SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and Content Marketing are undoubtedly the two giants that drive websites to the top of any Google search. But for some, they’re seen as two different individuals doing two different things. The fact is, both of them are so tightly linked and work so closely together, that they’re pretty much impossible to separate.
You can rarely view the two of them individually, but some people think that good content marketing will somehow get rid of the need to have SEO. This outlook can be counteractive as the only way to get valuable content is to have good SEO inside it and have them working together like a well-oiled machine.
SEO and Content Marketing: what are the differences?
The first thing we ought to do here, is find out exactly what the difference between SEO and Content Marketing actually is. While they have different qualities, they also significantly overlap.
In a tiny nutshell, SEO is the process of understanding what people search for when they’re interested in your business, service or product, followed by using the common search terms (keywords) used. Armed with this info, you can create your content placing the relevant keywords throughout. When people search Google for information, the results will drive traffic to your site.
Content Marketing is the creation of engaging, valuable and informative content that includes the keywords and search terms that people have put into their Google searches. Again, when people search Google for information that appears on your site, the results should include your content which then steers them to your site.
Ok – that was a really basic explanation of the differences and of course, it goes much deeper than that with lots more to consider. But, you can see how closely both things are linked and that you can’t really have one without the other.
While SEO plays a big part in all of it, there are different areas of content marketing to work with, many of which are discussed in our previous content marketing blog, so you can make an informed choice as to which will work better for your business – and your audience.
Getting SEO into your content marketing
There was a time when companies would publish article after article, jammed with keywords and search terms and filled with not very helpful, low-quality content. This was seen as enough to get, if not the top spot, then certainly onto page one of a Google search.
Fortunately, those days are well and truly gone. Google now regularly updates its algorithms to sift out the badly written, repetitive and keyword stuffed content that used to dominate their results. Attempt that now and Google will punish you. They won’t see your content as having any real value and will penalise those pages, so you’ll end up much lower down the search results.
It all sounds very dramatic, like the Google Gods are ruling with an iron fist, but the remedy to this is publishing compelling, informative, high quality content, that talks naturally to your audience about the topics they’ll be most interested in. By keeping it this simple, Google will look favourably upon you.
Keyword research is still an essential and invaluable activity and good research will pay dividends in any results pages. By using some free tools such as Google’s own keyword planner or this alternative from kwfinder, it can help you identify specific terms relevant to you.
Remember, you can’t implement good SEO without having the Content Marketing that puts it into effect. Likewise, you can’t create valuable content without having good SEO running all the way through it.
Aim for the Backlinks
Backlinks can be an insanely good tool in your SEO armoury. Backlinks from popular and/or dependable and relevant sites linking back to your blog content opens up a whole new stream of visitors to your site which does no end of good for online success.
The key to reaching this upper level of SEO ranking is to create that all important content marketing. If your SEO is done well and your blog content is worthy and beneficial, you’ll see traction in your site visits due to being placed highly on the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
When that happens, the chances are high that someone will use your blog as a reference in their own content. Every business sector has influential websites that people read and visit regularly, so to have one of them directly linking back to your website or your specific blog is SEO gold.
Of course, the only way to get these valuable backlinks is to create high-quality content that’s loaded with good SEO done well. That’s the only combination that works that will get you high enough to be found and shared. Another example of SEO and Content Marketing working together.
For further help on backlinks here’s an incredibly useful guide: Ultimate Guide to Backlinks and How to Get Them
Be consistent and fresh
Another passport to those high ranking SERPS, is to be fresh with your content . It’s frustrating for website visitors to see the same content with no updates for long periods of time. Google doesn’t like it either. Old and outdated content will count against you in the results pages and you’ll come in lower down the rankings.
New, fresh and—especially newsworthy— articles will keep you in Google’s good books as well as your readers. Brand new content gets indexed by Google quickly and will serve as a boost to your rankings as you’re adding value for your readers. By keeping topics relevant, helpful and informative, as well as being steady with your SEO, it’s a win-win.
As you’re adding your latest content, it’s a good time to go through older posts to see if they still retain any relevance. Keeping house and deleting old and/or outdated material can also serve as a boost to your rankings. If you don’t want to delete content that you think is still relevant, take the opportunity to review and edit it. By changing keywords and updating old information, it could give you another small boost.
With this article showing you that SEO and Content Marketing should and do work together, I hope it’s gone a long way to explain that your SEO needs content marketing and your content marketing needs SEO.
Your content can only be really successful when integrated with good, researched SEO. Without it, you won’t be found. While SEO and Content Marketing are solid performers in their own right, bringing them together gives you a double headliner with the ability to put you on the world stage.
How does your SEO and content work together? Could there be improvements? Let me know in the comments below.
Hazel Jarrett, director of SEO at SEO+, is well-known in the SEO space, has won many awards during her 20-year career and has been published on various well-known sites. Through her services and training programs, her SEO strategies have generated 10s of millions of sales for her clients, earning her a big reputation for delivering the results that matter.
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