It has been said for a long time by SEO experts that “Content is King”. Obviously, the more content you have, the more keyword phrases you can target, but that isn’t the only reason to build content. Having high quality original content on your site is the best way to build links to your website. The number of quality links which are built naturally over time from high quality sites has a major effect on your natural search rankings Increasing your natural search engine rankings will help you to get more visits and leads.[quote]Quality content is key to Google rankings. You want to build great content, and building great content is often what brings you [organic] links. – Matt Cutt’s – Head of Webspam at Google said[/quote]
The importance of writing keyword rich content has never been more important after the recent Google Panda Algorithm changes in 2011, 2012 and 2013. If your interested in reading about Google Algorithm changes, SEOMoz keeps an excellent running history. The first Google Panda algorithm change was released in February 2011. That change and other Google Panda updates since were put in place to detect low quality duplicate content (content that is not original, possible scrapped from another site). Once this low quality content is found, Google will either disregard it or issue a penalty resulting in a loss of rankings.
Other Link Building Methods
Other link building methods such as link exchange or purchasing links are NOT recommended. Participating in these link building tactics can get your site penalized in the search engines. In late 2010 JCPenny got hit with a manual penalty by Google after the New York Times outed them for suspicious link building activities. They appeared to be purchasing massive amount of links. JCP had been ranking #1 in Google for keyword phrases like “dresses”, “bedding”, and “area rugs”. The penalty quickly removed the rankings all together which had an immediate effect on online sales. JCP has since recovered by removing the paid links and esentially promising to follow Google’s webmaster rules.
Content Marketing for SEO
I am sometimes asked how much content is needed. There is no magic number of articles that will guarantee search rankings. SEO is a competitive process. If content was the only factor in Google’s algorithm, the answer would be a little simpler. You would need more content on your site with more keywords than those that you compete with for search engine rankings. However, content is not the only factor.
Biggest Content Marketing Challenges
There are some challenges with content marketing, most of all is that someone has to find the time to write the content. In a recent survey conducted by MarketingProfs / Junta42, 36% of B2B marketers said “producing engaging content” is their biggest content marketing challenge. Hiring a third party to develop the content is a good approach for many companies. If you set yourself up to review the content and make changes to it before it goes live, you have very little to risk. I recommend checking their work to make sure it is original by searching in Google for sentences found in the content. If the content was copied and pasted from another site, you should be able to spot it. You do not want to publish content that has been coped from someplace else. The only exceptions are if your copying a quote or referencing a study.
Coming up with new topics to write about can also be a challenge. We recommend writing articles on topics that your potential customers may be searching on. You can get some ideas by doing keyword research. Keyword phrases with lots of searches and a small amount of competition make great topics. I also like to target keyword phrases that wouldn’t lend themselves to “service” pages. Phrases which contain “How to”, “Tips for”, etc. make excellent topics. Videos and Infographics also make great content for building links, but in most cases, the effort required vs. the reward in links built is less than that of writing articles.
It is important to make sure that the content you write about fits in with your natural search strategy. Your content should contain your target keyword phrases without over optimizing. META tags which match your content and contain your keywords should be used. Header Tags and Alt tags should also be used. In most cases, the topics for your content should be relevant to your industry and based upon recent developments in technology or recent news. The best topics are those that are about topics that haven’t already been written about hundreds of times. Writing about new topics will help you to be perceived as a “thought leader” and a “subject matter expert” which will increase your conversion rates.
Sharing Your Content
Every site is different, but in many cases, a blog is a great place to post your content, keeping it separate from your product or service pages. If you don’t have a blog, you can create a resource articles section on your site which links to your resource articles. Once your contact is live on your site, it is important that you also share the content via email and by posting links to the content on social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. You can also build links by allowing other websites to post your article on their site giving you credit for the article with a live link to your site.
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