How Content Marketing Affects Search Engine Rankings

We are constantly trying to solve the ongoing mystery of the future of search. Some people say guest blogging is coming to an end, while others believe social media has now the bigger chunk of the pie.

Sadly, there is no single solution that will get you the results you are wishing for, which is why SEO has evolved to more than just link building and on-page optimization.

However, there is one strategy that will help boost your search engine rankings and online presence more than others. It’s called content marketing.

To help explain the importance of content marketing, I’ve put together an infographic to show you how content marketing impacts search engine rankings and how you can use it to help grow your business.

Click on the image below to see a larger view:

How Content Marketing Affects Search Engine Rankings

Click here to view an enlarged version of this infographic.


If you don’t have the time to follow all of the advice in the infographic, there are two stats that are worth looking at:

  1. Web pages that rank on page one of Google typically have 2,032 to 2,494 words. By making sure your web pages are filled with detailed content that users find useful, you are more likely to rank higher.
  2. Companies with blogs typically receive 97% more leads than companies without blogs. The reason for that is that content rich sites tend to get more back links and social traffic, which helps them generate more traffic overall.

So, what do you think about content marketing? As you already know from reading Quick Sprout, I’m a big believer in it.

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  1. Hey Neil,

    glad to see this infographic as this topic is currently very hot around the web.

    • That goes for me, too!

      As a content marketing strategist, I find it somewhat hard to believe that some Internet businesses don’t employ blogs.

      My favorite example of how a blog has literally exponentially increased an online business’s profit is WPMUDev. When they decided to make their blog the go-to resource for all things WordPress, they made the right choice.

      JR John

    • Alex, glad you liked it 🙂

  2. Parmveer Singh :

    “Get emotional – Content should go beyond just being useful. It should be unforgettable” – Great Tip out of all statistics.

    Content Marketer must be great ‘Story Teller’ (my view)

    Once Again a good guiding post, Niel Sir !!!

  3. Sameer Sumdarshi :

    Great thing that has been shared by Neil. After the controvortial post by Matt Cutts, a big fight has been started on Guest Blogging whether it is good or not.
    But I think guest blogging is good until you have the Wow factor in it.

  4. SEO right now is all about content marketing. With the latest updates, it’s hard to think of SEO as keywords oriented but it’s really about “what content do people like” instead of “what keywords am I ranking for”. Especially with the large social layer of influence, search is about content that solves problems.

    By the way, I finished reading the advanced content marketing guide. Awesome stuff, especially the editorial planner you have designed.


  5. What’s the smartest way to merge a blog in to a website wich is build without CMS like WordPress?


  6. I think content marketing is key to a b2b business success. If you are running a business and you are not doing content marketing then you are missing out because you will not get as much traffic to your site. By doing content marketing and doing it right by producing quality content, you can drive lots of people to your site because you will start to rank for long-tail keywords.

  7. Arthur Wilson :

    It can still be very difficult to explain to some clients how important content marketing is, and convince them that paying a certain amount for a host of blog posts and content heavy newsletters is a worthwhile exercise.

    Might send a link to this page to a few prospective clients actually!

  8. manujeevanprakash :

    Hi Neil ,
    Nice Infographic , I do have few questions on blogging ??

    1) how to define your target audience while starting a new blog ?? can you give an example of how you defined your target audience when you started quick sprout 🙂 ,because you get traffic from India , Usa and several other parts of the world . did you conduct any basic research before starting quick sprout ?? did you geographically target only US initially??

    2) before starting a blog should we be a subject matter expert like you 🙂 ???because few professional bloggers advice their followers to blog only on subjects they know in depth . what is your view on this Neil ??

    Cheers !!!!!

    • It is interesting to hear what Neil will say, but please let me share with you my thoughts.

      The general idea that is advised when choosing your niche for blogging (if you don’t have business yet)is to find the intersection (common spot) of the following areas:
      1. Your passion (the things that you will love to blog about, even if you are not the expert in them, but would love to become one).
      2. The topic that people are interested about and search in the web.
      3. The topic that can bring you money (if you want to monetize your blog).
      4. Something that others have not done before the way you want or have not done so well as you want.

      If you choose the niche in the intersection of the above areas and start building an authority in this niche little by little, you should get huge success.

      The point is in moving forward and not concentrate on income first – it will be none to very little at first (as well as your audience).

      As you move further, you will easily resolve the questions that seemed to be super hard and overwhelming at first (but you will find other, more challenging and interesting issues to solve!)

