Did you ever see that old Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup commercial? The one where one person is walking down the street with a chocolate bar and the other is walking down eating peanut butter and they run into each other? “You got peanut butter on my chocolate!” “Well, you got chocolate in my peanut butter!” Here’s the link in case you never saw this gem.
Well first, who walks down the street eating peanut butter out of a tub? And second, this commercial popped into my mind when I sat down to write about content marketing and SEO. Not that you’re going to walk down the street writing a blog or do keyword research. But how well they work together as a team and you really can’t have one without the other.
One of the most important aspects of SEO is content. Without well-defined and user-friendly content, your SEO is going nowhere. And without the search engines, no one is going to find your content online. You got your content in my SEO! Well, you got your SEO in my content!
Let’s start with the basics here – content marketing is just that, content for marketing purposes. Creating content for a website or social media. It can be a blog post, a page, a video, an infographic, anything. But there’s catch. It’s not like writing, say, an essay or a short story. There’s a science to it. You need to get into the head of your reader and gear your copy or your video toward the person. Remember, the user came to your website looking for something specific, so you have to answer whatever question he or she has. Sounds simple? If you think it is, then you may not be optimizing your content correctly for SEO purposes.
Where content marketing is the answer to the question, SEO provides you with the question in the first place. For instance, if someone is asking Google, “What is the best way to get cat hair off my couch?” then Google is going to present that user with blog posts, products, and articles that answer that question. And if your content is lacking in SEO, then the user won’t choose your site as the answer to the question.
I’ve mentioned before that SEO cannot exist without great web design. But content is so important. And unfortunately, not many content marketers think about SEO when writing copy. Some even say that content marketing can overtake SEO. That’s just dumb. How is anyone going to see your stuff without the proper optimization in place?
But don’t get me wrong, SEO and content marketing are not the same. SEO can be quite technical – there are many moving pieces to it such as keywords, backlinks, and site structure. Whereas content marketing is more holistic – all you have to worry about is answering the question or the need. But content marketing needs to be properly optimized. It needs to be easy to understand, have the right keywords and links, and must be consistent (i.e. a blog a month is not enough; you need constant content).
And you can trust me on this. I am both the chocolate AND the peanut butter in this scenario.