The majority of marketers surveyed in the Content Marketing Survey Report (produced in associated with Outbrain) agreed that “Content marketing is becoming its own discipline, like SEO or email marketing”.
To find out more, a selection of marketers was asked how they “see the relationship between content marketing and SEO evolving over the next few months?” Their answers, some of which do conflict, are below…
Content and SEO are explicitly linked, but we’ve moved away from the notion that content created purely for SEO purposes is effective, acknowledging that content needs to be created to be read and enjoyed by humans.
This has led to huge leaps in terms of quality and authenticity and has a positive SEO impact. Good content = happy readers and improved SEO too.
The reality is that if you create something great, people will share it; online, offline, wherever. That content marketing improves SEO performance is just a reflection of this simple truth, acknowledged by changes to the way search engines calculate listings. The better the content, the more people pass it on. And sometimes, where the content is good enough, it even goes viral.
From a content marketing point of view, if clients focus on producing world-class content marketing, created with their audience firmly in mind, and combine that with a smart influencer and distribution strategy (across offline as well as digital and social media) they will find and excite the people that matter.
Content marketing is not SEO but it is complementary and should be integrated. Content marketing is the process of delivering your content plan. Your content plan comes from your business/trading plan. They must be aligned – all content should work towards business goals (note that these goals will be hard and soft, such as increasing social sharing). And SEO can help identify content opportunities, though it shouldn’t be the sole driver of your content plan.
Content marketing doesn’t replace SEO, or vice versa. They are both part of the same whole – marketing. The skills mix is interesting as well. A good content marketer doesn’t necessarily understand SEO enough to do SEO, but should grasp how SEO can benefit their content marketing plans; for example, by knowing how to optimize content to be keyphrase relevant and optimizing landing pages.
Does a content marketer know how to do technical SEO, such as site audits, handling crawl errors, site architecture etc.? Unlikely. Does a specialist SEO know how to use marketing channels to maximize the reach of content? Also unlikely in my experience. But their skill sets are complementary.
Let’s not confuse what SEO is and does with the latest buzzword. Content marketing has always been a core part of marketing, offline and online. However, since the Google Panda/Penguin updates, there has been a realization that content quality/frequency/links are more important than ever, not just to SEO but to your overall digital marketing.-eConsultancy