SEO vs Content Marketing – Is There Any Difference?
To start considering SEO vs content marketing, let’s look at the specifics of content marketing and SEO in modern conditions. The strategy of content marketing in SEO is to form an image of an expert company in its field through quality content. This is achieved through reviews, recommendations, detailed descriptions, and answers to all questions.
Pages are formed with the help of such content, and each page provides an answer to a particular question regarding the services and goods sold by the company. From the point of view of a site visitor, this approach is interesting. Ideally, when you go to the review page, you will get comprehensive information with a proposal to purchase a service or product that you have learned almost everything about.
Theoretically, this method resembles the pages of industry portals that advertise the services of companies operating in this industry. This approach is quite effective. Having received detailed information on the site, the visitor will have more confidence in the site and the company. A person who has read to the end is already a potential buyer or customer. This may be ideal, but what is the reality? Realistically, everything is not so simple and easy, especially in terms of content, traffic, and sales.
SEO vs Content Marketing – Seriatim
To have in its staff universal specialists who are versed in many areas of business at the expert level and have the ability to clearly formulate and express their thoughts.
SEO vs Content Marketing – Content
If we are talking about expert-grade content, then a company providing content marketing services has only three options to do the job efficiently.
- To hire a specialist in a specific field, or hire a talented journalist who can quickly enter the topic. Both options are not cheap.
- To buy content from experts or journalists.
There are no other options. And, as you understand, such content is not cheap. But the point is not even the price. If a company provides services to companies working in the same field, then you can develop your own specialists. But if you work with a large circle of clients, then it will be much more difficult to find experts who are well versed in smartphones, legal services, and the features of renting truck cranes.
Where to Find the Content
You can hire a journalist as a specialist for a separate project if you are working on a project system. The scheme is the following: one project, one budget, a personal team. Unfortunately, companies rarely work in this way. There is always a desire to save money, to do everything oneself, without accruing additional resources. For example, there is EssayShark, the essay writing service where customers can get essay help from essay writers.
As a result, content creation is entrusted to a specialist, and, at best, we will have a quality article or other piece of content without much depth of research on the topic. Also, in the process of rewriting, something is often lost that distinguishes a specialist from an amateur. This can be quite noticeable and means that the level of trust in the site and the company will be reduced, and, as a result, sales will not grow as planned.
With purchased content, not everything is so great either. If you are working in the industry, it is difficult to assess the level of skill of a specialist who is to be entrusted with writing content. You cannot consult with the customer since you cannot tell them that you yourself are not competent in your work and do not understand all the nuances and specifics. As a result, the customer will receive a text of poor quality that has been rewritten too many times.
SEO vs Content Marketing – Web Traffic
Content marketing does not usually bring a lot of traffic, but it should bring high-quality traffic, which is easily converted into sales. This is the ideal result. In practice, this means another thing. You select queries that may be of interest to the buyers or customers of the service, group them, and then write detailed material on each topic. These are usually low-frequency queries. And very often, these are informational, fuzzy (general) queries.
What is the problem with SEO vs content marketing? In competition, if while using the classic SEO, you are struggling with top commercials, transactional queries, and competition with sellers, then in the field of information queries, you are competing with merchants, information portals, and mass media.
As for fuzzy queries, the top 10, especially for single-word queries, is usually very stable and gaining positions, which means gaining significant traffic is difficult and time-consuming. In general, it should be noted that traffic grows as the site is being filled with content, and not all material will bring traffic quickly – sometimes, the material won’t bring it at all. But there is a positive side: this type of traffic is stable.
SEO vs Content Marketing – Sales
Let’s start with the fact that content marketing will not work in all spheres in its pure form. And the content market is not financially justified for all companies. Another point is that it is often impossible to use only content marketing for a company. The simple reason is the lack of time.
You need to collect enough material that will work, your company needs to become a real authority on the network, and everything needs to start generating income. This process will take a long time – at least 7-12 months, or even more. And what should be done at this time? How do you live and pay salaries? That is, if there are no serious, long-term sources of investment, then using only content marketing is impractical, and even dangerous.
These are pitfalls. In fact, there are even more pitfalls, but these are enough to handle. To summarize the intermediate result, the success of content marketing is based on the correct analysis of the environment, qualified specialists, and the availability of sufficient funds and time. And of course, you need the desire to go this path. A desire may come up, but when talking about time, there are almost always problems. Not everyone is ready to wait for a year until the project starts to make a profit.
And here there is a temptation to change the strategy to SEO for content marketing. What can you get today with this method? You may laugh – you will get practically the same result. Do you remember the animated film “Kung Fu Panda”? In the film, the old goose reveals the secret that there is no secret ingredient in the cooking of noodles. So there is a similar situation in SEO and content marketing today: there is no secret ingredient.
SEO vs Content Marketing Strategies Comparison
|Website, code, and design optimization||Website, code, and design optimization|
|Building the optimal structure||Building the optimal structure|
|Creating and optimizing landing pages||Creating and optimizing landing pages|
|Writing articles and reviews||Writing expert articles and reviews|
|Work with social networks (likes, reposts, etc.)||Work with social networks (likes, reposts, etc.)|
This is short and simplistic. What is the difference? The difference is in focus. In SEO, the main emphasis is now on landing pages, while in content marketing, more attention is paid to the quality of the expert line of the site. And that’s all – there are no more secrets.
SEO tactics today are about building lead pages that cover the entire semantic core of the topic. One query is one page. Pages and filters are created for the entire range of queries, and sites grow to huge sizes.
