Content Marketing and the Role of SEO


Content Marketing is what everyone is talking about and will be a focus for digital marketing in 2013. But what many people are struggling to understand is how SEO fits into this approach.

The answer depends very much on your view of SEO but essentially SEO was about creating content that worked for search engines, Content Marketing is about creating content that works for people.

However, that doesn’t mean that SEO is no longer important, but content creators need to understand how to utilise SEO alongside other factors to get the best results.

Search 5 years ago

Traditionally promoting online content used to look like this:

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Good content has always been important but SEO could improve search results without the need for providing high quality experiences for the user.

While a combination of both saw the best return, this was time consuming and resource intensive and utilising SEO alone saw results quicker and was more predictable.

There are many professionals (and I use this term very loosely) who still offer this type of service, but those of us who value the user experience above all else have always tried to occupy that space in the middle.

Search now

Jump forward to 2013 and we now see a greater emphasis being put on quality content and social signals.

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Search engines still take notice of how you label your content, page titles, headings and descriptions play a part. But they no longer just take your word for it and bring in a whole range of other ‘signals’ that allude to the quality of each piece of content. Essentially SEO helps Google to understand what your content is about, and everything else demonstrates how relevant your content is.

These markers were easily manipulated in the early days, keyword loaded content and paid-for backlinking could deceive search engines into pushing low quality content to the top of the search results. They got wise to this though and now most of these ‘black hat’ techniques are filtered out during the search process, and some sites have been penalised for employing these kind of tactics. Search engines demand authenticity and while it’s important to understand which signals affect your results, these must be balanced alongside the drive to just create really interesting and useful content that illicit response from visitors.

Seo Content Crossword

While Content Marketing has overtaken SEO, it is so much more than another set of rules to follow. It encompasses technical knowhow with an understanding of how to create content that captures audience attention, predicting audience behaviour, social media activation, traditional PR and media relations tactics and brings it together in a strategic approach aimed at building long term meaningful relationships between brands and their customers.

It sounds complex but it really boils down to creating content that people want to see, share and positively influences how they feel about the creator. Whereas SEO and Content Marketing used to occupy two different spaces, we now view all tactics under the umbrella of Content Marketng and one of these tools is SEO.


Written by Felice Ayling


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