Like with the answer to most questions, it all depends on who you ask. Some people treat SEO and content marketing like synonyms. Others might say that content marketing makes SEO totally irrelevant, or that content marketing doesn’t matter if you have excellent SEO. The truth is somewhere in a gray area.
SEO and content marketing are both great things. They both serve similar purposes, but they’re different enough to be needed for completely separate reasons. They’re co-equal partners that fulfill two completely different jobs to create two perfect products: traffic to your website and marketing success.
The Simple Definition of SEO
SEO stands for search engine optimization. On the surface, that might seem like something routine that only needs to be done once. In reality, it’s an ongoing process that you’ll never stop doing if you need your website to stay busy.
The purpose of SEO is to keep your website relevant to search engines and to establish yourself as an authority site. Links, content and keywords tell a search engine that your site is the one people are looking for. You satisfy the search engine’s criteria better than your competitor does, and the search engine helps you receive the traffic you want.
The Simple Definition of Content Marketing
Content marketing is a process in which perfectly great stuff that people want is given to them for free. It can be anything as long as it’s useful. A long blog post that helps people solve something perplexing, a video that makes them laugh hysterically, or an infographic that makes a complicated situation very simple are all great examples of valuable content.
These pieces of content are like hooks full of delicious bait. You get people on the hook, and you’re reeling in exactly who you want to reel in. In the process, you’re exposing them to your branding, developing a relationship with them, and introducing them to whatever you’re selling. You might also be encouraging them to share your content and spread it further with likeminded people, helping your message resonate even further with minimal effort.
What SEO and Content Marketing Have in Common
SEO and content marketing do have something significant in common. When you boil them down to a reduction, they’re both ways to help you dominate your own small corner of the internet. They’re designed to help people find you, albeit in different ways.
They play together quite nicely. Incorporating the keywords you need to rank in a particular search into your content will make it work double duty. If each piece of content is posted as a separate page, it’s a new opportunity for a search engine to index you. If people really like your content, you’ll get a little bit of clout from it. It boosts the appearance of your authority and makes your website appear increasingly more useful.
How SEO and Content Marketing Differ
Simply put, SEO satisfies algorithms and content marketing satisfies people. You need the search engines to show you to people, and you need people to be happy with what they find when they get there. SEO won’t necessarily make them happy. The use of keywords alone will not add value – generic text that mentions keywords in a relevant context isn’t necessarily enhancing their lives. Great content will – especially if the keyword they searched for is part of an engaging experience that solves a need for them.
Some aspects of SEO have absolutely nothing to do with keywords or content. Google considers a mobile optimized website to be important by SEO standards, and this is completely invisible in your website text. Links to your website also factor into your overall SEO score, and most people find no value in a link alone.
Creating Perfect Synergy
Ideally, you want your SEO and content marketing efforts to be magnetic. They need to snap together securely. If you want your website to thrive, you shouldn’t attempt one without the other. Content marketing becomes a vehicle for the written aspects of SEO (those involving keywords) and every page of content you write is a new SEO opportunity.
You should keep both in your mind simultaneously and weigh them at equal importance. You can create inbound links to useful pieces of content if enough other people or websites decide to share that content based on the value if provides, and this is an instance in which both concepts play together perfectly. Keep pairing them up, and watch the traffic roll in.
Need Some Help?
If you’re too busy running your successful website, we can handle the SEO and content marketing on your behalf. Let us find out what you need and research the value your visitors want. We’ll compile a strategy tailored to your future and help you achieve your goals.