Which is the best strategy: SEO or content marketing?
SEO or Content marketing? Is this a question you are asking? Before we get into answering it, let’s understand the question a little better. To start with, marketers really don’t need to make a choice between SEO or content marketing because it is not a question of either-or. Content marketing is the bigger bucket which includes SEO among various other things. To put it simply, SEO is one of the most important content marketing tools. You can’t talk about content marketing without talking about SEO and vice versa.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is one of the main strategies of digital marketing which uses content in various forms to reach its target audience and establish a brand connect and increase sales. Brands are now investing in different kinds of content which include blogs, websites, podcasts, infographics, video content and more. The purpose of all these kinds of content is to engage the audience on various platforms and improve the reach of the brand.
Now, content marketing cannot work in exclusion of SEO. Content alone is of no use unless it is delivered to the readers – to draw a comparison, content alone is like manufactured products lying in the factories. The way in which supply chain helps these products reach customers is similar to how SEO helps in content reach readers.
What is SEO?
SEO refers to Search Engine Optimization which is the process of optimizing your online content to draw in better quality and quantity of traffic from various search engines. It basically refers to the process of increasing the visibility of any page so that it reaches the relevant search queries.
There are a lot of factors that decide which links should be featured on the first page of a search engine results. For example, search engines like Google have a number of parameters to judge any particular online page before deciding whether to include that page in its top ten results. With that in mind, Google has a crawler that scrolls through any particular page to gather information on how well a page is faring on its list of parameters. Once the crawler brings back information, Google creates an index which is then put through an algorithm to match your search query.
How to create SEO optimized pages
- Keyword Optimization: To ensure that your content ranks for the relevant search queries, it is essential to include keywords. However, don’t be tempted to overuse keywords in your content since it can lead to spamming which won’t help SEO in any way. Use keywords organically, whether it is long-tail keywords or primary keywords. Infuse them in the content in such a way that it doesn’t look forced. Apart from the body copy, the title, URL and meta description should also contain the keywords. Keeping your URL short and targeted is important for an enhanced SEO experience.
- Image Optimization: While crawling through your content, Search engines such as Google reads images in terms of the alt text. Use image caption, description and an alt text with the keywords to help Google ‘read’ the image.
- Content Length: While there are no clear rules on what should be the maximum or minimum length of an article, it is important to make sure that your content is exhaustive and covers all the required points of the topic. In doing so, you will not only address all the questions that your readers might have but also create a long-form content which is more likely to be ranked higher in the search engines.
- Duplication/Plagiarism: Duplicate content possess a serious threat to SEO success. So does plagiarism. If your website or online presence as repetitive or duplicate content, then both these pieces would compete with each other to grab the attention of the search engine which in turn wouldn’t know which one to feature. Similarly, if your content is plagiarized, then Google will know it isn’t original or unique and your website will be penalized.
- Interlinking: One of the good practices is to create a strong network of interlinks within the website. Referring to other content pieces within your website will not just keep your reader from leaving it, but also establish you as an authority in your domain. SEO experts highly recommend using hyperlinks to create a strong network of interlinked articles.
- Outbound Links: Similar to interlinks, outbound links are also an effective way of enhancing SEO. Linking your page to higher authority pages creates trust among your readers that you will direct them to quality content.
How SEO and Content Marketing work together?
Instead of pitting SEO and content marketing against each other, it is important to focus on how to make these work together.
- SEO best practices ensure your content is visible and is accessible by your target group
- Quality content will attract interest from other websites and backlinks will improve SEO rankings
- Over a period of time, SEO along with quality content will establish and increase your domain authority
- SEO traffic can be converted into customers through effective content marketing strategies
Long story short, you need to design a robust SEO and content marketing strategy as there is no choice between them. For a more detailed account of how both of these can work together and increase your visibility, visit Great Learning’s program pages where you will find courses on Digital Marketing.0