If you’re trying to decide what kind of online marketing company you want to work with to help catapult your company to the top, then you may have already done some research on recent trends in online marketing. One discussion that you may have seen come up a few times is the idea of content marketing versus search engine optimization (SEO).
In these arguments, it’s common to hear two assertions:
1. Content marketing is all about the feel and quality of the content.
2. Search engine optimization is focused on a data-driven approach to backend changes (quantitative measures) aimed at search engines that will ideally improve rankings.
This distinction just isn’t true anymore. If you’ve been doing your research, then you’ve seen that various algorithm updates have emphasized quality content on your site as an important factor towards ranking better in search engines. This means that content marketing and SEO are incredibly intertwined and somewhat synonymous. Sure, you may have some people who focus more on one aspect of SEO than the other, but the fact is that the two approaches are becoming almost indistinguishable.
So how does that affect your decision about what online marketing company to work with? We can’t tell you who’s the right fit for you, but we can give you an idea of a few questions you should be asking.
• Ask how the company’s content marketing or SEO strategies have changed based on recent algorithm updates. This question allows you to assess how successfully the company keeps up with the rapidly changing environment. A digital marketing company should be able to discuss recent changes in the industry and the specific changes they have implemented to stay within search engine guidelines.
• Ask them where they see algorithms moving in the future. A great company will not just be adhering to current guidelines, but will also be making changes that will benefit their clients’ sites now and in the future. For instance, at Perfect Search we’ve targeted content as well as other optimizations like title tags for a while now, so when the algorithm updates began focusing on this we didn’t have to make too many changes.
• Ask them what practices they find to be less useful now than 5 years ago. A great example is backlinks. This was the best way to rank well a few years ago, but the fact is it’s really not that useful anymore. There are a few benefits from doing it well, but simply getting a large number of backlinks won’t help anyone in today’s ranking algorithms.
Armed with these questions, you should be able to get a sense of how successful any given digital marketing company will be as your online marketing partner for the long term. Remember, content marketing and SEO are more similar than different these days. Anyone who says differently hasn’t really been staying up to date.