There are differences between SEO and content marketing.
Yes, SEO and content marketing are distinguished from one another in several critical areas. And while they have points of differentiation, you still can’t separate the two entirely.
Rather than chase down every point of difference between the two, I want to point out this elemental contrast:
- SEO is narrower, and more technical.
- Content marketing is broader and more holistic.
This is the way in which the two converge:
- The way to apply SEO in a broader way is to channel its specific technical endeavors into content marketing.
- Conversely, the only way to ensure the success of content marketing is to apply SEO techniques in its implementation.
I’ve found that many people think of SEO (search engine optimization) as obscure technical wizardry that can only be done by computer geeks. People also think that you can take any website, and if the “wizard” performs magic technical work on it, suddenly it will rank higher in searches. I rarely encounter anyone who understands how large a role content plays in SEO. It’s certainly true that there are technical aspects to SEO, but content is more important than most people realize.
What is Content?
When we talk about content, people often think of text in pages and blog posts. But content doesn’t need to be limited to traditional pages and blog posts; it can appear in various structures and formats within your website. And content can go beyond text; it can include images, audio, video, slides, tools, and more.
Ultimately, content is the “stuff” people come to your site to read, listen, watch, or interact with.
What’s the Point of All This Content?
Google sees links to a website as “votes” for that website. In general, the more links a website has pointing to it, the better its reputation with Google. Each piece of content on your website is another opportunity for attracting links from other websites, which can increase the traffic you get to your website, and improve your ranking with Google.
Also, each piece of content on your website is another entry point into your website. If you have a website with 10 traditional pages, then Google can only index those 10 pages, and your prospects will only find you in Google if one of those 10 pages rank in their searches.
Now if you add 20 blog posts and 2 landing pages and 1 resource page, Google will have 33 “pages” to index, and your prospects will have more opportunities to find your site.
Not All Content is Created Equal
Of course, not all content is created equal. Many sites spew a stream of garbage blog posts for the sake of creating more content. But you don’t want to emphasize quantity to the detriment of quality. Quality content is content that’s valuable to the target audience of the website. In the case of a business website, the target audience is the target market, or the prospects for the business’ products or services.
Give visitors the information they’re looking for…Provide high-quality content on your pages, especially your homepage. This is the single most important thing to do. If your pages contain useful information, their content will attract many visitors and entice webmasters to link to your site. In creating a helpful, information-rich site, write pages that clearly and accurately describe your topic.
—Google: Steps to a Google-friendly site