How to write content for SEO. Writing effectively for Google. Creating content that will get your website found. There are thousands of pages of advice like that online. They tell you how to create content that Google will like. They talk about two types of online content creation, writing for users and writing for Google. They are all wrong.
It’s not that they’re giving bad advice. A lot of these articles are well researched, well written and contain some useful information. But the idea that you should write content for search engines is outdated and dangerous. You should write content that will improve your search standing, but that doesn’t mean you should write with Google in mind.
The key to content marketing is creating content for users. That’s also become Google’s target. They want their search to lead to the most relevant, most useful content for users. Creating content with Google in mind misses the point, for a number of reasons. With the rise of social media, content marketing can be effective without increasing search ranking. But that’s a topic for another day.
The main reason creating content just for Google is missing the point is because that’s not what Google wants you to do. Google doesn’t want you to spend time optimizing your website just for them. They want you to optimize it for users. Each Google algorithm update this year has been pushing websites towards ‘quality’ content.
Which means that SEO and content marketing are actually becoming the same thing. Quality content can drive sales and increase search ranking. Which means you should always try to create quality content first, the rest follows naturally.
Always Answer the ‘Why’
There are many questions to ask yourself when creating a content marketing strategy or building website content. The most important of these is ‘why are you here?’ You should have a clear purpose for every piece of content. True content marketing is about creating content that users find useful and want to share. Every time you create a blog or infographic, you have a clear idea of why someone would look for it and share it.
You should be just as clear on the purpose of each web page. Neither Google nor users want to find themselves on a page they don’t understand. They need a reason to visit a page and they need to understand its use. The only person who can define that is you. If you can’t answer the ‘why’, the page needs work.
Since Google’s Panda update earlier this year, the focus on quality content has had two key factors. The first is relevance, which is taken care of by the ‘why’ above, and the other is usefulness. The key to making a page useful is to fill it with relevant information. That’s what content marketing is built on anyway. You wouldn’t share out content that wasn’t information rich.
Website content should be similarly informative. Obviously you may not want to give everything away on a single page, but you shouldn’t scrimp on information either. Users, and Google, want information that’s easy to find and useful. If you only offer the bare minimum of info on a page, why would a user want to read it? And why would Google want to send them there?
Think About Links
Content marketing is all about spreading content that sends users back to your website. Links are good for two reasons. They send people back to your site and Google loves them. The more your page is linked to, the better it looks to Google. Or at least that’s the way it used to be. These days, that sentence comes with a massive asterisk.
The links have to be high quality and they have to be natural. Google doesn’t just rank websites in terms of relevance; it also ranks the inbound links. Each link counts as a vote for your page, but quality links count higher than others. Low quality links can have a hugely detrimental effect, particularly if Google think the links have been purchased or obtained ‘unnaturally’.
All of which means that you should create content that is likely to gather links, for natural reasons. Which really leads you back to creating relevant, useful content. Content marketing is sometimes called link-bait. It’s about creating shareable content. Your website content should take on a similar target; it should be as ‘linkable’ as possible.
Content marketing, SEO, online or digital marketing; there are many terms used to describe different aspects of promoting your business online. When you break it down though, they all have very similar requirements. In truth it doesn’t matter what you call it. Quality content makes all the difference.
Social Media and Social SEO (A relatively new concept) suggests that social media links and interaction play a huge part in a website’s search rankings.
Search engines consistently give more rankings weight to SEO-type activities that are harder to create. (For example, creating and distributing an info graphic that gets shared 30,000 times = good! vs. spending 30 seconds on a social bookmark = not so good.) Because legitimate interaction between business and customer is so hard to fake online, social media authority online holds an increasing amount of weight for search engines.
What does that mean for businesses? It means that even if a company doesn’t gain any perceived benefit from Face book posts, Twitter re-tweets, or YouTube subscribers, there is immense benefit from having active social media accounts.
As Search Engines evolve and continue to look for legitimate ways to determine rankings, social media continues to become a more important factor. “Social Media will have two main benefits for companies,” says Benjamin Ard, Director of Social Media for Utah-based Internet marketing firm Leadgenix. “First is the obvious interaction that comes when companies are in direct contact with their customers. Benefit number two is the Social SEO aspect where social media links and interaction will count for a lot in SEO rankings.
Read the full article here, 10 ½ Ways to Take Advantage of “Social SEO” – Forbes
I have been doing a great deal of research lately on the benefits of employing Content Curation as a part of my over all marketing strategies. It seems to logical that if you are able to provide your subscribers with as-it-happens information you may become the go to site for current events. And of course as you build your subscriber list you create potential future income.
This article addresses content marketing’s “best practice” tips. Put these into action and begin to monetize your website, and change your life!
These content marketers have propelled the essential elements of a strong content marketing strategy, acknowledging that audiences want to follow a narrative, be exposed to the history of a company, be incorporated in the story of a brand, and to receive information of utility that can be used in their personal and business lives. In short, great content marketers understand people want value.
Below are some content marketing “best practice” tips from a few of the best, some that have stood out in my study and implementation of SEO and content marketing through various interview series I have run. From quality, to strategy, to optimization, to engagement, these marketers get the value in managing a content marketing strategy – and can help you be more like that loaded, entrepreneurial lemonade kid.
Tags: social marketing