Both the terms “SEO” and “content marketing” have used frequently in business over the last few years. With this, there has been some overlap in talking about them and the strategic contexts in which they are brought up. As a result, it can get confusing not only for people new to the online marketing world but even for experienced professionals trying to distinguish the two concepts. Granted, there is a relatively fine line with the two closely tied together, but there is a difference nonetheless. Further, it is important to know both how they are connected and how they differ in order to make the most of all aspects of your digital marketing strategy.


Overview of Content Marketing

The goal of content marketing is essential to create high-quality, meaningful content to showcase to customers. Be it blog articles, videos, branded imagery, and infographics, and other forms of media, valuable content is used to build an audience online by attracting people to your message. The idea is to convert them from consumers of the free content you produce to customers of your services and products.


Overview of SEO

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is intended to improve the rankings of your business’s website in search engines. Based on a set of criteria regarding authority and relevance, search engines will rank pages of your website according to various search queries made by users.


How They are Related

Similar Goals: Content marketing and SEO work to achieve a similar goal in driving more people to your website.

Keyword Development: In order to develop keywords for SEO, effective content marketing makes a difference. High-quality content offers you the opportunity to include designated keywords for better SEO and targeting a wider audience.

More Content, More Opportunities: Creating content for online marketing is allowing for new opportunities to be ranked by search engines and to build a more diverse list of keywords for your website. While quality still prevails, understanding there is a place for quantity in creating content is helpful for both content marketing and SEO.

Authority Building: Producing good content will help build your authority for SEO rankings. Good content attracts more backlinks to your site and fosters a better user experience.


How They Differ

Focus: SEO usually focuses on engaging users through boosting rank and visibility in search engines. This is often tracked with a Google Keyword Rank Tracker.  Meanwhile, content marketing focuses more so on engaging with users directly. While they work together for similar overarching goals, SEO utilizes search engines while content marketing utilizes experience for consumers.

Partnerships for Inbound Links: The quality of your content will likely attract build backlinks naturally, but making effort for targeted outreach falls under SEO strategy. Inbound links not only create referral traffic but build authority, a necessary component to ranking higher in search engines.

The Technical Side of SEO: Technical SEO is a particular aspect of SEO that is not related to content marketing. This includes:

  • Optimizing websites for mobile devices
  • Increasing site speed
  • Creating XML sitemaps
  • Organizing navigation structure
  • Fixing crawl errors
  • Removing duplicate content.


While content marketing and SEO have their differences, use both to your advantage to create a complete strategy that will yield the most success in your total online marketing efforts.