You get what you give is the wise old phrase. When it comes to Organic SEO you get exactly what you put in and content marketing is at the heart of it. I often educate clients a great deal about what to expect from SEO in 2017 and how the webscape has changed and how you can succeed online when it comes SEO. The simple days of search optimization are gone and today more than ever a successful online marketing campaign is a collaborative effort between the SEO provider and the client content marketing strategy. Anything less than a hand in hand effort is doomed to fail.
How Has SEO Changed?
In the good old days, Organic SEO was simple with a little effort and some great keyword research and implementation you gained rankings. It was all about rankings, backlinks and page rank. Search engines quickly recognized that search results were being manipulated and were often irrelevant stemming from synthetic optimizations.
Then came on the major algorithms that leveled the playing field, Penguin, Panda, Hummingbird, Pigeon that affected local search results and more! In the never ending quest for better search results, Google has evolved into a somewhat artificial intelligence machine called the Rankbrain. Rankbrain took machine learning to a whole new level and what we know is that search results now are less and less about rankings and more about matching queries with the most refined relevant result and is part ranking and part delivery process.
So what we have today is still some of the metrics that matter but with increased awareness of a search intent.
“Dont Put In Half The Effort
Unless Your Ok
With Half The Results”
Why Is Content So Important?
Content is the number one way to gain organic traffic. It is important because it tells more about what you do and who you are and why and most importantly establishes a connection to your potential clients with credibility. In today’s discussion, I’m going to focus on content marketing, on page content follows the same rules but content marketing is key to how you gain an audience, establish authority, tell your story, to engage on a human level with your target audience. While the content on your website pages still matters, what you put out there is more important than ever. So what is content marketing? Content marketing is the process and strategy of creating, sharing and circulating informative, quality information to a target audience that turns into a conversion.
If Content Is King Then Conversion Is Queen Why?
Ultimately any online marketing strategy is about invoking an action from a website visitor either that is a lead for services, newsletter signup, a sale or brand awareness or a social like. This is accomplished by educating your audience about the products, services or expertise in a profession but in addition to reaping the results from that engagement into conversions.
Content is the lifeblood of today’s online marketing strategies as businesses use websites and blogs to demonstrate their own expertise and provide information to their targeted audiences that lead to organic traffic. But what good is tons of traffic if it isn’t targeting the right audience or the quality you put out there infrequent, simply mediocre and not converting? Not much! So what is a conversion?
Let’s take an example if someone is interested in buying a new jacket for themselves for winter. He or she might be reading a newsletter or blog post on fashion trends likes it and click on some link to the jacket they love and buy it. This is considered a successful conversion. So pay attention to the royalty of your content and create content that leads to some type of conversion.
Tips On Content What You Should Be Talking About And How Often?
Content should always be quality and engaging and be conversational using active voice. Always aim for long-form content that is at least 1200 words or more. This gives you more opportunity to optimize for semantic keywords or related keywords and also optimize for voice search. Semantic search is part of the new AI of Rankbrain so do your research ahead of time before you get typing Google is now capable of determining the direct relationship between various keywords. But keep in mind the best way to approach writing content is writing for a visitor and not for search engines, optimization of your posts, news, or pages should be done in the polishing phase and always keep it organic! Read your content out loud to yourself how does it sound? if its anything less than natural and informative and exciting, rethink your writing style.
The number one rule you should always follow for what type of content you put out there is quality, and it should be engaging and what your audience is looking to consume.
Top 10 Tips For Writing Content and 10 Is the Most Important:
1. Get ideas from your audience– Visit forum sites often see what your target audience is looking for or perform a survey on your most engaged social media account. Do a web search look for related searches then form your topics into questions…What is the best? or How does? and check out your competition. Heres some great info on 5 Ways To Come Up With New Blog Post Ideas In 15 Minutes Or Less
2. Understand your audience– Always identify your target audience and their persona, if you understand the way your audience thinks then you can write content and answer questions that they were looking for. Web design personas – best practices and examples
3.Integrate a call to actions– What good is it if you’re giving away free information when you don’t ask for something small in return such as a facebook like, a click here or for more info or contact us. My best analogy is what I call “candy bar content” the sweet inside is what you give away the wrapper is your call to action. Keep it light don’t ever be promotional and do it elegantly.
