Quality content seems to be the main edifice on which any SEO campaign can gain a deep-rooted search presence.
You share quality content with the groups, circles, or people you're connected with on various social media platforms. If that content is valuable and informative, only then does it have the potential to be shared further, go viral, and reap the targeted return on investment (ROI).
SEO vs. Content Marketing Tasks
This shift of focus to content creation (and content marketing) has created a misconception in the minds of some website owners that just because they publish content regularly on their website or blog that their SEO is taken care of. Content creation isn't SEO.
Website owners made a similar mistake in the past when they focused only on the quantity of links they were getting from various sites to "take care of their SEO." It took Google's Penguin update to jolt them and remove that misconception.
SEO is a branch of marketing, but yet it is unique in its own way and beyond marketing when it comes to technical aspects. SEO also has many other objectives and long-term effects and benefits (e.g., rankings, traffic) for the site being optimized.
The SEO tasks related to content can be summarized as below:
- Ensure that the site is crawled correctly and regularly.
- The site URLs are being indexed as per the XML sitemap and robots.txt specifications.
- The site is gradually ranking and is having an improved search presence as a result.
- The regular monitoring of the metrics and data of the webmaster tools and Google Analytics to be sure that the above tasks are gearing the site in the right direction on the web.
- Implement the Authorship Markup.
- Implement the Twitter Cards and Facebook Open Graph.
- Update XML sitemaps for text content, images, and videos.
On the other hand, content marketing tasks involve:
- Regular content creation.
- Working on a content strategy.
- Plan the process of sharing it on social media and all over the web in various forms.
The Declaration of Interdependence
Though content marketing and SEO are interconnected and SEO efforts get a boost if the high quality content goes viral, website owners must not only assign importance to content creation and sharing. You must also keep a regular check on the core SEO tasks of monitoring the crawling and indexing.
Neglecting core SEO tasks may result in losing out on the long-term benefits that can accrue out of all the social media efforts, as all social media signals may not get passed on and get correlated to the site if it isn't being regularly crawled or indexed by the search engines.
Content shared on social media has a very short life span. Readers quickly move on to the latest content which is creating a buzz and catches their attention.
The purpose of sharing content is to try and get the maximum outreach. Therefore, it shouldn't just create a buzz, result in retweets, and create ripples – it should also get crawled and indexed by search engines to give websites long-term benefits.
Website owners must clearly understood the importance of SEO.
Content creation isn't the only way to go. Instead of creation, you can curate content and be active on social media platforms, having relevant conversations revolving around the curated content.
Google's Knowledge Graph is taking search to a completely different level. The Knowledge Graph is also paving the way to new approaches toward SEO.
Semantic search isn't just about the web. It's about all information, data, and applications.
The content writer may write good quality content but an SEO professional is always the right person to keep a check on the code for the content behind the page so that it is readily accepted by the search engine bots and gets its due from search engines.
SEO & Content Marketing: Heads & Tails
SEO and content marketing are two different industries but are like two sides of the same coin. Your SEO may or may not create content for you and at the same time your content creator or writer may or may not optimize your site.
No doubt, every piece of quality content boosts your search presence – provided your site has been optimized wisely for the search engines and the search engines can easily index and extract the right context of the content to make it prominently visible on the search results for their users.
Both industries, though interrelated and interdependant have distinct identities. A content creator needs to have knowledge about the concerned industry for which he wants to create content but a SEO needs to have knowledge about the search engines, their algorithms, updates, webmaster tools, analytics, etc.
While it's possible that one person may have general knowledge about all the essential SEO and content marketing tasks, in the field of medicine there are general practitioners, but specialists are most trusted for their advice.