Time determines all. You have a limited amount of time and a seemingly unlimited list of to-dos for your online presence. But how do you spend your time to get the most out of your online marketing campaign? Do you focus on Technical SEO to gain more and more traffic? Do you create content people love? There’s something you need to know now more than ever. There’s a baseline for technical SEO, and there’s an expectation in content marketing. If you’re not meeting both benchmarks, you’re behind when it comes to your online presence.
The Value Technical SEO Brings
Long ago, when SEO became a real thing, all you needed was a technically optimized site. You keyword stuffed, created effective page titles, saturated pages with keywords, and offered overall strong pages. And to top it all off, your navigation was, of course, keyword optimized.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t work anymore. SEO has shifted dramatically toward the user and how he or she potentially interacts with your site. The guidelines for technical optimization are now clearly laid out and accessible to pretty much anyone with an internet connection. Expectations are set, which means anyone that can read who wants to build a site, can follow the technical guidelines and meet them.
However, you may be asking the question: What if, theoretically, everyone had a perfect technically optimized website? The technical aspect of SEO is shifting in that direction, hoping all sites will be technically sound. The value of technical optimization is slowly becoming a mandatory requirement and not a distinct advantage. What this means is that, if your site doesn’t meet the technical requirements, it won’t show up in Google–period.
Another shift seen with technical SEO is its move away from traffic focused benefits to foundational benefits. As mentioned above, technical SEO is slowly becoming a mandatory requirement, which means if you aren’t optimized correctly, your traffic won’t matter–simply because you won’t have much, if any at all. The focus is now on a technically sound site that is able to deal with said traffic, rather than create the traffic.
Made simple: Technical SEO is a foundation, to assist you in reaching the benchmark of online marketing success via your website.
The technical side of your site is required to sustain potential traffic. Implementing a sitemap, optimizing the robot.txt file, ensuring page titles are at or less than 65 characters, all create a foundation to handle traffic, not create it.
Complying With the Best SEO Practices/Standards
This isn’t a rant on how to discourage you from implementing the best technical optimization on your site. It’s more of a discussion to point out that even sites with bad technical optimization can rise to the top of the charts. They can become so popular that search engines have to rank them. However, those sites tend to stumble more often due to their lack of technical foundation, but they still outperform their competitors. Compare these viral behemoths to those with a foundation, a consistent strategy, and value added, and the latter survive and thrive longer.
How and why, you ask? Content marketing.
Add Value With Content Marketing
Don’t’ let anyone fool you. The real source of traffic is content marketing.
Anyone doing well online tends to have a solid technical foundation, which means if you want to beat them out, you’ll need to do something different to gain the traffic.
The overwhelming answer to this goal is content marketing. But how do you differentiate yourself among the percentage of businesses that are using content, as well? You focus on your mission, your people, and your services. What do you have to offer that no one else does?
Businesses tend to focus on what they have to offer as in services or products, but people are looking for an experience. You can find the same service or product offered by multiple businesses. It’s not rare to see this. However, what is rare or unique, is the experience offered. Not many businesses can say they offer an experience not found anywhere else.
How do you infuse your content with this aspect of your offer or business? You share content that creates the same or similar experience you offer in your business. Your content should be an extension of you and your business.
This will ensure a high chance that you’ll stand out from the crowd of businesses also involved in content marketing.
Here are two interesting facts about SEO
1. Once your site is technically optimized, it won’t get you more traffic: Setting up redirects to cure 404 errors, or decreasing time to first byte, won’t gain you more people, it will simply make the experience with your site better for the user.
2. Your content marketing can get you more traffic: Great content will bring you more traffic. Your competition certainly is aware of this. Therefore, you need to do content marketing better, which entails a solid strategy to accomplish. If you outperform your competition, then you win.
Spend Your Time Wisely
You may have encountered somewhere at some point the fact that content marketing and technical SEO are in competition with one another. However close to fact this may seem, it’s simply not true.
Technical SEO is the foundation for your content, which then brings in the traffic that is supported by the website. The process comes full circle. The two work together and should when done correctly.
So how and where do you spend your time, now that you have two areas to cover in your online marketing strategy?
Consider the two following (long) points:
1. Setup Technical SEO to meet and/or exceed the standard: Start with the foundation and the frame of your house. Insulate it. Roof it. Put the windows in. Make sure there are locks on all the doors. Ensure the interior is exactly how you want it to look.
Your technical SEO is like a house. You’ll be hosting events, eventually, but for now make sure the house is fully functional and offers full access to the users.
While building a site, you’ll spend most of your time on the technical side of things, which is expected.
2. Uphold a consistent content marketing strategy: Not only is great content a key component in generating traffic, but a consistent showcase of this content, new or old, is mandatory.
Your content is the event you hold inside your house. Unlock the doors, open them up, and invite anyone interested inside. You may send out signals to all those you know that something’s happening at your house and you want to invite anyone and everyone interested over to see what the buzz is about. As people filter into your house, you offer more specific content. Those interested in your services/products become loyal advocates which you can rely on to send out the signals the next time you hold an event.
As you get better at content marketing, the events will grow. You may need a bigger house, which means re-optimizing for higher traffic numbers. Or, you may simply keep the same house, and cater to loyal, returning guests. Whichever your traffic offers, you should focus your content on that group or pattern.
Not everyone has the time to technically optimize their site, nor do they have time to implement and sustain a great content marketing strategy. In the case of online marketing, time will determine, and your website needs your time. Your technical SEO must be optimized. Your content marketing must be professional and powerful. The question is not whether technical SEO or content marketing is better. The question is how you can build a content marketing strategy atop your technically optimized website and succeed online.