SEO & Content Marketing: Best SEO Tools, Tips, & Best Practices [2024]

SEO should be a key part of your content marketing strategy if your goal is growth and revenue. Here are our best tips & tools to help you create SEO content.

Published on Jan 23, 2024

You’ve probably heard the terms “SEO” and “content marketing” get thrown around within a few sentences of each other. That’s because the two are closely related and often work in tandem to create a successful content strategy.

Now, what they don’t tell you is exactly how you can leverage a partnership between the two to ensure you’re getting the most return for your investment. Both search engine optimization and content marketing’s end goal is to bring more traffic to your website, let people know your brand exists, and ultimately increase revenue.

In this article:

What Is the connection between SEO and content marketing?

SEO depends on high-quality content. High-quality content depends on SEO to get search traffic. One hardly functions well without the other. 

In a nutshell, this is the main connection between the two. They each help each other perform their “jobs” well. 

For example, say we’re a social media marketer searching for “Instagram post ideas.” The first Google search result by Sprout Social is a perfect example of content marketing and SEO in action. 

The blog post, which ranks as the first result on Google, gets tons of organic search traffic, some of which will convert into customers of their SaaS product. Notice how the post is well written and uses SEO best practices such as:

  • Including the keyword in its URL
  • Naturally Including the keyword in its title
  • Formatting its content with headings, subheadings, and relevant images
  • Creating a strong title that entices clicks 
seo content marketing

Creating great content takes using SEO and content marketing together. However, you can’t skimp on the granular details that make this duo work.

How to develop an SEO content strategy

Now for the hands-on part: How do you develop a content strategy that’ll get you results? The first thing to note is that SEO, as they often say, is a long-term investment.

What you do now might not pay off for another 6-12 months (or more). However, if done well and consistently. The payoffs can be massive. 

1. Define your goal

Much like any other project, creating SEO content starts with a goal. What’s your content “north star?” Are you creating content to:

  • Grow your site traffic 
  • Grow your email list
  • Drive sales and conversions

2. Identify your target audience

Identifying your target audience can be both fun and a challenge. Who your content is created for will determine the type of content you create as well as the format you should create it in. For example, if your target audience lives on YouTube, you’re better off creating video content that reaches them where they’re at. 

Poll your audience, ask for input, identify search queries, look for related keywords to help you identify who your ideal audience is. From there, you can start diving into SEO research to round out each piece of content you’ll create. 

3. Conduct SEO research

As you research, consider additional factors like:

  • Long-tail keywords with lower competition
  • Search volume in the triple digits or above (set a minimum you can work with)
  • Search intent phrases like “best” or “cheapest” or “how to”

With a target audience and some solid SEO research in place, establishing a content calendar becomes an easy process. 

4. Establish a content calendar

When will you publish each piece of content you create? Consistency is a big part of getting your SEO content to rank. The more consistent you are with publishing high-quality content the better your chances of ranking. 

A lot on your content calendar will be determined by how much output you’re able to handle a month without sacrificing quality. According to HubSpot, small blogs should aim to publish anywhere from 3-to 4 posts a month. As your brand gets bigger, opt for multiple times a week if possible. 

However, these aren’t rules set in stone. At the beginning of your content journey, it might take some experimenting to see what works best for your content and your niche. 

5. Create and optimize your content

Now it’s time to create and optimize your content! As you create your content, think about adding the following elements for more effective search optimization: 

  • Including internal links
  • Encouraging link building and social shares
  • Creating meta descriptions with keywords
  • Inserting headings and subheadings
  • Crafting title tags
  • Adding alt text to all images
  • Naturally including your main keywords throughout your content
  • Adding a strong CTA
  • Formatting your content for readability

6. Track your progress and course-correct 

Using tools like Google Analytics to track your progress is a great way to keep a finger on your metrics. Is the content you created six months ago making any progress? Are you getting traffic from social platforms and direct sessions? Jasper Analytics & Insights is another tool to get you the insights you need to evolve your strategies on the fly based on what's working and what isn't.

As you track your SEO progress, it makes it easier to course correct. Once you see something isn’t quite working, change up your strategy and test for better long-term results.

