Should you be focused on SEO or content marketing? Increasingly, we are now seeing the term content marketing being used to replace search engine optimization. With Google and other search engines placing an increased importance on the quality of content, it has definitely taken center stage. In fact, most Internet marketing experts now agree that having a SEO strategy alone is no longer enough in order to succeed. In order to attain the traffic and rankings necessary to succeed, it is now imperative to focus on the creation of high-quality content. Of course, well-researched keywords should guide that content, but the long and short of it is that quality content simply cannot be ignored.

The days of simply choosing a few keywords and then tossing them onto a webpage in order to receive a top ranking are gone. Competition has increased too much across all industries and quite frankly, Google has tweaked its algorithm too much for that strategy to work effectively any longer.

The implementation of a solid content marketing plan is based on increasing your exposure while simultaneously increasing authority, brand awareness, social media awareness, credibility, and ultimately, conversion rates. With that said, in order to be truly effective, it is important for content marketing strategies to employ best practices for SEO. What exactly does this mean? SEO elements will still be important this year and even beyond. Technical SEO knowledge simply must be paired with a quality content marketing plan to receive the best results.

Prior to the release of Panda, the process of content production was often not viewed as a priority. Since Panda; however, more business owners have come to realize that it is now more difficult to rank well. As a result, it has become necessary for companies to increase their investment in quality content creation in order to rank well in major search engines. Estimates indicate that the vast majority of small businesses are now using content marketing in an active manner as part of their comprehensive marketing strategy, meaning that the competition for the highest search engine rankings has become increasingly fierce.

In fact, an increasing number of companies are now either creating or outsourcing such positions as Director of Content, Content Manager, and Content Marketing Officer. At the same time, more companies are recognizing the need to carefully evaluate the type and quality of content that they are producing and track that content more carefully to ensure they are actually achieving their goals.

In the past, many marketing departments would often write and optimize their company’s own content. As more emphasis is now placed on the importance of content, even SEO professionals are pairing their technical knowledge with the creative talents of professional writers to create a double-edged sword to stand out in today’s highly competitive online arena.

SEO is certainly not dead, but in order to stand out from the increasing crowd and comply with the latest search engine algorithm tweaks, SEO must be combined with a solid content marketing plan.

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