SEO Or Content Marketing: Which Is The Best Strategy?

I have a lot of experience in this area. I’ve been running an SEO agency for a number of years now and I’ve had a lot of success with content marketing and SEO for myself and my clients.


SEO vs. Content Marketing: Which Is the Best?

This is actually a really good question.

I think many business owners are confused about the differences between the two.

For starters, they don’t know which one to use. They don’t understand the benefits or the downsides either.

At other times, they wonder whether or not they are mutually exclusive. And business owners often wonder if they can combine the two to achieve better results.

There are many different factors to consider for sure.

At times, SEO is definitely going to be the gold standard. And there are also times when content marketing is going to be the gold standard.

Guess what? Have you figured it out yet?

Sometimes a hybrid approach is the gold standard!

We’ll take a look at some examples below.

An Example of SEO as the Gold Standard

Without a doubt, most local businesses will do fantastic with just using SEO.

However, SEO has become increasingly competitive.

At this point, every business owner understands SEO. And many businesses have a lot of money to invest in this opportunity.

They recognize the value of spending big bucks for high quality SEO.

As you have probably noticed, Google has raised the bar for SEO over the past four or five years.

You know what I mean: Penguin, Panda, and Hummingbird. Everybody’s favorite animal updates! I’m surprised Google hasn’t opened up a petting zoo! LOL

What this means for local businesses is most of them can probably still get the job done with just search engine optimization, and most local businesses are not investing in content marketing.

A successful content marketing campaign that really drives a bunch of traffic and many backlinks will absolutely annihilate anybody that’s still stuck in the SEO paradigm.

As a local business, you have the opportunity to decide to just stick with SEO and do nothing more. And more than likely, you should be fine.

Or you have the opportunity to get ahead of the competition.

Not only will you take advantage of SEO, but you can also apply the best content marketing practices to SEO for that added extra something that will help put you over the top.


How Local Businesses Should Focus on Content Marketing

And when I say content marketing, I don’t mean writing content specifically for your neighborhood.

I mean create content so that you become a national thought leader. You’ll become a true authority in your market.

Just trying to tell people about your local community or the few things that you do in your business, it’s just not big or compelling enough. And the honest truth is that nobody is really going to care.

But they do care about certain things.

Your potential customers want to see that you’re an expert in your market. And by teaching your expertise to other people, you will show your target audience that you absolutely know what you’re talking about and you’ll become a true asset in your field.

And let’s not forget about the huge SEO bonuses that you’ll get when you share quality content.

When other websites find your content – by you sharing it with them or if they come across it on their own – they may find it very valuable and even link to you.

And before you know it; your website gets attention from national websites. And as you start driving more links, your domain authority goes higher and your search rankings improve tremendously.

Meanwhile, your biggest competitor has focused on only building citations and some cheap, crappy private blog network (PBN) postings while you’re getting links from some of the top publishers in your industry.

Which scenario do you think is going to be better for SEO? You already know the answer, right?

SEO is still the gold standard for many local businesses and content marketing isn’t cheap, but if you’re willing to invest a little bit more in content marketing chances are you’ll cement your place in your local community on Google for a long time.

SaaS: An Exploding Industry

Okay, right now we’re going to talk about SaaS. This stands for software as a service.

It’s a monthly subscription software model, and they are popping up everywhere as this business model is continuing to grow.

In general, most SaaS companies do better as they niche down.

They are catering to a specific type of audience that has a specific type of need.

For these types of companies, doing straight SEO is usually very difficult because there are already tons of competitors that are established in this market.

They have really high domain authority. They have many referring domains. And it’s hard to bridge that gap.

It makes more sense sometimes to do content marketing, although I would never say to just do that as a search engine optimization expert because I’ve seen the power of SEO when it comes to SaaS.

And this holds true even in hypercompetitive spaces. So it would really be a travesty to just recommend straight content marketing.

Truth be told, content marketing just isn’t that powerful for driving up domain authority.


Content Marketing & Link Building: A Hybrid Approach

For most SaaS companies, this is the strategy that I would recommend.

