Which is More Important?
This question was asked today on reddit, and I wanted to take some time to expound upon this a little more. The thing is, content marketing and SEO are all the following:
- The same thing
- Two sides of the same coin
- Compatible strategies that, like twins conjoined at the body, without each other – your online marketing strategy would suffer a painful and untimely end
Why SEO is Important
When applying the simile “Doing SEO is like building a house” (one I use quite a bit), the search engine optimization part of things has evolved to focus on the nitty gritty of site structure, meta descriptions and title tags, authorship and publisher markup, rel next and rel prev tags, schema, and all the other useful little code elements, tweaks, and ever-occuring updates that signal to search engines “Hey! This is this and that is that.” SEO is the foundation, structural support, frame, electrical, plumbing, and driveway of your online marketing house. Establishing a proper SEO foundation for your website ensures that it will be able to handle and successfully direct the traffic that it is built for, while passing all the rigorous tests that the search engine robots / building inspectors require of any established structure.
Why Content Marketing is Important
Content marketing, on the other hand, is the aesthetically pleasing design that attracts, retains and spreads like wildfire among prospective site visitors. You can have a website that follows all of the standards set in place by SEO, but if you don’t have a quantity of qualitative, unique, interesting content – your website house will sit vacant. Content marketing is the walls, the paint, the windows and the sleek polished floors. It is the part of your website that people can talk about with enthusiasm, because the thing about really good SEO is that it really shouldn’t be noticed when it is working just right. Site visitors generally aren’t going to post on Facebook – “Hey everybody, look at this site, it’s page loading times are absolutely fantastic! I didn’t encounter a single 404 error as I was browsing around!” I haven’t even seen a single SEO professional post anything like that, ever, and we’re total geeks about that stuff. What people are going to post about is your compelling information, your interesting graphics, your contradictory graph or video that turns the way we view the world upside down.