Search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing have a lot of overlap, but they’re still separate disciplines. Columnist Stoney deGeyter discusses who should ultimately own content optimization.
Content marketing and SEO are pretty closely related in the digital marketing sphere, but they can also be miles apart in execution. There are certainly some overlapping areas between the two, but is there enough to allow your SEO practitioner to also be your content marketer, or vice versa?
In my (almost) 20 years of performing and overseeing successful digital marketing campaigns, I’ve come across a lot of “jack of all trades” types. I have argued over the years that having one person do everything isn’t a solid model for a high-performing web marketing campaign. After all, the skills required to, say, optimize a PPC campaign are vastly different from those required for organic SEO.
Let’s get back to content and SEO. On-page optimization is a core piece of the optimization process — and that means working with content is part of an SEO’s job. But does that mean that the best person to optimize your content is the SEO specialist? Or should optimizing content be left to the writer — and if so, to what extent?
These are questions I hope to answer here.
Technical vs. creative
SEO is more than the art of getting top search engine rankings. In fact, most of what comprises true SEO has very little to do with art — or even creativity, for that matter. The bulk of an SEO’s time is spent analyzing and fixing site architectural problems.
Most websites — even those built in WordPress — come packed with layers upon layers of issues. I would guess that 50-80% of them are structural in nature, having little to do with the actual content on the page.
But that doesn’t minimize the importance of content in regards to SEO. In fact, there’s something of a circular relationship between the two: Content has a hard time gaining traction in search if the search engines have trouble accessing or analyzing it properly, but fixing site architecture issues is rarely enough to rank well in search results. The content has to be optimized and valuable.
It’s this interdependence between good content and sound technical SEO that can make it difficult for sites with limited budgets to succeed. If you can only pick one, where do you invest your time? Or do you do a little of both and hope for the best?
It’s a tough call. To get results, you need a sufficient amount of both the creative and technical sides of SEO.