CMO vs SEO: How to Balance SEO With B2B Marketing Goals

Despite the benefits of aligning strategies, marketing and SEO managers don’t always have the same goals when it comes to content promotion, from what I’ve observed with clients and partners.

SEO professionals often strive to meet their key performance indicators (KPIs) on time, yet depend on the marketing team’s output for success.

Meanwhile, the marketing department strives to deliver a long-term content strategy driven by the CEO’s broader goals and subsequent Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) priorities to advance brand awareness and demand generation strategies, to name a few.

Often times, it’s the macro view of these goals that can lead to SEO not being used to its full potential due to the time it takes to achieve results or attribute value.

While SEO strategies are often long-term, they are fundamental to maximizing the potential of content marketing and delivering demand performance to drive exponential growth.

In this article, I present a four-step strategy for aligning both teams and ensuring that their goals are met, as well as four best practices for establishing harmony between your SEO and marketing efforts.

4-Step Strategy To Balance SEO And B2B Marketing Goals

Avoid ambiguity and establish clear protocols for your ads to ensure your marketing and SEO goals are met.

1. Create A Brand And Style Guide With SEO In Mind

To ensure that SEO and marketing strategies are fully aligned, it is important that brand and style guides take SEO into account.

In other words, instead of SEO being an afterthought, it should be a core component of the marketing process – especially for content marketing.

Dedicating chapters to SEO in brand and content style guides will cement this relationship and task SEO professionals with improving brand awareness.

This moves the usual “optimize content for SEO” mindset towards a more effective “optimize SEO for marketing” approach, which is especially important for businesses that rely on writers and freelancers to be in charge of their own SEO efforts.

To maintain friendly competition between CMO and SEO goals, it’s also important to marketing strategy to allow keywords that rank well but may break grammar rules (or don’t use the C-Suite’s preferred language).

An example is “top of funnel” as an adjective, which ranks better for SEO than the grammatically correct “top-of-funnel”.

Additional tips on what to include in brand and style guides:

2. Optimize Each Content Asset For SEO And Marketing Goals

Ideally, all content should be ranked for SEO.

However, the goal of each piece of content is likely to vary depending on the topic covered, its search intent, as well as its role in brand awareness and audience opinion formation.

Thought leadership, for example, can be a challenge for SEO implementation, especially if the author is presenting an innovative, original idea to their audience who do not yet have search intent.

In this case, it’s better to prioritize “marketing goals” and optimize to improve rankings where possible, rather than driving content creation with SEO. This ensures that the content fulfills its purpose.

Consider increasing your reach through content distribution and paid media to increase the impact of this content.

On the other hand, content that is heavily influenced by search intent, such as FAQs or guides, should focus primarily on SEO to inform content creation and rank better for frequently searched queries.

While branding may take a backseat here, it’s important to keep this content consistent.

Therefore, to achieve both outcomes, planning each piece of content in advance with a marketing or SEO focus helps determine KPIs for each asset – as well as direct content production and promotion to effectively meet those goals.

However, it’s important to strive for harmony between CMO and SEO goals by establishing common KPIs whenever possible and creating content that improves brand awareness while ranking for popular queries.

3. Survey Your Audience To Measure The Impact Of SEO On Marketing

Survey your audience to assess whether your content marketing goals are being met, as well as the impact of SEO on your marketing strategies.

By asking questions about the values ​​your audience associates with your brand, as well as the top keywords that come to mind (to gauge your SEO priorities), you can assess whether the overall impression your audience is currently forming about your brand is CMO-level and the goals of the marketing team.

It is important to mention (especially at this step) that SEO should be viewed as a promotion tool to increase brand awareness and long-term demand.

Therefore, if survey results indicate values ​​or keywords that are SEO-driven but are not meeting marketing expectations, then it is important to tailor SEO-focused content to deliver the desired brand message.

If you want to test certain materials or topics, then A/B test the “marketing-driven” and “SEO-driven” versions to see which one engages readers better, as well as explore their brand impressions.