On the SEO end, after you’ve optimized the site, you should begin building links to the company’s homepage and the company’s service pages.

Your goal is to power of the main internal pages of a website.

As far as content marketing goes, your focus is to expand the size of your website. You’re adding relevant content that your audience wants to consume.

And if you’re doing content marketing the right way, you are also promoting this content in the right channels.

To help you with your content marketing efforts, I wrote another detailed post on the anatomy of content marketing. I highly recommend checking it out.

How to Create Good Quality Content

When it comes to content promotion, I use a six point blogger outreach program that has been incredibly effective. It converts like gangbusters.

To learn more about that, please click the following link:

The Overall Benefits of the Hybrid Strategy

After this whole content marketing and SEO ball gets rolling, you’re now building authority to your main pages. Plus, you’re increasing the size of your site with relevant, high quality, unique long form content.

And you’re promoting many of these new blog posts amongst other bloggers in your industry and on social media. You’re even starting to generate some social traffic, your content is generating some buzz, and because of this you’re getting more backlinks to your blog posts.

Meanwhile, while all of this is happening, hopefully this content topic is compelling enough that people are beginning to sign up to your email list. Because as we all know, a huge part of content marketing is list building.

One of the key indicators of the success of content marketing is how quickly you grow your list.

You put a lead magnet on your page – the more irresistible the offer the better – and you use it to build your email list. This is another powerful metric to track.

The nicest thing about content marketing is that it’s very flexible. You can have different goals and different objectives.

As you do all of this, your domain authority becomes higher and you become more relevant in your industry.

Your thematic relevance gets a boost and you become a brand name and a major player in the space. And before long, you even become somebody that’s recognizable and become somewhat of a celebrity in your industry!


When Is Local SEO the Better Play?

If you are a local franchisee, SEO is more than likely the better play.

Remember, you still have to rank locally, so local SEO definitely plays an important role in your overall strategy.

Yet again, you can compound your efforts with content marketing.

What about E-Commerce Sites?

With e-commerce, Onsite SEO is huge. And link building to your product pages is also huge.

If you build a high quality blog that drives a lot of traffic and backlinks, and then you add internal linking going to your product pages, it’s going to be huge too.

You are establishing thematic relevance for certain terms, and really, that’s the name of the game.


That’s about it for this topic. I gave you a lot of information, so take some time to digest it all and see how you can incorporate it into your own personal strategy or for your clients.

I hope you find value in my answer.

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask them here.

Good luck!

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How to Create Good Quality Content

The Anatomy of a Good Piece of Content

No matter what industry or niche you’re working in, good quality content is 100% possible. But it’s not something that you can slap together quickly.

In my opinion, creating good quality content takes several things to go right.


  1. The Topic

The topic of course is key to whatever audience you’re marketing to.

And the audience needs to really care about this particular topic in a passionate way.

Not in a way like “that’s kinda cool” and then they completely forget about it. They have to be more like “wow! I’m really glad I have read this!”

Let’s face it. Your articles just aren’t going to get read from top to bottom in today’s world because attention spans are too low. Plus there’s way too much content out there and people are easily distracted.

It would be really naïve to believe that you’re going to create this content that 90% of the people are going to read all the way through. It just isn’t going to happen.

But, if the topic is hyper relevant, really significant, and puts people in the right frame of mind, you’ll have a major winner on your hands.

You have to convince your audience to say “wow, this is really interesting and I want to read more. This can really help my business or my problems,” you understand what I’m talking about.

That’s exactly what you’re shooting for during the content creation process.

This kind of content is really hard to find.

And for every 10 pieces of content that you make, even when you follow the best practices, only one of them is going to hit to this extent until you really get this down pat and dialed in.

How to Make a Topic Really Resonate with Your Target Audience

To make a topic resonate with your audience, it needs to be actionable, it needs to be unique and something that the reader can’t find anywhere else (i.e. an internal case study, data analysis, personal experiences – could be yours or one of your team members, etc.)


  1. The Writer & The Copy Editor

The writer of the content can be you, somebody you hire, a data researcher, someone that you’ve met who is an expert in your industry, or anyone else for that matter.

