If you’ve been on the internet lately, or anywhere but under a rock, you’ve probably heard the term “content marketing.” It seems to be a trending topic on social media, but what is it exactly? If you’re looking for a Coles Notes explanation of it (which you most likely are), content marketing focuses on consistently creating fresh, high-quality content that attracts and engages your targeted audience with the objective of driving revenue, and contributing to your bottom line (of course). In one of our earlier posts, we mentioned that companies that prioritize blogging and release 20 original blogs per month drive their organic traffic up 800%. Numbers don’t lie, and you don’t have to search very far to find that content marketing has proven its worth.
When Google Speaks, we Listen
Google is the world’s leading search engine, and if the higher powers at Google tell us that we need to improve the quality of our content, we need to listen. Google drives more traffic to websites than any other search engine, and if we do anything to get ourselves on bad terms with the Google Gods, we can kiss SERPs goodbye. The search engine’s shift toward content was in response to the high volume of traffic being directed to pages that were stuffed with keywords. Although these sites contained popular search terms, the actual content offered no real value or relevant information to audiences. Google ranks your site based on the quality and relevance of your content, and there are real humans that analyze and grade it on an ongoing basis.
Take a look at some of our Content Marketing Tips to get a better understanding of “quality content,” and ways you can achieve it.
– Content should be written at an expert level, demonstrating knowledge of the subject at hand. It should be free of spelling and grammatical errors, and follow proper sentence structure.
– Relevance: before the big shift toward content, websites used black hat SEO tactics to pull random searchers by filling their pages with popular keywords that had nothing to do with the site itself. Now, it’s all about user experience, and creating copy that will satisfy your audience’s needs, and establish you as an influencer and primary source for information.
– Volume: Expecting to drive traffic by publishing one or two blogs a month, or having 100 words on your homepage is like trying to get approved for a million dollar mortgage with bad credit, and no income. The top results in Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) usually have an average of 600 to 1000 words on a single page. The best sources of information are contain targeted and well-supported research, which results in a higher word count–taking note of this, Google included content volume as one of its grading factors.
– Reputation and Accessibility: If you don’t display an address or contact details, Google will assume you’re a spam page and aren’t a real company. Having your contact info readily available is an easy way to earn brownie points and increase your local SEO.
– Fresh and Consistent: Search engines like to see that you update your website regularly with new and relevant content. You can compare your homepage to a storefront–if you still have your winter merchandise on display in the middle of March, you will lose the attention of potential customers walking by. So, if your website hasn’t changed for a month, it might be overlooked by search engines.
There is often confusion surrounding Content Marketing and SEO, with some people believing they are at war with each other, or that they are the same thing. In reality, the two complement one another. They fit together like two pieces of a puzzle, and both play a crucial role in your overall content strategy. Although the quality and relevance of content are more important than ever (we can thank Google’s awesome algorithm changes for that), SEO tactics are a necessary part of delivering successful content marketing. Content needs to be engaging and informative to attract and retain your audience, however, before it can do that, it needs to be discovered by your audience. There is no point in creating quality content if it’s not going to be seen by anyone. In addition to being original, fresh, and relevant, content needs to be optimized for search engines. Otherwise, it will get lost beyond the pages that searchers pay attention. By applying some of our SEO tips when you’re developing content, you will win the hearts of your target audience, and the approval of search engines.
An article or blog rich in relevant keywords is guaranteed to get crawled by spiders and indexed by the main search engines. However, producing original content that is fused with SEO tactics can be time-consuming for the novice writer. Professional content marketers and SEO copywriters know the importance of implementing keywords into their content, without compromising its aesthetic. Although SEO methodology and content marketing are continually evolving, both play important roles in successful content strategy. If you’re interested in learning how to build a kick-ass content strategy for your business, or want to start driving real SEO traffic to your website, contact us today for your free SEO consultation in Toronto.
Chris A. Hughes (and Becks Pura)