7 Smart Ways to Combine Content Marketing with SEO for More Qualified Search Traffic

peanut butter jelly

Content marketing and SEO are like peanut butter and jelly. You can eat them on their own, and they are delicious…

But what happens when you combine them? They complement each other, right? That’s why peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are so common…the flavors just go so well together.

The sandwich is so popular that you are likely to eat 2,500 of them by the time you are 18.

If you are trying to grow your qualified search traffic, you have to combine your content marketing with your SEO efforts. Running them as separate campaigns isn’t going to provide you with as big of a traffic increase as combining them into one campaign will.

And for you, large companies, this means you may have to restructure your organization so that content marketing and SEO are in one department.

Here are 7 smart ways to combine your content marketing with your SEO efforts:

Tactic #1: Create content that even Wikipedia would love to link to

One of the best sources of relevant traffic is Wikipedia. It ranks for almost every search term on Google, and it’s one of the most popular sites on the web.

I didn’t realize the power of Wikipedia until I listened in on a marketing presentation by Comedy Central. They were discussing how they grew their traffic, mentioning that Wikipedia is a key part of their traffic acquisition.

How much traffic are they generating from Wikipedia? Over 100,000 visitors a month! That’s insane!

What’s even more interesting is that they noticed that the pages with links from Wikipedia tend to generate more backlinks from other sites as well.

So, how can you get more links from Wikipedia? Well, the easiest way to do it is through Wikipedia broken-link building.

Wikipedia actually notes when links are dead as this gives editors a chance to find a replacement.

This is what you have to do to find these links in Google:

site:wikipedia.org insert keyword “dead link”

wikipedia dead link search

Next, click on a search result and find the phrase “dead link” on the page.

wikipedia dead link

You can then take that URL, put it into Archive.org and create a similar page on your site, assuming it is related to your business and your visitors would find value in the content.

Once you have created a similar page, you can go back to the Wikipedia entry and click the “edit” button on the top right.

edit wikipedia dead link

When editing, make sure you create a user account and edit other articles first. Wikipedia doesn’t want its users to just add links to their own sites. It wants its users to edit other entries as well and continue to provide value to the community.

If you want to get really advanced, take the URL of the broken link and place that URL into Ahrefs to get a full list of sites that are linking to the dead page. You can then hit each of them up, asking them to replace the dead link with the link to your site.

broken dead link building

If you want to get the most out of this strategy, focus on creating pages that are highly relevant from a keyword and visitor perspective. It’s easy to get greedy with broken-link building, but the last thing you want to do is put up a hundred irrelevant pages just to get extra links.

Tactic #2: Write content based on keyword data

You shouldn’t be blogging for the sake of it. You should be blogging based on what your visitors want to read as well as what keywords you want to target.

It doesn’t matter that most of your search data is “not provided”. You can actually figure out what keywords are driving you traffic by using data from these 3 Google Analytics reports.

3 google analytics report

Once you have a list of keywords you are targeting, you can write content around them, assuming the topics also benefit your visitors.

I’ve used this strategy myself on Quick Sprout. Analytics showed that Instagram-related keywords produced sticky users, so I decided to write a blog post that discussed Instagram marketing.

Within 30 days of releasing the blog post, I started to rank for Instagram-related keywords, and my overall traffic went up by 120,000 visitors a month.

instagram traffic

The key to obtaining large volumes of traffic successfully with this model is to cross-reference the keywords you are writing content on with Google Trends. For example, I will only write on topics that are trending up and to the right. If you write on topics that are dying down, you will see that those pages will continually get less and less traffic.

instagram traffic trend

You won’t get these kind of results all the time, but if you use this tactic enough, you will see big wins.

Just make sure you don’t keyword-stuff when using this tactic as it will hurt your rankings.

Tactic #3: Create quality content before you aim for large quantities

When Google was in its infancy, you could throw up any kind of content and get thousands of visitors to your site. Eventually, they got smart, and their algorithm was able to figure out how to rank high quality content and not show low quality content.

For this reason, you should focus on writing high quality content that is in-depth. Why? Because an average content length for a web page that ranks on page 1 of Google is at least 2,000 words.

word count

Moz also did an analysis to see if word count has a correlation with backlinks as the more backlinks a page has, the higher it typically ranks.

Here is a breakdown of the number of blog posts they have written based on word count:

word count moz

And here is a breakdown of how many links those posts received:

link count moz

As you can see, there is a direct correlation between word count and the number of backlinks. For this reason, you should consider writing more in-depth articles as it will help increase your search engine rankings.

Plus, through Google’s In-depth Articles, you can increase your traffic by writing content that is more thorough. We were able to increase our search engine traffic by 13.15% by leveraging the in-depth articles update.

