In the digital era, it is important to consider what tools and channels to use for achieving the set goals. They will, after all, determine the effectiveness of your marketing strategy. You need to make smart choices that will yield the best results.
When it comes to choosing the best digital marketing tools, it is hard to avoid the purported rivals — SEO (search engine optimisation) or content marketing. They are two of the most important aspects of digital marketing, never losing their relevance even in the face of constantly changing marketing trends.
This infographic by Serpwatch shows that SEO builds a strong case, with statistics showing that more than 40% of business revenue is captured by organic traffic. Content marketing, however, is not far behind. It helps businesses to get more leads through blogging.
Many marketers are pitching SEO and content marketing against each other. There are talks of content marketing usurping SEO and SEO overtaking content marketing.
Should You Buy the Hype?
When you really think about it, though, do you need to pick a side? If you ignore the ridiculously hyped debate, the two actually work hand in hand to accomplish several marketing goals.
- Create brand awareness.
- Expose brand to thousands of potential customers for free.
- Drive traffic to the website.
- Engage and educate potential customers.
- Increase reach and leads.
Content marketing and SEO do not need to compete against each other. So why is there a pointless argument between the two sides? It all comes down to making the mistake of considering the two titans as two different sections of digital marketing.
How Does Content Marketing Work?
As a digital marketing strategy, content marketing deals with creating compelling, relevant, and valuable content that attract potential customers and compel them to take action.
Content marketing does not consider making a sale as its first objective. Instead, it seeks to raise awareness about the brand, educate the audience about the offered products or services, and give them value.
This marketing tactic differs from all the others because it aims to build a relationship with the customer first and sell later. Through a wealth of valuable content, your potential customers are informed before making a purchasing decision.
A smart content marketing strategy takes potential customers through each stage of the buying journey and sometimes even beyond the buying cycle. It does not only build a relationship with the customers but also nurture it even after they made a purchase.
Content marketers are with creating the best and most suitable content by using the most appropriate medium.
How Does SEO Work?
SEO is more technical. It is defined as the process that brings organic traffic to the website through ranking high in search engine results pages. While content marketing tends to be broad, SEO has a narrow focus that serves the right answers to the right audience.
This can be done by targeting keywords and phrases relevant to your business that your target audience will more likely ask through major search engines. Search engines, like Google and Bing, rank the results based on their relevance to the searcher. Appearing in the top of search engine results pages can usher in a wealth of benefits.
For one, it improves your online visibility. This means more people will see your content, visit your website, and learn all about your business.
Aside from the content strategy in SEO, there is also the matter of building a website that is optimized for users, whether they are viewing it on desktop or mobile. This sort of thing matters to search engines because they put the user experience on the top of their priorities.
Do You Really Need to Choose One Over the Other?
There is no contest. SEO and content marketing have their own merits. In fact, they need to work together to be more effective. Current search engine algorithms heavily favor fresh and original content that provides value for users.
To implement a sound SEO strategy, you need good content that searchers would want to read. To make your content visible to users, you need to optimize it for search engines. So, as you can see, choosing one over the other is a bit pointless when integrating them into one seamless strategy can yield better results.
In the digital era, marketing means being in the right place at the right time. Search engines are the best place to start, and you can only make the most out of it if you have exceptional content. They work hand in hand, overlapping and intersecting.
While SEO requires targeting the right keywords, it is content marketing that fulfills this by using the keywords in the right context for the right audience.
Integrating SEO and Content Marketing
SEO demands extensive keyword research and finds out how to utilize them in SERPs, but it is content marketing that employs those very keywords into the content.
One without the other might lead you to miss a lot of opportunities and can even render your strategy ineffective.
When SEO and content marketing do their jobs well by working in harmony, they will attract the best results. SEO fulfills the technical aspects and employs a narrow focus that makes it effective. Content marketing supports it through its broad and holistic approach, producing valuable content that can improve SEO rankings.
The best way to integrate both of them into one strategy is to let them enhance each other. Think of them as the building blocks of your marketing strategy. The foundation of your marketing strategy is content. Start from there and build upwards while integrating SEO in every step.
This means you need to define your niche before producing content. Which specific area do you want to establish your authority in?
You also need to define your target audience. Who do you want to convince and persuade?
The answer to these questions will be your guide to the next steps, which is keyword research and, finally, content creation.
By knowing your niche, target audience, and keywords, you will be able to formulate topics that your audience will want to search and find out. Your knowledge on keyword-focused SEO can be incorporated into the content creation process, where you strategically place keywords in important areas that search engines will understand.
The content marketing aspect will ensure that you are producing content that is valuable to your audience, relevant, and educational. Give something back to them and make content worth their time.
A content strategy reinforced by the best SEO practices can transform your marketing strategy. Utilizing them both can ensure free exposure on organic search results and increased trust from your audience who found value on your content offerings.
It is not enough that you are found in the top results of search engine pages. You must also make sure to hold the attention of the visitors by providing them with what they need, answering their questions, or solving their problems.
Once you accomplish this, search engines will get the message—your website offers value to users and can be considered an authority.
See how SEO and content marketing complement each other? Now, it is time to put it all to work by getting the best out of these two digital marketing tools. Just remember that this is neither easy nor quick.
If you want to achieve the best results, then putting time and effort into your digital marketing strategy is the way to go. And to help you out, Serpwatch have created an infographic, with all the tips and stats you’ll need;
About The Author
Josh is the Co-Founder of Serpwatch. He has been building his experience in all things Internet since the beginning of 2000. A novice but aspiring developer, he lives and breathes SEO and loves to explore how the World Wide Web works. Find him via his LinkedIn or Twitter profiles.