Read the first “Death of” article back in the mid 90’s with the proclaimed Death of Email Marketing, which is as ridiculous now as it was then. There have recently been a rash of items in all sorts of media about content marketing having met its demise as well.
Guess what? Content Marketing as an SEO Strategy is alive and more important than ever.
Articles like that are written by people trying to sell something new. Nothing wrong with new, but there is a difference between new and revolutionary.
SEO Strategy Still Means Google
Push comes to shove, SEO means Search Engine Optimization and search engine means Google.
Much has been made over the years about Google algorithm updates. Terra bytes of data have been written about the dangers of not complying with the capricious nature of Google’s whims.
Know what? I don’t buy it…
Google wants the same exact thing they’ve always wanted. For those searching to find what they are looking for. They’ve just gotten better and better over time at ferreting out the cheats looking to game their systems.
Who doesn’t that affect? The people looking to GIVE those searching what they seek: Content Marketers
Content Marketing by definition is all about providing quality, relevant information that meets the needs of the consumer, whether that is a reader, a listener, or a watcher.
How is Content Marketing changing then if it’s not dying?
The Sophistication of Content Marketing
Today when you talk to professionals about marketing with content you are going to hear a lot about “Data Driven” campaigns with complex A/B split testing and very detailed audience definition. Terms and concepts mostly associated with direct response campaigns.
All of which is good and now being applied to most if not all aspects of online marketing.
The tools available to the Content Marketer today are incredibly accurate, sophisticated and eminently useful to an agency approach to the endeavor.
Most can be found with a simple search for SEO Tools. You can go as deep or as shallow as you desire and get effective results.
You still can rank for even fairly competitive keywords though without the aid of an agency, expensive and complex tools, or other professional assistance.
Content Marketing Basics – Keywords
If you read our articles in the Content Marketing category here you will find detailed instructions about the technical aspects of writing and posting article type content on your website.
When you talk about Content Marketing for SEO, the discussion always comes down to keywords. How do you use content to rank for desirable keywords?
First consider the keywords themselves. There are two types to consider:
- Primary Keywords – These are the main keywords for your website and business. Usually just from 3-6 and comprised of one or two words. For this site, I am mostly interested in three. Brand Strategy, Content Marketing, and SEO Strategy
- Long Tail or Buyers Keywords – These will always contain one or more of your Primary Keywords, and will be a phrase someone in need of your services would search for. Which is why they are also called Buyers Keywords.
There are several places to use these for maximum affect. Your Primary Keywords should be items in your website navigation, as well as categories for your articles. These should also be used within your content regardless of what format that content takes.
Use them naturally without forcing the issue. Cramming keywords in without regard to how it reads or sounds is of no value.
Long Tail Keywords are what you use in your content titles and subtitles. This is true regardless of content format. You may think that video, audio, and image formats don’t have subtitles for Google to care about but that really isn’t so.
Google spiders can and do scan video, audio, and image files for keywords. How they are used in each indicates to the spiders what is essentially a subtitle, and what is of primary importance.
Hashtags are another way to be sure to emphasize your Primary Keywords. Resist the urge to cram dozens of hashtags into your social media posts. Use no more than four in any post.
Realistic Content Marketing SEO Goals
It is realistic to expect to rank in the top three on Google for your content titles. If you choose these carefully, this will result not just in targeted traffic but in traffic that can be converted to sales. Ranking for these titles can be done nearly instantly.
Read the articles mentioned above, and follow the directions for publishing your content and these rankings will happen for you as easily as they do for SEO and Content Marketing professionals.
Ranking for the Primary Keywords will be a longer term project. Months should be expected, and more than a year is not unlikely for more competitive keywords.
While the premium SEO tools out there can be useful in this regard, the truth is that this is really a brute force effort. Repeated content using Long Tail Keywords containing your Primary Keywords whether you use expensive tools or not. Google cares about quality content, not the complexity of your toolkit.
The Future of Content Marketing for SEO
Nobody can predict what is next in this regard, but we do know that it will look a lot like what we are seeing now. There is little doubt that new and exciting formats will arrive for us to master, and that newfangled apps, websites, and social sites will replace those used today.
There will be differences and similarities, but we will need to post something on them, and that will be content. That content will need to be found somehow, and that is SEO. Taken together that spells Content Marketing for SEO.
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