      But after gathering some experience you will already feel the way and you will gain the strength and determination to correct your direction.

      The trick, in my mind, is to keep moving to a big aim, and remember that you will need to take a million and one step on your way. And each step like does not bring you anywhere, but you should keep in mind that they all will bring you to the destination. And you will see your progress even after one thousand steps 🙂

      The hardest part of this way is in the beginning.

      • Just like to say this is brilliant and well wrote 🙂 it’s great how some people can simplify stuff in a certain way 🙂

      • manujeevanprakash :

        Hi Micheal ,
        Great points , many of my clients were asking me about starting a blog from scratch . I advice them to blog on their passion and to read for at least 4 hours everyday on the niche they are targeting . I will add your points as well when i consult my clients next time 🙂 🙂 …… Thanks Bro !!!

        Cheers !!!

    • You define your audience as the type of people you want to reach. For example when I started Quick Sprout, I wanted to target online marketers. It’s pretty general, but that is the market I wanted to target.

      As for being an expert, you don’t have to be one. I wasn’t when I started Quick Sprout and I still don’t see myself as one.

      • You are correct. You don’t have to be an expert when you start out. Define who you want to help. Make them the hero, in other words help them solve their problems in a way they can take credit for.

        Understand what they need, not what you want to promote.

        Then learn, write, learn and write. You’ll be the expert soon enough.

        By the way, my blog is proof that long articles work. People not only want to know what is the best, cheapest, hottest, etc. They want to know why it is right for them. 2500 words minimum. It takes the search engines a while to find you but once they do…it’s time to upgrade your servers to handle the load:)

        • manujeevanprakash :

          Hi Paul ,
          But how do you find what does your target audience need when starting a blog from scratch??

          -> I will suggest my clients to design a questionnaire and do a basic research to identify the problem of their target audience .

          -> next I will ask them to look for the most searched keywords by their target audience on Google,by using Google’s keyword research tool .

          This will be a good starting point to form a audience persona . whats your view on this ??


      • manujeevanprakash :

        Hi Neil ,
        that’s a broad target(targeting online marketers) , but i hope now most of your readers are small business owners …thanks for your tips Neil 🙂 .


  9. I was just looking at making an infographic! I think most people know what they need to do, but either time or laziness means they don’t!

  10. Gron Rowlands :

    Neil spot on again as always ha 🙂 I have finished my content for my site couple of days ago and I’m just waiting for my friend to add everything to my site. Rather excited as everything I have learned will be implemented so much quicker into our other cleaning business which will be set up rather quickly now in another area near to our city and blow my competition out the water for both areas. Then I think all the time I have spent up reading till 2 o’clock in the morning quite often will help me so much as I feel im raring to go right now but im just waiting until im 100 percent ready before im ready for a national level 🙂 good quality content with a good blog with an emotional side and letting the people know who you are on a grassroots level is good, as it also shows your not a faceless corporation and that your approachable. Cheers Neil once again as always 🙂 ha

  11. Most of the business blogs I see are quite unimpressive, filled with posts that don’t matter to the customers. The ones that are really out of the ordinary, those are the ones that really leave an impression about the brand.

  12. Once again fantastic information Neil,the key take away is to think of your clients/customers and their problems and seek to offer solutions for them.Focus entirely on offering great content and solutions.

    Again Neil great work

  13. The problem with content marketing is you have to spend so much time writing it. If you’re not a natural writer it’s time consuming and frustrating to think that you are giving everything away for free.

    It bugs me.

    • Steve, great point. It does take time and patience.

    • Hey guys,

      I was just reading through your comments & it reminded me of how hard it was writing content when I first started. I think my first ever took me 6 to 8 hours to complete as I simply didn’t have the slightest clue what or how to write. I agree that it can be hard at first but I believe that it is worth it in the long run 🙂

  14. Justin McGill @ Workado :

    Great infographic. Definitely something marketers can use during the sales process!

  15. As always, great information! I love the infographic. Your blogs make it easy for a beginner like me to understand and implement your SEO suggestions. Thank you!

  16. Daniel Cuttridge :

    Great infographic Neil.

    Will be sure to share this in one of my upcoming posts as I know people can benefit from this info!

  17. As a freelancer and content writer, for me it is good news, since more businesses search writers for their blogs. You just have to find the customers. Too bad some online stores do not have a blog, and do not understand the benefits of content marketing to increase their profits.

  18. Awesome infographic here Neil. In regards to content marketing and its propitious effect on profitable search engine rankings, the evidence is clear.

