Be aware of how content marketing and SEO play together.
Top Search Engine Optimization (SEO) advice of just a few months ago is obsolete now. In fact, Google’s algorithms for searches change continuously. Google is now prioritizing sites that have quality content and, updated information. Moreover, most search engine users are looking for an immediate answer or solution, not a phone number or a list of services. Consumers want useful information. Businesses with an effective content marketing strategy will rise in their SEO rank as a result.
The following six questions are important when developing a business’s SEO strategy:
1. What do consumers want when they search the web?
In the majority of searches, people are looking for information, not products and services. Typically a person has a question, problem, issue, or concern, and they turn to the internet for answers or solutions. The best Digital marketing taps into this insatiable need for information. The question is: how does a business contribute to people’s lives in a meaningful way? How does a business solve people’s problems?
Fortunately, a business owner does not have to stumble around trying to figure out what people are asking about and looking for. A SEO professional can help a business determine the top keyword searches and produce a list of topics that will successfully generate traffic for their business website. Once a business has determined a list of topics suitable for their business niche, then they need to consider how they will develop these topics into consumable information.
2. What is Google looking for when determining search results?
Google now penalizes sites that use keywords excessively to raise their rankings; in other words, keyword stuffing. Again, they prioritize sites that have the best and freshest information. This means that businesses that update their site at least weekly will probably do better in search engine rankings than sites that are updated monthly.
3. How should a business integrate content marketing?
A website of less than 25 pages is going to sink to the bottom in the current content-hungry reality of the internet. If a business is going to have any success with SEO, they will need to determine how they are going to consistently load relevant information to their website.
Most businesses find that adding a blog to their website is the best solution. Blogs are easy to update, but well-constructed posts can have a long shelf life. Thus, a business gets a two-for-one deal with each blog post. Engaging and interesting content can keep current clients and customers coming back for more information, and the same content can snag new customers or clients as blog archives continue to grow.
Social media can be harnessed to draw this traffic. A well-constructed blog post with quality images and info-graphics can be pinned to Pinterest, tweeted on Twitter, posted on Facebook, pictured on Instagram, and posted on LinkedIn. Thus, rather than pushing a product or service, a business can contribute in a meaningful way to current conversations. This strategy results in more traffic and ultimately in more business.
4. How does a business produce fresh content on a regular basis?
Whether a business handles writing in-house, hires a freelance writer, or engages a digital marketing firm, its website must effectively tackle the real problems of visitors. Otherwise the digital marketing strategy will be ineffective. Again one post published per month, will largely fail to make a dent in a business niche. Regular posts, once to three times per week, will be the most effective in beginning to address the myriad questions posed by search engine users.
5. How can a business tap into quality content?
We said it. Google wants fresh, quality content. If content on a website is written in ways too similar to the content on another website, the websites will fall in search engine rankings. This presents a huge problem for highly-specialized and technical topics. In other words, there may be hundreds of blog posts addressing the same topic. How will one post stand out? Quality is the answer. A business must strive to be original, thorough, and up-to-date, truly useful from the reader standpoint. At the same time, their posts must be engaging and easy to digest. If a business is unable to produce top quality writing and images in-house, then they will need to outsource this work.
6. How can a business diversify content?
To keep people coming back, a business website should go beyond written pieces. Infographics, videos, and images will do very well on social media and will drive traffic to a business website.
Also, some blog posts remain popular over a long period of time if they address longstanding questions. However, just as a business constantly grows and develops, their content marketing should grow as well. In the second year of a digital marketing strategy, key content posts can sometimes be repurposed to generate new traffic. Also, obsolete information should be purged on a regular basis, so that a company maintains credibility.
On the other hand, a hot, very current topic can generate a lot of traffic to a website, so businesses should keep their eyes open for issues that may become popular in the media. In other words, a business should strive to stay relevant.
People want helpful information fast. Google’s mission is to make sure that they get it. Sales pitches and promotions of goods and services will fall flat unless people feel that these goods and services will meet their needs and solve their problems. Business websites that offer fresh, relevant, and quality information will be the most successful in SEO.