B2B Marketing Agency for Technology Companies

SEO and Content Marketing — are they working together?

Writing unique content is just part of the equation to Content Marketing. Is it also INDEXABLE? Evaluate your website with these 5 questions.

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by Eric Sharp

Creating unique content for a website on a consistent basis is tough work. It requires planning your topics, research, creative writing, editing, formatting, CMS integration, and an ongoing commitment to a writing schedule.If you’ve bought into content marketing, you fully understand that it demands resources from your organization — but you believe it’s worth it and it’s paying off.

Or is it?

Writing unique content is just half of the equation. The missing piece is ensuring it’s indexable — and that’s where SEO (search engine optimization) and content marketing start to work together.

Having indexable content opens the door for search engines to find your content, understand its topics, and ultimately be displayed in the SERP (search engine results page).

What does “Indexable” mean?

Achieving indexable content requires your website to have:

  1. its most important content in HTML text format

  2. proper site structure, hierarchy & crawlable links

  3. keyword usage

  4. a CMS (Content Management System) that outputs SEO friendly code

  5. on-page optimization

If your content marketing motto is “write and they will come”, your Website of Dreams will eventually become your Website of Dread.

To evaluate if your SEO and Content Marketing are working together, start by asking these five questions:

1. Is our most important content in HTML text format?

If this valuable content is in Flash or PDFs — you’re in trouble. Search Engines don’t see your website like you see your website. Using a tool like SEO-Browser.com can show you exactly how search engines see your content.

Is it ok to have some content in Flash and/or PDFs? Absolutely. The takeaway here is content you want the search engines to unequivocally find, should be in HTML format.

2. Is our content easily navigable for a user AND search engines?

If your website makes it difficult for users to navigate your content, there’s a good chance the search engines are having difficulty too.

It’s easy to identity a website without clear hierarchy and structure because it negatively impacts user experience within seconds. However, it’s not so obvious how those deficiencies impact the search engines. Hundreds of thousands of sites make the mistake of ignoring their link structure design. Without that crawlable link structure, your content will not be found — consequently preventing indexing.

3. What keywords are we targeting and on which pages?

If your content marketing motto is “write and they will come”, your Website of Dreams will eventually become your Website of Dread.

It’s discouraging to see an organization put in the effort of creating unique content without addressing how the content aligns with their keyword strategy (optimizing for the wrong keyword is a major SEO mistake).

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At some point, you will begin to dread the labor of writing because you won’t see precisely how it’s generating traffic and conversions. Simply put, keywords help your content get found.

4. Is our Content Management System enabling or disabling?

Your CMS can have a significant impact on your SEO if not setup to output SEO-friendly code. The good news is that most open-source content management systems will generate indexable HTML. However, there’s more to the equation.

One key element to this equation is generating clean URLs:

  • Easily indexable = http://www.website.com/service/more-info

  • Not so indexable = http://www.website.com/cgi-bin/gen.pl?id=8&view=standard

Your CMS should also prevent duplicate content issues and enable the adding/editing of Metadata (more on that below). Don’t have a CMS? This could be a telling sign your website needs a rebuild.

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5. Are we optimizing our content?

If you publish your content and walk away without adding Metadata, you’re not (as baseball pitchers say) “following through”.

Metadata is needed to further specify the page’s content. Paying attention to the Meta Title and Meta Description tags is a core component to indexable content.

Work Smarter, not Harder

Content Marketing without SEO is like exercising without burning calories. You’re going through the laborious process of creating and publishing content without the reward.

Content Marketing is called Content Marketing for a reason. You’re writing to increase brand exposure, traffic, trust, and quality conversions (which IS the end goal) right? Remember, it’s about unique AND indexable content.

For more comprehensive information on my points above, check out The Basics of Search Engine Friendly Design & Development from Moz.org.

We believe a conversion-focused website — paired with the proper traffic, content, automation, and end-to-end ROI measurement — equips B2B technology companies with a real asset to scale their business.

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