Though it has been around forever, content marketing seems to be the industry’s favorite buzzword lately. Producing quality content that generates a high level of engagement is every marketers dream. But, in light of this content frenzy some marketers have been quick to call other forms of marketing “dead,” which is the case for search engine optimization (SEO). Some have even claimed content marketing has replaced SEO all together.

We’re here to tell you that’s not the case. In fact, content marketing drives SEO. You can’t have content marketing without SEO, and you can’t have SEO without content marketing. Today, marketers of all kinds are quickly learning that when used together, these two practices produce valuable results.

Working Together

Content marketing and SEO’s functions drastically improve when used simultaneously. Over the years, SEO has transformed from providing exact keyword search results to topical keyword search results. Previously, marketers would arbitrarily insert keywords into content to increase rankings (even if this diminished the content quality). With topical search results, content creators can focus on the quality of the content. However, it is still advised to consciously incorporate exact keywords in your page titles, headers, and meta descriptions. By doing this, you are still practicing good SEO without sabotaging your content.

If your content is relevant and engaging, SEO keywords will thrive. You won’t need to purposely insert keywords if you are providing content your audience truly wants to see. And with high-quality content comes the opportunity for more backlinks to your site. Again, you are practicing SEO through your content marketing strategy.

Even better, the web can document customer response. By reviewing what your audience is saying in comments on and shares of your posts, you can verify your keywords or learn what keywords you should be incorporating.

Keep in mind that using content marketing and SEO hand-in-hand is a long-term process. Do not expect to immediately see results. Instead, continue to satisfy customers with quality content and you will see a strong SEO improvement over time.

Why a Content-SEO Mix is Better Than SEO Only

It is important to recognize that content marketing does not involve paid content. Content marketing is a low-budget form of SEO. While paid SEO practices can be negatively affected by Google updates and software malfunctions, content marketing is not. And while you are focusing on creating high-quality content for SEO purposes, you are, overall, improving your website in the process.

With the production of frequent and interesting content, you are also increasing your social media presence. Hundreds–even thousands–of shares, likes, mentions, and retweets can result. With this newfound social presence, you are fostering a better relationship between your brand and the customer. The chain of reaction that occurs from content marketing and SEO use benefits all areas of your company.

Best Practices for Content Marketing SEO

Stay focused on producing the right content for your audience. When you master creating high-quality, relevant posts, SEO can easily do its job. Also, by putting your all your content on one domain, you are funneling your traffic directly to your content. Again, this allows for easy SEO analysis.

Good content is easily understood, actionable, engaging, and relevant. Relevancy is crucial to content marketing and SEO success. Don’t produce content that isn’t consistent with your company’s image. Not only will this hinder your SEO, but will create a disconnect from your brand.

If you are unsure of if your content marketing and SEO habits are successful, you can run a site audit to determine your areas of strengths and weaknesses. Understanding that content marketing and SEO are most effective when used together will allow for major results. Your content and your optimization will undoubtedly flourish with this pair.