Incorporating both SEO and content marketing into your overall marketing strategy will drive outsize results – far greater than using either one alone.

In the fast-changing world of digital marketing, search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing represent the ideal partnership. They work together in a mutually beneficial way, with each fueling the other to drive optimal impact, generating sales and realizing business objectives.

Here’s why: Research shows that 68 per cent of all trackable web traffic starts with a search – far outpacing all other channels, including display and social media. In fact, SEO drives 1,000% more traffic than organic social media. SEO doesn’t just drive more traffic – it drives the right traffic that is most likely to lead to sales. That’s because an effective SEO strategy targets relevant, high-intent users and prospects.

This is one part of the picture. With Google’s algorithm focused on creating great user experiences, publishing high-quality, relevant content is an important way to boost your SEO strategy and make sure you gain prime placement on search engine results pages (SERPs). Together, SEO and content marketing help more of your target audience find you, ultimately accelerating the sales process. It’s a win-win.

This article will unpack this powerful duo to explain how they are stronger together.


What is SEO?

SEO is a digital marketing strategy to help businesses improve their rankings on search engines’ results pages. Ranking high on SERPs generates more traffic to your site.

Given that more than 90 per cent of all global searches happen on Google, it’s important for brands to make sure they rank high on the world’s most popular search engine.  This is what will get you noticed and open the door to more visitors and more sales.

The benefits of SEO

A strong search strategy:

  • Builds awareness, visibility and reach.
  • Attracts the audiences most likely to buy your products and services.
  • Increases website traffic.
  • Provides data you can use to further engage your audience.
  • Increases credibility and trustworthiness.
  • Delivers a strong return on investment at a low cost.

What is content marketing?

Hubspot defines content marketing as … “the process of planning, creating, distributing, sharing, and publishing content via channels such as social media, blogs, websites, podcasts, apps, press releases, print publications, and more. The goal is to reach your target audience and increase brand awareness, sales, engagement, and loyalty.”

The content itself can take the form of blogs, articles, social media posts, ebooks, infographics, videos, podcasts, etc. Visual storytelling in particular is gaining traction, with short-form immersive mobile-first, long-form and live videos emerging as top content marketing trends this year.

Effective content marketing goes well beyond creating and publishing a piece of content. It’s about making it searchable in a way that feels natural to online shoppers. It’s about telling your target audience a story they will find authentic, engaging and that resonates in a personal, emotional way. Digital storytelling is one of the essential tools in effective content marketing. These stories can be used to share an experience, explain a concept or make an argument for something. In all cases, the goal is to make your brand real and build a connection with your intended audience.

Tip: To make sure the content you create fuels your SEO strategy, focus on making it easy for search engines to find, easy to measure and drives conversions and sales.

Benefits of content marketing

Content marketing:

  • Builds brand awareness and boosts search engine rankings.
  • Cuts through the noise of disruptive, outbound marketing strategies and ads.
  • Provides an opportunity to build trust with your target audience because you are sharing information they can use.
  • Helps create a community around your brand, encouraging engagement.

Synergy between SEO and content marketing

Combining SEO and content marketing helps create a great user experience

Ensuring a great user experience is key for Google’s algorithm and the core of an effective SEO strategy. This means providing user-centric, accessible, easy-to-navigate web design, fast load times, visual stability and pages optimized for mobile. These metrics are part of Google’s Core Web Vitals initiative, which helps brands “quantify the experience of your site and identify opportunities to improve”. Google is equally focused on meeting user intent. To that end it is focused on finding and prioritizing high-quality, relevant content that searchers will find useful and engaging.

This type of content will rank higher than posts and articles that just try to sell a product or service. Adding relevant audio, video and photos will help you boost your ranking even further. Post content across your social channels and encourage customers to comment, share product photos, reviews and testimonials. This builds awareness and credibility and will help drive people to your site.

One of the best ways to attract relevant users is by using the right keywords. These are the words and terms your target audience is most likely to use when conducting a search for a product, service or term. 

Tip: Use free keyword research tools such as  Keyword Tool and Answer the Public. For a fee, Keywords Explorer by Ahrefs will both suggest and analyze the ranking and traffic potential of keywords.

SEO and content marketing increase click-through rates

Together SEO and content marketing can boost your visibility and brand awareness. Take a close look at the search terms used to find your content as well as the keywords your existing customers use while on your site. Consistently use these keywords and terms in your content. Once you know what your user is looking for, provide content that answers their questions in the way they want to receive it (e.g., articles, videos, podcasts, graphics). Frequently Asked Questions pages in particular are a great way to attract and provide users with information they can use and land in the top five in organic SERP – an important way to increase click-through rates.

Fast fact: Ranking on top of SERP generates 39.8% CTR.

SEO and content marketing are essential in today’s online marketplace. While they each have their independent strengths, their true power can only be unlocked when you combine them. SEO leads traffic to your site, expands your visibility and makes sure your website is easy to use. Content attracts, engages and builds interest in your brand, fostering trust and loyalty and encouraging people to return. Together, they help create a great customer experience – a proven path to generate sales.