Content Marketing vs. SEO

Contents

There is no doubt that content marketing and SEO have transformed the digital marketing landscape.

The two are extremely powerful tools to have in your marketing arsenal, and if you can use them correctly, chances of succeeding online are very high. In fact, from our experience, individuals and businesses that understand these two and use them properly are far more successful with their digital marketing strategy.

So, what do you need to know about SEO and content marketing to make the most out of them? Read on to learn more!

What is content marketing?

Content marketing entails creating pages on your website that your audience will find fascinating and using them to move potential customers through the sales funnel. The nature of the content you create largely depends on your audience and goals, including to increase your sales, get more traffic, get more people to register your email list, etc. Content can be anything that is publishable online, including blog posts, guides, videos, articles, infographics, images, and many more. Here are some examples of content marketing:

  • Create an infographic to explain a process your customers should follow
  • Publish an image gallery to showcase your products
  • Create a video for reviewing and comparing products
  • Blogging. Using a blog to create content

What is SEO?

On the other hand, SEO (short for Search Engine Optimization) refers to everything you do to make your website rank higher for relevant terms in search engines like Google. This includes making it easier for search engines to find your website, read it, and understand it. Some of the things you can do here include:

  • Building high-quality links
  • Optimizing on-page elements
  • Improving user experience
  • Maintaining a social media presence
  • Using local keywords

How do they work together?

Content marketing and SEO have a mutual relationship, and they need to work together to generate fantastic results. In fact, the better your content, the better your SEO will perform —and vice versa. To put it simply, adding keywords to your content helps it rank better in search engines, and that means more traffic and easiness in reaching your content marketing goals. Equally, publishing stronger content on your website will boost its authority, which will improve your overall SEO.

The difference between content marketing and SEO

Now that we have established the relationship between content marketing and SEO, let's look at what exactly separates them.

Audience

When it comes to content marketing, you should create every piece of content (blogs, images, videos, etc.) with your target audience in mind. We also recommend optimizing the pages you host your content in a way that they don't detract from the content you publish. For SEO, you need to ensure your website remains visible in search results and remains a position of authority for your target audience. This means using the right title tags, keywords, headers, and many more to help search engines find and present your content to the right audience.

Approach

Your audience is unique. As such, the approach you take toward your content marketing and SEO should largely be based on who your audience is. When it comes to content marketing, your creativity will go a long way to help your stand out from the crowd. This is because your human visitors aren't almost scientific. Overall, the more creative you are, the easier it will for you to experiment with new formats and topics. For SEO, you should take an analytical approach to every change you make. This is because search engines use algorithms to deliver their results; hence a data-based strategy is your best bet. Tools like Google Analytics can help you come up with a plan for the next step seamlessly.

Value

Both content marketing and SEO have their own way of adding value to your website and content marketing. Content marketing ensures your visitors remain interested once they arrive on your website and moves them closer to becoming loyal customers. On the other hand, SEO attracts qualified traffic to your website and makes it possible to reach new visitors.

Which one is best for you?

Some people may tell you that you don't need both, but you actually need them to be successful in digital marketing. Content marketing without SEO is great but will not be successful. You will waste lots of time, money, and energy creating high-quality content, but without proper optimization, they won't perform as best as they can. SEO without content marketing will not be successful either. This is because your website will never rank for any relevant or high converting keywords. In general, if you want to be successful in digital marketing, you must use these two together. Here are more reasons why content marketing and SEO need to work together:

  • SEO can prepare your site and make it easily accessible to users and search engine
  • When you publish new content, search engines will find it up and use it in their index
  • Steadily this will increase your organic traffic, and then you can use content again to convert visitors into customers.
  • Great content also makes your site sharable on social media, and this will get you more traffic and exposure
  • Great content also attracts links from other sites, and this will have a positive effect on off-page SEO, which means higher ranking positions and more organic traffic.

How to combine content marketing strategy and SEO strategy

Here are some tips that will help you make the most of both strategies:

Research your competition

You will be making a great mistake in creating content and investing in SEO without researching what content your competitors are producing and how to outshine them. When you research, it becomes possible to create content that offers additional value and differentiate your brand from others in your industry.

Understand your audience

It doesn't matter the approach you take to create your content — if you don't have your audience in mind, your effort won't pay off. For your efforts to pay off, you need to fully understand your audience before writing that content. Here are the main reasons why you need to understand your audience in content marketing. You:

  • Understand what their problems, interests, and objections are
  • Know what to write about
  • Properly understand how to push them through your funnel
  • Know what stage of the sales funnel they are in

Pro tip! In order to understand your audience, you need first to find out exactly what they are looking for.

Make SEO friendly blog content

This is straight forward. Just focus on producing content that will rank for the target keywords. To create such content, consider doing the following:

  • Research first
  • Make the title for your content first
  • Keep a list of keywords and questions to use and answer in your content
  • Put your audience first
  • Understand how Google determines rankings based on SEO

At first, you may find it challenging to produce great content (we know this because we have been there), but with time, you will write seamlessly if persistent.

Keywords

It is impossible to talk about SEO without mentioning keywords as they are core to any successful content marketing, SEO campaign, and search engine marketing. That said, you need to research what keywords to add to your content in advance. You can do this using keyword tools.

Publish content on sites with high authority

This is simply guest posting on websites with high authority in your niche. For example, if you sell products for pregnant women, you may want to find the best mom bloggers out there. If you can consistently write great content for other websites, you will undoubtedly see an increase in your content marketing and SEO efforts. Not to mention that this can help establish new relationships and broaden your exposure.

Link building

Link building is important in maintaining a high-domain authority. The best way to build links to and from your website as part of an SEO campaign is to publish authoritative content. That means you need to have a content marketing strategy to promote as you build links; otherwise, you are effectively trying to cut corners.

User experience

SEO campaign goes beyond blog posts, backlinks, and keywords to include technical SEO to address your site's user experience. Technical SEO is all about making your site appealing for search results. This includes URL optimization, robots.txt files, fixing broken links, meta descriptions, etc. This technical optimization ensures your content is straightforward for both your target audience and search engines to understand.

Is content marketing the new SEO?

Content marketing is not the new SEO, but it has become an essential part of SEO. Let's assume that both content marketing and SEO are two different people working on the same team. The SEO guy can identify the indispensable keywords for your site and give that to the content marketing girl. She takes this input, generates the right type of content, and pass it back to him. The SEO guy optimizes the content and publishes it. The content marketing girl then starts promoting the content using other digital marketing techniques purposively to bring the content in front of the right type of people.

In conclusion

Today it isn't easy to achieve desirable online results if not utilizing both content marketing and SEO. You need content marketing to load your website with unique and useful content for your potential customers and readers. And you need to optimize your website for search engines. In general, SEO and content are core to digital marketing and must be used together to achieve the desired goals. Don't even think of separating them!