Content marketing and SEO – part 1 – creating the content

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Content marketing is a frequently heard buzzword, but often misunderstood. Do it right and it can help boost the quality and quantity of your website traffic which is what every website owner wants.

It’s generally a positive thing for your website rankings if you regularly add fresh content to your website. It signals to Google and Bing that there are real people at the end of the phone or email address, ready to answer and give a good user experience from their website visit.

There is also part of the Google algorithm that boost fresh content in recognition that a newer web page or blog article will have more relevance than older content. This is called Query Deserves Freshness (QDF):

The QDF solution revolves around determining whether a topic is “hot”. If news sites or blog posts are actively writing about a topic, the model figures that it is one for which users are more likely to want current information. The model also examines Google’s own stream of billions of search queries. – Amit Singhal, Senior VP und Google Fellow

WordPress and SEO expert Robert Ryan stopped posting any new content on his blog for 251 days in 2015. Here are some of his key findings:

  • Overall traffic to the site saw a major decline as it fell by 32 percent.
  • Organic traffic dropped by a massive 42 percent.
  • Traffic to the contact page was down by 15 percent.
  • Overall site conversions fell by 28 percent.

So we know it’s a good thing to blog or update your website but we’re all busy. For example, writing a decent blog article with images and original content can easily take one to two hours so we need to make the most of our time and make sure it benefits our business.

That’s where skilled content marketing can help boost your traffic and make the most of your time.

What is content marketing

According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is defined as:

… a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action

This is where the worlds of SEO and traditional marketing and PR start to merge.

SEO guru Neil Patel expands this definition further:

It means that content marketing is a long-term strategy, based on building a strong relationship with your customers, by giving them valuable content that is highly relevant to them on a consistent basis.

Examples of content marketing

In this blog posting – What is content marketing by Neil Patel – Neil gives some great examples of how big companies have sponsored events or sports teams, produced viral videos or content which is great but may be hard to relate to for smaller companies. He does also give some great examples of the type of content that is within the reach of even the smallest businesses.

Creating content to inform and educate but not necessarily sell

You as a business owner have expertise about your products and services. You can give advice on related issues that are topical or related to new products. Fashion and beauty companies will blog regularly giving advice on tips for seasons, identifying hot trends. Technology companies will often need to explain the benefits of the latest kit, warn or reassure people about some new security issue.

Examples for content marketing are here:

  • Blog posts – original content with graphics, at least 300 words, properly structured with headings.
  • Infographics – these are large, well designed images that summarise a particular message that can and often are shared widely.

    Content marketing and SEO - infographics
    This could be part of an infographic!
  • Video – professionally produced ideally, but spontaneous mobile phone video can work if it has authenticity and interesting content leading to it being shared or even going viral. Do some reality checks so it goes viral for the right reasons though!
  • Podcasts – producing podcasts again can be done inexpensively, but make sure they still sounds professional and the content is useful.
  • Guides and e-books – producing longer content that guides people through a particular issue or gives advice can be a great way a getting backlinks and social shares as well providing something useful that reinforces your brand. You can give it away for free but in return for an email newsletter sign-up for example.
  • Develop an app – if you keep it simple and useful, this needn’t be expensive, but can be a great excuse to contact customers with a new way of accessing your services.
  • News digests – linking out to and summarising the news affecting your industry.
  • Free events – online webinars or face to-face events to give some information away or highlight some new product.
  • Sponsoring events, teams, websites or other content marketing initiatives.

These are examples of content ripe for content marketing but how do you spread the word?

We’ll cover that in our next blog posting.

References and further reading

Social media statistics infographics

The no-blogging experiment is over

What happens when you stop blogging

Moz – whiteboard Friday query deserves freshness

What is content marketing by Neil Patel

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