Content marketing is quickly outpacing SEO as the internet marketing hot topic. Many businesses have traditionally relied on keywords to get to the top of the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages), but with search engines adjusting algorithms to seek out high quality, relevant content – like we’ve seen with the last year and a half of Penguin and Panda updates – a simple keyword strategy is no longer enough to get the coveted first page spot.
However, keep in mind that creating content for the sake of just increasing pages on your blog is not recommended. All content requires a consistent voice from your brand.
Attract Readers By Providing Content They Need
The Panda updates (24 of them at the time of this post) have forced sites to continually evaluate their content to prevent drops in their ranking. No matter what your online marketing strategy was before, taking a content marketing approach is sure to beat any refreshes of Pandas, Penguins, or other cute zoo animals that Google throws at us.
So what’s the formula for content marketing? Simply put: creating and sharing great content that your target audience craves.
Investigate what information your readers are hungry for, and then give it to them in the form of blogs, resource center articles, guest blogs that link back to your site, press releases, surveys and reviews, videos, infographics and other formats of shareable content.
Keyword SEO Isn’t Dead
This isn’t to say that keyword SEO is no longer a valid strategy; it just can’t be the be-all, end-all any longer. Still do your keyword research. Determine what long-tail keywords are bringing traffic to your site, and include those in your copy as they occur naturally. One thing is for certain: we can no longer write for the search engines. Keyword density alone is no longer enough to boost you above your competition.
Consistency Is Important
One of the keys to an effective content marketing strategy is consistency. As you develop a growing audience, your readers will develop an appetite for the useful content you provide and will want to come back for more. Create a daily or weekly schedule to give your readers what they want, but be realistic about how often you can update your blog or otherwise publish content.
Sharing Is Equally Important
Don’t forget to share your content on your social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Write catchy and intriguing snippets that tell the followers of each network what they’ll get from your content. An added bonus of content marketing done well is that truly valuable content will not only be recognized by search engines, it will also be shared by your readers on their social media sites. In other words, free WOM (Word of Mouth) marketing.
Another great way to share is to syndicate your content through content distribution channels. This method promotes your content on many trusted sources by Google, often raising your trust factors, and in turn, creating more traffic and visibility for your long-tail keywords.
How To Create Valuable – And Viral – Content
There is more to creating great content than writing stellar blog posts. Consider these tips:
- Create content on topics that are trending right NOW – what is your audience searching for?
- Images and video should play a role in your content marketing plan. “How To” tutorials are one of the most popular kinds of video, and are more likely to go viral on YouTube than any other type of content. Establish yourself as an industry expert by sharing your knowledge.
- Take a stand on a controversial topic and invite debate on your blog or social media site.
- Find ways to get your content (and business) noticed by other bloggers with large audiences by:
- Offering to do a guest post
- Giving credit to a thought leader or influential person in your industry
- Initiating a partnership or cross promotion to get your message out to a new audience.
In the end, it now takes much more than standard keyword SEO to rank high in the SERPs. By creating great content that is precisely what your readers are looking for, and promoting it far and wide, you’ll be well on your way to a loyal following, improved rankings and better conversion.