Types of SEO content

Secret: SEO content doesn't just mean "blogs". There are actually lots of different content routes you could take when deciding what to create.

Depending on your strategy, SEO content can take a few different forms. In theory, just about anything you create online can be search-optimized, hence becoming “SEO content.” However, here are some of the most popular content types that help you rank in SERPs when you’re thinking about creating an SEO content strategy:

1. Blogs

Obviously one of the most popular pieces of content you can create to rank in search engines is a blog post. Now, a blog post can take many forms (listicles are very popular). But a traditional long-form blog post that’s informative, written for humans, and optimized for search with some keyword research is a powerful way to drive organic traffic to your site. 

This will increase further when you’ve created a library of high-quality blog posts that are optimized for search terms people are actually looking for. 

2. Landing pages

Depending on how they’re written, landing pages can often rank on the first page of SERPs. Though it might not be as common as with a traditional blog post, it does happen. Landing pages are standalone web pages that are often used to capture email addresses as part of a greater digital marketing strategy. Sometimes landing pages can take the form of product or sales pages. 

3. Interactive tools

In the world of SEO, high-quality content doesn’t just come in the form of writing. Interactive tools are a brilliant way to have your target audience find you through a search query. Once you nail the search intent, it’s possible to use SEO to rank interactive applications. NerdWallet’s Interest Rate Calculator or Zillow’s Rent Affordability Calculator are examples of this in action. 

4. Glossaries

Does your niche use a lot of insider language and terms? Creating a glossary that helps define these terms for beginners is a great way to try ranking in SERPs and score the coveted featured snippet. The more comprehensive your glossary, the better.  

5. In-depth guides

In depth-guides are simply blog posts but longer. They’re designed to cover every part of a subject, often step-by-step, so it becomes a go-to resource for anyone searching for that type of content. In-depth guides are also great ways to get backlinks, which are a key part of ranking for competitive keywords. 

6. Videos

Did you know you can rank videos in search engines? Make a quick Google search on certain topics and some of the first suggestions you’ll see are YouTube videos (which Google owns). Creating and optimizing video content is yet another effective way to rank great content in a format other than blog posts.

Once you decide what content type best fits your goals and strategy, there are a few best practices you'll want to keep in mind as you move into execution mode. SEO best practices can change...often. But let's check out the most current best practices for search optimization.

11 SEO best practices you need to know

1. Write catchy titles

Yes, title tags still matter. Without a compelling title—regardless of the type of content you’re creating—you won’t get much traffic, clicks, or conversions from your content. Improving your titles can not only improve your click-through rates but it’s also a way to help your brand stand out from the competition. 

Here are a few ways to think about improving your titles: 

  1. Try to include your root keyword in your title
  2. Be as specific as possible 
  3. Include numbers in your headlines if relevant
  4. Use power words when possible

If you’re having trouble coming up with a compelling blog title, Google to look for inspiration. Let's say we search for “how to start a blog post.”

SEO search example 2

Copyblogger does a great job of creating a compelling title that captures the attention of a reader (it also helps that they optimized their content to snag the featured snippet!)

5 Easy Ways to Open Your Blog Post With a Bang has all the elements that make a blog title effective:

  • It includes a number that adds specificity
  • It isn’t so long that Google cuts off the end of the title
  • It uses powerful words like “bang” 

2. Invest in backlinks

You’ve probably wondered at some point, ‘how important are backlinks really?’ The answer: very important. Think of backlinks as “votes of confidence” you get from other sites that Google considers reputable. 

The more “votes of confidence” your website has, the higher Google tends to rank your content because it deems your website as valuable. There are lots of ways to gain backlinks, each with different levels of success depending on the context. 

Generally, you can either try to build backlinks naturally, or you can opt for the paid agency route to launch outreach campaigns to win more backlinks. The more natural links Google detects pointing to your website, the better. 

3. Create an internal linking strategy

Much like backlinks, internally linking to related content within your own web pages matters. It helps Google get a better picture of your site’s structure, thus more accurately indexing your content. PageRank, an algorithm used by Google to determine page rank, also considers internal links to determine page authority. 

