What’s the Difference Between Content Marketing and SEO?
If you’ve been plugged into the world of online marketing in the past decade, you’ve heard the terms “SEO” and “content marketing” used pretty frequently. Moreover, they seem to be used by the same types of people, in the same context, and referring to very similar strategies.
If you’re new to the online marketing industry, this can all be a bit confusing. Even if you’re experienced, you might have trouble drawing a line between the two concepts. On some level, this is fine; content marketing and SEO are two tightly interwoven strategies. But if you want to get the most out of each dimension of your online marketing, you should know where each begins and ends.
The High Level View on Content
Let’s start by defining the goals and techniques of content marketing. Essentially, the idea is to create “valuable” content for your customers to consume; valuable, here, could refer to content that’s practical, informative, entertaining, or otherwise useful. The type of content doesn’t matter so much—it could be in the form of blog posts, whitepapers, infographics, videos, podcasts, or even the paragraphs you use to populate the pages of your main site (here’s a list of 101 content ideas).
The goal is to naturally attract people to your site by giving them something they want (usually for free), and then persuade them to convert by making a soft pitch for your products and services.
The High Level View on SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a series of tactics meant to increase your site’s rankings in search engines, including the individual pages within that site. Search engines rank pages based on two broad categories of factors: relevance and authority. Increasing relevance usually means customizing your content to appeal to a certain segment of search users, while increasing authority means making your site more trustworthy by creating better content and earning links.
The goal is to increase your visibility in search engines by complying with search engines’ expectations and ranking methods.