Online marketing amateurs often have a problem grasping the meanings of content marketing and SEO. In several places, optimization guides and blogs use the terms interchangeably. The fact that the same kind of experts uses these terms in similar instances does not help at all. That gives rise to several questions – “what is content marketing,” “how is SEO different from content marketing,” “are the two terms synonymous” and “where do SEO end and content marketing begin.” In fact, several experienced marketing experts face similar confusions time and again. Learning the definition of each term is not enough. You need to understand what each term implies to be able to distinguish one from the other.
Drawing the line between SEO and content marketing is especially challenging since two of them overlap to a great extent. There can be no SEO strategy without a sound content marketing strategy, and no content marketing plan excludes SEO. Nonetheless, you should be able to tell the difference between each one, when the time comes to review your current online marketing policy.
What is content marketing?
You must have already heard about the need of value adding content for boosting the rank of your site or increasing your visibility. There are several formats of content including a blog (text), images, infographics, graphs, audio (podcasts) and video. However, all of them have a common purpose – they need to provide information about your company, products, and services to the target audience. The type of content you choose will affect the outcome of your content marketing campaign, but the quality of it will define its level of success. By using high-quality content, you should be able to attract people to your website. You can initially do so by offering freebies like subscription coupons, first-month registration discounts or free samples of your products.
What is the role of SEO in a content strategy?
SEO or search engine optimization includes a series of tips and tricks that can potentially increase your website’s rankings in the SERPs. While most patrons believe that it is the defining aspect of an entire website, in reality, individual pages and the content contribute to a site’s SEO. Whether your visitors use Google or Bing, the search engine is likely to rank the relevant pages using two types of factors. Relevance and authority determine the rank of a page or a site in a search result list.
To make your content more accessible to search engines, you must be able to increase the relevance of your content. That involves some dedicated research and considerable investment in keyword research tools. An excellent piece of content always pays attention to what the target users are reading and what they want to know.
On the other hand, your site can gain authority by sticking with high-quality content and earning trustworthy external links from reputed blogs and non-competitor sites. It is the essential link building process that most SEO guides talk about. A blog’s prospect of link building depends on the kind of content, topics, and quality.
How does content marketing depend on SEO?
Firstly, it would be wrong to say that content marketing depends on SEO. The two aspects of online marketing depend on each other. It is impossible to improve your site’s optimization for search engines unless you have a good content strategy. Why would a website link back to your content, unless the content delivers some value to them? That is the reason sites, and blogs with professionally crafted content garner more views and better links.
Content is the infrastructure of keyword optimization for all websites. It is the first method of directing or targeting specific user groups. Without keyword research and optimization, it would be impossible to appeal to the right audience at the right time. More importantly, you can craft keyword centered content for each page. It gives your site the opportunity to rank for multiple pages. Each new webpage that Google can index gives you another chance to rank for a relevant search term.
On the other hand, you need SEO to improve the visibility of your content. It is a positive feedback process that makes your content more visible for the interested readers, and the increasing traffic boosts the authority of the content. It is true that as your readership starts to grow, the CTAs on your site will attract more attention and this will improve the authority of your website.
How is SEO and content marketing different from one another?
One of the primary differences between the two is their intents. Search engine optimization targets the search engine bots. A relevant strategy is likely to increase the visibility of your site and your content to the search engine spiders. Once they index the components of a website, it is only a matter of time before the human users come. Content marketing targets the users directly. An interesting piece of content appeals to the human users. When we come across an exciting or trending blog, we share it with our friends and leave comments. Each action on the content generates traction, and that attracts search engines. It pivots on the reader experience to create authority and page rankings, while SEO leverages the technicalities to do the same.
How should you utilize them?
While developing a working online marketing plan, it is essential for you to find the right balance between content marketing and SEO. It is impossible for one to work successfully without another. While finding an SEO service agency, you must also look at their portfolio for their content marketing skills. It makes little sense for a client to hire SEO teams and content management teams separately when they want to improve their online presence.
Each method has its idiosyncrasy. SEO will help you improve the site footfall within a short time; while content will help you build a lasting impression upon your target market. No matter what your priority is right now, you must find the balance between them in the long run.