Yes, the debate is ages old. Or at least several years. And some people feel they must be mutually exclusive or compete with one another. Throw in social media and you have a three-way debate that may never end. What’s the definite answer? Does one drive the other or can they somehow co-exist? Have we learned anymore about their relationships, or mix? What will get your bounce rate down, increase followers and convert them to sales?
Google’s search engine does it’s best to insure that search content is driven by organic and relevant searches, and rankings are only influenced by the number of searches and natural links from related content.
Let’s start with the system that drives all digital marketing – Google’s search engine algorithms. It’s pretty simple, really. Gone are the days of tricking or working the system, and in fact, trying to do so will actually backfire and hurt your site. But optimizing your site with SEO is as critical as it ever was, so it continues to be a very valuable part of your marketing strategy. Backlinks and keywords are still the big players in SEO.
So where does that leave content marketing?
Well, even if you get people to your site, you need to have something of value for them to take away, or your SEO strategy will be wasted. SEO drives people to yoursite, but it’s the value of your content that keeps people there and gives them a reason to come back. SEO provides a solid framework to reach out and grab qualified prospects but there better be something substantial for them to benefit from in your content if you want to convert that interest into sales.
Let’s look at an example:Your company provides a service to other businesses. How do they find you? Well, when they need your service, they simply search for you. It’s your SEO keywords that help them find your business when they need it the most. Maybe they will find you directly. Maybe your name will come up as a link from a related site. Maybe they will notice something you posted on social media. How they find you is directly related to your SEO and social media presence.
So now they have found you. Perfect. But wait. What will make them stop and notice you? What gets them to stay on your site long enough to find out why you are the best service for them? It’s not enough to get them there. You have to prove that you can solve their problem or take care of their needs. That’s your content marketing. SEO can get you the initial traffic, but the amount of time spent on your pages and getting them to be a loyal follower and customer will be determined by the content they get from you. So yes, as you may have suspected, these different parts of your digital marketing strategy are intertwined and dependent on one another. It’s not enough to drive them to your site, just as it’s not enough to have valuable content. If they can’t find you or don’t find anything of value, the hard work on one is wasted on the other.
In order to know how to grab your audience, your SEO team needs to know what kind of content you have.
Then they know where your name needs to appear and what you can offer customers; your content needs to address the issue of your current and potential customers. That’s where your SEO team members can help your content team, with knowing what kinds of issues your customers are searching for. The best way to make the most of the symbiotic relationship of the two is to have both groups work closely together. Your message needs to be clear and consistent and that means being in the right place with the right message. Both SEO and content marketing are needed to optimize that connection.
In other words, it doesn’t really matter which came first since you need both for a successful digital marketing campaign.
For an increase in traffic, you need good SEO. But to get the traffic to spend time on your pages and convert into sales you need good content. With a cohesive digital marketing plan that uses both and mixes in social media, you have a winning formula for favorable results in ROI. And that we can all agree, wins any argument!