Marketers use two primary methods to promote their brands or services: content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO). Sometimes marketers combine them but, more often than not, they keep them separate because there is confusion about whether or not content marketing and SEO are compatible.
Let’s put all of this confusion to rest. Content marketing and SEO are necessary for each other because the only way to have a truly effective SEO strategy is to integrate content marketing. Despite what some might have you believe, content marketing is not going to ever overtake SEO. If you want to be a successful marketer you need to use both.
Before getting into how content marketing and SEO work so well together, it’s necessary to understand what they both are.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is all about providing customers with relevant or useful information that has very little to do with a service or product, if any; instead, it is a way to build trust with new customers and keep established customers interested in the brand. The energy drink maker Red Bull is often cited as a great example of content marketing, as it has successfully built its brand around extreme sports.
What is SEO?
SEO is the process that marketers (or anyone trying to promote themselves or an organization) use to get their websites on the first page of a Google search, or another search engine results.
The best way to do this is through the incorporation of keywords and link building, which involves securing links to your website on another website. Links to other reputable sites work best here. The more of these “backlinks” you have, the higher your search engine ranking will be.
SEO Then and Now
About five to ten years ago, only large corporations with equally large budgets in the millions could afford to buy sponsored link space on other websites. Also, back then low-quality SEO content was sufficient to catch the attention of web crawler software (what search engines use to scan the Internet). As a result, it was difficult for smaller businesses to increase their online presence and engagement with potential customers.
Today, the situation has changed considerably. SEO technology and algorithms have become more advanced which means that the days of “keyword stuffing” or producing low-quality content are over. To attract the attention of search engines, a good SEO strategy now requires high-quality content marketing.
This is especially true nowadays because SEO competition has increased thanks to marketing platforms, the rise of thematic blogs (blogs that are geared toward your brand or website), smaller news websites, among many other factors
In short, competition for people’s attention (and advertising dollars for sponsored links) have intensified.
How to Use Content Marketing and SEO Together for an Effective Strategy
Given this current state of online marketing, the only real approach to achieve desired results is to develop a strategy that combines content marketing and SEO; keeping them separate is less effective.
In terms of content marketing, choose a topic that not only aligns with your brand or website but that is more unique or specialized. This will give your business a competitive edge. This will also allow you to build authority, meaning that people will trust you to produce informative and reliable content. Keep in mind that one topic is not enough; it is crucial to post fresh content that will keep visitors engaged and help build loyalty to your brand or organization.
So, where do SEO keywords fit in? Within the content itself, applied strategically for maximum effectiveness. When used in conjunction, content marketing and SEO are like two peas in a pod; they are meant for each other. SEO positions your content high on search engine results and content marketing enables you to build authority and also boosts your SEO ranking as your reputation increases.
If you want to beat out as much competition as possible, it is in your best interest to use content marketing and SEO together.