Content Marketing and SEO: Which is Best?
With the boom of digital marketing, one of the discussions that emerged is the comparison between search engine optimization and content marketing. It was a battle over which strategy is more effective in driving traffic in the competitive world wide web.
Over the years, though, experts have begun to see the value of integrating these two tools in order to maximize potential views, giving birth to the term SEO content marketing strategy.
To fully understand how SEO content marketing strategy works, it is important to look at the two involved separately.
SEO, as its meaning implies, is the process of ensuring a site appears high on the results list when you conduct your online search. The term that is always linked to SEO is the keyword.
Through careful analysis of keywords and application of the right frequency of usage, the site would appear on top or at least on the first page of the list of results.
Why is appearing high on the results list important? Try searching for the term “SEO” online. You will get about 768,000,000 results. Again, there are 768,000,000 results.
Normal people will not browse through all the websites that appear in the SERPs. The most logical next step for the normal person is to check the website that appears first on the results list.
How Content Marketing Fuels User Intent and Relevance
Upon clicking a website, the next question is this: does it provide relevant content? This is where content marketing comes in.
If SEO is about being on the top page of the results list, content marketing is about giving the information that the user needs. The idea is to meet the objectives of the user in conducting an online search through valuable and effective content.
A website that demonstrates good content marketing provides the user with an answer to his question or concern, or at the very least, point him in the right direction. Through this, the user will deem the website as informative and trustworthy, and will most probably visit it again for similar concerns.
Why is Content Marketing Important?
Why is it essential to have good content? A website is foremost, a brand. As with any brands, it is important to establish credibility and form loyalty with the users to set yourself apart from the clutter of other websites.
You may rank high on the list of results, but if your content is not of any use to the user, your website will not be visited again.
On the flip side, you may have good quality content but if your website is on the 700,000,000th result out of 800,000,000, it would be difficult to drive traffic.
Why SEO Must Be Intertwined With Content Marketing
This dilemma is answered by combining both SEO and content marketing to create an SEO content marketing strategy.
To paint a better picture as to how the two go hand in hand, imagine the job application process. A well-crafted resume will help you stand out among the pile of applications on the recruiter’s table. You are unable to engage with the recruiter yet, but you show potential, so you land an interview.
The interview is your chance to prove that you are perfect for the job. It is the opportunity for you to sell your credentials－who you are, what you know, and why you deserve the job opening.
If you are able to demonstrate trustworthiness and knowledge based on your interview, the recruiter will most probably get in touch with you again for the next step of the process.
In the job application scenario, the resume is SEO, while the interview is content marketing. You have made an impression by landing on the top of the results list so you are given the opportunity to engage your audience.
SEO and Content Marketing Combined is a Powerful Strategy
SEO content marketing strategy combines two effective tools in generating traffic for your website. But how do you start with this strategy?
First, it is important to know that your website as a brand. Content marketing strategy establishes your “why”. Why do you exist as a brand? Why do you create your brand’s content? Who is the content for? What are your objectives? What is your edge over others?
In traditional marketing, this is similar to knowing your brand’s essence, story, and positioning.
By carefully analyzing your brand, you learn more about your target audience, thus, enabling you to create more effective content. Your brand not only talks about what your audience’s current needs are, but it also anticipates what they might need in the future.
Second, create a content plan. Posting should be consistent in order to remain relevant. At the same time, SEO plays an important role here. Conducting keyword research and targeting them in the course of execution of your on-site optimization is non-negotiable.
Only by using SEO can you increase your content’s visibility so that it is positioned in front of your audience when the time is right.
Additionally, link building is non-negotiable. These two elements are required parts of the foundation to achieve phenomenal results. While they won’t happen overnight, results won’t happen if you don’t take advantage of both facets of internet marketing.
Integrate SEO and Content Marketing With Technical SEO, and You Can Become Awesome
You should not limit your SEO efforts to just content and links. If you ignore technical SEO, you can place an artificial limit on how successful you can be. The more competitive sites will always be better technically-speaking than the less competitive ones. They have to be.
To be successful means to have all three foundations of modern SEO in check:
- Great content to facilitate user satisfaction, intent, and relevance behind the query they search for,
- High quality links to pass value from one site to the next, creating expertise, authority, and trust,
- A site thoroughly optimized with technical SEO to take into account site speed, code issues, accessibility, and much more.
Limiting yourself by myths and fallacies perpetuated by those who don’t know any better is leaving money on the table. You can favor one or the other for a limited time, but the stability of your rankings will eventually suffer. Why take that chance?
Don’t Limit Your Content Plan
Your content plan should not be limited to the topic of your post. Be as detailed as possible. What are the objectives of the post? What is the primary keyword to be used? What are the other relevant keywords? When will each post be up on your website?
Additionally, some of the questions which should be answered are these: What is the outcome you want after the audience read your post? Will they visit another website? Will they purchase something?
A content plan is a management tool. It will help you be on-track. It might be overwhelming to do, but it gives you a flow of your content. Besides, it will be beneficial in the long run in helping you create your content since you do not need to work from scratch. By checking your content plan, you will only need to flesh out your prearranged topics.
Keep in Mind Your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Lastly, as with any strategies, there should be a measurable key performance index (KPI), or simply, list of goals. Only by having KPI or goals that are measurable, will you be able to check if your brand and content are doing well.
How many website clicks are you aiming for? How many views per post? How many comments? If there are purchases, how much sales? How long is the duration of these goals? Everything should be put into numbers and be time-bound.
In a nutshell, SEO is quantitative. It is about numbers and analysis of keywords, content, and links. Content marketing is qualitative. It is about providing information and call to action. Because while your audience may have an idea of what they want, it will be your content that solidifies and a call to action to move forward with your company over another. This is where expertise, authority, and trust comes in.
Integrating both elements of internet marketing through SEO content marketing strategy can create promising results to help you drive traffic and engage with your target audience. It is all about planning and getting organized.