SEO vs. Content Marketing: Is there a difference?

What’s the difference between SEO and Content Marketing? Is there even a difference? We weigh in on the SEO vs Content debate.

Start talking to marketing specialists and, at some point, the conversation will turn to SEO vs content-driven marketing: which has the best branding strategies for small business, which gives your company the best search results, and which makes you climb the seemingly elusive Google ranks.


But is there actually a difference? What are these two things and why do people keep treating them differently?



The general perception of SEO – search engine optimization – is that it's all about getting people to click on your links, visit your website and drive more traffic through the clever use of keywords. Keyword research, keyword optimizing, finding the right words that will make search engines love you and direct people to you.


Content Marketing

Most people believe content marketing is all about getting someone to write great weekly blog posts and clever Facebook blurbs. It's about making sure that when someone visits your website they have a reason to stay, because the longer they stay, the more likely they are to buy something.


Both of these perceptions are flawed and not really accurate reflections of what's happening online. In fact, there's a pretty good case for saying that great content enhances SEO and that SEO drives good content – that the two concepts are mutually inclusive and beneficial.


Optimized Content Marketing

Think about a dance performance. The dancer spends a lot of time perfecting their technique before they start learning a choreography. They then spend a good deal of time working on the choreography to turn it into a fluid, beautiful expression of who they are.


SEO can be compared to the technique of the dance. SEO is about knowing how your audience is going to think when they want information, understanding their desires and thought processes and turning that into a workable basis for a strategy.


Content, on the other hand, can be compared to the choreography – carefully crafting the lessons you've learned into a comprehensive story. The story should appeal to a sufficiently wide audience while showcasing your talent or, in this case, your business expertise.


Just like a dancer who spends all their time focusing on technique only never really gets to show off their skills, or who spends all their time worrying about choreography will give a shoddy performance, treating SEO and content marketing as two separate, unrelated concepts will leave your marketing efforts floundering.


You'll be much better off treating the two concepts as two sides of one coin. By researching and understanding your audience and knowing what they are likely to search for, you will have a solid basis for creating content that sets you apart as an expert in your field.


By working on creating solid, engaging, interesting content, you will be quoted more, linked to more and cited as an expert more – all of which lead to improved search engine results.


It's time to face facts; SEO and content marketing are not at war with each other – instead, they are your allies in your marketing plan.  If you’d like to learn new ways to use SEO and Content Marketing together, subscribe now by completing the form below.


Leave a comment below with your thoughts on the similarities and differences between SEO and Content Marketing.  I read every one.

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