SEO (search engine optimization) and content marketing are two interconnected spheres of online marketing. Without the one, you can’t have the other and vice versa. To fully explain how this works let’s look at the factors that fall under these two categories.
Content marketing is necessarily built around some keyword. Your content tackles one or more topics and works through them. It might be the best content around, but if it doesn’t conform to SEO guidelines, it might get buried beneath a heap of lesser content.
SEO takes those keywords and integrates them into the content itself. The purpose of this is to signal to the search engine that the content is relevant. And without the algorithm recognizing you as such, you are less likely to get in front of the eyes of a user. (Around 75% of people never click the second page of Google results)
2. Quality Content
Both local seo and Content Marketing require quality content. When your content is well written and formatted, it is likelier to push your website ranking higher. By doing so, it makes it likelier for your content to be shared by people. This is a facet of Content Marketing.
Content Marketing simply focuses on the more general side of things, while SEO makes it technically viable. If it helps, you can look at SEO as translating good Content Marketing practices into algorithm language.
3. User Experience
User experience is an increasingly important part of SEO. It was and still is a staple of Content Marketing. SEO is now catching up in that department because of improvements to the algorithm. This has resulted in a kind of merger between the useful and the technical.
SEO guidelines now insist on higher readability, easy access to specific segments of content, and good tagging/headlines. Beyond that, SEO optimization of how the page works itself can help your content be more marketable. Because a quick loading page is likelier to be read and shared.
You can’t market your content without having substantial traffic going through your page. SEO makes this easier. By getting you more organic traffic (as opposed to paid traffic) you are likelier to build a base of users interested in the content you produce.
Users don’t like to be pigeonholed and tricked. SEO does exactly the opposite of that, by catering to their actual needs. It looks into the reasons why they are looking into something, and then optimizes your content on that topic to be easier to find. This makes sense both for your user experience and for your business. By doing this traffic will be bolstered and will reflect positively on your ROI (rate of investment return).
The development of SEO has gradually moved further towards user experience. This has created very obvious and logical connections to more general Content Marketing. What this means in practice is that now getting to the first page of Google results is directly tied to how much of your content gets looked at.