Content and SEO: A Symbiotic Relationship

November 01, 2013

A symbiotic relationship is defined as a close, prolonged association between two or more different organisms of different species that may, but does not necessarily, benefit each member. Or it can be defined as a relationship of mutual benefit or dependence.

Both are accurate when talking about content and SEO. 

To consider one without thinking about the other would be a fail.

SEO: A Powerful Tool

The world of SEO is a constantly evolving one. It’s quantitative, not qualitative, designed for search engine spiders. And there are rules, but they’re not always concrete, which leaves SEO filled with judgement calls, surrounded by studies and hypotheses. And, as search engines change their algorithms and processes, so too, do the “rules” of SEO. But, it is a powerful and important tool to elevate your content in search rankings.

What Can SEO Do for Me?

SEO is necessary to make content behind logins, original content on sites using CMS platforms where pages can be duplicated, poor link structures, and non-text content (images, videos, flash files, audio , etc) visible to search spiders. It also brings forward text not written in common terms that people use for search, language and international changes (i.e., color vs colour), location targeting, and mixed contextual messages.

SEO Past & Present

In the past, one way for SEO was to cram as many keywords into a page as possible to increase search rankings. But the result was content that was often barely readable, and certainly didn’t engage the reader. Sometimes you still find pages like that when you do a search for a term. This leaves the user frustrated and annoyed.

Now, the relationship between SEO and content is much more revered. It’s not just about keywords, but also about the quality of content that’s being served up. For search engines to determine popularity of content, it comes down to people sharing your content out and talking about it. So the importance of relevant and engaging content has soared.

4 Things to Keep in Mind to Improve the Content-SEO Relationship:

Write your content with marketing in mind.
Use powerful verbs, write to inspire, engage, and sell. Get a draft done that you are happy with what and how you are communicating.

Determine your keywords.
Look through what you have written and evaluate which keywords you want to focus on for SEO. Another trick is to use Google’s related search to help you define key search terms and phrases that other people have searched for already. It can also help you discover new ideas that you might not have thought about before. 

Revise content with keywords in mind.
Go back to your marketing draft and rethink pieces of it based on your selected keywords and phrases. Find ways to naturally weave these into your content. As you’re writing, also use Article Titles (seen by users), Page Titles (what search engines see), and Meta Descriptions (what search engines see), making sure they are all different. Page Titles allow you to rev up your SEO with juicy keywords. Meta Descriptions are often pulled as the two-line description that’s displayed in the search. This can allow for a more creative Article Title, whilst getting the SEO juice you want.

Make sure your content is still amazing
After adding your keywords, make sure your content is still engaging and communicating your message.

Keep in mind, the Content-SEO relationship is one that requires multiple drafts and rounds of refinement to achieve a healthy, balanced relationship to achieve the best results. 

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