Why Content Makes or Breaks Your SEO Strategy

05 May 2022
by Archie Williamson
5 mins
Why Content Makes or Breaks Your SEO Strategy

Content marketing and SEO are two different strategic marketing processes, but both are enhanced when they work in tandem to serve a customer’s needs and increase the visibility of pages in search engines.

Content needs to inform, entertain or educate audiences for it to be relevant. Actionable marketer Heidi Cohen defines content as “high quality, useful information” that aims to solicit “emotion or engagement”. Conveniently, these attributes are also what define SEO value. Google wants to index and rank trustworthy, authoritative content that searchers crave.

Taking a look at Google’s starter guide for SEO highlights how content is inextricably linked to success in search. It recommends creating resources that are useful and informative, more valuable than what other sites have published, credible, of high quality, and engaging.

Putting those recommendations into practice requires the publication of excellent content – there is no getting away from it. If you want to rank on the first page of SERPs, you will need to use the best SEO services to craft compelling videos, blogs and articles that are optimised for search. Let’s not forget that Google Search wouldn’t even exist in its current form if there wasn’t content to populate results.

How does content help SEO specifically?

Content goes hand in hand with SEO then but how exactly does it benefit and serve efforts to improve search rankings organically?


You will need to write content to target the keywords and phrases that people are using online to find your products and services. When you optimise content based on “seed” and “long tail” keywords, you can improve your search engine rankings for those keywords, which then leads to more clicks, traffic and conversions. Effective SEO is incredibly difficult without keywords, and as an extension, content.

Link building

Creating a backlink profile and adding internal links is also nigh on impossible without content. You can generate backlinks by publishing blogs that other high-authority sites then link to. Google uses these links as a ranking signal as they are a sign that a piece of content is credible and relevant. The more content you publish, the more links you can get. The same is true for internal linking, which helps to support site hierarchy and architecture, another factor that Google uses to crawl and index pages for search.

User experience

Certain SEO trends inform how content should be optimised. A few years ago, merely crafting exceptional copy was enough but search has evolved, driven by growing user expectations. Visitors who navigate to your site want great experiences and will be ready and willing to click away to a competitor if they don’t get them. Google knows this and has recently updated its algorithm to account for the “page experience”. This means content that is mobile-friendly and loads quickly, among other factors, will rank better in search. Technical, on-page and off-page SEO will help you to optimise for these signals.

What’s the best way to use content for SEO?

When marketers talk about optimised content, they are usually referring to SEO. Semrush has outlined an SEO checklist that you can use to prepare your site for search. You might be surprised at how many of these best practices are closely tied to the quality of content. For example, organising topic clusters, fixing headers and tags, compressing images and adding structured data all require content as the cornerstone of an SEO strategy. But where’s the best place to start?

Keyword research

In order to write content that readers want and search engines will rank, you need to include a targeted set of keywords. Conducting keyword research is an essential part of SEO. That’s why it’s given its own section in Semrush’s checklist. Ideally, you want to use keywords that have ample search volume but average to low difficulty. It will be hard to outmuscle bigger brands that are already ranking for popular keywords, so try to find long-tail variations and niche opportunities in your industry.

Analyse competitors

You can also conduct a keyword gap analysis to find words that your competitors are ranking for but you are currently missing out on. After analysing the intent of the pages that include these keywords and the queries they are answering, you can start thinking about how your content will serve a purpose and meet customers’ needs. From here can flow topic ideas and the process of building “pillar” and “cluster” content. Pillar pages will cover a single topic broadly while supporting cluster content will explore different aspects of that topic in depth.

Write and optimise content

Now’s the time to write content and optimise it. You can outsource writing to an SEO agency if you don’t have an internal team ready to support content marketing campaigns. The aim here is to create a compelling and readable article or blog that is properly formatted and includes two or three of your target keywords as well as several internal and external links. Pointing to authoritative sites will make your content more credible and factual as you will be backing up your statements with evidence and supplementary information for readers.

On-page and technical SEO

Another aspect of content that can make or break your strategy is on-page and technical SEO. This requires you to optimise elements such as titles, headers, meta descriptions and URLs for search engines. Google recommends keeping title tags short, succinct and to the point, as these will be displayed as clickable headlines in search results. A short snippet of text will also be shown beneath the headline. These meta descriptions can affect click-through rates, so you want to draw readers in and quickly communicate what a piece of content is about. They should be 160 characters in length and include one or two keywords.

SEO is all about improving your rankings in search engines and optimised content is critical to achieving that objective. Great content can transform your business and make your customers happy. Atlas SEO can help if you need to implement a content marketing strategy that maximises the potential of your website and gets you noticed in search. Our services include content creation, blog management and outreach. Contact us today to find out more.


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