If the meat and the potatoes of the content is of the highest quality, well researched, and you’ve chosen a good topic, then you’re probably going to be on to something good.

There are many things that make a good writer. And the easiest way to discover a writer is to read their content. You’ll know if you think they are a good writer or not.

As far as the copywriter/copy editor is concerned, he or she could also be the writer in some cases if you are lucky enough to find somebody that can edit their own copy.

Situations When a Good Copywriter/Copy Editor Can Bring the Best Out Of an Article

  1. If the writer that you hire doesn’t engage the reader with the first sentence by not talking to them or asking questions, you may need the help of a good copywriter/copy editor.
  2. Or they aren’t formatting things in a nice way that the reader can skim and look at things in bite-sized chunks, you can certainly benefit from the help of a good copywriter/copy editor.
  3. If the writer isn’t making anecdotes that suck the reader into the story and get the reader away from monotonous facts and examples, you probably need a really good copywriter/copy editor to bring out the best in the article.

A great copywriter/copy editor can bring an article to life! And just remember that all great writers aren’t always great copywriters.

So think about putting someone like this on your team. Or if you plan to get big enough, think about adding multiple copywriters/copy editors to your team.

They are the people that can create the great formatting and everything else that I’ve mentioned that helps bring great copy to life.

Plus, they make sure the content is error-free which is also very important.


  1. The Graphic Designer

Another key component of creating quality content is a great graphic designer.

Most people blog on WordPress now.

When you look at WordPress, the typical formula now is one random stock photo at the top of the article and its left justified. After that, you’ll see paragraph after paragraph of big long text separated by sub- headers.

That’s what I see over and over again when I look at typical WordPress blogs.

And in my opinion, this is total, total barf!

Articles need to have life, personality and branding. They need to be colorful and they need to have images that capture and recapture the reader’s attention.

If you aren’t a graphic designer and you aren’t spending time making these articles visually appealing and visually more helpful, then you are missing out on a great opportunity to produce a really high quality piece of content.

Tips for Graphic Designers

You want a completely custom featured image.

The image should have a title in it. It should match your website’s brand. It should have an interesting picture in the featured image – i.e. somebody doing something or a unique background that pops.

You should also have images that take interesting parts of the content and turn it into image form – i.e. quotes, section breaks, images that tell a story about what you’re writing about.

A graphic designer can put this stuff together with the proper direction.

And when dealing with a graphic designer, you have to set your standards upfront.

You have to be on the same page about the fonts they use, the colors they use, and setting those standards from the get go is going to save you a lot of back and forth on the backend.

If everything looks good, we can now move on to the final part.


  1. A Great Headline

According to a recent study that I read, a CTR optimized headline will generate a magnitude more views when compared to a generic headlined.

In truth, it usually makes the most sense to write the headline after the article is done.


Well, after it’s complete you have a much better sense of what the article is about.

Before you write it, you may have a general idea but you could end up going in an entirely different direction. And if that happens, your headline will not match the content.

It’s great if you’re good at writing headlines.

But writing headlines is its own unique skill, so if you can’t find the time to write a great headline or write several headlines and A/B test them, you need to hire a professional headline writer with fantastic reviews to take care this task for you.


At this point you should have:

  •         Found an exciting topic.
  •         Hired a great research writer.
  •         Hired an excellent copywriter/copy editor.
  •         Hired a great graphic designer.
  •         Hired a phenomenal headline writer.

When you get this content up on your site, you’re going to have dynamite articles that everybody loves. They are going to talk about them, comment on them, and your target audience will really engage with your content.

And if you use this particular system with all of your content, you are going to be pumping out fantastic articles all the time.

On the other hand, even if you only apply this methodology some of the time, some your blog posts are really going to shine.

That’s my method for creating high-quality content. I hope you find it useful.

If you need a blog writing help, come check out my blog writing service over here:

If you have any other questions, you can leave a comment here and I’ll get back to you.

Good luck!


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Do Your SEO Services Include Content Marketing?

I think I can help you with this question, so I’m going to do my best to answer it now.

Content Marketing vs. Blogging


For starters, let’s not mix up blogging with content marketing.