4. Be consistent– Tone and timing are everything!! Publish your posts based on the analytical data from Google analytics, check when your website is visited most and publish around those times. Your tone and overall posts should be seen as one body of content make sure you are consistently writing about things that are related this way you can link content and spread your link assets out strategically.
5. Add Videos To Your Posts When Possible– Adding videos to your posts when possible keep people engaged in another benefit it keeps them on your site longer which translate in SEO terminology as time on site or time on page and it is a ranking factor. When search engines see people are spending time on your website then you must have been the most relevant search result for a given query. Heres some more awesome info on The Rise of Video: 8 Tips to Boost Your Site’s SEO With Video
6. Give it time– Unless you have an established social media audience and people are consuming your content regularly give your time content when added, it takes time for search engines to pick up your fresh content so make sure to start with some great online content distribution channels and give search engines some time to follow.
7. Write catchy headlines- This old adage hasn’t changed even since the days of newspapers. Create headlines that ask or answer a question or invoke an emotion. For example “SEO in 2017 What You Need To Know Now”.
8. Make your text scannable- Have you ever noticed how the most consumed blogs and news sites break texts into chunks of paragraphs add exciting images? I speak to clients often about attention web deficit disorder if you lose the attention span of your reader most likely your awesome content won’t be read. So think about the visual structure of your content as well. One big tip I can give you in the world of mobile first web browsing is to increase the line space and font size of your blog content its easier to scan and on the eyes. Heres some more info on How to write scannable blog posts people actually read + a checklist
9. Make it link worthy and referenceable- Your post should be so informative that people will link to it and reference it, this is a great opportunity to obtain natural organic backlinks! Heres some more info from a great post 19+1 Ways To Cleverly Get Natural Backlinks To Your Blog
10. Write often- The most successful ways to drive free traffic is to blog often at least twice a week or more. Ill give you the best analogy I can on this matter because writing often can either be the single reason you succeed in SEO or how you fail. If you called your wife or significant other once a month how good would your relationship be? If you don’t have time to write content then you don’t have time for new business its as simple as that. Content marketing can be expensive and if you are on a shoestring budget then take the time yourself to write it will always pay off in the end and later you can invest in SEO services or a content marketing specialist. Heres a great link to valuable info from Forbes on How Often Should You Update Your Blog.
Technical SEO Matters Here’s Why
Once you write your new post make sure to optimize for technical SEO and semantic keywords so your post has the potential to get indexed, ranked and found or possibly added to a featured SERP in people also ask for! The things that matter most is that you have Schema Markup the most influential and most overlooked easy to implement feature you can add to your website. If you haven’t implemented Schema Markup yet on your website here’s a great guide.
Then next thing is the basics of on page SEO which is to have your blog title as an H1 title tag and your subtitle as H2 your meta title and meta description ( make it catchy). If you are using Yoast SEO configure your Open Graph Markup so when people share your post or you share it all the great info and images you added show up correctly.
From here on track your post engagement and make sure to update your post so its current and evergreen.
The Wrap Up And Final Thoughts
As algorithms change and more and more content floods the web competition gets entrenched and getting your online business in front of the right audience becomes more challenging.
The relationship between you and your Organic SEO services provider and content become a hand in hand collaborative effort. With that said it is the responsibility for SEO providers and clients to understand the importance of content marketing and to create a strategy and more importantly stick to a content publishing schedule that ensures success. If you think of your website as a toaster to just set it and forget it be prepared to remain in the shadows of the web and have dismal amounts of traffic and conversion rates. SEO alone can only help you realize the full potential of your online presence a great content strategy will boost your online presence for many years to come.