SEO and content marketing are, technically speaking, two very different beasts, and yet, they go together hand in hand.
One relies on the other for success, and vice versa.
Maybe it’s not so much that they are two different beasts, but that they are two sides of the same coin. While these two processes seem to work very differently on the surface, it’s important to understand that they are really inseparable, and both are required to grow the traffic to your website.
In previous days, growing traffic was as simple as changing around link structures, adding keywords here and there, or experimenting with your metas. Once those elements were in place, you could start building more links on your site and sit back and watch your traffic grow.
Today, that process is a little more complicated. You’ve probably heard it before, but Google prefers (more like: “expects”) high-quality content over everything else.
“Content is king” is one of those internet marketing phrases that will never go away. If you don’t have good content, you won’t rank very well, and that’s a fact.
But, at the same time, in order for people to actually find your high-quality content, you have to have a great SEO strategy to back it up.
The greatest, most poetic, and unbelievably persuasive words won’t help your bottom line at all if Google doesn’t view your entire website as one that offers value or follows best practices.
Where They’re Different
As previously mentioned, SEO and content marketing are two different processes. You could describe the main difference like this: SEO is narrow and technical, while content marketing is broad and holistic.
While this seems like a stark contrast, it actually makes for a union that works effectively and cohesively.
Where They Overlap
While there plenty of differences between SEO and content marketing, there are also many areas where they overlap. Taking advantage of this overlap and using it in your website is the quickest way to get more people to visit your site.
So, let’s take a look at where SEO and content marketing come together.
- You can rank new pages with SEO and content. SEO is all about ranking high on search indexes, which can’t happen without you creating new, quality content. As you create new pages, you create opportunities for new rankings and more reach. This, in turn, leads to more keywords you can rank for. Remember, though, that quantity should never trump quality.
- You can optimize keywords with your content. Using keywords in your content allows you to reach better more diverse audiences, including niche audiences. The key to this is using keywords naturally within your content.
- Quality content gives you authority. Ranking high on search engines relies on a variety of different factors, including the quality of the content you write. As you use content to deliver keywords and reach audiences, you’ll rank higher in search engines and increase authority with your site visitors.
Why It Matters
It’s not uncommon for website owners to focus strictly on one side of the SEO/content coin and forget the other.
SEO and content marketing both bring important elements to the online marketing table, and you need them both to really grow your business. It’s often a really big and complex picture that needs to have everything working together to deliver the best results.
If a company were to simply start to focus on something like blogging at the expense of SEO time, they may start to see a drop in overall rankings.
On the other hand, if that same company were to fixate completely on link building and demand to see 18 new high-quality links every day, they will likely not have enough fresh content to support link building on that scale.
In the end, SEO requires so much content because it wants to grow. Google doesn’t want to see a stagnant, unchanging website. It wants to know you’re building up strong, useful and relevant content so it can deliver the best results for every search.
While it is possible to use SEO on the same pages over and over, you’ll find that it’s a lot more effective when it’s pulling all this new content under its wings, tying it all together, and pushing it all up the search engine rankings.
Creating a Balance
The key is to use SEO and content marketing together. Yes, SEO requires a lot of content, but that doesn’t mean you should pin all your hopes on that single aspect of online marketing. We want to come at this from all angles.
Maybe blogs aren’t what you need right now. Maybe you should consider some long-form, evergreen content instead. Maybe we should get your user interface updated before we start delving into link building.
There are a lot of moving parts, here, which is why creating a balance between the two is incredibly important.
And it may be easier than you think.
First, identify the purpose of your website. If you want to simply attract users, focus more on SEO tactics that drive visitors to your site. If you want higher conversion rates once visitors get to your site, content marketing is more important.
For the most part, however, you should aim to both drive visitors to your site and convert them once they get there. As you create this balance, you’re sure to see your visitors and conversion rates increase.