Content marketing is key in creating high-quality content so as to attract, inform and engage an audience, while also promoting the brand itself.
“Content is anything that adds value to the reader’s life.”- Avinash Kaushik, Google
In the past, online businesses only focused on keywords and how they could better get rankings on the search engine results via directories, forums and other link building tactics. After the Panda algorithm, marketers learned that they need to be more selective and that their content needs to be relevant in order to engage their audience. Indeed, the search engines today need well-structured and high quality content to provide an online business with better rankings as content marketing is widely considered amidst the most important trends in the digital world for 2015-2016!
Some key findings according to a recent research by Hubspot and Smart insights that support the value of content marketing today:
• 71% of businesses are creating more content now compared to 2014
• Businesses strongly believe in the power of content marketing- only 3% of survey respondents don’t see this opportunity
• Over a quarter of companies are increasing internal headcount for content marketing.
How can Content Marketing boost your search engine rankings
The key to winning the online scene today is generating relevant, unique and compelling content. Let’s check together some online marketing tactics that businesses can pursue in order to engage the audience with their brand while increasing shares and natural linking across the web.
Create a blog for your business or collaborate with influential writers and publishers for guest blog posts with catchy themes about the industry you are in or just write about your business. If you keep it up to date in a regular basis and include social sharing buttons then you will most likely increase your website’s visibility and build a vital link to your website. Not to mention that content creation shared in a blog post gives a sense of community.
Tip: Put all your content in the same domain as subdirectory, which means, use website.com/blog and not blog.website.com. In this way, you will obtain all the “seo value” of your main domain.
2. Social Media
Social media and review sites establish the website’s reputation, improve customer engagement and increase online visibility. Moreover, these platforms allow your business to target your posts or formulate your ads based on the audience’s interests or geographic location so as to increase your ROI. Social signals have already become a major factor in the ranking algorithm.
Tip: Have a content calendar. Except from the standard posts, it can include any important dates or events in your industry for which you could create content.
3. Email campaigns
If your business has an email subscription list, you have identified an audience that has an interest in what your business offers, so you can build email campaigns with a relevant content and definitely boost your sales. You can also include links to your blog posts or send your audience customized offers.
Tip: Include social media share icons at the end of your newsletter to encourage additional promotion of your services/products.
4. Images and Videos
Content marketing is story telling. The use of images and videos with descriptive titles and alt text on your online presence will improve the user experience and move your website up the rankings list as rich text with visuals seem to get priority in SERPs over web pages with just text. Visual-Based SEO is a reality with Video Marketing on YouTube leading the way.
Tip: YouTube is the second most popular search engine in the world, so content in YouΤube with relevant keywords in title, description and tags can generate a huge amount of link and social sharing traffic for your website.
Case Study – Red Bull
Red Bull, the famous energy drink, supports its own culture through its successful content marketing strategy by working in multiple media. The overall strategy that RedBull follows is focused on the brand’s values, on exceeding your limits and going further than you dreamed possible through extreme sports and other actions.
With SEO and SEM, Red Bull has achieved an association with any search for extreme sports or adventure sports. But it went for more. Red Bull does not only own its own Red Bull Media House, but also its web TV, web radio, online games, print magazine, films, and digital databases. Red Bull TV is available for free to everyone via laptops, tablets and other mobile devices. Red Bull’s website concentrates on activities such as Adventure, Motorsports, and even eSports, for those who prefer to live to the extreme. Not to mention that YouTube is by far Red Bull’s biggest social strong suit. Let the content marketing strategy followed by Red Bull show you the path and inspire you to create your own based on your brand values.
Special tips to get all the pieces of the puzzle fit together
The goal is to provide users with such content that will be optimized for search while also promoting engagement and world of mouth. Here are some tips to achieve this goal:
1. Keyword Research
Identify your main keyword for your content and a few related keywords. Then use them in your content, headers, and page content. Keyword research is a must-have for your content marketing and can help you target the top long-tail keywords in order to target your content to what is relevant to your business. You can use free tools like Google Adwords Keyword Planner tool or Google Trends’ Hot Searches so as to create content around highly searched topics.
Do not forget to build your strategy. Define your objectives (brand awareness, increased traffic or SERP results), your existing and potential audience (check your followers on social media, who opens your email etc) and analyze all the available data. Only when you have all these done, you will be able to put together texts and visuals and create a high-quality content with a clear call to action so as to then be rewarded with a higher PageRank.
3. Track results
You can measure all the components of Content Marketing via Google Analytics and check mainly the Referral Traffic. The social media channels and Mailchimp also give you the opportunity to track your content marketing campaigns and actions. The best way to understand what’s working with your actions is to track and analyze key metrics. You can also work on CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) by realizing tests and turning impressions into clicks.
To sum up
According to a recent AdWeek article, effective content must meet the 3 following conditions:
1. contain engaging and compelling storytelling
2. be related to the audience
3. trigger response/action.
By creating a synergy of content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) you will boost your links, shares and other signals in search engines that will increase your overall ranking. And remember…
“Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read.” – Leo Burnett.