    Not particularly surprised that studies show that content exceeding 2k words ranks favorably on the first page of search results.

  19. Damn, beat me to it.. lol I was going to work on my first infographic and call it “How content marketing affects search engine rankings”, but looks like you beat me to it.

    Anyways, awesome data!


  20. Hey Neil,
    What form of content marketing would your recommend, paid or free? If paid through which channels/networks? Same question for free too.

  21. Sawaram Suthar :

    Well done! an excellent infographic with full flow. If you don’t mind I have a question in mind. In this infographic you have explained past and fact about content very well but not given tips in detail. I think you should give some tips for newcomers!!!

  22. Neil, yet another fantastic post. I personally am happy to see SEO at least merge into the rest of the marketing arsenal. We saw this kind of thing happening a long time ago. I don’t think there is anything to be upset with Google about, if anything they are ensuring that for companies to succeed online they can only market their businesses properly. This has to be the end for SEO as a lone tactic, paving the way for integrated online marketing strategies.

  23. Great article & infographic. Still waiting for you to make a tutorial as to how you create such fantastic infographics, if you have time.


  24. Learn today that post with 2000 word post get more exposure in search engine. Thank you Neil patel,That’s why people love to visit you blog

  25. Trent Dyrsmid :

    Hey Neil,

    Yet another fantastic info-graphic. Thanks for that!

    Speaking of…do you have any data on how info-graphics impact SEO?

    I’ve shared this post with my tribe.

  26. Absolutely love the article and the graphics that went into this.

    Great work as usual Neil!


  27. Brodey Sheppard :

    Great read, Looking at your infographic though I noticed your pie graphs or circle graphs are anti-clock wise. Found that quite strange. But other than that awesome!

  28. Hi Neil
    Thanks for the latest post. We are starting to implement a blog on our site as well to increase content marketing. Are there any guidelines as to how often one should blog? Are one a week substantial?

  29. Very informative as usual Neil. Thank you for sharing. How do you feel content marketing affects local seo? Is it really worth it to encourage clients that are ranking for “any trade in any city” to create a blog?

    • Mark, definitely. I think a blog is your persona. It’s important for people to be able to relate to your product or service.

  30. I’m at a loss to explain why content marketing is such a hot topic??
    Providing good quality content for your prospects and customers has always been job #1, and may always be job#1. Are bloggers running out of material to blog about.

    Of course providing good content and having a good content program is #1. DUH!!!

    • Vern, it’s funny because it goes without saying but older SEO tactics are losing steam so people must be reminded.

  31. Yes Neil, we must follow the thoughts to get more business,


  32. There is no doubt that content marketing is one of the lucrative method when it comes to internet marketing. Multinational companies are also now focusing on content marketing.

    The infographic shows very useful data. Thanks for sharing Neil.

  33. Content marketing is still important for ranking as content is king. I must say that content is a useful to get rank in the search engine. As of Google’s update now content is more valuable than create the back links. I am not saying that back-links is not important.

  34. Sayyed Parvez :

    Very interesting article. The information about the webpages which rank higher in google search was really amazing. Thanks for it.

  35. A few days back I posted a blog post on a clients site and promoted it using social channels and my email list. The post was about consistently producing and promoting content on web. The post got mentioned by other related bloggers and the site got a few links. Because of the relevancy and quality of organic links the website jumped from 16 to 7th result on Google for a local search term. I hope it stays this way.

    I believe its time that we SEO’s start thinking more like content marketers.

  36. Thanks for a very informative post. SEO and great content goes hand in hand..Continue to great article.

  37. Jacob Hurwith :

    Great post Neil.

  38. This is what I keep on telling my employer to do with his website. It is not enough to have a content in his blog but to have a meaningful and detailed contents.

    Thanks Neil!

  39. Your Infogrphic gave a ton of ideas to me! Thanks for the awesome post. 🙂

  40. Shahroze Naeem :

    Hi Neil, excellent post!!

    I would just like to recommend one thing; the infographics have text that is a little too small to be read with a magnification level of 100%. For example, the three tips at the bottom. Just a thought. Excellent post, though. Great job putting it all together.

  41. Hi Neil, I was told you have a new program coming out in short time. Will this be a succession to Quick Sprout Traffic System? Where can I find it when it comes out?

  42. prateek Grand City :

    By doing content marketing and doing it right by producing quality content, you can drive lots of people to your site because you will start to rank for long-tail keywords.

