What’s the Difference Between Content Marketing and SEO?

In today’s online marketing industry, both content marketing and search engine optimization reign supreme. Yet given how relatively new these strategies are, most businesses are still unsure how to employ them. For some, these words are used interchangeably and further confusion persists. So before you dive into the world of digital marketing, you need to understand the basics. 

What is SEO?

SEO is a set of tools you apply to a webpage to help search engines understand it better and effectively increase its web ranking. 

SEO uses niche keywords, web design, and on-page factors such as titles, descriptions, HTML codes, backlinking and URLs to increase a webpage’s visibility among search engines. Essentially, you want search engine “crawlers” to be able to read what is on your website. By using certain SEO strategies, you can convey information to crawlers and give your page context. 

SEO helps you rank higher on Google, gain more traffic from various search engines, attracts your target audience to your website, and allows users to better navigate your website because of its faster performance and mobile-friendly design.

What is content marketing?

Unlike the technical nature of SEO, content marketing is a theoretical concept where you essentially use content for marketing purposes. Content can be anything from text such as blog posts, product reviews, and articles or images like video and infographics. 

Content marketing strategy is all about engaging with your audience and building brand awareness. You want to develop trusting relationships with your readers and increase your social media presence and boost organic traffic through social shares. 

How the two are related

A lot of the confusion surrounding SEO and content marketing is because they’re two distinct parts after the same goal — successful brand promotion. 

SEO specialists and content marketers are on the same team. A search engine optimization company in Los Angeles will work with professional writers for any purpose such as creating content that matches with SEO strategies. To have an effective online marketing strategy, the two must function together.

SEO provides the practical aspects, while content marketing handles the creative side. Content marketing develops content that uses the necessary SEO methods. It’s not enough to just have a page filled with relevant keywords — the keywords need to be used appropriately so the content is relevant and of high quality. Content marketing helps your website stand out, but SEO makes it accessible for users. 

Aditi Mishra, who studied Inbound Marketing & Content Marketing at HubSpot Academy, explained on Quora that the two are partners. “The relationship is [the] same as of baking soda in baking,” Mishra wrote. “If you consider [content] generation as the baking process, then SEO is the baking soda.”

“A little bit of SEO, just as soda in baking brings in beautiful results,” Mishra added.

What makes them different

As should be apparent by now, SEO is the technical application regarding website navigation, structure, and design and content marketing is what helps you get more exposure online through specific kinds of content. SEO is more narrow and focused in its scope. Content marketing’s non-technical nature allows it to be broader. One of the key differences between the two is that SEO wants to satisfy search engines, but content marketing wants to satisfy humans. And your website needs to do both: appeal to search engines and customers.Their functions are clearly different, but content marketing and SEO certainly need each other to build a suitable brand marketing strategy for your business.