To create an internal linking strategy, you first need to know the current state of your internal links and the content you’ve published. Once you have a list of all your content, identify your pillar pages. 

Using the HubSpot Topic Cluster Strategy, identifying your pillar pages will make it easier to know which pages to interlink to and from each page. Go down your list of related content and interlink it with your hub pages where it makes sense.

Remember to use relevant anchor text to add your link since they are important as well.

SEO topic cluster strategy

Additionally, with tools like Ahrefs, you can easily crawl your website and check for broken links as an opportunity to create a new link to better internal content. 

Go down your list of web pages and take the time to check for broken links. Redirect them to new, better internal links or eliminate them. 

4. Improve your technical SEO

Technical SEO is the foundation on which your website is built. If your foundation isn’t up to standard, it’s going to diminish the ROI of any other on-page or off-page SEO efforts. 

  • Ensure your website address includes an SSL certificate
  • Eliminate duplicate content
  • Register your website with Google Search Console for additional SEO insights
  • Add structured data markup like FAQ schema to your site
  • Improve your URL structure

If you aren’t technical, don’t overlook the technical needs of your website. Outsource this task if necessary to ensure the best results and secure higher positions on results pages. 

5. Optimize for faster load times

According to Google, a faster webpage load time is one of the over 200 ranking factors it takes into consideration when evaluating your website. This means optimizing your website for the fastest load times possible should be near the top of your to-do list. 

With tools like PageSpeed Insights, you can easily check how your website is performing. If it’s loading slowly, here are a few things you can do to increase your website speed:

  • Use caching plugins
  • Optimize images 
  • Reduce redirects
  • Use a CDN

6. Create quality content

More traffic, more conversions, and higher earnings can only happen when you’ve taken the time to create quality content. Whether you’re a YouTuber or a blogger, creating high-quality content helps you build a library of content pieces you can fall back on as you maintain your growth year over year. 

But what does quality content mean? Pay attention to things like:

  • Incorporating actionable information
  • Ensuring your content is up to date
  • Creating content that’s original 
  • Formatting with plenty of bullet points, headings, and images to break up walls of text
  • Ensuring your sentences are easy to read
  • Use large fonts that are easy to read
  • Keep sidebar distractions and pop-up sign up forms to a minimum
  • Make sure your content fulfills search intent and answers search questions thoroughly

AI-powered writing assistant tools like Jasper can help you cut your production process in half and beat writer’s block when it comes.

Consider using AI to optimize your SEO and content creation workflow. And we promise, it's safe — Google even says AI content is okay as long as it's good!

7. Update your UX

The user experience is an important part of ensuring all your SEO efforts pay off. The last thing you want is for your target audience to land on your website, only to be met with a poor user experience that turns them off from your content before they’ve even had a chance to consume it. 

To update your site’s UX:

Improve your navigation: One of the best ways to improve site navigation is to revise your main menu. Does it have any categories that could be subcategories? Does it include any categories that could be removed? The easier it is to navigate your website, the longer your visitors will stay and browse. The goal is to create a welcoming experience for both new and repeat users. 

Improve site speed: Nobody likes to wait on websites that take forever to load. A slow website increases your bounce rate and lowers your sessions. Take the time to optimize your blog posts for speed and make sure your technical SEO is in good shape. Compress images when possible, use caching plugins, and test your loading speed with free tools like PageSpeed Insights to monitor your progress. 

Watch for broken links: Broken links happen for a variety of reasons. But you don’t want them lingering in your content if you can help it. Consider revisiting older content to check for broken links. While fixing broken links improves the user experience, it’s also something search engines look at as part of their greater ranking algorithm. 

Use better images: When you land on a website that uses dated images it’s easy to question the quality of the rest of its content. By using better images, you increase user trust and ensure your website is appealing and well branded. Using visual examples is also a great way to use images to your advantage. 

8. Consider search intent

Search engine optimization used to be as easy as targeting keywords by creating content that included them and then calling it a day. However, Google’s algorithm has gotten better at determining search intent. 

This means you need to think deeper about your keywords and what their search intent is. For example, someone who searches for “best brand pressure cooker” is signaling they are searching with “purchase” intent. 

