Inbound marketing is a mixture of different disciplines all coming together. Sometimes, how they interact, compete, and complement one another might seem uncertain. That seems to be the case with SEO and content marketing. Rather than being two separate practices, however, we’re going to look at how SEO is actually dependent on content marketing and why separating them is a mistake that so many businesses are still making.
A little research looking at content marketing and SEO together will show plenty of articles on how content marketing compares to SEO, or how one discipline is becoming more important than the other. But here is the right way to look at it – content marketing is not more important than SEO, or vice versa. They are parts of the same strategy and they both need each other to work optimally.
SEO and content marketing are not separate. They are two different disciplines that contrast, but they don’t compete. Search engine optimisation is more technical and specific while content marketing has the range to be a little broader and more organic. But the ways in which they meet can actually dictate the failure or success of one another.
SEO is all about meeting requirements. You need your pages to hit specific keywords and topics, to be relevant and valuable enough so that they can climb the ranks of Google and other search engines. Content marketing is the direct response to those requirements. This is the content that hits the topics, the keywords, and provides the value that informs better SEO performance.
The only difference between an SEO focus and a content marketing focus is whether the chicken came first or the egg. Put it like this. An SEO focus means that you have specific aims, such as certain keywords or simply improving traffic, and then you use content marketing to meet those demands. If you have a content marketing aim, then you create the content first and create the SEO campaign to maximise its reach.
See the whole picture? The order of events is the same, it’s just a matter of perspective.
Keywords are perhaps the most important element of search engine optimisation. You have to research which ones work best for you, make proper use of them, avoid having pages that cannibalise one another’s keywords, track them, and so on. But even when it comes to efforts that are solely used to maximise keyword use, content marketing is the vehicle by which you find the excuse to use those keywords. It gives you the opportunity to use them while keeping your content relevant and valuable on its own.
It has long been shown that this focus on relevance and value is important. Search engines punish websites that attempt to climb the rankings by focusing on keywords and nothing but. You can’t just spam keywords. You need the high-quality content that content marketing is all about to be that vehicle. Even if your keyword-addled brain can think of nothing else, content is king. In scenarios like this, it may even be good to call on an expert content creation agency who have experience in linking content marketing together so you can get the most out of your efforts.
The only thing that matters to SEO as much as keywords are backlinks. Getting massively popular sites and well-established online authorities to link to your site is massively beneficial. But how do you make that happen? Link-building agencies can promise the world, but you’re only going to catch the eye of those online authorities if you have the brilliant content that’s actually worth linking to. Or you can just share it yourself, as often and as widely as you can. If it’s worth linking to, they might link to it.
As mentioned, SEO is more technical while content marketing has the room to be more free-flowing. Beyond keywords, content, and linkbacks, SEO relies on metadata, the right tags, sitemaps, page architecture, topic clusters, and so on and so on. But this isn’t as far away from content marketing as you might think. All of it is there to serve the user, to make it easier for the user to search for and to read it.
You want a good sitemap and strong architecture so users can find relevant content. You want tags to index your content so it appears better in search results and gains more readers. Content isn’t all that will make use of these technical aspects of SEO, but it still makes use of them.
Google prioritises fresh content and old content will drop over time while fresh content has more keyword power and a higher value rating. Why do you suppose that is? It’s because your users have the exact same priorities. They want relevance. Content marketing is precisely how you keep your SEO relevant.
If you’re struggling to find the time to create all of this brilliant content then it could be the right time to start searching for a content creation agency who can do this for you. Toast Inbound are a digital marketing agency based in Banbury, Oxfordshire, one of our main services is content creation. We can help you to produce the content needed to take your online presence to the next level. Our team have a wealth of SEO and copywriting skills that combine to create premium content for your prospects and customers to view. Get in touch with us for more information.
There you have it: a lot of evidence as to the importance of content marketing to SEO and vice versa. They support one another. If you use one without the other, you are more likely to fail. It’s important to find the balance. Be both the content marketer and search engine optimiser.
Content marketing gives your SEO something to link to, something to attach keywords to, something to optimise, and the relevance it needs to keep you consistently at the top. Search engine optimisation gives your content the platform to spread and is the only way that a content marketing campaign can succeed organically. Marry the two and you will see a lot more success than if you kept thinking of them as separate.
Get in touch with Toast Inbound today to see how we can help you to speed ahead of the competition.
Author – Dan Stillgoe
Dan is a digital marketing executive at Toast Inbound, he has a HubSpot certification in content marketing and delivers content related services to clients daily.
Get in touch with Dan