3 Content Marketing & SEO Questions That Need Answering

Here’s are a few of the question I get asked a lot:

  1. Are Content Marketing and SEO different?
  2. What’s the difference between Content marketing and SEO?
  3. Content Marketing vs SEO: who wins?

To answer these we need to get back to basics.

An SEO’s objective is to be found, without paying, for what consumers are searching for in search engines. By far, Google has the largest market share. Therefore it’s the search engine that dominates most SEO plans.

There are circa 3bn searches a day in Google with 15% of these being unique i.e. they’ve never been searched for before, ever! This means consumers turn to Google at scale to find content about the things you and your company have or should have content for.

Circa 3bn searches a day in Google with 15% of these being unique. Do you have content for them? Click To Tweet

The question is, do you have content for the queries that matter to your target customers / personas?

In essence, it’s the job of the SEO to know:

  1. What’s being searched for now? I say now because a common mistake is to do some light level keyword research once and to rarely repeat the exercise.
  2. What content do we need to satisfy the search demand? This is an exercise in matching keywords to pages that you either do or do not have.
  3. How do we optimize our content to be found? This covers a range of skills that include Information Architecture (IA), Technical SEO, and content optimization.

I could also argue that a lot of SEO’s now get involved with other disciplines like Analytics, CRO, PR and Outreach, and spend a lot of time doing tasks like forecasting and reporting.

Now for Content Marketing.

Content Marketing is “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” according to the Content Marketing Institute.

This means it’s concerned with the Plan, Create, Distribute and Measure cycle. Which is a huge potential catch-all for everything from SEO to Customer Service content.

Because it is so broad, Content Marketing has the potential to be different things to different people. For example, it’s common for the Content Marketing team to spend a lot of time working with social data and front-of-mind campaign ideas designed to be promoted. A hybrid between Social Media, Content and PR.

So what’s the difference?

One word. Specificity.

SEO is a focused branch of Content Marketing, which is in turn a branch of Marketing.

What makes them complementary and dependent is the value of the Organic Search Channel and its potential impact on ROI. In short, it’s huge. SEO typically drives more sales via Digital Content than any other channel, at a higher ROI. If it’s not, the question is why not?

If Content Marketing is truly focused on “driving profitable customer action” then its most potent weapon is SEO. It needs to sit at the heart of the Content Marketing operation not on the edge.

There are no winners in the Content Marketing vs SEO question. There’s not even a fight to be had. They are family. Different but with similar goals and tasks.

SEO vs Content Marketing. We need to put this debate to bed. No, we need to kill it. Click To Tweet

Instead we need to bring these two family members closer together, build bridges, and work together.

The companies we all work for rely on this happening.

It happens at Molecule. We’ve published our Content Marketing Matrix recently and it uses insights from SEO all of the way through. Content Marketing and SEO work together.

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