Content is the foundation of the internet. It is the glue that holds the web together which is why content marketing has been so important for the last decade. Content marketing in the past was as simple as spinning a few pieces of mediocre content, posting them to article directories and then waiting for Google to pick it up pieces. All you had to do then was wait for search engines to send you traffic and increase your rankings, but these golden days are now over. Everything has completely changed for marketers. With all the recent search engine updates—like Google’s plans aimed at eliminating poor content—many lazy marketers have seen their results plummet.
With new changes in the field, is it still possible to use content marketing to attract new visitors to your site? Absolutely! Updates like Google’s Penguin and Panda target questionable content and questionable marketing strategies, but Google also heavily rewards people who do it the right way. In this article, you will learn five content marketing strategies that will allow you to, not only improve your search results and traffic but also, to establish yourself as an authority in your niche.
Let’s get started now
1. Utilizing social signals in content marketing
Social signals are indicators of how much your content is shared and liked online. Social signals are slowly becoming Google’s main way to provide you relevant results. If a particular piece of content is socially active, means it is deemed valuable by a large variety of users.
The key is to make sure that you create content people will love and share. Provocation, humor or just plain, insightful information served are all tactics you can use to make you content as socially active as possible. Make sure that your content presentation goals are aligned with the targeted audience and geared towards businesses. For instance, a piece of content released on TechCrunch will go a long way compared to a piece you post on a new blog. TechCrunch has a huge audience and is extremely active on social media meaning your post will have a much higher chance of getting in front of rest of the world.
Also, you have to make sure that your content is easily shareable. If you are publishing your content on your blog or website, make sure that you insert easy to use buttons/tools to encourage readers to like and share. If you are running a WordPress blog, there are plenty of plugins that will improve how shareable your content is. Making sure that there is a clear incentive to share your content and making your social media strategy as central as possible will go a long way.
2. Guest blogging the right way
One of the best ways to have your content seen by tons of people in seconds is through guest blogging. Guest blogging is the process of publishing your posts on a different, but related blog to obtain a new audience. Guest blogging is not new in the area content marketing, but it is extremely important in reaching audiences that you could not before. Typically the perks (of guest blogging) include a link back to your website and improvements on personal branding.
However, all guest posts are not created equal. For example, Google places enormous importance on the context (or content) of a blog and if the guest post relates properly to the main topic. Generalist topic blogs simply do not hold the same value as specialized niche blogs. If a particular blog does not have strict editorial guidelines, then it might not hold that much value for your content marketing purposes. Go for popular blogs within your niche and do not be afraid to reach out and ask if you can publish a guest post. AT the very worse they will say “no” and you can email the next set of blogs you find. To find blogs that allow guest posts, just Google “guest posting” followed by your niche and you will get tons of results. Then all you have to do is follow the blog’s posting guidelines and wait for a response.
Extra guest blogging tips:
- Look at blogs you read every day you will probably find one that fits your content.
- Look for blogs that relate to your topic and industry.
- Reach out (Contact Form) to blog and other sites even if they do not have a page for guest posting.
3. Write informative and concise content
Concise content goes a long way in content marketing. Depending on your writing style and the way you present your content you will be able to gauge which direction you should go by using social signals. In this day in age, internet users have a very short attention span and prefer to have their content laid out for them in a quick consumption model, which explains why “how to’s” and list articles are so popular; they guarantee that you will get your information quickly and concisely. If the content is for your site, make sure that you make it as colorful and vibrant as possible and add relevant images and new media to enhance the post.
4. NO SHORT CUTS, Aim for long term results
If anyone suggests that you can get super easy and quick results, then it should be seen as a red flag (marketing is not a get rich quick scheme). A past popular method used in SEO was the power of private blog networks. Blog networks allowed people to publish their content to hundreds of blogs at once maximizing their numbers of inbound links instantly which pushes up the search engine rankings for the target. Google recently blocked many blog networks that were using questionable tactics. Many blog networks, such as Build My Rank, have been targeted by the latest updates and have been de-indexed as a consequence.
Does that mean that links coming from these sites will penalize you? Blog network links are looked down upon, but they should not hurt your overall results. If blog networks did hurt your overall results, it would be too easy for a competitor to sabotage your site and submit your content to bad blog networks. Although Grey Hat (not BlackHat) tricks still work, I do not recommend going down this path, the chance to get de-indexed is just not worth it in the long term.
5. Take advantage of on-site SEO
While much of SEO has shifted towards external factors such as social signals and external links, good on-site SEO is still critical and should not be neglected. While good, even great, on-site SEO won’t skyrocket your search results, bad on-site SEO will only hurt your efforts. First of all, inadequate content should be clearly avoided, and content should be the main element of any page. If too much of your content is ads and links, your content will be considered too weak, and it can drastically hurt your rankings.
You also have to observe the proper structure and formulate your URLs and title tags correctly. Your page’s primary targeted keywords should appear in your title tag and URL if possible. For example, WordPress sites generate numbered URLs for posts by default. This type of link structure is not an efficient way to build a site. Automated ways to create SEO friendly links like “permalinks” for WordPress are readily available in the “Settings”. Bad practices will make the content harder to index or rank by search engines. Try to customize your URLs to feature the page’s main keyword and make sure that the content itself has the keywords as well.
The top goal should always be to bring your audience useful and relevant information. Bounce rates represent the percentage of people who leave your site immediately after arriving. A variety of reasons could cause this disinterest, but the main reason is, more often than not, irrelevant or poor content. High bounce just means your reader did not find what they were looking for or that your site simply did not match closely with your previously released content. Search engines like Google frown upon sites that have high bounce rates. You must make sure that you take all the steps necessary to prevent this situation. This might mean improving content, navigation, design and split testing through the use of analytics to see what works and what does not.
Content marketing does not have to be rocket science. One piece of advice I can give is to focus on releasing content that will be shared and linked to organically. Google favors natural link patterns and by making sure that your content is socially active you will encourage a natural link profile that will give you outstanding results. Your content has a high percentage to be shared organically if it has original meaning, impressive qualities or insightful information. Releasing it to the proper channels will make it easier for readers to share it as much as possible. A gradual and steady approach to content marketing is the way to go and is the only proven way that you will get sustainable results.