What we found is the increase came to pages that had an average word count of 2,183 words. Blog posts that were under 1,000 words didn’t see an increase in search traffic.

Once you are able to write detailed articles that are high in quality, you can then shift your focus to increasing the quantity. Till then, you should focus on writing more detailed content.

Tactic #4: Don’t forget about FAQs

By using Qualaroo or Survey Monkey you can figure out why your visitors aren’t converting into customers. All you have to do is ask them questions like:

  • What else would you like to see on this page?
  • Is there is a reason why you didn’t convert into a paying customer?
  • What concerns do you have about the product or service?

By asking these and other questions, you can find all of the objections that are causing people to not convert. You can even ask your support team or dig through your support emails to figure out other objections your visitors have.

Once you have a list of concerns or questions your visitors have, consider creating an FAQ section that answers them. Doing this will help you start ranking for long-tail terms related to your product.

This won’t drive you a ton of traffic, but the traffic you do get will be highly relevant search traffic that converts. We use this exact strategy with our Crazy Egg support section, and we are able to drive an extra 4,108 visitors a month to our site. Roughly 82 of those visitors tend to convert into paying customers.

Tactic #5: Target industry blogs for guest-posting opportunities

The more links you have, the higher your rankings will be. By having your content marketing team target industry-related blogs, you will build relevant links that drive relevant traffic.

I’ve guest-posted 61 times on 49 different marketing blogs. In those guest posts, I’ve linked back to internal pages of Quick Sprout when relevant, and I never used rich anchor text. By doing this, I not only increased my referral traffic, but I also saw an uptick in search traffic.

Within 3 months of doing this, I saw an increase in search traffic by 22.7% for the articles I linked to.

If you want to increase your relevant traffic, you should consider the following:

  • Guest-post on relevant sites only.
  • Don’t try to manipulate search engines by linking to your site. Only link to your site when it benefits the readers.
  • Avoid using rich anchor text.

In addition to following those rules, you should first watch this video as it will teach you how to guest-post while staying within Google’s guidelines. Once you watch that video, you should watch this video on pitching bloggers as it will help you get guest posts.

Tactic #6: Focus on indirect conversions

If you only focus your SEO efforts on driving traffic from keywords that convert, you’ll find yourself capping out on how much traffic you can get. By focusing on helping your ideal customers with their problems through your blog, you’ll get traffic from random search terms that are related to your industry, but don’t convert right away.

For example, at KISSmetrics, our ideal customer is an Internet marketer who has a business that does 10 million dollars or more in yearly revenue. Although we are only selling an analytics product, our customers are also spending their time and money on other marketing initiatives like SEO and social media marketing. So, on the KISSmetrics blog, we educate our visitors on topics like “how to steal your competitor’s social media followers”.

By doing this, we get additional 349,335 visitors from Google to our blog each month.

kissmetrics blog traffic

A lot of those visitors are marketers, and they typically don’t convert right away. Usually, after the 3rd visit, these blog readers decide to try out our KISSmetrics product because they like our content. This has allowed our blog to drive anywhere from 49% to 72% of our leads in any given month.

We aren’t the only ones experiencing this either. Moz also receives a large portion of its traffic from its blog content, which causes indirect conversions to its product.

Tactic #7: Don’t forget to cross-link

Adding content to your site isn’t enough. You have to cross-link your content. When I did consulting for blogs like TechCrunch, Mashable, and Gawker Media, I was able to increase their search traffic because I fixed their on-page issues.

The biggest one tended to be that pages weren’t cross-linked. When you have thousands of pages, and you eventually will, it’s impossible to create a site architecture that ensures all of your pages are indexed. This is why you have to cross-link your pages.

That’s exactly what we did for Mashable: we cross-linked its internal pages. Still to this date, Mashable uses that tactic, and it is the main reason why it ranks on page 1 of Google for terms like “Twitter”.

twitter rank

You too can get similar results as long as you cross-link your pages. Just be careful because if you make the links excessively rich in anchor text, it will hurt you. If Mashable internally linked to that Twitter page by only using the anchor text “Twitter” instead of using different texts for the link such as “click here”, it wouldn’t rank as high as it does now.

Conclusion

Although a good content marketer has a different skill set than a good SEO does, it doesn’t mean they should be working separately. By combining your content marketing efforts with your SEO efforts, you’ll find that you are able to increase your qualified search traffic at a faster pace.

Out of all the techniques mentioned above, my favorite one to leverage is the FAQ section. It’s not hard to do, and it can be used by all businesses. You don’t have to be a programmer either. You can easily create one through this WordPress FAQ plugin.

