What is SEO?
If you are running a site, there is one core marketing element that you cannot ignore and that is search engine optimization (SEO). I know it sounds very technical, intimidating, overwhelming and daunting, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes second nature. As described by Huyen Troung, Digital Marketing Specialist, SEO is about making it easier for search engines to find your content, and to rank it high in the search results.
SEO’s Dark Past
In the past, some SEO experts tried to manipulate search engine rankings by gaming the system with various “Black Hat” tactics like keyword stuffing, invisible text, and more - but Google will not be tricked anymore. You may have heard of Google’s Panda and Penguin updates, algorithms which were implemented to fend off SEO tricksters. Black Hat SEO tactics are no longer effective.
The Content Marketing Future
Now, Google places the importance of your website on content, hence content is the new SEO. This is one of the reasons why content marketing has flourished this year. SEO isn’t the same as before where you could build up a few links and rank high on search engines. In this new content marketing world, high quality content gets rewarded, especially when it’s shared a lot.
Nowadays, we're not just optimizing websites, we're optimizing search on all channels. Let's take a look at how we can be smarter at syncing up our content, SEO and marketing channels all together.
Here are 4 steps to boost your content for today's SEO success:
1. Create unique content marketing pieces
Here's something to think about:
2 million – Blog posts are written every day.
500 million – Number of tweets sent every day.
2.7 billion – Number of likes on Facebook every day.
3.5 billion – Number of webpages run by WordPress viewed each month.
1.2 trillion – Number of searches on Google in 2012.
So the question is: how do you stand out from all this? Simply put, this is why you need to create unique content.
The value of creating unique content is that Google will start to rank your website higher. As long as you're publishing great content that solves people’s problems, you're good to go.
Think about different styles of content to put out and mix it up a bit. Create content in more digestible formats that allow for easy consumption and cater to the differing needs of any audience.
Here are 10 content ideas to inspire you:
- PowerPoint slides
- Blog posts
- Case studies
- Press releases
2. Get involved in social media
By now, I'm sure you know that sharing your content on social media is a good thing. The more shares the better. So what's that have to do with SEO?
According to Shoutly, over 90% of consumers said they would be more likely to buy a product if it had been recommended to them by someone they follow online. So the point is that people are actively looking for and reviewing products and/ or services online. Be a part of the online conversations and get found. People are not just doing research through traditional search engines, they're finding it in social media too.
This is because you have produced something great that resonates with people.
3. Don’t have time to create original content? Start curating!
Curating third-party content drives traffic to your site. If you consistently share relevant content to your target audience, you will become a trusted resource.
Your audience will appreciate the fact that you have saved them time by finding them quality content and curating it all in one place. In doing so, you will position yourself as a thought leader in your industry, and will expand your branding and social reach accordingly.
Need ideas for curated posts?
- “Wrap-up” posts are quick. Pull together a collection of other people’s posts and provide a broad overview of what’s going on.
- Event summary posts include a collection of key quotes from speakers, event-related tweets, video clips, slides and photos.
4. Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is a simple way to get a link on an authoritative website or blog. The goal is to guest blog on a website that is already established and recognized. Guest blogging is beneficial because these links carry more weight on search engines and are usually harder to acquire. You can also ask bloggers or webmasters in your niche for a link.
What About You?
How have you been leveraging content to build out your SEO plan? What kind of content are you creating? What tactics have been working for you? Leave us a comment. We’d love to know!