Blog post - What's the difference between SEO and content marketing?

Is Content Marketing the New SEO?

November 4, 2016 –

There’s been a lot of buzz lately that content marketing has replaced SEO. Or, that content marketing has become more important than SEO.

But just what does this mean? Are these claims valid?

The truth is that content marketing and SEO both play an important – and different role – in building a digital presence.

One can never fully replace the other.

However, content marketing has certainly gained traction over the past several years, making it an important tactic that you should consider investigating and investing time in if you want to build trust with your audience.

The Relationship Between Content Marketing & SEO

Content marketing is considered by many as the future of marketing. Not only does it build trust between brands and consumers, it lets companies build links and get social shares.

You’re probably thinking that this last benefit (building links and getting social shares) sounds a lot like SEO strategy. And you’re right. In fact, links and shares are a great way to build SEO.

In fact, Neil Patel a well-known online marketing guru, has pointed out this relationship, saying: “Content marketing is the cheapest and most effective way to do SEO these days. Not only does writing high quality content produce links at a quicker pace than building them manually, but it’s also cheaper.”

So by investing in content marketing, you’re actually bolstering your SEO at the same time.

Win, win!

Balancing Content Marketing & SEO

You’re probably wondering what this means for your SEO strategy. Should you throw it out the window and focus on content marketing? Or will content marketing pass, like so many other internet trends?

In an article written by Kissmetrics, they argue that the choice shouldn’t be between content marketing or SEO. Rather, the choice should be between how much time you devote to each. They suggest spending a block of time on technical SEO when you first set up your website. Then, they suggest spending your time over the long-run doing content marketing.

They say, “There comes a point where there’s not much you can do with technical SEO anymore. All the pieces are in place. All the standards are met. All the conventions are satisfied. Now, it’s time to unleash the world’s greatest content ever. You’ll always need to be doing content marketing. It never stops.”

Similarly, in an article published in Forbes, Jayson DeMers adds to the conversation by saying:

If you’re more interested in attracting visitors, SEO should be your main priority. If you’re more concerned about building a lasting reputation or converting visitors once they get to your site, content marketing related tactics are going to be more beneficial to pursue. In the end, a healthy balance of SEO and content marketing is key to success.

This is an interesting way to view SEO and content marketing: what is your primary objective? Regardless though, he also agrees that a balance of both approaches is important.

Finally, the Content Marketing Institute, in a slightly more theatrical blog post, sings a similar tune, arguing that content marketing shouldn’t be seen in opposition to SEO. In fact, say content marketing is SEO, and that you need to spend considerable time on both pieces of the pie to win big on the web.

In Summary…

Although there’s been lots of buzz to make us think that content marketing has dethroned SEO, the truth of the matter is that they’re still both alive and well, and they’re both important. We need both of them to succeed.

Now over to you: How do you balance your time between SEO and content marketing?

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