You’ll definitely find SEO agencies that publish blog posts to a site as part of their package. Yes, they’ll focus on link building, content optimization, and publishing content to a site.

We cannot confuse content marketing with blogging.

Content marketing is a multilayer approach to building an audience and generating leads.

Blogging is a lot different since it just consists of daily, weekly, or biweekly publishing of a blog post on a website. There really isn’t much to it other than sharing posts with the world on your blog.

And as you should be aware, blogging doesn’t consist of a deeper strategy like the hub and spoke model of content marketing.

The Difference between Blogging and Content Marketing

In the early stages of content marketing, you identify customers’ needs and wants, things that they are interested in, buyer types, and start developing content specifically tailored to their ideal target audience.

On the other hand, blogging does none of this. It has no promotional strategy involved whatsoever. And the cold hard truth is that an SEO agency probably can’t be good at everything.


Examples of SEO Strengths & Weaknesses

Example: an SEO agency is phenomenal at link building. But they might not be at Onsite technical stuff.

Example: an SEO agency is great at Onsite technical stuff but they aren’t good at true content marketing.

Advice for SEO Agencies

First and foremost, if you are an SEO agency and you want to offer content marketing services, please remember that the customer always comes first.

So, do a deep dive into what content marketing really is. You have to learn how it works and know what the key components are. Then you can start to hire people that fit the right profile.

Before attempting this with clients, try it out for yourself on your own website.


Hiring a Content Marketing Team

Once you start getting a grasp of what to look for pertaining to content marketing, you can start hiring and building a team and then offer your services.

Don’t mix up blogging with content marketing.

We took this path in my SEO agency.

My company strictly started off as an SEO agency and we realized the real power that good content marketing could have on an SEO campaign.

Content marketing is so authoritative that it gave us 10 times the firepower in our SEO arsenal.

When you are creating content that generates links, builds an email list, and generates traffic on its own, client satisfaction figuratively goes through the roof. You’re going to have very happy clients in this scenario.

And it’s so much more than client satisfaction. The quality metrics of your site also go sky high. And you’re generating links, your domain authority is going higher, and everything is working really, really well.

Your actual SEO activities compound the effects of content marketing and make them that much stronger.


Approach This One Step at a Time

Yes, you have to take things one step at a time.

If you plan to offer blogging services, there’s a place for increasing the size of your site, and increasing the internal linking of your site. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with just blogging as long as you do it correctly.

On the other hand…

If you plan to offer content marketing, make sure you have a content manager on hand, you’ve got some really good content writers, you have a content editor on hand that can make sure everything looks clean, you have a graphic designer that can make images pop and look good, and your articles need good formatting.

And talking about articles, they need to be easily skimmed, and the longer the article is, the more likely it is that it’s good. So, never discount the value of long form articles.

Using Your SEO Chops

And this is where things get interesting, because you get to use your SEO chops on the backend.

Many content marketers are really great at the content portion, but they aren’t so good at promoting their content.

As a search engine optimization expert that specializes in something like high quality link building, not private blog network (PBN) stuff, you have a leg up on most content marketers because they don’t have the chops to drive good link building like most SEO marketers do.


You can potentially offer the best of both worlds to your clients if you use all of your resources to the fullest.

That’s about it. I hope this helped.

If you have any other questions, you can always contact me here.

Thanks for reading.

Good luck!

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How Do You Update Your SEO Client List?

As someone having great success providing SEO client services, I feel that I could share some valuable insight on this topic with you today.

I personally think picking CRMs for SEO, and most industries for that matter, is very difficult to do. I’ve tried Salesforce Lightning, ActiveCampaign, Pipedrive, and right now I’m using

The Downside to CRMs & SEO

There is a downside to using CRMs with SEO.

seo client list

In this example, let’s say some of your leads are really hot.

They come to you. They know what they want. They’ve seen your brand and they have some interest. And they just want a game plan.

They are even happy to pay a reasonable amount for your services.

With leads like this, everything happens very quickly and in the blink of an eye you’re off to the races, contracts signed, invoice sent, invoice paid and we’re ready to rock.