  43. Great info-graphic Neil.

  44. hi neil ,

    Great post again and awesome infographic. But here i want to ask one thing that you said that article should be contains more than 2000 words but your article is just about 250 words (approx) excluding your awesome infographic then how do you rank so well.

    • Diwaker, different rules apply to visual content. Infographics are exceptions to this as they are not text based.

  45. Superb infographic.
    Didn’t know having a blog can get so much more indexed.

    I think creating quality content is the way to go.

    Content is king!

  46. Prashant @ BlogHomie :

    Guess “Blog’s ” reaction to this –> “I am alive and kicking” 🙂

    Its true because the increase in use of social media never affected the usage of search engine.

  47. Neil: Your post ties in directly with a case study that I am about to begin on “How SEO Is Impacted By Publishing Content On A Daily Basis.” I have believed for quite some time that search rewards sites that publish on a consistent basis, but I want to test this myself and get exact numbers to back up my opinion. Your post has me even more convinced that I need to do this case study.

    By the way, I loved the presentation you gave at the recent Traffic & Conversion Summit. I had some questions about what direction I wanted to take my business and your presentation helped me immeasurably.

    • Jon, glad you found the presentation helpful.

      I can’t wait to see your case study. Please share it when it’s ready 🙂

  48. Hi Neil Patel,
    I love this post. Really informative and useful for me, a newbie in online business. I am considering some of these plugins to improve my comment system. This article helps me so much. After reading your post, I think I have ideas. Thanks for sharing this post. Hope to read more helpful information from you. Great job!

  49. Barbara McKinney :

    There’s no doubt that content marketing is important in reaching the high search engine rankings. Based on the data above, companies with active blogs receive more leads. I think companies should start implementing content marketing if they want to be noticed in the online world.

  50. Julian Adorney :

    Hey Neil,

    I love QuickSprout, and it’s usually the first thing I mention to aspiring marketers when they ask for tips: “read QuickSprout”. I do have one question:

    I’ve noticed you use infographics a lot. How do those work with regards to SEO? Is the text in them indexed by Google just like a blog, so that if people search for a phrase/claim you made in the infographic it’ll come up? If not, can you explain why exactly they’re great for SEO or even IF they are, compared to a good blog?

    • Julian, they can be embedded onto other websites and are a great way to really share your content. Content is growing ever more important and it’s becoming vital for anyone practicing SEO to focus on infographics and other great content.

  51. I think so you are very very right, the problem is may be for low budgets that can not really outsource their content marketing campaigns, therefore finding topics but above all, writing really useful and informative content on a regular basis becomes difficult. You are posting what, 2 to 3 articles a week, correct? Are you personally writing all those articles and picking up their topics, or do you oytsource the job? or may be 1/2 & 1/2 🙂 last but not least, what would be your suggestion for low budgets? Thanks Neil always a great pleasure reading you!

    • Nicolo, that is correct I write and promote 2-3 articles a week on my own. I would suggest starting off small and scaling. It’s all about providing unique content so take your time and see what works out best by testing.

  52. Great infographics, If you have a team, you should regularly brainstorm for content ideas. You should know what really your target audience wants. Create a content calendar and follow them. If you are just starting one article per week is fine, what’s important is the quality of that article.

  53. Myself Prachi pal. I am very much excited to join this community. Its my pleasure to take part of the discussion. Good luck that in this path I will share different matters discuss and gain knowledge through this way, not only gain knowledge but also salve many more questions.
    Thanks for your correct informations,you are providing some good helpful informations. Thanks a lot Real Estate Companies in Chennai

  54. One comment – its about your website.
    Get rid of your pop-up advertizements that appear over the entire page. It is very annoying apart from aggravating to have to deal with a huge pop-up that blocks any attempt to read the page, including the repeated recurrence of the same pop-ups.

    If there is one thing that drives someone away is those in the face pop-ups.

    • Mark, thanks for the feedback. Right now they work for me but I understand how they can be a bit much at times. I’ll try to scale down 🙂

  55. :

    Admiring the commitment you put into your website and in depth information you provide.
    It’s nice to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same outdated rehashed material.
    Fantastic read! I’ve saved your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  56. Ethan Jackson :

    I know how google love content! I’ve written two articles, one is 2k+ and another is 5k+ and published in two of my websites. Both articles are same keywords.

    Then I saw, which is 2k+ is in the 14th page of Google after 15 days of publishing the article but another one, which is 5k+ is in the just 4th page (34 place) after 15 days of publishing the article. And without doing any backlink.

    That’s my opinion. So I love big content. Of course big but informative too. 🙂

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