They’re trying to find the “best” of something. As such, you’ll see some of the biggest websites in the space walk the user through a list of the best brands. 

Best brand pressure cooker seo content example

Search intent usually falls into four buckets:

Transactional: Transactional keywords are keywords with the intent to make a purchase. For example: users who specifically search for “buy Sony PlayStation 4 slim” are showing buyer intent. Users searching with keywords like buy, where to buy, discount, coupon, deal, or cheap are searching with high buyer intent. 

Commercial: Commercial searches are made when a user is still trying to decide on the purchase of a specific product. They’ll usually search for keywords looking for comparison posts, best-of lists, or reviews.

Navigational: Keywords with navigational intent are searches looking for a specific online destination like a website or a webpage. If someone searches for “Instagram” or “Bing” then it’s considered navigational intent. 

Informational: Searches looking for specific information like “what time is it in India?” or “SEO best practices” are doing so with informational intent. The result is finding more information that answers their question.

9. Optimize your images

Images can sometimes be added to blog content as an afterthought. In some cases, they are critical to the content itself. Either way, it’s important to optimize your images so that your pages load quickly.

There are two ways to optimize your images:

Adjust their file size: The smaller your images can be the better. As a general rule of thumb, you should be able to resize your images without losing quality. Free image compression tools like TinyPNG easily compress images. 

Add alt text: Your images need “alt text” which is a way to describe to search engine crawlers what your image is. Ideally, your image is related to the content you’re creating, so describing it accordingly and incorporating your keyword in the process should be easy. 

10. Update your XML sitemap

Has your website gone through a lot of changes lately? Then it’s time to update your XML sitemap. 

A sitemap helps crawlers index your website more efficiently regardless of its size. It’s a way to ensure search engines are discovering all your content. If you already have an XML sitemap, consider submitting your website to be recrawled when you make major changes. 

Here’s an easy way to create a sitemap without having to deal with any code:

  1. Download and activate the Yoast SEO plugin (for WordPress users).
  2. Navigate to SEO, then click on General, and finally tap Features
  3. Toggle on XML Sitemap.
  4. You should see your sitemap created along with the date it was last modified.

Here’s how to submit your sitemap to be crawled by Google:

  1. Navigate to Google Search Console
  2. On the left-hand menu, click on Sitemaps.
  3. Submit your URL.
  4. Wait until your submission is confirmed. 

11. Use keyword research to inform your meta descriptions, title tags, and more 

Gone are the days when keyword stuffing would work to show up higher on search engine results pages. Ranking in SERPs for your target keywords takes incorporating them into your content meaningfully. 

But it doesn’t stop there. Thorough keyword research should also inform your:

  • Subheadings
  • Page titles
  • Long-tail keyword choices

It isn’t enough to find one keyword and call it a day. Find related, supporting keywords and identify their searcher intent. Are they worth incorporating into your content? The more thorough your approach to SEO is, the better positioned you’ll be to gain organic search traffic.

17 best SEO tools worth adding to your toolkit

In no particular order, here’s a comprehensive list of some of the best SEO tools worth considering. 

1. Jasper

jasper ai homepage

Who doesn’t love an SEO tool that cuts your content creation efforts in half? With an AI writing assistant like Jasper, you can execute on your SEO findings once you’ve pinpointed your best keywords.

Once you start creating content, you don’t have to do it from scratch. Jasper is custom built with marketers in mind. And with a long list of templates, it’s easy to write copy for landing pages, websites, long-form blog posts, and even content for social media. If you’re starting a new website or are working on an existing one and want a cost-effective way to write more content faster, then an AI writing assistant like Jasper is a tool worth having in your arsenal. 


  • Content editor with built-in SEO tools
  • Analytics tools to get real-time insights on how your content is performing and areas of improvement
  • Incorporates the keywords you select
  • Can write in your chosen brand voice and adhere to your style guidelines
  • Manage entire campaigns directly in platform
  • Rephrase any sentence within your content with the click of a button
  • The Jasper API plus integrations with Zapier, Make, and Weblow make it easy to write and publish your content wherever it lives.