This will provide a wealth of information to guide future content creation for your writers.

4. Create A Content Calendar And Hold Regular Meetings Between Marketing And SEO Managers

Once you’ve assessed how your audience views your brand, it’s time to create a content calendar to address potential unintended brand associations the public has made—all while meeting your SEO goals.

Plan your content calendar by quarter, establishing “marketing” and “SEO” goals by topic/asset.

For SEO content, such as pure search intent content, target keywords in advance to avoid unwanted off-brand impressions once the content is launched.

For marketing content, determine engagement goals and the purpose of the content (driving awareness or generating leads, for example), as well as branding goals and promotion methods – since SEO won’t be the primary option for driving traffic.

Hold regular meetings between marketing and SEO managers to discuss campaign metrics and impressions while it’s underway.

Social media listening tools can gauge the impact of content and guide writers to make adjustments before the next material is promoted.

By measuring audience impressions while the campaign is underway, it becomes easier to adjust live content on a case-by-case basis, as well as change themes/assets to meet goals if common KPIs suffer.

4 Best Practices To Maintain Common Ground Between CMO And SEO Needs

Use these four best practices to keep your marketing and SEO in sync:

1. Onboard Writers With Marketing And SEO Dos And Don’ts

Engaging writers, freelance or otherwise, is a key task to maintaining brand and content goals.

That being said, it’s also important to create an integration guide for writers that covers SEO dos and don’ts with additional training resources.

Typically, new writers won’t be familiar with the ins and outs of your branding and style guides, so clarifying how to properly promote brand awareness (such as boilerplate language, product descriptions, recommended adjectives, and allowed/forbidden keywords) will provide them with guidance for fulfilling marketing and SEO goals.

2. Utilize Social Listening

As mentioned earlier, using social media listening tools can help define how your audience feels about your brand and gauge the results of your overall messaging.

This, combined with survey feedback, will help you make critical adjustments.

As a result, social listening tools may be the most valuable weapon in your arsenal for balancing CMO and SEO needs, so use them often to gather insights and guide future content creation.

Another approach is to manually search forums and social media channels for your brand and product name, gaining insights from how your audience comments on your solutions to gauge whether the discourse aligns with your intended messaging and current SEO priorities.

3. Develop A Detailed Content Strategy

To meet your overall content marketing and SEO goals, establish a strategy based on your content calendar to ensure that each piece of content produced plays a key role in achieving your desired results.

This should include how the pieces of content connect and support each other, regardless of whether they are marketing or SEO focused.

For example, start by defining innovative thought leadership and link it to additional videos, short blog posts, and podcast episodes.

As you analyze the performance of this piece of content, you’ll be able to expand the topic to match the ICP buyer journey and search intent.

This could take the form of an SEO-focused core section for a topic that matches search intent and acts as a hub for linking to all supplemental content that also ranks for keywords to drive brand traffic.

This strategy, combined with a consistent publishing cadence for your editorial calendar, will ensure that campaigns meet the intended marketing and SEO results.

While content that talks about marketing and SEO are focused independently, interlinking and aligning content with a long-term strategy is critical.

The best performing pieces of content are those that combine both priorities, striking a balance between ranking for SEO keywords and leading the way in your industry with innovative thought leadership.

If done successfully, this will create long-term demand for your business.

4. Establish Joint Paid Media And Social Media Strategies And Goals

Bridge the gap between CMO and SEO by building on both focuses with free paid media and social media goals/strategies.

By viewing both as methods of promotion for marketing and SEO goals, it is possible to fine-tune when to use paid media and social media to drive different pieces of content in a campaign that supports both SEO and marketing initiatives.

The more developed your content strategy and calendar are, the better your content will be interconnected, facilitating your ability to create multi-channel campaigns that deliver on all KPIs.


Meeting the demands of CMOs and SEO managers requires a careful approach that balances ranking on search engine results pages with promoting positive brand awareness.

