It’s Not SEO or Content…It’s SEO AND Content
Growing up I was a huge fan of boxing. I used to watch it whenever I could and really fell in love with the sport. Then another sport started making waves with a new promotion called the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). This was the first time Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) was introduced to the mainstream. Its popularity soared and almost instantly fans took sides.
You either took the side of the “sweet science” of boxing or you landed on the side of MMA. Arguments raged and the debate continues to this day. All of this black-and-white taking of sides confused me. I’m sitting over here a la Rodney King, wondering, “Can’t we just all get along?”
Similarly, a new war on the digital front is being waged and in my opinion, is just as silly. It’s the argument between Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Content Marketing. More and more often I am getting clients ask, “Should we dedicate our resources towards SEO or Content?” and with a straight face I say, “Yes.”
"More and more often I am getting clients ask, “Should we dedicate our resources towards SEO or Content?” and with a straight face I say, 'Yes.'"
The fact is, you need both. It’s not a question of SEO or Content Marketing…it’s about SEO AND Content Marketing.
The Differences Between the Two
I’m going to show you why you need both, but first let’s briefly cover the main differences between the two.
First, SEO is much more technical in nature. There’s a lot that goes into it from keyword research to submitting a site map to enhancing metadata to garnering quality backlinks to optimizing robots.txt and much (MUCH) more.
Content is much more about user experience. Google is intent on giving users the highest quality experience possible. If you stuff a page with keywords and it reads like gibberish you are going to get punished for it by Google (and your audience too). So, content marketing is much more art than science. It’s about giving readers the information they need when they need it.
Clearly there’s some overlap here and it’s obvious (to me at least) that SEO needs Content and Content needs SEO. It’s no secret that Google loves indexing fresh, relevant content. Content Marketing therefore, by its very nature, is an action verb requiring consistent output over long periods of time. Content is what fuels the SEO fire. All the content in the world won’t help you if you aren’t optimized properly, however. You have to have both.
Why the ongoing debate then? I don’t know and it doesn’t really matter. At least now you know that SEO and Content overlap and that you have to have one to have the other. If I have convinced you of this then my job here is done.
The next time you are talking to an SEO vendor ask him about the role of content in search engine optimization. If he minimizes its importance or dismisses it outright, then run. Similarly, if you are talking to a content marketer and they say you don’t need SEO because content is king, hit the back door. Then give us a call and we’ll do both for you.