New forms of content marketing are proving valuable, including virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa. This certainly does not take the focus away from other avenues such as websites, blog, videos and social, but it does add opportunities that may be more cost-effective in the months to come. No matter the medium, one of your goals of this year should be to produce fresh content, keyword purpose, backlinks and audience engagement.
Search engines like Google are improving each day with separating good content from bad. Users now have more control over information they’re presented with online. New algorithms are aiming to anticipate user needs and provide answers, not just results. This makes the quality of your content the utmost important. As the digital world evolves, user interaction is very important, hence why virtual assistants, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are now at the forefront. As the landscape evolves, here are 5 reasons content marketing will continue to benefit your SEO strategy:
#1 Fresh Content is Essential
Simply put, content marketing is creating and sharing unique content in order to acquire and retain customers. When it comes to SEO, content freshness is one of the most important factors search engines like Google use to determine rankings. So, what is “fresh content”? Fresh content is anything on your site that has been recently updated. For this reason, blogging has become an essential part of any good SEO strategy. It provides a way to create more content pages without having a dramatic impact on the structure of your website.
#2 Encourage Keyword Purpose
As tools like Alexa, Google Home, Siri, and Cortana are becoming more popular, the amount of queries originating from voice search is skyrocketing. These queries are more conversational compared with those that are typed. As a result, we are seeing long-tail keywords become more important. As you construct your content, keep this in mind. A recent article in Search Engine Watch provides some good tips on how to create content that provides value, rather than simply targeting keywords. Remember that it’s the content, not the keywords, that will improve your qualified traffic, and investing in good content on the front end will pay off in the long run.
For more information on how to improve your content for voice search, see our recent analysis on Improving SEO for Voice Search After Google’s New Release of Guidelines.
#3 Increase Website Traffic
The principal goal of content marketing is to bring more quality traffic to your website. However, these results do not come quickly. You may find that heavy content promotion in the early stages create small, temporary spikes in traffic. Don’t be discouraged. Just like SEO, content marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time to create a consistent traffic flow of quality traffic referrals. A common pattern among organizations is wanting to give up on creating content after about two months, where contribution efforts seem to exceed results. Content marketing takes longer than this since it takes time to build your archive of expertise and for Google to collect data that reveals its value. When this finally happens, you will rank high in search results and enjoy the accompanying benefits.
Use the early stages as an opportunity to begin cueing up on-page optimization tests and collecting data that will help find the best landing pages and calls to action. Remember, content marketing is what attracts prospects; marketing augmentation is what moves them through the conversion tunnel.
#4 The Backlink Effect
According to SEMrush Blog backlinks remain one of the most important ranking factors in the SEO industry. The logic makes sense: Creating good content naturally commands engagement and backlinks, two of the hardest metrics to manipulate. However, there’s a huge difference between getting links and getting good links, and the introduction of updates like Penguin from Google continues to penalize websites that pursue low-quality link building techniques.
#5 Long Term Conversion Yield
Aside from dedicated staff hours, content marketing involves moderate upfront expenses and in some cases, low short-term ROI. Again, this typically takes more than a few months. But, as the operation continues to attract an audience with high-quality content, it will begin to deliver cost-effective results. As links continue to age, a virtual “snowball effect” will propel earlier content’s traffic as it is shared, indexed and recognized by key influencers across the web.
Remember that content marketing is not just a campaign; it’s a process that takes planning and dedicated staff hours to earn the trust of users and search engines. Just like any marketing campaign, the speed at which you see results will vary by client, industry, budget, and the level of commitment outlined in the early stages of SEO program. Regardless of the program, creating good content that users find interesting, funny, or informative will always create its own demand.