This article presents best practices and a four-step strategy for achieving this balance, however, there are additional elements you can include in your content calendar to better meet your CMO and SEO goals.

Developing a top-of-funnel (TOFU) content strategy, where search intent is less niche, is a good example of how to improve brand awareness while ranking for frequently searched keywords.

You can then use this foundation to encourage the prospect to go through the buyer’s journey and consume innovative, thought-provoking content optimized for more specific keywords that advance your marketing efforts.

By considering content marketing and SEO as two sides of the same coin, you can better align content creation to feed into each other, build an overall positive brand experience for your audience, and therefore leverage the full potential of your marketing efforts to drive demand.

Featured image: dzxy/Shutterstock

Is SEO better than paid advertising?

Key PPC vs. SEO Takeaways SEO improvements can help your website rank higher on Google search by making it more relevant to users, while PPC ads like Google Ads are paid online ads that allow businesses and website owners like you to bid on the opportunity to display ads with searches on

Is SEO better than digital marketing? SEO best practices are for website optimization and building links from other websites back to the main business website. Unlike digital marketing, it does not necessarily involve promoting a business through paid advertising, social media campaigns, or other offline means.

What is the difference between SEO and paid marketing?

A huge difference between SEO and PPC is that with PPC advertising, individuals pay to click on search engine ads that take them to your website. On the other hand, SEO is about creating and then promoting content to get links, which then help your website rank #1 on Google.

Is SEO part of paid media?

SEO and paid media campaigns are two of the most common digital marketing strategies and are often implemented together as a one-two punch. SEO is a longer-term game where marketers will work to improve a website’s SERP ranking, the latter of which includes everything from paid social media ads to PPC campaigns.

Is SEO and marketing the same?

The main difference is that search engine optimization (SEO) focuses on optimizing a website to get traffic from organic search results. On the other hand, the goal of search engine marketing (SEM) is to get traffic and visibility from organic and paid search.

Is SEO better than paid ads?

SEO vs. Paid Search: Cost of Setup As a result, the costs associated with paid search ads can escalate quickly. SEO has no direct costs. Placing in organic results is provided by search engines for free, making it a much more profitable strategy in the long run.

Is SEO and paid search the same?

Paid search and SEO. Paid search targets those searching for keywords related to your business through search engine results page (SERP) ads. SEO, on the other hand, ensures that your website, content and social media profiles are ready to rank well in organic search results.

Is SEO a better investment than PPC?

SEO usually gives better results than PPC. One study showed that more than 40% of revenue comes from organic traffic. SEO is a long-term strategy that can bring long-term benefits.

Should I invest in SEO or PPC ads?

If your goal is to drive traffic to your website in the short term, you might choose to focus on PPC ads. If you want to improve your company’s online presence in the long term, SEO is the answer. Alternatively, invest your time and energy in SEO and PPC for a well-rounded strategy.

Is SEO a good investment?

It is crucial for businesses to invest in SEO as it is a discipline uniquely designed to optimize the technical aspects of a website for search engines so that real people searching can find it when they are looking for great products and solutions.

Is PPC or SEO better for niche market?

If you are a new brand with a specific niche, start with SEO as your main digital marketing strategy. In this way, you build organic awareness and knowledge of your product/service through the SERP. Then, you can use PPC to quickly get your name in front of the right audience.

Is SEO still relevant in 2022?

The fact that SEO works perfectly well even in 2022 as a method to achieve improved commercial results for business websites and their owners, combined with the need for constant research into what works, makes it still relevant as a digital marketing method, but even more so as a valuable service and reward…

Why is SEO better than ads?

SEO strategies can take weeks or months to produce real results, while Google Ads can deliver almost instant bursts of traffic. Google Ads as a marketing tool can be turned on and off at will, while SEO provides consistent organic results in the long run.

Why is SEO better than paid ads?

