link-building-vs-link-building.jpgIt is easy to see how people may confuse the terms “link building” and “content building” when talking about methods of search marketing. While they are similar in that they both use keywords and content to drive traffic and increase conversions, the actual process and goal of each practice is very different. The most successful search engine marketing campaigns, however, will use a combination of both.

In order to receive the maximum benefit from each search engine marketing method, it’s important to understand the differences between them.

LINK BUILDING

Link building is the process of obtaining links from quality websites in order to improve a site’s search engine rankings. Successful link building begins with finding valuable keywords with the highest search volume relevant to your target market. It is then the job of the link builder to find blogs, websites or other online content where these keywords would occur naturally, and to then obtain a link back to your business website.

For example, if you own a car dealership in New Hampshire, your target keywords may be “used car dealer in NH,” “certified pre-owned vehicles,” and/or similar terms. You would then be looking for blogs, websites and other online sources centered around finding the best deals on new and used vehicles from which to acquire links. The more relevant your content is to the links that direct visitors to your site, the more successful the search marketing campaign will be.

Links can also be acquired organically. This means another website chooses to link directly to content you’ve created because it is relevant to their audience. Organic links are ideal, as they occur naturally, with no manual work required other than simply creating great, shareable content. In some cases, a link can be acquired for a small cost in addition to a piece of content, but this practice is generally frowned upon by Google, and may not be worth the risk.

CONTENT MARKETING

Rather than trying to build external links to your website, content marketing (or, content building) involves publishing content publicly that will ultimately create interest in your brand. By first creating buyer personas in order to learn about your specific customer base, you can then create quality content targeted towards your market to assist them in making an informed purchasing decision.

With content marketing, it is vitally important to offer the right content in the right format, based on the preferences of your potential customers. Otherwise your message will fall on flat ears, or worse; it may never be received at all. For example, you’ll want to find out whether your customer base prefers receiving content via e-book, webinar, infographic, blog, or through another medium.

COMBING SEARCH MARKETING TECHNIQUES

Yes, it’s true content marketing can result in organic link building, as quality content is likely to be linked to naturally. And yes, link building can also inadvertently result in extraordinary content. While you can have one without the other, making a conscious effort to use both search marketing techniques to complement one another can help improve online visibility more quickly than using content marketing alone.

Drive traffic and increase conversions through content building with this step-by-step guide for content marketing.