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There’s a bit of confusion over SEO and content marketing. The confusion comes over how SEO and content marketing fit together. Do they fit together? Are they at odds with each other? If so, is it possible to force them together?
In a previous post, I explained why SEO and content marketing are like PB&J. They go together. They just fit. They work well together.
Now, I want to share exactly why that is — why SEO is actually all about content marketing, and vice versa.
Before I share the why of this article, let me be clear about the what — the problem I’m addressing.
How can “content marketing overtake SEO completely” when the only way to successful content marketing is to have SEO? How can you tear the two apart like that?
Thankfully, there are voices of reason in the cacophony of confusion (e.g., the smallbusiness.yahoo article above). Careful marketers have observed the disconnect, and are trying to point out that SEO and content marketing go together.
Yet the mistake persists. One of the popular articles that makes this mistake comes from an article in The Guardian, which states: “It looks like Google has tired of its old friend SEO and is instead cozying-up to the new kid on the block, content marketing” [sic].
It’s a cute analogy, but it’s simply not accurate. It’s not as if SEO and content marketing are two different people. To borrow the same metaphor, SEO and content marketing are actually two personalities of the same person.
The problem, then, lies in the disconnect between SEO and content marketing.
It’s time to bring the two back together. This is the only way you’ll be successful in both your SEO and your content marketing.
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.
How SEO and Content Marketing Come Together
Another way to look at it is like this — SEO makes demands. Content marketing fulfills those demands.
Think of it as a conversation between two people.
SEO states the requirements. Content marketing fulfills them.
Now, let me show you how exactly SEO and content complement each other.
In each of the points below, I state exactly what SEO requires, and how content marketing meets that requirement. Keep in mind that conversation between SEO and Content Marketing (above) as you review each of the following points.
SEO demands content. Content marketing is content.
There is no such thing as SEO without content. You need words, articles, substance, keywords, verbiage.
I wince whenever I have to say it because it’s so cliche, but it’s true: Content is king.
We don’t argue about that anymore. It’s a truism of the SEO industry. Content content content.
And what is content marketing all about? It’s about content. The practical application of SEO (content) is the very substance of content marketing.
When SEO shouts, “We need more content!” content marketing responds, “Gotcha taken care of!”
SEO demands keywords. Content marketing means using keywords.
Here’s another feature of SEO: Keywords.
No one would argue that a fundamental component of SEO is keywords — researching them, utilizing them, and tracking your ranking of them in the SERPs.
How does one apply the use of keywords? How is all the research funneled into its practical application?
It’s called content marketing. The only way you can use your keywords is to be employing them strategically throughout your content. Content marketing consists of top-notch content, written for humans, and using the keywords that you’re targeting.
Obviously, Panda will nail you if you insist on stuffing your pages with keywords and over-optimizing. But when SEO and content marketing do what they’re supposed to do — work in sweet harmony together — you’ll be fine.
SEO demands linkbacks. Content marketing introduces linkbacks.
SEOs dream about linkbacks — a huge, fat, DA 98 linking to your site. Or, an incredibly powerful .edu tossing a link to your blog article.