Ah, the age-old debate: Is Facebook’s rise to prominence an indictment of SEO or of social media?
One of the biggest questions in digital marketing today is whether to focus on SEO (search engine optimization) or content marketing, or a combination of the two. While the lines are often blurred, SEO and content marketing are two totally different animals.
Here’s a short guide to help you understand the real differences between these two disciplines and how to choose the right approach for your business.
SEO and content marketing are two sides of the same coin: they both offer a fairly easy way to gain exposure and generate leads for your business. However, while SEO is about ranking highly on search engines for relevant keywords, content marketing is about generating interesting, engaging content that helps people understand and love your business.
Here are some of the key differences between SEO and content marketing.
Keyword vs Insight
SEO keywords are frequently searched on search engines like Google. A marketer will often use free tools like Google Keyword Planner to find the most popular keywords for a particular niche or industry. These keywords are then used to craft content in the form of blog posts and webpage articles aimed at attracting organic (non-paid) search traffic to a website.
On the other hand, content marketing is about providing valuable information and insights to online audiences.
This typically means creating high-quality, unique content that is helpful to someone. However, it can also mean creating content that is entertaining or inspiring.
SEO is meant to be a free, organic method of attracting potential customers to your business. In other words, you’re aiming to have your content shared and recommended to people because it’s helpful and beneficial to their lives.
Your content should solve a problem, provide a clear call to action, and be a resource that people need.
In contrast, content marketing is about attracting people to your business through value, rather than search traffic.
When you produce an SEO-optimized blog post, you’re primarily aiming to have your content appear as soon as possible on the first page of results for a given keyword. This means you need to ensure that your content is easy to read, error-free, and free of grammatical and spelling errors.
In contrast, the production values for content marketing are much higher, as you’d typically want to ensure that your content is engaging, interesting, and provides a good user experience for online readers.
Think of all the things you’d need to make a quality video marketing campaign for a brand, from the production values on the screen to the quality of the sound.
Optimization is simply the process of making sure that your website or blog post is structured in the most efficient manner possible. This ensures that search engines like Google can easily navigate and understand your content. Without optimization, your content will likely appear “jumbled” in people’s search results, making it harder for them to find what they’re looking for.
There are several different techniques for optimizing a web page or blog post, but the two main ones are HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) and XML (Extensible Markup Language). HTML is the basic building block of websites. XML is a language that can be used to define and structure websites and webpages.
Search Engine Visibility
Depending on how much you’re paying for ads, you can gain a certain amount of search engine visibility. With paid search, you’re aiming to get your business to show up when someone types in relevant keywords or phrases. This means that you have to take into consideration how much you’re willing to spend on ads and the size of your budget.
If you have a limited budget, you may want to consider doing some research into natural search optimization. The key to getting your business to show up in people’s natural search results is to ensure that your content is relevant, easy to find, and provides some unique value. Doing this will naturally lead people to your site when they’re looking for information about your niche.
To succeed with natural search optimization, you’ll need to keep a variety of metrics in mind, including the amount of text on your page, how many words are in each piece of content, the number of references and citations, how many backlinks you have, and the popularity of your keywords.
Short- and Long-Term Effects
One of the biggest questions in SEO is whether investing in short- or long-term strategies is better. The answer is: it depends. This really depends on how much you’re willing to invest in organic search traffic. Let’s say you put all your eggs in one basket and focus all of your efforts on getting your content to the top of the Google search results.
If you’re running an e-commerce store, you may want to consider investing in short-term strategies to get some quick sales. However, if you’re looking to establish a brand, you may want to opt for a long-term strategy to have your content rise in the search results over time.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches. If you want to get quick results, you may want to go with short-term SEO. However, if you want to have an impact and be seen as a thought leader in your industry, you may want to opt for long-term SEO.
Deciding which approach to take can be quite challenging. Ultimately, you’ll need to consider your own unique situation and whether or not you have the time and resources to devote to a content marketing strategy.