2. SEMRush


This list wouldn’t be complete without one of the biggest and best SEO tools on the market. SEMRush helps you stay ahead of the competition by unlocking insights with its huge SEO database. Its backlink crawler keeps you up to date on links you’ve lost or gained as well as your competitor’s backlink profile. 


  • In-depth competitor insights
  • Track brand mentions
  • In-depth domain profiles
  • Plenty of keyword research tools


  • Can be costly for beginner marketers
  • Bigger learning curve

3. Ahrefs


Much like SEMRush, Ahrefs offers plenty of advanced features for marketers who are ready to go beyond the basics of search engine optimization. Once you sign up, its site explorer feature helps you find content gaps around specific keywords. Its toolbar offers keyword suggestion tools, keyword difficulty insight, CPC, and PPC data. 


  • Lets you audit and optimize your website
  • Helps conduct customer research
  • Tracks rank
  • Provides keyword explorer
  • Shares how-to guides


  • Plans can be expensive for solo marketers
  • Data on backlinks is not as granular as other tools

4. Google Search Console


Google Search Console is a valuable SEO tool that’s free and provided by Google itself to help with researching keyword ideas and checking yearly or monthly trends. 


  • Helps you keep track of website traffic
  • Alerts you of website errors that may affect your rankings
  • Allows you to submit sitemaps


  • Doesn’t give you as much in-depth keyword, backlink, or competitor data as other paid SEO tools

5. Surfer SEO

surfer seo

Surfer SEO is great for creating content plans for just about any domain with a few clicks. It quickens your content strategy creation process and ensures you’re covering all your bases when it comes to choosing the right keywords. 


  • Works in several languages
  • Built for collaboration
  • Offers content planning tools
  • Comes with an outline builder to help you create content faster
  • Offers insights on ideal article structure for best ranking results


  • Limited access to queries and other features depending on the plan
If you're interested in building a full campaign with Jasper or another tool, check out our Marketing Team's Guide to Generative AI

6. Moz Pro


Moz, a longstanding brand in the marketing space, offers Moz Pro, an SEO tool built to optimize inbound marketing. It helps you find link opportunities, tracks your rankings, and alerts you of any errors in your site’s structure. 


  • Lets you know your chances of ranking for a keyword
  • Offers a one-month free trial
  • Competitor analysis and backlink analysis
  • Built by known leaders in the SEO space


  • Too many features for marketers only looking for the basics at a better price
  • A crowded dashboard that may not be the easiest to navigate
Be sure to check out A CMO's Guide to Responsible & Results-Driven AI to learn how to start a pilot, scale out the program, and achieve ROI

7. Thruuu


If you’re looking for an SEO tool that draws insights from your competitors and helps you with copywriting then Thruuu is for you. It’s an especially great tool for creating search-optimized outlines. Say, if you’re working with contractors and outsourcing your content creation efforts, Thruuu creates content outlines from key SERP information for you. 


  • It’s a free SEO tool with plenty of copywriting features
  • Helps you fill content gaps
  • Shows you the keyword density in competitor content
  • Gives you insight into ideal word count and images


  • Its features are geared toward content creation more than SEO analysis and research

8. Serpstat


Serpstat’s value proposition is growth marketing. It gives you insights into traffic distribution across domains as well as historical data. Great for digital marketing agencies and in-house marketing teams. 


  • Provides a backlink checker to beat competitor content
  • Has competitor keyword analysis tools
  • Comes with a plugin for easy website analysis
  • Offers custom report creation 


  • Serpstat is a robust tool for SMBs and enterprise-level needs. Solo marketers might not need every feature. 

9. Google Trends

google trends

Sometimes, you just want to know what’s been trending the last few months without having to pay a ton of money. For that, there’s Google Trends. You can get insight into daily, monthly, or yearly search trends and find data on how trends fluctuate through a specific period. 


  • Great for finding possible keywords to target
  • Helps you stay updated on current trends
  • Is free


  • Limited in its SEO capabilities as it’s mostly useful for brainstorming and staying current with searches

10. Keyword Finder

keyword finder

As the name suggests, Keyword Finder is excellent for finding keywords—especially long-tail keywords—you can easily rank for. If you’re at a loss for what keywords to look for, start by entering your competitors to brainstorm ideas. 