If these are the only kind of clients you get, you have no real reason to update your leads list. But it’s very unlikely that these are the only clients you’re getting as an SEO agency.

Hypothetical Situations Based on Real-World Experiences

Let’s face it. You’re also getting a lot of people that are trying to figure out what’s going on and they are really, really vetting their agencies against each other.

Potential clients like this are testing the waters. More often than not, they aren’t even sure if they want to start this right now, six months from now, or maybe even a year from now.

Another hypothetical is that they already have an SEO agency that they are using, but they’re only testing them out for three months. So it’s possible you’ll have a chance at getting their business in the future if you pass their tests right now.

Or, there are other situations where you send a proposal and everything seems great, then suddenly out of nowhere they go dark.

In another situation, you may have even agreed to terms with a particular company. But then you send them the contract and then they completely go dark. You try to contact them but the only thing you hear is crickets.

I’ve seen all of this happen at some point or another.

I’ve learned one thing throughout this entire process. If you don’t really have a dialed in way to manage and filter things, then keeping your lead list updated is never really going to happen.


How to Handle Situations When Potential Clients Go Dark

When a potential client goes into the “waiting for response” category and then they go dark, are you just supposed to forget about them? It’s a potential $3000 a month deal. You don’t want to let it go if you don’t have to.

You absolutely do not let this lead go!

You put them into a pile, or add them to a list and follow-up with them every few months. Keep pounding away until you get a response. And stay on top of things to find out what’s going on.

The best CRM that I’ve seen is called

What I like about


I really like the fact that this CRM has two statuses.

Many of the other CRMs that I’ve used just have one status. As an example, they only share the status of where the lead is within the campaign.

With SEO, everyone just ends up in the “proposal presented” stage.

You don’t know when the cut them loose. And in reality, you never want to cut them loose if you don’t have to.

What I mainly like about is the two status stages that I previously mentioned.

It has a lead stage and it also has an opportunity stage.

What I like most is that you can keep an opportunity hot and leave them in proposal presented because that’s where they belong.

But, if they stop responding for some reason, you can set the lead to cold. And then you can set up filters like…

Example: show me every lead that’s gone cold for three months that’s in this particular opportunity stage.


Cold Lead Follow-Up Options

Once you’ve generated this list of cold leads, you can send out a bulk email to reengage them. This is an awesome way to stay on top of your leads list, keep it updated, follow up with your potential leads, and even close out a few sales.

You also have the option to text through the system; they have voiceover IP calling, and other things that are pretty useful when it comes to inside sales.

This is the same system that I’m using to run my own business. I really hope you found it helpful. It’s helped me achieve great success with my SEO clients.


Thanks for taking the time to read my answer. I’m always happy to help whenever I can.

Give a try if you’re looking for a CRM system to manage your leads.

Good luck with everything!

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Content Marketing: What Are Blogging Best Practices for a B2B SaaS Startup Wishing to Generate Industry Visibility?

I have experience in this area so I’d like to take some time to answer this question.

When we are talking about B2B SaaS, we’re talking about an industry that has national keywords and lots of competitors that have been in the biz for a long time.

And in all honesty, your competitors probably understand the power of content marketing. At least some of them will understand its value.

If you are a startup just joining this industry, you may be funded which makes your life a heck of alot easier. If you’re bootstrapping then you’re going to have to get a lot more creative.

For me, personally, I feel that creativity always leads to better outcomes anyway.

Developing a Solid Blogging Strategy

With a brand-new content strategy, it’s all about creating content that your customers care about. You can figure out what they want in several ways:

A.) Since you already know your customer, write down your ideas about your ideal customer on paper.

B.) Use information provided by your competitors. They are a great resource.

When evaluating what your competition is doing, please pay attention to the following areas:


  •         Get a history of all of their blog posts.
  •         What are they writing about?
  •         What are their titles?
  •         What are their topics?
  •         Are people engaging with their content? How often?
  •         Are people sharing their content on social media? How often?
  •         Use Ahrefs or similar to determine their blog traffic.

By evaluating all of this information, you can tell if your competition is connecting with their customers – i.e. your customers.

