“Content VS SEO”, “SEO or content?”, “Content & SEO” “Why Content over SEO?”.
As you can see by just a google search, the majority of people think that content marketing and SEO belong to two opposite sides.
If you ask me, I would say “meh”.
Even Rebecca Gill, the president over at Web Savvy Marketing was very confused when a marketer didn’t believe in SEO supporting that the only key to success is content marketing alone.
Many times throughout my growth hacking days I was trapped in the mindset that I am dealing with an imminent sacrifice. “That’s it, buddy; deal with it; you are either going to sound like a machine from Matrix, or you are going to have top-notch content but no traffic”.
But come and think of it for a minute, despite being in a position which always pushes me to think out of the box, I ended up being trapped in one.
So let me save you from trouble and prove to you why you need both for the best possible outcome.
Content marketing And SEO: Two Sides of the same coin
When it comes to content marketing and SEO we are mainly talking about two different means to the same end. Both aim to achieve some kind of growth for your company. In fact, for one of them to achieve ultimate success the other is necessary.
I really like Neil Patel’s approach to this matter, who thinks of content marketing and SEO as peanut butter and jelly (PBJ). Both are great by themselves, but if you combine them “Boom”, magic happens.
The main issue many companies face is that they think of content marketing and SEO as two different campaigns. People seem to be so eager to put this two against each other, that they lose the whole point.
Maybe specialists from both sides are afraid that they might lose their influence, but come on between me and you, we know that those two do not compete with each other. Cut the cr*p!
Here are 5 reasons why Content marketing should be integral to Seo:
Content Marketing brings traffic
Content Marketing showcases the culture of your company
Content marketing enhances your reach
Content marketing builds a trustworthy customer relationship
Content marketing is your door to conquering social media
Why SEO is actually a pillar for your content marketing
To put it simply, you write because you want people to know about you. We get it, so why wouldn’t you want to increase your chances of being found even more?
Ok, organic reach is cool, but why not help some people who desperately want their problems solved and without SEO wouldn’t be able to find you?
Barry Feldman states in an article of his that he really likes the term Content “optimization”. To be honest I like that term as well.
So SEO is more technical and Content sees things from a more holistic perspective. This difference is not actually an obstacle at all.
Through SEO, you can obtain words, and through content, you put them to use. Content marketing is actually about the strategic positioning of specific words. You can’t deceive a human and luckily these days, not even machines.
The glorious days of tricky implementation of SEO tactics are long gone since the evolution of the google algorithm. Quality content gets rewarded while shitty content gets penalties.
Last but not least when we are talking about SEO, backlinks immediately pops up in our mind. And this is the part where you hear content marketing laughing, cause guess who is going to bring those backlink babies in.
The funny thing is that when you are a content marketer, in some way you are an SEO engineer as well, even if you don’t realise it. I think the best way to understand that is through Paddy Moogan’s awesome 5 step content marketing guide .
In the guide, you can see a big part where you are advised to perform some keyword research and learn as much as you can about your audience and your competition.
See what you just did? That is a big part of an actual SEO process. You might even use the Keyword Planner Tool, which is.. wait what? AN ADWORDS TOOL (Major plot twist).
You might create killer content marketing but there is only one way of sustaining it, and that is SEO. The same goes vice versa though, and that once again proves what was mentioned above.
Yeah great, so how the heck do I combine those two?
So let’s go over 5 simple ways even a rookie can follow to ace at using both SEO and effective content strategies.
Which comes first? The egg or the chicken?
I guess it is your lucky day buddy since both of them can come in first, it is up to you. You might want to choose content marketing first. This means you will mainly search for content that you think fits your audience.
Then follows the keyword research. In this case, you have big flexibility but on the other hand going for keywords does not necessarily mean that you are pursuing value as well. I will use this amazing example by Neil Patel at Quicksprout.
People might be searching what SEO is, but that doesn’t mean that they will correspond to your content about SEO. They might want to know what SEO is.
But without further delay, let’s move to your second option. If you choose keyword first, the best thing is that you will understand your audience better.
You might even realise that the problem you try to solve, might not be worth solving. So you won’t end up hitting a wall later on and change your whole content.
Aim for evergreen content
Evergreen content is content that will actually be as useful as it is now in the future. Organically your content might burst with traffic on the spot but over time SEO will keep the traffic high.
Before you do this you should question yourself: “will what I am writing now, be interesting in a couple of days, months years why not decades?” Go all out and surprise the world.
The way you present it on the other hand is the key to victory, so keep the following evergreen content key values in mind:
Efficiency (Do your produce applicable value for the reader?)
Accuracy (Did you present your thoughts accurately?)
Tone (How do you approach your audience through writing? E.g friendly)
One last tip that covers all the above is also to always think yourself as someone to speaks to beginners. This way you ensure that you pass your knowledge in the best way possible.
Create catchy content for Wikipedia
This is a rather sneaky tactic if you ask me, but oh well. Since Wikipedia is booming with pages and references it is not a rare thing to find a broken link. Wikipedia likes to refer to them as dead links.
Here I will show you how to spot those links, a process which in fact is really simple.
Once you are in an article and want to check if it contains a dead link, you should head to the references and see if they have the dead link indication next to them.
A dead link is your opportunity to shine. Create content according to what that link would originally lead to and replace the link with yours. In fact, if you consider yourself an expert there is a little something you can do.
You can go to Moz and use the Site explorer tool, find all the sites (domain roots) leading to that dead link and asking them to swap the link with your own.
Pay attention to promotion and distribution
Writing your content can be a pain in the…..head. But what can cause you, even more trouble is what you do after that point. So Content Marketing and Seo will bring you traffic, but make sure to give the whole process the right push.
Make sure that your content contains links from older successful content posts or even general parts of your site. As we said backlinking (both inbound or external) is important. The reason inbound links are important is that they help search engines “understand” your authority on your niche.
So why not search a bit your competitors and see where they are linked. If you find an authoritative site that is a plus for you.
Social media are a vital part also. Don’t just get people to tweet about you, but also make sure you engage with them in any way possible. Influencers are your main target here.
I would love to elaborate on the whole social media thing since I am a Social media junkie. Yeah sorry everyone, I was born and raised in the era of “Share this on facebook and maybe the children in Africa will stop being hungry”
So having followers means two things: From one end you have people interested in what you write but on the other hand that comes with a lot of responsibilities for you.
You have to:
Produce top-notch content
Ask people the right questions
Answer the right questions
Produce value even if it is not wanted. (Why did you even create an account to begin with?)
NEVER BUT NEVER FORGET! (sorry had to get your attention)
Always create a warm environment in which people will be willing to buy what you are selling of their own free will. Social media are not the right tools when it comes to sales.
But we are pioneers here, put your soul into it and use social media in a whole new way. Drag them to the moment which I love to refer as SUATMM a.k.a. Shut Up And Take My Money
Always measure your results
Make sure you use any goddam tool you have at your disposal to measure how you are doing. Google Analytics are a must. This feedback can be a really huge push if you consider that you will know where your readers come from and also what keywords they used.
Of course, there are a bunch of other analytic tools, and my fella Apostle has them all gathered for you in a survival kit for growth hacking essentially but with a special analytics section.
At the end of the day
Phew, that is a lot to take in and I get that. I hope that all of you after closing this tab will have at least taken with you a little piece of my article. Until next time keep growth rocking and don’t forget to tell me your opinion on the debate over Content Marketing and SEO in the comment section, or just leave a tweet!
I try to constantly improve as a person and as a professional. I recently discovered the storyteller and growth hacker inside of me. Good research, commitment, and good visualisation constitute my work aesthetic.