Once upon a time in the land of SEO, a company could put together a sub-website full of sloppily written content, add some meta keywords and tags, create a few links, and… PRESTO… they’d enjoy instant search engine rankings!
Those days are gone.
As SEO evolves, we look at different factors that make one site worth a higher ranking than others. Updates to Google’s Penguin and Panda algorithms will weed out anything that looks like spam or keyword stuffing. The days of old SEO systems are over and the time for new and stronger internet marketing strategies is upon us. A recent study conducted by Econsultancy for digital marketing professionals shows that the importance of content as a marketing strategy is growing.
Consider these noteworthy insights from Econsultancy’s content marketing research report:
• 90% of the respondents believe that the importance of content marketing will increase in the next 12 months.
• Nearly three-quarters (73%) of digital marketers agree that “brands are becoming publishers.”
• 64% of in-house marketers agree that content marketing is becoming its own discipline.
• 38% currently have a defined strategy.
• 55% of in-house respondents say they (or their clients) work on strategy, as do 58% of office respondents.
Neil Patel, founder of two Internet companies, Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics, and one of Entrepreneur Magazine’s “Top Entrepreneurs in the Nation,” understands the importance of content marketing:
“I’ve always built my organic search traffic through content marketing. Why you might ask? It’s cheaper and delivers faster results… We were able to launch KISSmetrics and get over 100,000 monthly organic visitors in less than a year… just by blogging and creating infographics. We didn’t create a single link manually … we just spent time and money on content marketing.”
For a small business owner, this type of strategy is a worthwhile investment of time and resources. Some of the most popular and effective methods used by marketers are:
• Blog posts
• Articles and guides
• Press releases
• Electronic newsletters
• Social media content (tweets, updates, etc.)
The impact of such a strategy can be considerable. Good content has a proven correlation with conversion rates, as a survey by digital social media agency Sekar shows that:
• 52% of surveyed consumers said that blogs have influenced purchasing decisions.
• 57% of marketers who responded to the survey acquired new customers through their blogs.
• 61% of customers surveyed said they would be more likely to buy products from a site with custom content.
Also, creating and promoting quality content encourages sharing on social media such as Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. These “likes”, “+1s” and “tweets” are increasingly important ranking factors in search engines. It’s the new trend in SEO! But there’s one more thing that separates content marketing from traditional SEO methods, and it’s a big one: algorithm updates don’t affect content marketing! Although an SEO agency can promise you an increase in ranking, the results can be short-lived at best. They are subject to the next search engine algorithm update when the next Penguin or Panda (or Possum or Parakeet or whatever the next one is called) is released. The recommended tactic is to invest in the production of quality content for a carefully planned strategy that will prove financially fruitful and withstand changes in search engine ranking factors.