There’s always a little confusion over SEO and content marketing. Just how do they fit together? Do they even?
Well, the answer is yes, they’re like two peas in a pod. They’re the Ben&Jerry’s of the marketing world.
So let’s dive into why that is – why SEO is actually all about content marketing and how the two join forces.
But first, let’s address the issue. For some, they believe content marketing replaces SEO, but this isn’t the case at all. In fact, there are needs for both. Well optimised content can pave the way to showing up online, answering search queries and gaining a loyal following.
How are SEO and Content Marketing put up against one another?
The trouble is, wherever you look online the two are often pictured as rivals. “Will content marketing overtake SEO?” “Content marketing VS SEO” are just some of the titles I see thrown around.
But how can that be? When successful content marketing needs SEO?
Thankfully, many are starting to see how the two are actually a match made in heaven. But despite the many realisations, even huge publications (such as this article in The Guardian) continue to pitch the two against one another.
So let’s bring the two back together, like a candle-lit date in a shmoozy restaurant.
Here’s the truth: Content marketing and SEO work together.
Many believe that SEO professionals and content marketers sit at different ends of the table. This isn’t true. The two overlap, a lot, in fact.
But how do the two really differ? Sure, there are areas worth recognising significant differences, but one cannot work without the other.
How are SEO and content marketing different?
As I’ve already mentioned, the two are pretty much best pals. But naturally, there are some differences.
- SEO is more fine-tuned and technical
- Content marketing is broader and more holistic
So while SEO helps people find your content, the content itself needs to be designed in such a way that it can be searchable. A successful content marketing strategy requires SEO and vice versa.
In a nutshell, the success of content marketing is down to craft your content and utilising SEO techniques.
So, how do SEO and content marketing come together?
If the two were in a relationship, it would very much be a two-way street. While SEO helps your sites to rank, it cannot do its job without good content.
When Miss SEO asks Mr Content Marketing for help, the content delivered complements the SEO strategy.
Quite simply, one cannot exist without the other.
Content is very much still king (or queen)
While a speedy website will win you brownie points with search engines, content is where your site will truly shine. In order to rank and offer value to potential readers, you need content. You need web copy, blog articles, keywords. You get the picture.
Think about it. A blank website with no words won’t get anywhere. But nor will it rank without an SEO strategy.
The two are like a game of table tennis.
SEO can be pretty demanding
When it comes to SEO, keywords are crucial. Research (and some gut instinct) can help you identify how your audience searches in order to deliver – you guessed it – content.
How else would you apply the use of keywords? Through content of course. But unlike the good ol’ days, feeding keywords into your content takes skill. It requires knowing when to mention certain keywords and phrases without stuffing your content to the brim.
It also has to sound natural, which is another key element of writing content successfully.
However, when SEO and content marketing work together smoothly, you’ll nail it.
SEO wants links? No problem
Internal and external links are important for SEO. But linkbacks are even juicier. A SEO expert will go giddy at the thought of getting link juice via a high ranking, powerful source.
But wait, how do you get that? By creating awesome content.
Starting to see a trend, here?
But it’s not just about writing a chunk of text…
You may have noticed my use of headings here. That’s because a huge chunk of text resembles a dull-as-hell essay, and nobody wants to read that. Adding headers, bulletpoints and other formatting can help to separate your copy – as well as signal to search engines how your content is structured.
What’s important to the reader? Tell them with H1s, H2s, H3s…
When it comes to SEO (and content), user experience is incredibly important. If a reader cannot digest your content, make sense of it, and understand the structure of the page, you’ll lose them. SEO is about optimising robots.txt, enhancing metadata and constructing a sitemap.
So while a content marketer crafts your content, lays out the copy and includes the keywords… SEO covers technical optimisation that is put in place for the user.
Consistency is key for SEO and content
Google loves new, fresh content. If you’re familiar with SEO, you’ll know that fresh content gets indexed fast, and is picked up by SERPs higher than older content.
When a site full of value-packed content is consistently delivering good content, search engines pay attention.
For content marketing to be successful (and therefore SEO), you need to continue to deliver. Don’t start, then stop. Keep delivering.
Ready to rank higher?
The chances are, you’ve started a blog on your website and posted once or twice… and that’s where it ended.
Like I mentioned, content marketing and SEO needs consistency to succeed. So instead of fishing around for content ideas on a whim, talk to your team about consistently delivering crafted, SEO optimised content.