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SEO and Content Marketing: Is there a Difference?

Oct 24th, 2015

SEO and content marketing have been some of the hottest buzzwords on the Internet today. Often the two overlap onto each other, and sometimes the terms are even used interchangeably. But is there a difference? Or has content marketing just become the new SEO?

SEO
SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” That is, optimizing your site for the search engines so that when people are searching online, they can easily find you and your website. SEO involves a number of strategies including using keywords, links and backlinks, and one of the newest, being mobile-friendly. Even images and video are optimized for SEO so that search engines can recognize them and place them higher in the page rankings.

SEO does have a lot to do with the content of your site. After all, you can hardly write keywords and long-tail keywords without having content to place them in. And any links and backlinks you have on your site will also be nestled nicely somewhere in the content of your site. But SEO focuses on advertising your site to the search engines, letting them know you’re there and using them to get higher page rankings and therefore, more people to your site.

Content Marketing
Content marketing, as its name suggests, is also another form of advertising your site. But instead of advertising to the search engines and letting them know you’re there, you’re advertising to people, letting them know you’re there and attracting them to your site. Visitors don’t care so much about keywords and links, but they do care that the content they view on your site is relevant, engaging, helpful, and useful.

If the content on your site is of no value to the visitor, they’re going to leave and find another site that is. This is why you need to not only focus on SEO, but also content marketing – tailoring your content to the reader and making it as dynamic as possible.

It’s important to understand that content marketing doesn’t necessarily mean pushing your products or trying to sell directly to the customer. It’s about giving them information that is useful and that they can learn from. In doing so, you’ll gain a strong customer base that rewards you by giving you their business and that remains loyal.

Although the terms SEO and content marketing are sometimes considered one in the same, they’re really not. While they both involve the content of your site, they have very different purposes. While one targets actual customers, the other targets the spiders of the search engines.

SEO and content marketing do have one other thing in common however. In order to be successful using either of them, each needs to be done consistently. Your site must have regular, updated content that is not only of real value to the reader, but can also easily be found by the search engines.