In the world of search engine optimization, also known as SEO, you have no doubt heard of the importance of link building and how it plays a vital role in improving your rank in search results. Link building is usually tied in with content marketing, because you have to create effective, engaging content to entice others to link to it - thus providing you with valuable backlinks that search engines view as a meaningful off-page SEO.
An aspect of your marketing efforts that you might be overlooking, however, is the importance of content building for SEO. It is a vital and viable part of an effective overall marketing strategy and can boost your search ranking, traffic yield, lead generation, and other components that move you closer to achieving your marketing goals.
What is content building for SEO?
Content building consists of four key aspects of content management:
Each of these four parts of content management should be planned and put into action with optimization for search engines as a central focus.
When you apply SEO principles to content building and creation, you are looking at factors like keyword research and selection, effective subject lines and headings, on-page aesthetics like white space and images, and depth and originality of the content itself.
Content publication with SEO in mind looks at factors such as publication dates and times, platforms or channels of publication, and the potential exposure to your target audience that will result from careful selection of when and where to publish. Content that is well-received on one distribution channel may not do quite as well on another, so it is important to carefully plan not only what you publish but where, and when, you publish it, as well.
Engaging in content maintenance simply means to keep track of existing content, ensure that outbound links to it are still active and functional, and periodically verify that the data within the content has not become outdated or no longer viable. By performing some occasional housekeeping tasks on your active content, you are making sure it remains useful, meaningful, and valuable to your audience.
Lastly, one of the most important aspects of content building for SEO is the practice of content monitoring. This is also referred to as performance measurement, or analytics. By monitoring the performance of your content, you are able to determine what types, subjects, or formats work most effectively to help achieve your marketing goals. There are a variety of ways you can gauge the performance of your content, and doing so should be a critical part of your content management strategy.
Related: 5 Elements of Valuable Content
But what about links?
Inbound links to your content are important to any marketer because they are a significant ranking factor for search engines. Rather than getting distracted by your efforts to obtain as many links as possible, however, you should redirect your focus toward content building for SEO.
Why create original content? A memorable line from the 1989 movie Field of Dreams stated that "if you build it, they will come." This is especially true of high quality, well-managed content. When you build content that supports and reinforces your marketing goals and objectives, it will pay off with links from reputable and authoritative sources. In addition, high quality content is one of the most effective ways to achieve organic, or natural, visitor traffic and optimal search result ranking.
So content building for SEO is more important than anything else?
You should not look at an individual part of your marketing strategy and trying to label it as more or less important than others, and thus deserving or more (or less) attention. Instead, you should look at each component as a piece of a puzzle. Without all the pieces put together in their proper place, the puzzle is incomplete. Each one has just as much value and importance as any other, because they are all equally necessary. Completion of the puzzle can only be reached when all the pieces are connected together to collectively support the achievement of the ultimate goal.
The cohesion and unity of all the different aspects of your marketing strategy working together to support and reinforce each other will help you achieve your ultimate marketing goals. Content building for SEO is just one piece of your puzzle, but just as important as all the others, so don't neglect it in favor of trying to force other pieces to fit where they shouldn't. To learn more, check out our white paper, "What's the Future of SEO?"