Just to be clear, this isn’t the Holy Grail though. Many of your competitors aren’t doing content marketing right.

So don’t look at what they’re doing and assume that it’s gospel. Because sometimes your competitors are getting it wrong too.

C.) Initiate in-depth interviews with your customers.

Ask your customers questions like:


  • What are some of the biggest challenges when it comes to their business?
  • What made them seek out a solution like yours in the first place?
  • What kind of publications do they read? How often do they read them?
  • Do people in your industry actually go online and read content? Remember, certain industries don’t, so content marketing might not be a good fit.

After asking all of these questions of your customers, gather the answers and use this information to build up multiple personas of your ideal customer.

To start this off on the right foot, you have to create a solid blogging strategy. You have to get to know your customer and understand what they want, while leaving no room for unnecessary assumptions that might not be correct.


An Example Customer Persona:

Sally the accountant is in her mid-40s, she’s married, likes to watch MacGyver in her spare time, she’s a mid-level executive at a firm with 500-1000 employees, and she reports to XYZ decision-maker and she needs to make sure that her numbers look good on this end as a daily concern, and some of the industry publications she reads are ABC.

You create these personas, and based on them, you are starting to lay the groundwork on who you’re writing to.

Whether you’re writing this content yourself, or you have writers to write it for you, having this information helps create content that your customer base will find valuable when reading.


Building Your Content Strategy

Are you going to do the standard blogging model?

In this model, you are blogging once a week. You are either writing content that builds an audience or you’re writing content that’s going to be good for the search engines.

Often times, the content you create will be good to build an audience and please the search engines. They are often mutually exclusive.

Sometimes content that would be very helpful to a user in your specific industry isn’t going to get searched for a lot. But, if a user does somehow come across it via the search engines or paid traffic, they could end up opting in to your list and then you have a subscriber that you wouldn’t have had otherwise.

And once they’re on your list, you can keep marketing to them over and over again.

Who Are You Writing for?

You have to decide if you are:


  •         writing for the search engines
  •         writing for people
  •         or writing for both

The latest, most effective content creation technique right now is called the hub and spoke model.


The Hub & Spoke Model

In this content model, the overall goal is to create premium guides. Besides that, the other major goal is to create really, really big thematically relevant interlinked content.

Here’s an explanation of the hub and spoke.

The hub is a meaty, long form piece of content.

The spokes are also long form, high quality articles that help build out certain points of the main hub article. They are perfect for fleshing out certain topics that you touched upon in your main hub article.

If the content is truly compelling, it will end up becoming a backlink generating machine.

Because of this unique ecosystem of content, the homepage will rank highly in Google, the spokes pages will rank highly in Google, and you will be looked upon as an authority in your market.

If you set it up correctly, people will gladly read this content. They will remember you and your business. And if you add an email subscription box, they will even opt-in to your mailing list.

This method can provide very powerful results.

It’s also becoming more popular because so many people are now creating content.

Now you have to create better and more strategic content in order to set yourself apart for success.

My Recommended Strategy

I recommend creating these large, content rich guides that your audience will love.

Think about a specific topic. Something that’s really, really important to your industry.

Think about how you can break that down into a main article (hub) and then and then subparts (spokes).

Figure out how you can link it altogether. And then spend some time writing it or have a trusted writer create the content for you and put it all together.

Once this piece is completed over several months, you can then repurpose the content as well. You can turn it into a downloadable e-book, break it into pieces and use it for your newsletter, create an infographic, turn it into a video, or even use it for print advertisements.

In the meantime, you should be promoting the heck out of it.

The moral of The story is this:

You’ll generate amazing visibility in your industry if you begin with quality content.

This is going to put you on the map. This is what is going to make people stand up and take notice of you.

Blogger Outreach

While this strategy is good, blogger outreach is even better. I’ve written extensively on this topic in a number of posts on my blog.

Here are the links:

Thanks for taking the time to read this answer. I really hope you found it valuable.

Good luck!

Content Marketing: What Are Blogging Best Practices for a B2B SaaS Startup Wishing to Generate Industry Visibility?

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