The content marketing versus SEO debate has gone on for years in marketing circles. These two concepts, like boxers in a boxing ring, have had to face each other and fight it out. However, the two do not have to be rivals. In fact, they complement each other. There is no content marketing without SEO, and vice versa.
Content marketing can be seen as the tool through which SEO is implemented. SEO is the technique.
In this article, we explore content marketing and SEO, their similarities and differences, as well as why you need both for your marketing strategy to yield results.
Defining Content Marketing and SEO
SEO, Search Engine Optimization, is a technique aimed at increasing a brand’s online visibility with the goal of sending more traffic to a website. Content marketing, on the other hand, involves promoting a brand by creating valuable content for the user.
Content Marketing and SEO Both Have a Similar Goal…
Both content marketing and SEO have the same goal – growing website conversions. They however achieve that goal differently. While SEO gets visitors to your site, content marketing keeps them engaged long enough to convert.
If you are an e-commerce store that sells toys for children, your conversion goals could be:
- Getting visitors to leave their contact information
- Getting visitors to buy
How does SEO help you achieve your goals?
- Keyword research – You need to think about and research the keywords that your potential customers could use when searching for toys.
- Optimization – You need to optimize your site for those keywords.
- Links – You would want to link to a high authority site (or have them link back to you).
Let’s pause SEO here.
How does content marketing help you achieve your goals?
- Optimization – You can ensure that your product description is properly written, incorporating the above-mentioned keywords while providing value to your customers. You can include reviews and tips to ensure that children stay safe when using toys, for example.
- Links – You can link to authoritative websites in your content, for example, a toy safety study done by a reputable institution, or you can create a guest post on a reputable site and link back to your site.
As you can see, you need both to achieve your goal. If the content on your site provides value, then a visitor may find it easier to leave their contact information or buy from you.
Both are Long Term Strategies…
Patience is a virtue if you are to succeed at either SEO or content marketing. If you are constantly checking your analytics, you are likely to get frustrated.
Get Them Right from the Get-go
The best way to approach either SEO or content marketing is to do the right things from the beginning. We do understand that you may not have had much knowledge about SEO when you were building your site. That does not mean that it is impossible to come back and optimize it.
Doing things properly at the start makes it easier to change them later.
For example, if you want to create a guide on keeping children safe when playing with toys, you need to do your keyword research. It is prudent to keep all the raw documents you used.
Once you narrow down to a specific keyword, then it is time to do competitor research. Who else is ranking for that keyword? Go through their content and look out for an angle from which you can create your content.
Work on your piece and optimize it appropriately, including using internal links and outbound links.
At this point, if you look at your analytics, there might be nothing much.
Let’s say that 2 weeks from now, you are scheduled to speak at a webinar. As a result, you need to create a guest post on the topic, that will be published on the organizers’ website (which has great domain authority). You might even prepare a presentation. Here, you have an opportunity to create backlinks to your piece.
If you had not properly optimized it, it would be more difficult to make use of the newly acquired backlinks.
If you discover more keywords that you can add, it’s easier to do so.
Optimize at Least Quarterly
You can check your analytics every quarter. This gives your content and SEO ample time for Google to index it and rank it, and for people to see it. Once every quarter, you can check your analytics and see what content brought you the most traffic and conversions. You can also do an SEO audit and optimize the pages or content that you need to.
Content marketing and SEO are inseparable. They need each other. As you create your SEO strategy, remember to create space for content marketing, and vice versa.