Some things just naturally go together, like peanut butter and jelly, salt and pepper and Netflix and chill. Content marketing and SEO is one of those things.
You might find this last statement a bit surprising, especially with the wealth of articles that talk about the death of SEO and its replacement by content marketing. As a result, a lot of small business owners treat the two like two separate things. That’s ridiculous. The truth of the matter is that SEO cannot exist without content marketing and vice versa.
Content Marketing and SEO Are Not Rivals
There’s no question about the fact that both SEO and content marketing play vital roles in the growth of your business. The former can help increase your search visibility while the latter allows you to sell your products or services without actually selling.
The problem is that a lot of small business owners see these disciplines as rivals and try to figure out which one – SEO or content marketing – can get the highest return on their investment.
This approach is not only dangerous for the success of your business but also ineffective. We’ll get to that in a second.
First, we must admit that there are some key differences between SEO and content marketing. SEO is technical and includes the use of ALT titles and tags, URLs, keywords, and sitemaps while content marketing is rather holistic.
But, treating SEO and content marketing like two separate things is like saying that headlines and copy are rivals. How ridiculous does that sound? You create the headline to get people to read your copy. Likewise, you optimize your content for SEO to get people to discover it.
How Content Marketing and SEO Can Work Together
It’s time to think holistically and start treating SEO and content marketing like two intertwined strategies that can help you grow your business.
Quality Content and SEO
There was a time when you could create poor quality content, stuff it with keywords, and still rank high in search results. Things had changed dramatically after the 2011 Panda update, when Google changed the way it evaluated content, penalizing sites with spammy articles.
Nowadays, from an SEO perspective, websites that create high-quality content that is helpful, relevant, and valuable rank high in search results. Those with thin content, on the other hand, risk losing referral traffic. Not to mention, quality articles can also help with your content marketing goals since people are more likely to read and engage with content that is fresh, original, and helpful.
Keywords are a crucial component of SEO. Without them, you can’t get your pages to rank in SERPs. But, at the same time, content marketing allows you to use your keywords strategically throughout your content and increase your chances of getting picked by web crawlers.
When you spend enough attention on the quality of your copy and the integration of keywords, you create content that both the search engines and your audience will love.
Link Building and Content Marketing
Great content attracts links. It’s just as simple as that. It doesn’t matter how many connections you have. If the people you are reaching out to in your link building campaign don’t see any value in your content, they won’t link back to it. And, that’s understandable. After all, there’s their reputation on the line.
But, if you create quality content that adds value to their audience’s lives, then top influencers in your niche will be more likely to link back to it, helping you drive more traffic to your page.
SEO and content marketing might be distinct strategies that require different skills, but the success of each depends on the other. Content marketing is only going to be effective if it has SEO features and the best way to rank high is through quality content.