Marketing with content is one of the hottest topics online. Some claim its day has come and gone, while others say its vital. Vital would be understating its SEO value.
The deciding thing with most marketing agencies and consultants is going with what works. Not many can back up claims that content marketing is ineffective.
Content is an integral part of social media, email, and just about any other marketing pursuit you can name. With SEO content marketing goes beyond integral. A strong case can be made that it is the most important part of your SEO efforts.
Creating good quality content starts on your own site, by posting articles or blog posts about your marketing arena.
Writing Quality Articles and Blog Posts
The best process for creating quality articles for content marketing (and therefore SEO) makes it easier to do the actual writing part as well. Here is the process we use:
#1 – Write A Good Title
Each and every piece of content you create starts here. The title of your content is the aspect that will determine whether or not a visitor ever sees it. Nothing matters more in this respect.
Should you need ideas or examples, simply look at the articles or blog posts on the websites of other people in your market.
Cultivating this mindset will help your content mindset more than you can imagine.
Back to Google! Type your title idea into search, and look for results with ads at the top of the page.
Also look for it to return more than five million items. As your list of articles grows, look for ten million search items returned. The ads show that people are willing to pay for that title, and the number of items show that others are writing on similar topics.
#2 – Write Content Based Subheadings
Subheading, or subtitles are the next way you let Google know what your article is about. These, like your titles need to be keyword rich.
Ask yourself if a reader would know what you were writing about if they hadn’t read your title. If it doesn’t relate to your title in at least somewhat specific terms, it probably isn’t a good subheading.
There should also be a logical flow to these. Your title, combined with your subtitles are essentially a sentence outline for your article. Every article our team writes, for our own website or for clients uses this basic tenet.
When your are posting these to your website, the subheadings need to be tagged as Heading 2. This is how Google identifies them as such. The WordPress editor defaults to Paragraph while writing, but if you highlight your subheading and the click on the drop down that says Paragraph you can select Heading 2 and it will increase the size and relative importance of that text.
#3 – Writing Your Content’s First Paragraph
The first twenty five words in any article are given special weight by Google. Like your title and subheadings, these should be keyword rich.
Your entire first paragraph should be around that twenty five work mark, and also should be converted to Heading 3. The process is just like that for your subheadings, but select the next item down in that menu. A little extra oomph for Google.
The last twenty five words are also important, but not like the first. The first set need to expand on your title to describe what the article is about. Use it as a template for the excerpt used for search engines. Your title plus excerpt are what will either get the click, or fail to.
#4 – Writing Your Content Marketing Article
There are several important things with the actual writing part, some are SEO based, some reader based.
Keep your paragraphs short, no more than two or three sentences. One sentence paragraphs are fine too. This creates space, or what is referred to as white space and increases reader retention.
Content articles are very good ways to establish your reputation within your market as an expert, but only if the articles are good. Don’t hold back the “good stuff” in your content. Write as if your prospects, clients, and customers are also colleagues.
Writing this way builds a reputation for transparency, generosity of spirit, and trustworthiness. Educate your reader as fully as the topic, title, and subheading indicate. If you were the reader, would what was written satisfy you as to these.
Lastly, take the extra time when you think you are done to link appropriate phrases in your article to previously published content on your website.
#5 – Article Images As SEO Content
In virtually every article written need images to be included.
The first rule of using images in your content, is to be certain you are either using royalty free images, or to pay for the images used. The average penalty for using an image without rights, is ten thousand dollars. Got your attention? Get the rights to the images you use.
- Alternate Text
Each should be keyword rich and should contain the same keywords as the title, in various wordings. No need to be copied exactly. Just make them logical and relevant. If you skip any of these fields Google will simply not include your image in search, and you will also have lost another chance to improve your onsite SEO.
#6 – Publishing Your Content Article
Once you have pushed that button to publish your content you should do a series of things that will directly affect your SEO results.
The first is to make sure the article looks as expected, and the subheadings and first paragraph are properly tagged.
Click any images and make sure they are linked back to the article itself. Remedy this if they aren’t.
Next share the article to your social media timelines. Use a different, even if similar descriptive slug on each platform.
Now take the URL to your content and search for it on Google, using an incognito browser window. The process for getting to such a window differs by browser. Check YouTube for instructions.
[The point of an incognito window is not to affect the search results by your browsing history. You likely visit your own site from your computer more than any other. Normal browsing would give you the impression you were achieving better results than you are.]
If the URL hasn’t been indexed, use Webmaster Tools to submit it for indexing. Watch the following video to learn how:
Once you’ve submitted it, immediately try the search again. You will be surprised to find that it is most likely indexed. Now search for the title in the same incognito browser window. You may find that it already is ranking on the front page for it’s title now. Possibly a second time too for one of your social media supporting posts.
Pinterest is a likely suspect to rank, or Slideshare if you posted a supporting Powerpoint, PDF, or Infographic. Use Slideshare to rank for tougher keywords by creating a Powerpoint or Whitepaper PDF of your article, and uploading it. Be sure to put a live link in the upload, and in the description of the upload.
Immediate SEO Results From Quality Content
That Also Sticks Over Time
Having written the title and nothing more, the results for Google with this article were assured. We always write high quality content, so that was no worry. Still it is good to see those results. Here is what happened with this article upon publication.
What happens to these rankings over time though? We frequently hit the top five on Google in less than an hour. Doesn’t mean much though if it doesn’t stick. Here is an article from 2018 that ranked in the top three immediately. See what happened over time?
The goal is targeted traffic visiting your website in ever increasing numbers. Accomplishing this means you are counting on your content to keep consistently producing visitors over time.
This is what makes content marketing such a great SEO tool. Just be sure to go back and update that material if new information makes it obsolete. Quality content should be as “evergreen” as you can make it.
The Cumulative SEO Effect Of Quality Content
Depending on how competitive your market is, you will find yourself competing with specific individuals over and over again.
Don’t be concerned if it takes a while to achieve the results they enjoy. Especially on your primary keywords. As you build a library of content containing those keywords in longer tailed titles your ranking will climb. Meanwhile, your targeted traffic will be climbing steadily long before then.
These are the long term cumulative SEO results you will get from regularly publishing quality articles as a part of your content marketing strategy.
This is likely the most effective thing you can do for your website and business promotion. If you’d like some help putting together a plan to implement this strategy, scroll down and click to request a no-cost consultation. We are happy to help and there is not expectation of selling anything to you at our consultations.
Then scroll down just a little bit and you will find this article embedded on this page in PDF format for easy download and below that there are more great articles on Content Marketing and SEO.
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