SEO vs. Paid Search: Cost of Setup As a result, the costs associated with paid search ads can escalate quickly. SEO has no direct costs. Placing in organic results is provided by search engines for free, making it a much more profitable strategy in the long run.

Is SEO better than Facebook ads?

Average lead conversion per channel. This number will be different for every real estate investor, but SEO almost always has a higher lead conversion rate than Google ads or Facebook ads because it’s completely organic – that is, people are looking for you… so they’re more motivated.

Why SEO is the best?

In short, SEO is key because it makes your website more visible, which means more traffic and more opportunities to convert leads into customers. Check out the SEO tools you can use for optimal ranking.

Why SEO is better than Google Ads?

SEO improvements can help your website rank better in Google search by making it more relevant to users, while PPC ads like Google Ads are paid online ads that allow businesses and website owners like you to bid for an opportunity to appear ads with searches on

Is Shopify better for SEO?

One big reason why Shopify is good for SEO is that when merchants create a store on Shopify and move it to mobile devices, the layout would adjust to be more responsive on your phone. Obviously, Google doesn’t just care about looks and content; you also need to pay attention to the loading speed.

Is WordPress or Shopify Better for SEO? The good news is that WordPress is one of the best platforms for SEO options. Since WordPress is mainly a blogging platform, its SEO options are optimized from Shopify. Despite this, Shopify is an SEO-friendly platform where you can improve your SEO with many apps and plugins in addition to the primary functions.

Are Shopify tags good for SEO?

Shopify product tags help with SEO in several ways. First, they can help potential customers find your products more easily on search engines. Second, they can provide more information about your products to search engines, which can help improve your product’s ranking.

Is Shopify SEO friendly?

In general, when you sell through a Shopify online store, you don’t have to worry about the structure of your website because Shopify has built-in search engine optimization (SEO) so that search engines can easily find all of your content.

Do product tags help with SEO?

Product tags are great practice for the user, but not for SEO. They are designed to make it easier for customers to find and understand the product – a quick way to find out the key features they are looking for in a product, which they can also use as filters when searching for them.

Does Shopify tags help with SEO?

Shopify tags help in a number of ways. They give web crawlers better information in indexing your website and can improve Shopify SEO search rankings, provide users with a more efficient way to navigate, and make e-commerce management easier.

Are Shopify tags important?

Product tags are one of the most important parts of a Shopify store. They provide a way to categorize and organize products, and can also be used to create special collections and filters. Product tags are also important for search engine optimization (SEO).

Does Shopify hurt SEO?

Faster websites are preferred by all users, so Google and other search engines prefer them over slower websites. Shopify websites just don’t load as fast as sites on some other platforms, including Shift4Shop. So a Shopify store is at a disadvantage for SEO because of this slower speed.

How do I make Shopify SEO friendly?

  • Optimize your Shopify website structure. How your content is organized on your site is very important to SEO success. …
  • Improve user experience. …
  • Research the right target keywords. …
  • Optimize your Shopify product pages. …
  • Build links to your store. …
  • Rank higher with Content Marketing. …
  • Use the best Shopify SEO apps and tools.

Is a Shopify website good for SEO?

Shopify online stores have built-in SEO and features to help you optimize your content. Some SEO is taken care of automatically: auto-generated canonical tags are added to pages to prevent duplicate content from appearing in search results, your website’s sitemap.

Does Shopify product type affect SEO?

Are Shopify Product Tags Good for SEO? Search engines do not use Shopify product tags and they do not rank in Google SERPs. Their main role is to organize products within your online store. However, Shopify product tags can be used as keywords on your website content, meta tags, and URLs.

Does changing Shopify Theme affect SEO?

The question is, does changing the Shopify theme affect SEO? The answer is both yes and no. While a new theme can give your site a fresh look and feel, it won’t automatically improve your SEO. However, if the new theme is coded better than your old one, it could help improve your site’s ranking in search results.

Is Shopify good at SEO?

