Content Marketers and Google RankBrain

Why SEO and Content Marketing Go Hand in Hand

Some marketing experts believe content marketing completely takes the place of SEO. Search engine rankings focus on which sites offer the most relevant content, rather than the pages that are the most packed with keywords.

However, SEO is largely influenced by content and vice versa, KISSmetrics stated. The debate may stem from marketers' perception of SEO and content as two completely disconnected channels. They overlap, so it would be impossible for one to overtake the other.

Clearly, there are differences between the two marketing tactics.

SEO has the narrower focus of driving traffic to your website. Content marketing is broader.

If you want to introduce someone to your brand for the first time, reengage with an existing customer or guide someone in the middle of the decision-making process, content marketing can accomplish all these objectives and more.

How can you see these tactics as two parts of a whole strategy? Marketers need to apply the more technical aspects of SEO to their content. In fact, content simply won't be seen unless it fits SEO best practices.

These are some of the ways content marketing and SEO overlap to meet joint goals:

  • Successful SEO needs content: Without content, you can't implement enough keywords. Simply put, SEO doesn't exist without content. Empty websites won't get picked up by search engines. Many marketers are quick to say content is king, and it's true when it comes to fueling SEO.
  • Keywords: Obviously, keywords are important in SEO, but content marketing is the way to get your keywords out there. While some will argue the significance of keywords in content marketing has diminished since Google's Panda update, they are still crucial for helping articles get found. Blogs should never be stuffed with keywords at the expense of quality.
  • Consistency: Great content marketing requires you to update your website regularly. SEO has changed to reflect this as well. Sites that haven't been updated with fresh content in a long time won't rank as high in search engine results. New content gets indexed more quickly. One of the big ways content marketing and SEO converge is that you can't start the strategy and just stop.
  • Linking strategy: SEO needs linkbacks, although Google has gotten more particular about how links should work. The best way to generate links is produce high-quality content on a consistent basis. Other marketers will want to share valuable articles on their websites.

Ultimately, you really can't have one strategy without the other. Marketers stand to gain a great deal more from content and SEO when used together. Great content boosts website traffic, most commonly with people arriving through search engines.

Once you have visitors on a landing page, there's a key opportunity for engagement. Relevant content can bring people back and help you grow an audience.

Both content and SEO can help you achieve your branding initiatives as well.

Although content is what you present to your target audience, it's important to remember how SEO factors into the equation.

Optimize Both, not One or the Other

Great SEO is optimized, and content should be as well. This is why content marketers can learn a lot from SEO experts, according to Search Engine Watch. SEO professionals know which landing pages and content perform best.

They also know which competitors are strong in search engine results. Keyword research is crucial for optimizing content. Content marketers need to be aware of high-potential SEO opportunities. Now that content marketing has been around for several years, the Internet is full of noise.

It can be difficult to stand out, especially in a dense target market. Both SEO and content marketing require a strategic approach to execute correctly. You have to be able to identify relevant websites, niche influencers and promotional opportunities to ensure your campaigns drive the results you want.

In addition, it's important to recognize that:

Content no longer applies solely to blog articles.

While on-page content is still necessary, the definition has broadened to include videos, infographics, e-books, white papers and other forms. In general, content has become more visual.

Plus, marketers have more channels to share content, such as social media. The expansion of content marketing channels means more way to optimize.

Because Google owns YouTube, you can integrate keywords in your video descriptions and positively influence SEO.

The best benefit of creating great content is people in your industry will share it. More people will find value in it, sending positive signals to Google and other search engines.

Rankings are partially determined by how informative content is for visitors, so offering relevant information builds your online presence and helps others find your website.

It's important to consider SEO and content marketing as two parts of the whole instead of opposing forces.

How does your SEO and content marketing complement each other?