In today’s Content Marketing Q&A video I answer a question put to me by Darryl King from Ireckon.com.
The question was
Here is my answer.
What’s the difference between content marketing, blogging, and SEO? That’s today’s question from Darryl King from Ireckon. So there is an issue in this industry where we all use different terms to describe very similar things, so in today’s content marketing Q & A I’m going to explain to you what those three things are and how I look at them altogether.
The first one is SEO, Search Engine Optimization. Search Engine Optimization refers mostly to those things that you can do both on the site and off the site that are going to improve your organic visibility or in Google basically. Now, when I say onsite I mean things like fixing page titles, writing content on the site, improving the way that the site is structured. And when I say offsite I’m talking about those promotional things that are going to get links.
In the past, SEO has been generally equated with link building and link building has gotten a bad name in the last couple of years due to the spammy strategies that were available to, again, Google. So from my perspective, SEO is just anything that you can do to improve the visibility of your pages in Google.
Now on to blogging. Blogging is just generally the process of publishing interesting and unique content on your website in a date order where the most recent blog post is published most recently at the top of the blog. Now blogging used to be a personal activity, but now every business website has a blog that allows that business to publish interesting and unique content. So blogging is really just a content creation activity. It doesn’t replace SEO. It doesn’t replace content marketing per se, but it is a part of the bigger picture of activities that, I guess, falls under content marketing.
Content marketing. In the last couple of years content marketing has grown massively in the amount of interest, the amount of search activity, and in the number of people who are saying that they’re doing content marketing. So content marketing’s growth has primarily been because Google has managed to penalize spammy link building activities and content marketing was seen as this way of creating great quality that was going to get rewarded with links, and it was seen as a safe way to get links from Google and get organic visibility. And the reality is it’s much more than just a link building strategy.
So content marketing generally refers to this process of creating quality unique content that answers your customer’s questions, right, that gets found in Google by people looking for those answers, that brings targeted traffic to your website. And it’s all about a process of creating helpful information that when people find they are suddenly made aware of your business and you’re demonstrating your knowledge, and your skill, and your ability to solve their problems through your content. And hopefully down the track when they are ready to buy said product they’ll choose you because they’ll remember that you were helpful with your content. And so it’s that process of creating unique content, putting it out there and when it gets discovered it’ll drive that positive, profitable outcome that’s just typically a sale.
So they all have their places – SEO, content marketing, and blogging. And the way I see it is that SEO hasn’t gone away. There’s a real requirement for quality SEO from the perspective that all websites need to be well built. They need to be technically sound. They need to have duplicate content fixed. They need to be properly linked together so that the Google crawlers can spider the site and the pages have an ability to rank and rank well. And SEO obviously includes keyword research and whatnot. And content marketing is a really critical activity around the creation of content that is going to get found. It needs to be optimized and it needs to be researched. So whilst the three phrases get mixed up a lot, the reality is they’re all quite critical.
Now my approach going forward as a person who has come from a strong SEO background is that I’m recommending content marketing as an activity that a business should engage in to improve the visibility of one’s website in the search engines, but my approach to content marketing does require those strong SEO foundations. So you can’t go and just create content and hope that it’ll bring you traffic without having a structurally sound website that’s well crawled, that’s well ranked with good strong keyword foundations around the pages.
So from my perspective, content marketing is the creation of those pieces of content and that ongoing content activity, but with strong SEO foundations. Does that make sense? And I’ve got a creative framework around content marketing that helps you understand the different types of content that I think need to be created to do different things, link attraction content to get links, conversion content to help move people along that by journey and make them choose you to do business with, and authority content which is all about being positioned as the expert in your niche.
So Darryl, the answer to your question is, blogging, it’s a content creation activity. SEO is still one, always has been, it’s those activities, both on and off a website that are all about improving the visibility of one’s content in Google. And content marketing, those activities around creating quality content that will get discovered and get found in Google. I hope you enjoyed this content marketing Q & A. If you have a question of your own, please leave it in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer it. Thank you very much.