Content Marketing or Inbound Marketing: Which Is Better for SEO?
Since the Penguin Update of April 2013, ‘Content Marketing’ has become the in-vogue phrase that SEOs have been focusing on. The idea is simple: by creating high quality content you will attract high quality traffic and people will build links to your website which will propel you up the search rankings.
The problem, however, is that this doesn’t actually work. Or rather, it doesn’t work if you’re a new business just starting out. If you already have a steady stream of visitors to your site through basically any channel, then content marketing will almost certainly create links and lead to better search engine results page (SERP) performance. But what if you don’t have any traffic? Well, since you ask - that’s where inbound marketing steps in and provides you with all-round better SEO performance.
What is inbound marketing SEO?
To put it very simply, inbound marketing is the art of ensuring that your content is located in the places where your target audience is likely to be. In the long run this produces SEO success in a more sustainable way than the traditional SEO methods as it’s based around targeting content that your audience needs and will want to share with others. This means people will be building links to your site for you. All of the pay off, with less of the hard work*
*Note: There’s still lots of hard work, it’s just less boring than building directory links.
How does it work?
Inbound marketing is based on around the principle of identifying your potential audience and putting your content where they can see it so as to draw them in. So the first thing you need to do is work out who your audience is.
The best way to do this is to develop detailed inbound marketing personas for the types of people who will find your site useful. Age, sector, role, duties and business pains can all play a part in building up detailed buyer personas, as well as things like interests and hobbies. Then, once you’ve built up a clear idea of who you’re targeting, the next step is to locate where your personas are likely to be found online, be that websites, specific LinkedIn groups or the Twitter feeds of industry leaders. Once you know where you want your content to be, you can work on placing it into these areas so that your targets will see them and be directed to your website.
How does this help with SEO?
Firstly, by focusing on tracking down your target audience online and dangling your content in front of them, you’ll probably be posting some guest blog content which will contain links to your site, and those links will be worth a lot to Google. But that’s just the start.
Once people are being drawn to your site via Linkedin groups and other means, you can encourage them to become brand advocates. By following you on social media, and sharing and recommending your great content, you’ll quickly find that they’ll be pointing people to your website, and some of them will even start linking to you on their own websites.
The beauty of inbound marketing is that its SEO benefits are more or less a side-effect of a highly effective business model. By building up your reputation for quality content which is useful to your target audience and addresses their key business pains, you’ll find that people start linking to you naturally over time, resulting in not only improved SEO but also a boost in your bottom line.