So, in what other ways can you combine content marketing with SEO?

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Comments

  1. I love the point 6 here on Indirect conversions.. Most of the time out target demographic don’t know what they need..and first converting them into reader or letting them know about your brand is like a cold-call… Once they understand that there is something more they can do and the solution is right in front… They are more likely to convert…..

    Thanks for awesome tip on Wikipedia.. I also suggest to take help of awesome SEO tools like SEMRUSH and Hittail to find long-tail keywords which will be great for conversion…

  2. Awesome! Writing long content is becoming a serious ranking factor. Last month I wrote a post with 2800 words and it ranked immediately on the second page with zero SEO.

  3. This is my first comment here :D

    Actually I just watched the video podcast about content marketing with you on Startupchat[dot]co.

    You always deliver amazing stuff on regular basis Neil.

    Thanks so much :P I liked the idea of FAQ page. Will implement it immediately

    Tung

  4. Hey Neil,

    Great article today!!! Hard to believe that the following below is true.

    “How much traffic are they generating from Wikipedia? Over 100,000 visitors a month! That’s insane!”

    Thanks,

    Christopher Pontine

  5. A really valuable article, Neil. I never imagined Wikipedia could send a site that huge amount of monthly referral traffic.

  6. The strategy of Wikipedia for dead links may provide phenomenal returns as a single link from Wikipedia can do wonders. Thanks Neil for bringing this aspect as its nowhere found on the net. Regards

  7. This post is sanely brilliant. This makes me realize the research and hard-work you put behind every post of yours.

    I am not sure If I will be able to follow all the points mentioned in the post but I’ll try some.

  8. Great post Neil.

    I never missed a post on Quicksprout since I subscribed to your email list. The way your posts provides quality information to the readers is definitely a great example on how to implement content marketing the right way.

    Thanks
    Praveen.

  9. Well, the dead-link strategy of Wikipedia is something to look for definitely. On the other side, Cross Linking process on over 1500+ articles/post can be a headache, but yes in the long run, they’ll be helpful.

  10. Love it “Tactic #1: Create content that even Wikipedia would love to link to”
    Aim high.

  11. I’m just getting started with Online Marketing, and as a business owner I’m finding your posts really useful. Thanks so much and keep up the good work!!

    Tom

  12. Wow you never disappoint Mr Neil, do you? Another great post.

    Truth be told what you shared is the honest truth. I started a blog about 2 months ago and already I have been getting 30-50 daily visitors!.

    So I jst decided I am going to blog everyday for the next two months I believe can take this new blog to 500 daily visitors or more.

    So I advice quick sprout readers to take action. That’s the key

  13. Hi Neil,
    Awesome post as always! I didn’t knew the strategy of taking advantage of Wikipedia’s dead-links!
    thanks!

  14. Great post as usual!

    One quick question : why do you advise not to use rich anchor text in internal links/guest posts?

    Cheers

    • Rich anchor text is usually used to manipulate search engines. In most cases it doesn’t make sense to use rich anchor text because it doesn’t sound natural within the content. So you should be doing what is best for the user/reader.

  15. Neil,

    Very cool tactics here, thank you for sharing. This is the stuff that I can use as a consultancy and also pass around my agency.

    Great tip about Wikipedia’s dead links. I’m sure you’re aware of Brian Dean’s post pointing out the same thing. In a couple days, I’ve gotten 3 Wiki links to a small blog (2 PR5, 1 PR8). I wonder how long this will last…

    Cheers,
    Dan

  16. Great post! I believe content marketing and SEO teams just cannot work separately anymore.

    The two have to work very closely and as a part of a strategy to get significant results.

  17. Why am I seeing “prostitute” as number 3 in your keywords? Anything you want to tell us about Neil?

  18. Awesome and post Neil,I have been blogging for 2 years but I have recently stumbled on you blog, but the content you provide is simply brilliant. I recently read your advanced link building guide and applied it’s portion, but the results I am getting are awesome.

    About in depth articles, you are right that they are ranking on top when it comes to any post, but I am confused how can we make our article more words rich if they don’t belong to suitable niche, example tech niche?

    It is not worth to make our readers bored and wasting their time by not telling them point to point information? Then why would Google ranking waste stuff but not the direct point?

    • Pramod, great question.

      I think you can always find new content ideas that are interesting. You may want to check out other industries within your vertical that you can talk about. It’s all about providing the reader with an interesting back story.

  19. Great piece of content Niel, #1 Tactic Wikipedia was the best one.
    Probably few bloggers know about it,simply its comes of experience and you are narrating your both good and bad experience through your posts with us in a very constructive way.
    And its amazing!
    Thanxx for these excellent tips mate.

