Marketing and SEO – the two are often used interchangeably, but what’s the real story behind these key business concepts? While both marketing and SEO matter when it comes to overall business success, one of these is an in-house project while the other is a job for a consultant or an agency.

Your homegrown product expertise is exactly what marketing content calls for, but SEO is a technical skill and one you shouldn’t expend precious time on as a small business owner.

The Scoop On Marketing

Marketing takes several forms, but whether you’re focused on writing effective web copy or learning the ins and outs of business social media, the skills are well within your grasp. In fact, when it comes to marketing content, your insider experience can help you write far higher quality blogs, white papers, and social media posts than someone gleaning all of their knowledge from notes and pre-existing content.

The most trustworthy types of marketing content understand the audience they’re writing for and can focus on those needs. You know who your buyers are, what groups your not reaching, and what customers want from your product. This gives you an advantage when developing your tone, choosing topics, and demonstrating value.

Another thing that in-house marketing writers do better than external agencies is address questions, objections, and concerns in their posts. As someone on the inside of the sales process who knows the competition, the product shortfalls, and the scope of its application, you are better equipped to discuss these topics in an informed manner, offering evidence and advice to support your customers.

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Seeking SEO Strength

In stark contrast to marketing content, SEO poses a serious challenge to small businesses. As SEO consultant Aaron Rains explains, consultants have the knowledge and tools to perform an SEO audit and assess your site to determine why it’s performing poorly in the rankings. These consultants carefully study every update and protocol – and there are a lot of them – and apply that knowledge to your website. Even if you read all of these updates, learning SEO is like studying a foreign language; it likely wouldn’t mean much.

Across the board, small businesses lack the SEO skills to help their sites perform well. Nearly 90% think duplicate content is acceptable while more than two-thirds think websites automatically rank upon being created. While a little reading would correct them of these notions, these topics are just scratching the surface. There’s no way to run a business and learn the ins and outs of the SEO world at the same time; even SEO automation tools will leave your site at the back of the pack compared to a consultant.

Obviously, small businesses are working within narrow budget constraints, so hiring external help isn’t always an option. That’s why it’s important to prioritize. While writing site content and other marketing materials can be time-consuming, it’s ultimately within your area of expertise.

SEO, on the other hand, is a much more technical arena and one that demands professional support. Faced with the choice between DIY content and DIY SEO, you should leave your SEO in professional hands every time.

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