content goals and SEO roots in mind doesn’t have to stifle your creativity with load-bearing metrics. Get creative; mix old school tactics (content + links) with new school quality (targeted research + high quality resources) to make sure you’re right on track to hitting your content marketing goals.

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