This guide will show you how to combine content marketing and SEO to get LOTS of traffic.
We used these strategies here at Backlinko to grow our site’s traffic to 288,452 monthly visitors.
Here’s how to combine SEO and content marketing for more traffic.
Create Content Specifically For Backlinks
Are backlinks still important for SEO?
How do you get other sites to link to you?
A lot of so-called “SEO experts” will tell you that all you need to do is publish high-quality content.
And while high-quality content is a start, it’s not enough.
Which means that “high-quality content” isn’t enough to stand out, get noticed (and most important of all) get linked to.
Instead, you need to create content specifically engineered to get links.
In fact, I recently teamed up with BuzzSumo to analyze 900M articles.
And we found that certain TYPES of content tends to get linked to more often than others.
We also found that, in general, longer content tends to get significantly more backlinks than short posts.
The takeaway here is that, if you’re serious about getting backlinks, then you need to publish super high-quality, long-form content. Ideally, content that’s in the form of an infographic, a what post, or a why post.
As it turns out, there’s another category of content that’s PERFECT for getting links: industry studies and surveys.
Studies are great because you give bloggers and journalists what they crave: data that they can cite in their articles.
For example, check out this voice search study we did about a year ago.
Compared to a list post, this post was A LOT of work to put together. But considering that this post has picked up 1,500 backlinks so far, I’d say it was well worth it:
Optimize Around New Keywords
If you’ve been in the SEO game for a while, you’ve probably noticed the same thing I have:
Google’s first page is more competitive than ever before.
For example, take a keyword like “SEO tips”. According to Ahrefs, that keyword gets 3.5k searches per month. With a CPC of $7.
Not a bad keyword. But not amazing either.
Well, here’s the kicker:
That keyword has a Keyword Difficulty score of 60!
I’m seeing this kind of thing more and more.
Every company on the planet is starting to invest in SEO and content marketing. Which means that every single keyword now has some level of competition (even long-tail keywords).
What’s the solution? Focus on new, trending keywords.
The best tool for finding new keywords is Google Trends.
This tool will show you whether or not search demand for that keyword is growing.
If you see a keyword on the rise, it’s probably worth creating a piece of content around that keyword. Even if the search volume isn’t great today, it’s only going to go up over time.
Strategically Promote Your Content
Here’s the truth:
If you want your content to rank, you need to promote it.
And yes, “promote it” does include sharing your content on social media.
But for your content to get maximum reach, you also want to promote your content using email outreach.
According to a recent industry study, these types of outreach emails tend to have the highest rates of success:
Use personalized subject lines
Personalize the body of their message
Use an email signature that links to social media profiles
Are part of a follow-up sequence
Optimize Content For Search Intent
Creating high-quality content is important.
But for your content to rank for specific keywords, your content also needs to be a 1:1 match for that keyword’s Search Intent.
I’ll explain what I mean with an example.
When I first started Backlinko I published an article optimized around the term: “backlinks”
And while it snuck onto the first page for a while, the rankings never stuck.
On the surface, this didn’t make any sense. The content was optimized for that exact keyword. And my page had quite a few really good backlinks too.
But it wouldn’t rank.
Well, as it turns out, that page wouldn’t rank because it didn’t meet Search Intent.
People searching for a broad keyword like “backlinks” aren’t looking for 17 strategies.
Instead, the Search Intent for that keyword is: “I just learned about backlinks and I want to figure out what they are and how they work”.
So I decided to rewrite that post to better match Search Intent.
Today, thanks to my content being a good fit for Search Intent, it now ranks in the top 5 for my target keyword.
Update and Re-Optimize Old Blog Posts
Updating old content is great for users AND search engines.
It’s great for users because 100% of the content on your site is relevant.
(Even posts that you published years ago).
It’s great for search engines because they see that you’re consistently updating and upgrading the content on your site.
For example, every year my team and I update every single post on the site.
It’s a ton of work. But in the end, updating those older posts wind up generating more organic traffic than publishing lots of new stuff.