After years of taking a back seat to search engine optimization (SEO) gimmicks, content is once again king.
A recent survey of 1,300 marketing professionals showed that 64 percent of them believe that content marketing is coming into its own quite apart from SEO. About 90 percent said that content marketing would continue to become even more important in 2013.
This is great news for people actually trying to find useful information online. In years past, Web marketing relied heavily on SEO tricks to get a page to the top of Google’s search results. Now that the Web’s premier search engine has developed more sophisticated search algorithms that can better sniff out relevant content, “black hat” SEO marketers won’t spend so much time boosting their rankings with keyword stuffing and shady coding tricks.
As the keystone of an evolving digital marketing strategy, new, educational, informative and engaging content—often supplemented with YouTube videos, infographics, and social media integration—is what’s winning the search game these days.
SEO is not being abandoned. It continues to be seen as a complement to traditional advertising, PR and copywriting. Keywords and internal linking (the linchpins of SEO strategy) are still useful; indeed, they account for about 15 percent of a typical website’s overall search ranking.
But businesses are adopting the new content-focused guidelines. According to business2community.com, the most important thing to remember is to go for freshness. These days, a company website needs to deliver lots of new data daily. It should include information relevant to its target demographic, and it should do it with regularity and consistency.
What’s the magic number when determining how frequently you should post blogs? It seems to be around two new articles a week.
Since Google made the changes to its search algorithms last spring, blogs have been generating tons of traffic to business websites. To get in on the action, make sure you create content that readers will find useful and interesting. Write about the products you offer, but also offer a blog that is about your industry in general. Show off your knowledge of the business by writing about anything and everything that might be of interest to your target audience.
A high-quality blog works in several ways. For starters, it will increase your incoming links. People linking to your site means people are reading your site—Google rewards this handsomely.
Offer to write guest posts for established sites in return for a link to your own blog. Or you could try simply asking for links. At any rate, partnering with other sites that are in your industry can be mutually beneficial. Your competitors aren’t going to help you, but how about someone who is in your industry but in a different geographic market? Or you could find blog partners in related niches—a website for a real estate agent and and a website for the local chamber of commerce could give one another links and content, for example.
Outgoing links can also be useful in improving your traffic. If you link to another site, the administrator of that site may see you on their referrers report and come check you out. If they like what they see, they may give you a valuable link. And it’s these kind of connections that will ultimately get your business website noticed by Google—and by your target market.