For most parts, yes. Shopify has all the basic SEO features. It has a lot of built-in features and applications that help your site get indexed and ranked in search engines effectively. Furthermore, it is probably the easiest eCommerce SEO platform ever.

Is SEO worth it in 2022?

Yes, SEO pays—in 2022, in the future, in the past, and always. As long as websites and search engines have existed, SEO has been essential. SEO in 10 years will likely be very different from SEO today, but you’ll always need to make sure your website is sending the right signals to search engines so they can find you.

Will SEO be around in 5 years? SEO will not be eliminated in the next five years as social media and search engines will more than likely merge. Facebook has already started doing this: they perform an average of more than 1.5 billion searches every day. Twitter did the same; they joined in partnership with Google.

Is Learning SEO worth it in 2022?

There is no doubt that SEO investment is an indispensable part of your online business. Not only does SEO get you high Google rankings, quality traffic, high visibility for your website, but it also provides you with a multifaceted strategy that helps you advertise, sell, as well as improve your brand performance.

What is the best SEO strategy in 2022?

From quality content to user experience, below are five strategies you can start exploring right away.

  • Create quality content. …
  • Use ethical link building practices. …
  • Optimize all images. …
  • Improve user experience. …
  • Repurpose your content.

How SEO will change in 2022?

By 2022, expect SEO rankings to be more competitive with providing high-quality content that is helpful to internet users. Content that only tries to hunt its audience by linking to unnecessary sources will not be as effective as it is today.

Is SEO worth learning in 2022?

SEO is a promising career in 2022 because it gives you access to different opportunities. You can work in-house, take on clients and even start and develop your own websites. In addition, the three most popular websites,,, and, are the largest search engines.

How long does SEO take to Work 2022?

Unlike other popular marketing channels, SEO does not work instantly. Most experts expect to see results in as little as 2 months, but SEO can take up to 12 months. Although each company’s SEO strategy is different, most businesses can expect significant results in 6 to 12 months.

How SEO will change in 2022?

By 2022, expect SEO rankings to be more competitive with providing high-quality content that is helpful to internet users. Content that only tries to hunt its audience by linking to unnecessary sources will not be as effective as it is today.

Is SEO still important in 2022?

Is SEO still relevant in 2022 (or 2022)? Absolutely. It has become more sophisticated, its focus has changed (from keyword hoarding to user intent) and it is harder to rank in the Google SERPs. But it’s definitely here to stay.

Why do we need SEO in 2022?

The goal of SEO is to increase a company’s visibility in organic search results. As a result, these efforts drive more visitors to the company’s website, increasing their chances of more conversions leading to more customers and more revenue.

How has SEO changed 2022?

In 2022, Core Web Vitals tops the list because not only was it a ranking factor, but it continues to grow stronger every year. Core Web Vitals are a set of ranking factors that Google uses to see the overall user experience on a particular website.

Does SEO have a future?

SEO will only grow rapidly in the future. Just make sure you follow SEO best practices such as creating useful content, making your website faster, and following Google’s guidelines for better rankings.

What 4 pillars are important in SEO?

4 pillars of SEO

  • Technical SEO: Makes you visible. Technical SEO makes it easy for search engine bots to discover, crawl and index your pages. …
  • On-Page SEO: making your pages understandable. …
  • Content: Shows the value you provide. …
  • Off-Page SEO: Proving Your Authority.

What is the most important pillar of SEO? Focusing on these three pillars of SEO will increase your content opportunities and drive more organic traffic over time.

What are the 3 pillars of SEO?

Instead, SEO is supported by three distinct pillars: discoverability, relevance, and authority. Make sure your website keeps these three SEO concepts in mind for the future and you’ll have a content marketing strategy that will increase your position on the search engine results pages (SERPs).

What are the 3 core must haves of basic SEO?

Therefore, we will break down SEO into these two main factors, links and key phrases. Towards the end we will add a third key factor, âµcustomer signals.â