Where do you begin when you have to buy something online? You usually start by conducting a search, right?
Before visiting a new restaurant, hair salon, or any other establishment, most people would read the online reviews. That generally involves telling Google to search for “best restaurants in town” or something similar. Most consumers have become dependent on and placed our trust in search engines.
To get search engines viability or rank on the top, a webmaster must optimize content with relevant keywords. That’s why SEO and content marketing are among the top marketing tools today. Content marketing and SEO have replaced traditional marketing tactics to the next level. Since their inception, both of these concepts have also undergone much change.
What I’ve noticed is that many people are confused about the real meaning of the terms “SEO” and “content marketing.” This has resulted in them being used interchangeably.
Before we study how SEO and content marketing are interlinked, let’s quickly review the individual concepts to understand them better.
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization, commonly abbreviated as SEO, is a technique that helps search engines find and rank websites in search results. If used correctly, it can get your website ranked higher than millions of other available sites.
As part of the Internet marketing technique, SEO understands how the search engine works. It involves using what people are frequently searching for, what the most popular searches are, and which search engines are most often visited. There are various SEO techniques, but the ultimate objective is to enhance the visibility of the website.
What is Content Marketing?
Bill Gates once famously said, “Content is king.” Internet marketing simply can’t function without quality content. Content marketing is the practice of marketing brands, products, or services by creating and distributing meaningful, reliable, and valuable content. It’s a consistent approach to retain a specified audience so that an enhanced customer base can be formed. This helps websites experience an increase in conversions and profits.
If you go into the technical definitions of these two terms, you’ll be able to find their similarities and differences. Now, the most important question arising here is whether these two concepts are co-related. Can they be used as a single tool, or are they two entirely different Internet marketing tools that should be used separately? To answer this question, we’ll begin comparing SEO and content marketing.
What are the Differences Between Content Marketing and SEO?
Let’s start by reviewing what makes the two concepts different.
- Perhaps the most significant difference between content marketing and SEO is their scope. SEO is more technical (not fully), so its scope is narrower. Content marketing has a wider scope because it’s non-technical in nature.
- SEO functions around the search engine guidelines and focuses on understanding the phrases (keywords) that can drive traffic to websites. Therefore, SEO concentrates on satisfying the needs and requirements of search engines. On the other hand, content marketing functions around satisfying the needs of human audiences. We develop writing ideas and build our content to inform people, not just search engines.
How Are SEO and Content Marketing Co-Related?
As previously mentioned, an important question that arises when we talk about SEO and Content Marketing is whether the two are co-related and how. It would be a huge mistake to consider SEO and content marketing as separate because the two are so closely related. In fact, relevant content creation is considered to be the most effective SEO tactic.
Let’s now take a look at their similarities to find their co-relation.
- SEO states requirements and we need content marketing to fulfill them for high search engine rankings. For instance, SEO demands content in the form of articles, copy, words, and keywords. Since content marketing involves the development of useful and relevant content, it can be defined as the practical application of SEO.
- Keywords are a fundamental component of SEO, but keywords alone can’t do anything. You can’t just overstuff your page with keywords, or you’ll face penalties from Google Panda. We need to utilize keywords with content that’s relevant and of good quality. Then, search engines can deliver relevant results to users searching for a specific query.
- SEO involves building quality links back to your website. Content marketing is certainly the best way to attract inbound links from readers.
From just these basic points, you can see that SEO and content marketing are separate concepts that go hand-in-hand. Despite their differences, they can’t function without each other. We now have our answer that SEO and content marketing are co-related.
What is Effective SEO? How Can SEO be Effective?
The key element of SEO is finding out what people want and filling their plate with it. Search engine optimization gears your website up for search engine success. As you keep optimizing your site, you make it more preferable for the search engines. This helps your website in ranking better than other websites.
Overall, on-page SEO requires your website to be equipped with good pages, good structure, and keyword-rich title pages. It should basically be technically sound.
Now, does a technically sound website automatically get top ranking on SERP? Five years ago, the answer to this question would have been yes. However, several changes in search engine guidelines, algorithms, and user preferences have also changed the answer.
There are some websites in cyber space with coding mistakes, broken links, and unoptimized keywords that are doing really well for themselves. Despite all these technical mistakes, they’re able to get ahead of their competitors and achieve high ranks in search engines. Therefore, the focus is not solely on SEO, but more about effective off-page SEO.
How can we effectively optimize our sites for search engines? A technically equipped website was sufficient to build traffic sometime back. Nowadays, everyone is applying technical SEO rules to their website.
You really need to gear up and think of something that can differentiate you from others. The two magical words that come to mind when we think of a solution for this is “content marketing.”
Content truly reigns supreme in SEO. Although everyone is using content marketing, each website is doing it differently and with different levels of excellence. Content marketing focuses on retaining users for a lifetime by building trust and educating them. A crucial method of content marketing is telling people stories they want to hear. The catch is that you need to avoid being too obvious about selling your product or brand. Instead, you should develop content that can create awareness among site visitors.
The ultimate objective is to create a brand name for yourself by providing your audience with valuable knowledge. The entire cycle of developing content for your users is an effective way of reaching out to them. Businesses may face several problems in content marketing, such as lack of time, budget constraints, and inability to produce enough posts. However, having a proper content marketing plan in place can help you steer clear of most of these issues.
In the early stages of Internet marketing, SEO with link building was effective. However, as we’ve moved forward and seen numerous developments, the trend has changed drastically.
Businesses now need to see the bigger picture and integrate SEO with other marketing methods, such as content marketing and social media marketing. The use of all three aspects of an integrated Internet marketing plan is necessary for successful marketing. For instance, content marketing can fulfill the needs of SEO while social media channels are used to distribute content and increase the visibility/reach of the content produced.
Your SEO campaign won’t have the desired effect unless you integrate a proper content marketing strategy into it. Similarly, your content marketing strategy will not yield the desired results if you don’t incorporate an effective SEO plan. Creating an efficient SEO plan along with a content marketing strategy can drive you towards meeting your digital marketing goals.
When it comes to SEO and content marketing, it would be foolish to choose one over the other. The two concepts are co-related and dependent on one another for online growth. Ensure that they go hand-in-hand with your Internet marketing strategies.
Do you have any questions, comments, or concerns about SEO and content marketing? Please let me know in the comment section below. I’d be happy to share some tactics!
Note: The opinions expressed in this article are the views of the author, and not necessarily the views of Caphyon, its staff, or its partners.
Great piece, Shane. I share your opinion that people should stop being too obvious about selling a product or brand to customers. Good content always raises awareness among visitors.
As Gary Vaynerchuk says, “Content is king, but context is God.”
Point being, your content has to be native and actionable above all else.
I see content marketing and seo as part of each other if someone is only doing seo then he is doing half of the work, content marketing is necessary specially for the blog.
Thanks Shane for the long guide 🙂
This is a great tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere. Short but very precise information… Thanks for sharing this one. A must read post.
Both concepts are correlated and we can’t discuss them as a separate notion. SEO and content marketing are both interlinked exactly the way our body and soul are. Though their scope is different but they both go side by side.
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