  20. Love your point about Wikipedia. I just saw this posted elsewhere, but you can compound that “dead link” tactic you mentioned by also doing some link research and finding who else linked to that resource. Then contact those sites and let them know that the content can be found on your blog. Great way to get some additional links on top of what will hopefully be a wikipedia link!

  21. I’ve got my swedish flag-site linked on Wiki without my knowledge. And it makes me proud :-)

  22. Thanks for the links, and I agree about what you said regarding the relation between the link to an article and the number of words in it. From experience I have always felt that more detailed my article was more traffic i would get.

  23. Thank you Neil for another amazing content! I can’t miss your email because I know you provide valuable resources marketers need in growing their business.

    Take care always;
    Ed

  24. Thanks Neil I know you’re going after the large sites here but most of these are applicable to all sizes of business.

  25. Are the share buttons on your blog sidebar custom? Or are those a wordpress plugin?

  26. I did not know that secret on wikipedia, I’ll put it up to see how it turns out. I love your blog Neil … I am doing a course of traffic and I like what I’m seeing.

    Greetings.

  27. Great tips Neil, I specially loved the wikipedia and the Cross linking tips, I have some PA tranfer issues, I guest post on some good autorithy blogs, but, most of them keep very low PA and PR, so I gues that transfering some PA towards them by cross linking will help them a bit. Love your blog, Cheers :)

  28. Hii Neil ,
    Awesome article, Do we need to be an expert in a topic before starting to blog about that topic??Becoz thats what most of the blogging coaches advice to do.Whats your view Neil??

    Cheers!!!!

  29. I guess I’ll do the cross link stuff. thanks :-)

  30. Hi Neil,

    Those tactics were simply awesome. I think I’ve read the #1 tactic in brian dean’s backlinko, and it surely produces quality back-links. About the last tactic of Cross Linking, if that’s internal linking of posts within a website/blog then can plugins like “yet another related posts” and other related posts plugins which out put a list of related posts at the end of each post help. They are crawlable too and are based on algorithms that produce highly relevant related post.

    Hoping to hear from you soon.

    -Abhisek Padhi

    • Yes, those plugins help, but not as much as manually linking within your content. That’s what you would have to work on to really increase your search traffic.

  31. Amazing content. Love the Wikipedia tip.

  32. Neil, what a great post!
    As usual a lot of insights and useful information.
    It is always so inspiring, that I want to move mountains after reading :) How do you always do this to me?)

    Is it a good idea to write an article about your company on Wikipedia?

    BTW, I have never eat peanut butter, I should try it too))))

  33. Another valuable article from you Neil. Wikipedia backlinks are awesome. I was never aware that we can get such a huge amount of traffic from world best site Wikipedia. I would love to try this technique. You have helped us a lot Neil.

  34. Neil, Thanks for your post. Matt has posted that they are going to count guest blogging as spam because most of the small organization is doing guest blogging to create the links. Is it safe to do the guest post?

  35. Hi Neil

    thanks for your post.Its really nice.I love the Wikipedia points,I was tried many times to get link from Wikipedia but I didn’t get it.thanks for telling us this.Can you please tell me what is Hittail??

  36. Wikipedia tactic is great, i am going to try this. i wish if their is any tool that help me to find relevant broken links.

  37. Excellent article Neil. Can you provide the link to the presentation of comedy central about which you mentioned in the post?

  38. Every webmaster knows the importance of Wikipedia links, We all are crazy about it. You really mentioned an amazing tip to acquire few quality links from Wikipedia.. will certainly try out this technique. :)

  39. Great post Neil,I have been blogging for 2 years but I have recently see your blog in twitter, but the content you provide is simply brilliant. I recently read your advanced link building guide and applied it’s portion, but the results getting really good.

  40. Very great ideas to genreate traffic on your website..

  41. I actually teach SEO & SEM at a university level and I cannot thank you enough for your amazing content. This article is no exception and I am constantly pushing my students to combine both content marketing and SEO.

    One area I would love for you to address (and maybe you have) is how to create stellar content with mixed media (text, video, image, and/or audio). For my content marketing assignment I require my students to utilize 2 out the 4 ways we present content on the Internet in a blog post (I would say software is a 5th way of presenting media, but that is too advanced for my students).

    By requiring this of my students it truly forces them to provide additional value to their reader than just writing. I would be interested in your input and how you best do this. I have used several of your infographic posts as examples for my students to review. You give a great infographic, but you generally also provide written content that is not found on the infographic.

    Anyway, thanks for your amazing work!

    • Paul, thanks for the kind words of support.

