February 15, 2018 @ 7:04 PM

As a long time blogger and a brand owner, I have been part of SEO and content marketing campaigns from both sides. My own blog TheGentlemanRacer.com has worked on campaigns with brands like SONY, Fiat, Harley Davidson, Old Spice, Toyota, Hard Rock Hotels, and many others building meaningful content that helps drive traffic to the brand’s websites. While my apparel company, RBR Wholesale, use content marketing to help tell our brand's story, connect with customers, and drive sales.

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization or ‘SEO’ is the process of making your website, products, or content show up in online searches. SEO is the art of blending public relations with information technology to put your site in front of the line when people are searching for relevant keywords. Some of the steps involved in a successful SEO plan include making sure your website loads fast and is easy to navigate, publishing content that is relevant to your audience and brand, building authority by having other sites link to your site’s content, and using tools to submit your site to search engines. To formulate an SEO strategy requires some research into things like keywords, page titles, search engine submissions, copywriting, and building backlinks. While it is something you can do yourself, for many small business owners, this can be a little overwhelming. Hiring an expert to give you some guidance might be a good idea, just beware of marketing companies that make guarantees that sounds too good to be true. If you really want to dive in to learn more about how to do it yourself, MOZ has a great beginners guide to SEO HERE.

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is a way of positioning your brand in a more organic format so that your target audience is more engaged than with traditional advertising.

Now “content” can be almost anything:

Video

Blog Posts

Magazines

Books

Music

Infographics

Photography

Surveys/Polls

Newsletters

Microsites

Or Apps like Snapchat

How you use content marketing, be it your own content or content that is generated via influencers, can make a big difference in your branding and SEO. Good content is the backbone of good SEO and that means you need to focus on the quality of the content you produce and link to you site.  You have to remember the goal of the content you are creating, if you are simply wanting to raise brand awareness apps like Instagram and Snapchat would be the best focus. If you are hoping to rank better in the search engines, you are going to need to generate content with more keywords and links.When generating content for SEO, you have to be aware trending topics, keywords, and industry rivals to make the most effective content possible. To rank higher in those search results you’ll need better quality content, more pages, content that has text and is the content people want to read and hopefully wants to share. Influencers can really help with developing great backlinks as well as brand awareness, the higher the quality of the sites that are linking to your site, the higher your site will rank. This will take time and require building relationships or hiring bloggers and influencers to create sponsored content for you.

Don’t expect immediate boosts in traffic as SEO and content marketing are about slowly building momentum and can take several months to start boosting your sites search ranking. Beware of companies selling you SEO packages or bulk “backlinks” these almost never work and in the long run the low quality websites they attach to your site, drags yours side down through the rankings.

There is no silver bullet or quick fix, but if you are willing to focus on the fundamentals you should have a site that is ranking well in the first year. A good place to start is the Google Adwords Keyword Planner, where you can get a better idea of what keywords are driving traffic to your site already and which one you are missing out on.