Content marketing tactics focus on creating an expert section that redirects a visitor to all the lead pages, which are formed in the same way as with the standard SEO strategy. If the term of work is long enough, then the result will be the same monster as with the SEO strategy.
There is another argument demonstrating that both content marketing and SEO are not much different from each other. Interactive features, testimonials, social networks – in both formats, you should have them. In the case of content marketing, expert status directly implies an interactive connection with visitors, positive testimonials, and reposts from a great expert, and in the case of SEO, interactive communication and quick response comments and questions give certain advantages in the promotion.
And the signals themselves from social media are not less useful. But should there be a difference? There should be, and it is palpable. The difference is not only in emphasis but also in the quality of information content. If you have the content strategy, high requirements are presented for information content, such as with reviews and ratings. All of this should be written specifically for the visitor, using classic promotion, as there are fewer claims to the quality.
Does Quality Matter?
In such sites, in 80% of cases, no one reads the articles except for search engine bots. So, an SEO specialist pays more attention to the volume, the correct structure, and the formatting quality of the content. Do you think this is a significant difference? It is in fact not significant. Why?
Everything is very simple – with companies engaged in content marketing, as I mentioned earlier, there are simply no specialists who can be called experts in this field of activity. Content marketing is expensive, though it is effective in the long run. So, where should a poor customer go: to the SEO company, or to the content marketing agency?
The answer is simple – there is no difference. If the company has professionals, no matter how they describe themselves or what they say, they will be engaged in integrated Internet marketing. That is, they will be engaged in analytics, forecasting, lead generation, image foundation, and increasing traffic and effectiveness.
Well, there are no options – you can argue endlessly, but there are no differences between high-class specialists in SEO and content marketing. Both will do the same thing, focusing your attention on one side of their activity, but performing the same set of work, or almost the same.
SEO Requires Regular Publishing and Content Marketing Provides It
Proper SEO requires regular updates for materials on the site. Regularity, in this case, implies that you are seriously engaged in content marketing and doing everything right. Otherwise, nothing will work. You are not just doing something one time. You are creating content all the time.
Content Marketing Value
I can declare with certainty: content marketing is a good source of traffic, as that is its value. If all of your competitors adhere to technical SEO standards, then you must do something else to distinguish yourself from the rest and get to your target audience. And you already guessed what is at stake.
As I have already said, content marketing is a proven method for gaining targeted visitors as well as an effective method of necessary branding through the continuous distribution of helpful, interesting, and attractive content. The chance of getting overwhelmed by a gigantic wave of traffic if you ignore content marketing is about 1 to 3,000,000,000,000.
Should I Plan Content Marketing Manually?
Let’s consider one interesting paradoxical point. Almost every American marketer knows how to deal with and utilizes content marketing. Here is an important question to ask. Does each of them adhere to a systematic method of producing, managing, and distributing content? According to this pie chart published by the American Content Marketing Institute in 2019, the answers to the above question are as follows.
- 78% have some systems in place, but they still conduct a lot of manual work.
- 13% have developed a systematic approach to producing, managing, and distributing content.
- 9% develop content ad hoc.
From year to year, the costs of content marketing promotion technology are increasing, and more than a quarter of the budget of marketers is spent on the creation and distribution of content. Firstly, the statistics are a bit discouraging – as in the case with SEO, almost every competitor knows and uses content marketing.
However, there is a fundamental difference. You’ll not be able to gain more traffic through search engine optimization, as strict standards in SEO have a certain level for potential achievements you cannot surpass. Success to the envy of your competitors is impossible using only technical SEO.
But your content marketing may be better than others. Many people may deal with it, but not everyone owns it at the same level or produces similar content. It all depends on you – if your content marketing strategy is better, you win.
Working with a Reputation in the Framework of Content Marketing
As part of content marketing, you need to find and analyze sites where you or competitors are most often mentioned. First, in automatic mode, then in manual mode. You should look at how the representatives of the target audience communicate and in what way they mention you – positive, neutral, or negative. Based on these data, you can build a communication strategy, finding those resources on which there are discussions of the company, but there are no transitions, simply because there is no link to the site.
- Analyze the top 10 (and better, the top 30) search results for brand queries.
- Find sites where the company or competitors are already mentioned (with or without links).
- Determine the tone of statements about the company and brand in comparison with competitors (positive, negative, neutral).
- Independently respond to all mentions or engage specialists: take a look at crowd marketing to work with forums and review sites and reputation management for mentions in the media.
SEO vs Content Marketing – Summing It Up
I could continue discussing this topic endlessly. However, I hope it has become clear. SEO and content marketing are actually inseparable. Here are two key points I want to share.
- You are not an SEO specialist if you don`t use content marketing. You are not a content marketer if you do not know how to work with SEO. I’m not trying to offend you, especially if you call yourself an “SEO specialist” or a “content marketer.” The only thing I want to convey is that your content marketing needs SEO. Likewise, your SEO needs content marketing. These are no longer two different departments. Each of them is engaged in its own business. SEO specialists need to understand content marketing and vice versa. I would like these two professions to mix even more.
- Your SEO campaign will fail if you do not include content marketing in it. Your content marketing campaign will fail if you do not use SEO principles. Clearly, content marketing will only succeed if it includes SEO. Think about it. Your content will only work when people find and read it. And to find content, you need SEO. Combine them. They are powerless without each other, but together they are powerful.