What is the difference between SEO and Content Marketing? Aren’t they exactly the same?

In the world of digital marketing, there is seemingly endless terminology to get to grips with – not to mention the many acronyms and abbreviations. There’s so much so that there is often a lot of overlap and confusion with digital marketing methods that sound interchangeable but are in fact different.

For example, what is the difference between search engine optimization and content marketing? Aren’t they exactly the same thing?

Read on and let’s find out…

SEO Vs. Content Marketing

What is SEO?

SEO (or search engine optimization) refers to the process of focusing on optimizing your website and web pages to rank higher in a Google SERP (search engine results page) for the keywords that are most relevant to your brand, business, and products/services.

When executed well, proper SEO will increase your online visibility and your content’s potential reach, thus driving more ‘qualified’ traffic to your website.

There are three major factors in SEO:

  • Onsite optimization / technical SEO: ensuring that your website meets all of Google’s search algorithm guidelines, that your website is technically sound, mobile optimized, and that everything performs well (to name a few).
  • Offsite SEO: predominantly link-building, domain authority, and social shares, thus signalling to Google that your website is authoritative, share-worthy, and worth granting more visibility.
  • Content creation: this is where the confusion between SEO and content marketing comes in; the fact that content creation is such an integral part of SEO. In order to achieve sustainable results in an SEO campaign you need to consistently produce high-value content that is relevant to your ideal customers. The more quality, relevant content you produce, the more likely Google will be to take your brand and business seriously and thus reward you with greater visibility.

 What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing refers to the process of creating, publishing, and distributing quality content across the web for a targeted audience. The primary purpose is to stimulate interest in your products and/or services so that users are more engaged with the business, develop trust, and are likely to make a purchase.

There are many different forms of content marketing and they are as follows:

  • Blogging (there are many different types of blog post that can be used to achieve multiple goals)
  • Social media posts (either posting to gain more followers on Instagram or to promote a product launch, etc.)
  • Emails (whether promotional, educational, or entertaining, email marketing can be very effective)
  • E-Books (providing high-value summaries of critical info that your followers are most interested in)
  • Infographics (ideal for presenting detailed information with easily digestible visuals)
  • Videos (visual marketing is huge and the majority of modern consumers prefer it over written content)
  • Audio (such as podcasts or transcribed blog posts, etc.)
  • Case studies (case studies are very powerful marketing tools. This agency offers digital marketing services in Dubai has over 100+ case studies that stand testament to their abilities)
  • Whitepapers (a detailed report or guide that informs your audience on complex issues with problems and solutions)

Again, much of the confusion between SEO and content marketing comes from the fact that there are certain elements of overlap. For example, blogging, infographics, video, case studies, and whitepapers can positively influence an SEO campaign.

What’s the difference?

Ultimately, the major difference between SEO and content marketing is that SEO is focused more on your physical rankings in a Google SERP, whereas content marketing is less worried about organic traffic and more worried about gaining exposure for your business.

In short: SEO is more technical, with content marketing being more on the creative side of things.

Fortunately, both digital marketing methods complement one another. The better your SEO the more exposure you will get for your content marketing, and the better your content marketing the more likely Google will be to rank you well in the SERPs.

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