  • Intuitive and easy to navigate
  • Gives insight into search volume as well as historical data
  • Great for local keyword research and SERP analysis
  • Get five free searches per day


  • Not as comprehensive as other SEO tools in terms of features

11. Clearscope


Clearscope is a content-oriented SEO tool that’s built to help you write and optimize content that’ll show up on search engine results pages. It’s great for on-page SEO. 


  • Offers suggestions for content outlines
  • Ensures your content has enough keyword density
  • Built to give your content the best chances of ranking


  • Can be expensive for marketers that don’t produce a high volume of content 

12. GrowthBar


Through AI, GrowthBar gives you access to billions of keyword ideas and backlink data to ensure you’re making the most of your SEO efforts. It comes with a Chrome extension and is priced accessibly. Perfect for beginner marketers. 


  • Creates AI meta descriptions
  • Full access to its writing marketplace
  • Plenty of keyword research features


  • Best for basic SEO projects that don’t need a lot of advanced insights 

13. Keyword Hero

keyword hero

Keyword Hero enables you to match keywords with organic search traffic. If you’re familiar with Google Analytics, you know it doesn’t reveal which keywords bring the most traffic. Keyword Hero changes that. 


  • Gives you insight into session metrics
  • Helps optimize content on landing pages
  • Comes with keyword and traffic analytics


  • Mostly geared toward connecting keywords with search queries

14. Linkody


Backlinks are critical to your SEO success. With Linkody, you can get visibility into your competitors’ backlink strategies, manage all your links and domains in one dashboard, and always be in the know of when you’ve gained or lost a link. 


  • Offers a free 30-day trial
  • Get reports on backlink anchor text
  • Helps you discover new link-building opportunities
  • Affordably priced plans


  • Though excellent for backlink initiatives, it’s not a comprehensive SEO tool

15. ContentKing


ContentKing is great for monitoring SEO on your website. Its data reports are available at any time you want them as it monitors your website around the clock for helpful insights like changes in redirects. 


  • Great for managing established websites that don’t want to lose revenue to sudden search engine changes
  • Real-time SEO alerts
  • Great for e-commerce sites, marketplaces, and agencies


  • Its use is mostly around monitoring features and not necessarily for SEO research 

16. Woorank


Woorank’s suite of marketing tools comes together to create an accessible SEO dashboard where you can keep track of keyword rankings, create side-by-side comparisons of competitors, and uncover technical issues holding your site back from ranking higher. 


  • It’s affordably priced compared to other, more robust tools on the market
  • Integrates with Google Analytics and Facebook
  • Lets you create and download white-label reports
  • Offers a WordPress plugin


  • Features are not as comprehensive for enterprise needs or large marketing agencies

17. Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

While Google Analytics isn’t the first tool that comes to mind when you think of “SEO tools” it’s a cost-effective way to keep track of what pages on your website are bringing in the most traffic and how your rankings change over time.

And even with its controversial switch from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 in June 2023, it still offers great insights into which pages are bringing in traffic and keeping users engaged.


  • Accessible and cost-effective for marketers
  • Offers detailed insight into organic traffic sources and landing pages
  • Lets you see who is on your website within a 30-minute timeframe


  • Doesn’t allow you to see what keywords are bringing in the most traffic

Do more with SEO and content marketing

Without a doubt, SEO and content marketing make a dream duo once you know how to leverage them together to reach your target audience. However, only creating good content doesn’t cut it anymore. Creating content that ranks on search engine results pages takes working hand in hand with quality and strategy. 

Admittedly, content creation is a time-consuming piece of the puzzle. There are many content marketing platforms and even various Chrome extensions for digital marketing in general that can make it easier.

The good thing is, AI-powered marketing tools like Jasper are especially helpful for speeding up the content creation process.

Meet The Author:

Krista Doyle

Krista Doyle

SEO at Jasper

Krista Doyle is a writer-turned-strategy-nerd based in Austin, TX. By day she manages content strategy and SEO right here at Jasper, by night she binges Netflix or continues her mission to find the best old fashioned in Austin, TX.

Marketing Strategy

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