      Sounds like you know your stuff if you teach at the Uni level. Keep up the hard work and let me know if you need any help with anything :)

  42. I loved the first technique of getting links from Wikipedia, it also helped me to find some content ideas :) Thanks for sharing Neil Sir.

  43. Thanks Neil for valuable tips.

    I already applied the mentioned trick to get backlinks on wikipedia.

    Regards
    MaStyle Care
    http://www.facebook.com/mastylecare

  44. Hi Neil,

    This is the first time i am asking you the question. I want to ask you i am working for the real estate company and suppose i am writing for the instagram marketing or any other online marketing strategy then is it quite possible to get the relevant traffic to my website or blog. Or how to mold the things accordingly.

    Regards,
    Rajiv

  45. Awesome post again Neil. I should keep reminding myself of your golden tip – i.e. to write useful ‘long’ posts. This is something that I have verified myself just like Moz research proves. Many of the pillar posts on my blog are the ones that get linked most and attracts visitors perennially. This is particularly true on my personal blog.

  46. Hey Neil, Another great post mate. You always come up with a unique topics. Thanks for the post I like tactics#1 more.

  47. Hey Neil

    This is a great post, and I find that I never really think of SEO as a separate entity anymore. To me SEO and content marketing go hand in hand.

    Saying that your broken link tactic for wikipedia has blown me away, that is a great take on the broken link method to SEO. Ingenious ;)

    As for creating rich content before aiming for the big numbers, well that’s what I am to do with every one of my blog posts.

    I find that it pays dividends ( not only due the the fact that google likes bigger content) but also because longer posts tend to have a lot more detail and therefore are a lot more useful to people.

    I also find that when you put that much effort into something, you tend to take greater care and in turn create something more special.

    I recently posted on content marketing in the insurance and banking industries and even though the target market is pretty specific, it generated a lot of interest because the detail and length of the post showed my passion and expertise, and the take home lessons were relevant to a large audience.

    This isn’t something you can achieve with a short post ( generally)

    Cheers Neil cant wait for the next post!

    Paul Back

  48. As always, very informative article. These are tips that every blogger needs to be using to get more organic traffic coming to their site.

  49. thank for sharing mr neil, i am not smart to make a combine contant marketing, but i will learn it, so thank do much.

  50. I’m eating, sleeping, and breathing all this stuff right now and just can’t get enough. Thanks Neil. I think no matter how big or small a company you are the same principals apply. If you are a small business and want to grow its imperitive that we do what we read from your posts, as i find you are the number 1 good source of info and advice and that you are part of the community that you have created :) It’s all good Neil. This journey is great :) Can’t thank you enough honestly :)

  51. I might be a little late on this post, but I had to contribute.

    I really liked the dead link tactic. I’ve never read that anywhere else. Your content is very unique and I like that you are always researching, testing and implimenting these things.

    good stuff here – thanks

  52. Great article, you know what your talking about. I always apply your lessons to my clients marketing strategies.

  53. I am going to start working on the Wikipedia thing ASAP. You are a sheer genius Neil

  54. Neil the innovator. I’m sure you outsource most of these posts. You know what Robert Greene says get all the work done for you but take all the credit. You’re a great guy Neil I admire you. Keep it up Sir. Wish you’s take me by the hand and guide me.

  55. A lot of SEO tips are read often. One of my clients was asking for “The methods to get links from Wikipedia”. But now I got the great strategy to get links from Wikipedia. Thanks Neil!

  56. I love your article very much. Thank you very much. Have a good day!

  57. Daisy Gloria :

    Hi Neil,

    Thank you for this great article. I need help regarding “Building links in wiki sites”. I am confused which are wiki sites?

    Hope to hearing from you.

  58. Great guide about Content Marketing. today’s many online marketing professional preferred content marketing for marketing techniques. which helps creating a valuable content that attract, acquire and engage your target audience.

  59. Tried the above strategies but still no luck Niel :/

  60. I am wondering about your research of more than 1.000 words per article. For law, medicine or SEO may be true in the future, but for most topics, since many people search from smartphones, maybe are too many words in the next couple of years.

    • We’ve found that people will read long text on their smart phone, assuming the content isn’t full of fluff. Our average time on site for mobile is very similar to PC based devices.

  61. Chanda, glad I could help :)

  62. Content marketing has always been an important issue that SMEs face. This is something that cannot be developed overnight. It is essential that businesses spend a good amount of time laying down the parameters of proper content marketing on a regular basis so that they have a strong foundation.
    Affordable SEO Services

  63. It’s new for us that Wikipedia can very much help, more so traffic-wise. We’ll keep this in mind and make use of this in the future!

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