Content Marketing vs. Link Building: Which is Superior?
In the world of online marketing, they say that content is king. With carefully crafted content, you can easily influence your audience and convert them into paying customers more effectively. And with content you can keep your audience in the know.
On the other hand, link building is a crucial component of online marketing that no campaign should do without. By building links, you will help the search engines determine the importance and value of your brand or website.
So . . . which should you place more value on?
Content marketing and link building are two of the most important pieces of a successful Internet marketing campaign. However, evidence suggests that content marketing has the edge over link building.
That’s not to say you should abandon one in favor of the other, but the following are compelling reasons to regard content marketing as having more to offer than link building.
It’s much easier to measure the value of content than that of links
Just what is the value that links give to a site? Experts agree it’s a bit difficult to quantify, although links certainly contribute toward improvements in a site’s ranking and traffic.
On the other hand, with content you can measure your success by determining how many site visits and links are generated by each piece of content. Content also allows us to see how many social votes it gets and how many visits it garners from search engines and social media. We can also determine which keywords have been used by browsers to locate a piece of content.
Can you determine how much revenue a new piece of content has generated for your business? Certainly. You can quantify how much revenue has been generated by each unit of content per day, per week, per month, or per year.
Content creation is more natural
By generating high-value content, you will naturally gain and create links. Great content is a natural link bait; it inspires people to share, blog about, and link to it, if they find it interesting.
As for linking, in most cases you will find that when you analyze submission-based link-building activities, people link to your content not because they like you, but because you requested a link back to your site or you paid for those links.
Writing great content is less costly than link building
While there are some affordable SEOs, a lot are offering their services at expensive rates.
Finding great copywriters isn’t very hard, though. There are plenty of great writers out there who have strong copywriting skills and are not only creative, but also provide their services at reasonable prices.
Content marketing is more scalable
You can either outsource your SEO needs or you can build your own team. However, you should be warned: Setting up a competitive SEO team isn’t a stroll in the park.
There are many things you need to consider to succeed. You need to find the right people with significant experience in SEO, pay substantially for their talents and skills, and hope they turn out to be as good as they claim.
If you hire the wrong people or people whose experience is limited, you run the risk of having to devote many hours to training them, testing them, and supervising them to make sure they do the proper job for your clients.
On the other hand, setting up a team of copywriters is much easier. They are cheaper and not difficult to find. One look at their samples (you can test them if you must), and you should have a grasp of the quality of output you can expect from them. And if they decide to leave, you won’t be set back far because there are plenty of other great writers on the market to go around.
You may also be surprised to find that today’s online copywriters are not only great writers; a lot of them are also well-versed in the technologies involved in blogging, video marketing, social media marketing, SEO, and web design.
In sum, be sure you hire the right people from the get-go. Setting up a content team entails a lot less risk than building an in-house team of SEOs.
It’s a whole lot easier to bounce back from algorithmic penalties
When Panda and Penguin wreaked havoc during their initial launch, a lot of sites had to rethink their SEO strategies. Those who have been affected due to problems with their content did nothing more than tweak their content marketing strategy.
Experience has shown that it’s a whole lot easier and more convenient to repair a site that has been hit by algorithmic penalties because of faulty content than to repair one that has bad linking strategies. That alone is a good reason to make content marketing the centerpiece of your SEO activities.
Over the long haul, creating high-quality content offers more rewards and benefits than trying to figure out how to build further links for your sites. Linking strategies that work today may no longer be effective tomorrow.
Authoritative and great writers will rule the future of online marketing
Social media marketing works because there are real people with real skills behind it.
With the advent of Google+ Authorship, users will now get to know the real people behind great content and a terrific blog. With this new tool, it’s much easier for writers to position themselves as able and credible creators and subject-matter experts in their field. When users can see the people behind great content, writers will earn trust easily and quickly.
If you haven’t done so yet, set up Google+ Authorship today.
Content marketing is more fun
SEO is tedious work, and it takes at least a few months for your hard work to pay off. With content marketing, it’s not only a fun process, but you can also view the fruits of your labor almost instantaneously.
It’s very gratifying to see your content appear on search engines with your name in the byline.
While content marketing has proven to be superior to link building in the long term, this doesn’t mean you should dump the latter. From now on, focus on creating high-quality content more than spending hours to build links, only to see your efforts go down the tubes when the next big algorithmic update hits the Internet.
Want more information on link building? Head over to our comprehensive guide on link building here: SEO Link Building: The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide
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