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Content Marketing Versus SEO. Which Drives More Traffic?

Content Marketing Versus SEO. Which Drives More Traffic?

This yin yang symbol represents content marketing versus SEO working together for website traffic.

If you were betting on content marketing versus search engine optimization (SEO) winning the race for website traffic, which would one would you pick?

You might ask yourself which one drives more traffic. 

Or you could think I’m asking you a trick question. Content marketing and SEO work hand in hand, right?

Before you answer, let’s compare content marketing and SEO.

What is content marketing?

Content marketing involves creating relevant, valuable content. But it goes beyond publishing content on your website. The process involves sharing your content on several platforms. These platforms can include:

What is SEO?

SEO is the process of optimizing your website content for search engines. Examples include:

  • Title tags
  • Meta descriptions
  • Blog posts
  • Images
  • Graphics

Does SEO or content marketing drive more traffic?

Of course, it’s impossible to do SEO without content. And keep in mind that content marketing can generate traffic beyond website visitors. Traffic includes:

  • Views on your YouTube videos
  • Engagement, follows and clicks on your company’s LinkedIn page
  • Listens and subscriptions to your podcast
  • Attendance for your live webinar

How do content marketing and SEO complement each other?

At the most basic level, they

  1. Target the right keywords
  2. Offer incredible content that delivers what searchers want

See how content marketing and SEO are very much a yin yang situation? They’re opposite but interconnected forces where one improves the other. With both in your toolbox, the results will be more impressive than using either alone. To be successful, your content marketing and SEO should:

Focus on user intent

When a Google search takes you to a website that doesn’t answer your question, do you stick around? Of course not. You hit that back button! This is why content marketing is so important to SEO.

Sure, you want to rank for your keywords. Even more important, you want your content to align with the searcher’s intent. Knowing how to write and test meta titles and descriptions are a crucial SEO skill that supports your content marketing.

Well-written meta titles and descriptions are important because they encourage organic visitors to click through to your site. When anyone shares your pages on social media, the meta titles and descriptions are displayed to explain what the pages are about. This is why strong meta tags encourage more clicks for search engine results and beyond.

Even the best content won’t generate traffic without top-notch meta information.

Make your content readable

Another key step is to make your content easy to read. You can check this by running it through a tool, such as Readable. Readable and similar tools grade your content for how most people can understand it. Some tools flag trouble spots and make suggestions for improvements.

Include structured data

Structured data is data on a webpage that’s organized to help search engines understand content. Structured data is important for content marketing and SEO. It helps search engines find and understand your content. The better Google understands your content, the better results searchers will get.

Provide internal linking

You can improve user experience by including internal links to related pieces of content. This also helps with SEO. Forming a web of linked pages helps your content rank higher in search.

Amplify your user experience

Focusing on user experience from a technical SEO perspective can help your content rank. Look at your website’s Core Web Vitals. These vitals measure your website’s user experience using three metrics. These metrics score:

  1. Page loading speed: How quickly page content loads
  2. Interactivity or responsiveness: How quickly a browser loading your webpage can respond to a user’s input
  3. Visual stability: How stable the content is as it loads in a browser

Making improvements and optimizing your Core Web Vitals will create a better experience for your users.

Simple things, like implementing a lazy load, will help create the best experience possible. A lazy load blocks noncritical content from loading immediately, accelerating page load times.

And the winner is ...

In short, your content marketing won’t perform without effective SEO. For long-lasting traffic, you need both – and they must be in tiptop shape.

Content marketing won’t drive traffic to your site without SEO. And SEO won’t work without content marketing. Your website content and engagement on YouTube, LinkedIn, social media and other platforms will increase your traffic.