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You’ve probably heard of backlinks and most definitely heard of content marketing. But for anyone who is a little lost, how about we start by defining these two terms. 

Backlinks refer to when website A links to website B using a clickable link. For instance, this clickable link leads to Steve Charleson’s personal blog. This means that his website has gained a new backlink, gerrit

The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.

Now that we have the definitions out of the way, let’s look at the two search engine optimization strategies and decide what your website needs to rank high on SERPs [Search Engine Results Page]. 

Both backlinks and content marketing are essential for improving your search rankings and driving more website traffic. However, they are not created equal. It is trivial to try to pick between backlinks and content for your website. Why? Read on.

Ready? Let’s get into the good stuff.

You can get backlinks in several ways; 

  • Free internet directories 
  • Social media sites 
  • Guest posting on other blogs
  • Linkbait 
  • Commenting on articles on other blogs
  • Posting or commenting on online forums such as Quora or Reddit

The question becomes, what is more effective: the quantity or quality of your backlinks? 

Quality backlinks are links from a highly rated website. These are websites with tons of content and readers. The higher the domain authority you get a backlink from, the more valuable the backlink is. 

You can achieve high-quality links through creating kickass content. We will get into the details in a bit, keep reading… 

The quality of your links matters a lot more than the number of links you get. Aim to go source for links from authoritative websites. 

Charleson’s tip: When sourcing for backlinks, relevance is key. Don’t force it! This is because if the search engine algorithms can’t find relevance to the links you add to your website, then you might be doing more harm than good.

Content Marketing 

When we mentioned that it is purposeless to try and decide between one or the other, we meant it. Why? Because creating bomb content is what opens the doors for increased backlinks. Without kickass content, there is no reason for other websites to link back to you. 

Without kickass content, there is no reason for other websites to link back to you. 

The goal of every business should be to create quality content that others can learn from and share with their networks. By establishing yourself as an authority figure in your niche, you open yourself up to a world full of opportunities.

How do you create bomb content?, you ask. Let’s look at a few tips:

  • Know your audience. It is not about what you want, if you are to draw people in, you need to know who they are and speak to their pain points. If you nail this from the get-go you will not only have an easy time curating content but also getting people to stick around.
  • Figure out what type of content you want to primarily focus on. One that is relevant to your niche and speaks to your audience. 
  • Figure out your content strengths. Take a minute to figure out what methods come naturally to you. If it’s writing then use those skills to mold your content using catchy articles and captions. If speaking or doing videos is more up your speed then use that to create a podcast or a YouTube video. By playing up your strengths, it will make the whole process more fun and a creative breeze for you. 

We don’t want to be a buzzkill, make the decision yourself and decide which between these two SEO marketing strategies works for you. With that said, here are 3 things you should consider when picking.

How to choose

I) Goals vs. metrics

Are you focused on becoming an authority figure and creating a strong brand or is it all about rankings and traffic. If your goal is more focused on improving your SERPs rankings quicker, then backlinks might be what you need to do in the moment. But if you aim to build more authentic connections that will be long term beyond just having a high number of website visits then content marketing is the best way to connect with people. 

II) Long term vs. Short term goals-  If you are thinking long term it means coming to the realization that ranking algorithms change all the time and backlinks are not enough to stay in the game for the long-haul. With content, you will have something that search engines can serve to users years to come. 

III)  Time / Resources  – The one thing about content marketing is that for a brand it will require a very hands-on approach. You have to not only tailor website content but develop a content calendar as well. It also involves investing long hours coming up with engaging content as well as patience in the process before seeing results. Backlinks on the other hand are easier to build as you just have to reach out to a few webmasters and request some linkbacks. 

Our final thoughts. Good marketing is a mix of both worlds. When you need to speed up your SEO game, quality backlinks will come in handy. However, focusing all your efforts on building kickass content will give you authority status in your niche, something that will drive traffic for years to come. So don’t keep running on the same treadmill year after year and not allow yourself to experiment. Go outside your comfort zone and borrow tips from the above strategies and trust us, you’ll see results in no time! You can also call the leading digital marketing agency in Kenya to offer assistance. Good luck!


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