This is a common question amongst our community and the truth is that SEO and content marketing overlap. A lot.
The wrong way to view them is separately. Yes, there are some technical points that can be viewed as independent but the most effective strategy is to embrace how the two overlap in many areas.
And, the ONLY WAY to ensure the success of content marketing is to apply SEO techniques in its implementation.
So, how exactly does SEO and content complement each other?
In each of the points below, I state exactly what SEO requires, and how content marketing meets that requirement.
Point #1: SEO demands content
Point #2: Content marketing is content
There is no such thing as SEO without content. You need words, articles, substance, keywords, verbiage, etc.
It makes me cringe whenever I have to say it, because it’s so cliche, but it’s VERY VERY TRUE: CONTENT IS KING!
Let's not argue about that anymore. It’s a given fact of the SEO industry. Content, content, content.
Point #3: SEO demands keywords. Content marketing means using keywords.
How are keywords used?
The only way you can use your keywords is to strategically insert them throughout your content. Content marketing consists of top-notch content, written for humans, and using the keywords inserted into them based on what search terms you’re targeting.
Obviously, Google's Panda algorithm will penalize you if you deliberately over stuff your pages with keywords and over optimize it. But when SEO and content marketing do what they’re supposed to do — it works in sweet harmony together — you’ll be fine.
Point #4: SEO demands consistent output of content. Content marketing requires consistent use of key phrases.
Google and consumers of Google want and like fresh content. That's the service that they provide. If you know SEO, you know that fresh content gets rapidly indexed, and registers higher in the results pages of search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. And they place lower value on older low-value content. When you produce fresh content and publish it on a site with historic authority, you can be sure that it’s going to give your search ranking results a boost.
Basically, successful SEO means consistent output of content. Consistent output means that you’re doing content marketing, and you’re doing it right. There isn’t any way around it.
Content marketing is an active verb, with ongoing action. You don’t just do it, and then stop. You do it, and keep doing it. And on and on.
This is one key "organic" way to beat your competition on the search engine results.