SEO and Content Marketing: Why They Need Each Other

SEO and content marketing go together like peanut butter and jelly, you can have them by themselves but they complement each other oh so perfectly! As content marketing practices inch their way into SEO strategies, there have been several claims that content marketing is the new SEO. While content marketing is an important aspect to any SEO plan, here is why we need to stop pitting them against each other and instead take a step back for a more holistic approach and greater search engine success.

SEO & Content Marketing Do Not Compete With Each Other

Content marketing is the process of creating and distributing optimized and consistent content to attract and engage a target audience. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of increasing a web page’s visibility within the organic search results. SEO is not its own entity; it requires several moving parts and methods for achieving its goal, one of which is content marketing. So, if SEO needs content marketing to be successful and content marketing needs SEO to be successful, why do we keep making them compete for time and resources? It is important to recognize that SEO and content marketing are not completely separate entities; we need them to work together in harmony in order to achieve their set out goals.


Content Needs to be Optimized to Work

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Content marketing is not going to be successful unless it is optimized for search engines. As a content writer, I need to work with my SEO-expert friends over in digital development to determine which keywords my client wants to rank for. This allows me to optimize the client’s service pages, blogs, and other content pieces we distribute so that they include rich keywords and quality links that will be relevant to both search engines and the reader.  

If I were to post a bunch of content online without SEO knowledge, it would simply be content creation, not content marketing. Content marketing is all about having a focused strategy reflecting exactly what I want to help my clients’ rank for, and attaining that strategy through optimized content. In other words, content marketing needs SEO in order to do its job.


SEO Isn’t Dead, It’s Just Different

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So no, SEO is not “dead”. We definitely need SEO best practices in order to create a comprehensive strategy and quality content. However, it is different than it was five years ago, and will probably continue to evolve as search engines continue to get smarter. Rather than putting out spammy articles ridden with way too many links, overuse of keywords, and jumbled or uninteresting content to appeal to the search engine, we now have to appeal to the human as well.

In content marketing, we have to look at how search engines are evolving. As of today, search engines crawl web pages and rank content according to how useful it will be to the person submitting the search query. The search engine results page (SERP) reflects the ranking of content by determining how many other domains link to a page.  A domain that gets a great deal of links from other domains, points to content that is reliable. This means it is much more valuable to create consistent, relevant, and interesting content with a few important rich keywords, rather than spamming the article with links and keywords but no real content. This is imperative because other websites are not going to link to your content if they believe it is spam, and audiences are much less likely to read and share spammy content.  One link back to your domain is much more valuable than a junky article jam-packed with keywords.

At the end of the day, you need to have comprehensive SEO AND content marketing strategies for the most success in engaging your readers, attracting new audiences, and to improve your domain authority.
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