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Is Content Marketing the New SEO?

|Apr 23|magazine26 min read

Written by Binh Nguyen, CEO, Market Ease Business Promotions

 

The rule is, and always has been, ‘quality content is king’.

But only now, as content marketing is taking center stage, are we left scratching our heads, wondering how SEO and content marketing can not only peacefully co-exist, but work together to meet our online goals.

So, is content marketing the new SEO?

I’d argue, most definitely not. Both are a necessary part of establishing a strong online presence, and anyone who neglects one to pursue the other is going to have a rude awakening. But when done properly, SEO and content marketing can be an online powerhouse; delivering excellent content that people love, and that the search engines recognise as being high-quality.

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Here are 5 ways content marketers can utilise SEO to propel their content across the web >>>

5 SEO FACTORS FOR CONTENT MARKETERS

#1. High Quality Content

There is absolutely no substitute for high quality content. Gone are the days of throwing together keyword-dense blog posts, pointing a few internal links at them, and getting floods of search engine traffic.

SEO in 2013 is all about providing information that people are hungry for, and presenting it in an engaging, interactive way.

We’re seeing a trend towards longer, more information-rich blog posts. Find out what information people are looking for, and do your best to give a detailed, definitive answer, or a thoughtful, unique perspective on the topic.

Some tips for generating good quality content >>>

  • Plan ahead using an editorial calendar. If you know you’re going to be writing about something next week, you can start mulling over the topic today. Great ideas sometimes need time to settle and refine themselves.
  • See what topics are hot in your industry or niche. Keep up to date on popular blogs to see what topics are trending, and what gaps you may be able to fill.
  • Take a topic and dissect it. There’s a time and a place for ‘big picture’ posts, but many of the most successful pieces are detailed ‘how to’ type posts on very specific topics.
  • Research, research, research. Commit some time before you start writing to researching the topic you’ve chosen. Find out what industry experts think about the topic, and what the main streams of thought are.

#2. Sharable Content

This should be a natural extension of producing high quality content. If your content is truly valuable, it is more likely to be shared, retweeted, and +1’d. How often your content is liked, shared, and mentioned is likely to play heavily in search rankings in the future. Although there’s still some debate about how important it is for current rankings, making sure your content is ‘share-worthy’ is always a good idea regardless.

Make it as easy as possible for your readers to share, like or retweet your content by including social share buttons at the end of each and every post.

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#3. SEO Basics

Some content marketers are moving away from implementing even basic SEO strategies, assuming that their excellent content will be good enough to achieve high rankings. And while good content truly is irreplaceable -- now more than ever -- don’t make the mistake of completely dismissing SEO in favor of content marketing.

Make sure you >>>

  • Optimise your posts to the best of your ability. Include keywords that accurately describe or depict your content, use a descriptive title tag and subheadings, and accurately name and tag your images.
  • Have an accurate and current XML sitemap in place. Make sure Google is able to crawl each and every page and post on your site.
  • Make sure your site loads quickly.Load speed is definitely a factor in current search rankings, and is likely to become even more important in the future.
  • Do keyword research to make sure you’re writing what people are wanting. Keyword research is (and always has been) about figuring out what people are actually looking for. What’s the point in writing something no one’s ever going to care about? Before you write, find out not only what people are searching for, but what words or phrases they’re using when they search for it.

#4. Google Authorship

Have you ever typed a query into Google and seen a result like this?

Screen Shot 2013-04-22 at 22.jpg

If so, you may have wondered how the author was able to get his image displayed with his url, and how you can do the same.

This is what’s known as Google Authorship, and although the jury’s still out in terms of it’s value for search engine rankings, many suspect it will be important for rankings in the future. There’s even a discussion on the concept of Author Rank whereby, the credibility of the author plays a role in how well your page ranks on Google.

In the meantime, there’s no doubt that having an image next to your posts is good for click through rate and building an immediate sense of familiarity and personability.

 Here's how to set it up >>>

Step 1: Sign up for a Google+ account

This is pretty self-explanatory. If you don’t already have an account, go ahead and sign up for one. You don’t need to worry about completely filling out your profile now, unless you plan to actively use the network.

Step 2: Indicate which websites you contribute to

Log in to Google+ and go to your edit profile page. This is where you’ll be asked to enter information like your work, education, and basic personal details. Scroll down, and you should see ‘Contributor to’ in the Links section.

Click ‘Edit’, and then enter relevant website names and urls under ‘Contributor to’. Be sure to select ‘Public’, and indicate whether you’re a past or current contributor to the site. Using the homepage url is sufficient, even if you only contribute to one part of the site (for instance, the blog).

Step 3: Add a profile picture and tag it

This is really important. Go to ‘Photos’ and add a high quality picture of yourself. This is the image Google is going to show when it displays your content in the search results.

Upload an image of yourself, and then click on the image to tag it. Find your name from the drop down list, and select it to complete the tagging process.

Step 4: Link your blog posts to your Google+ profile

This will involve going into all the blog posts you’ve written, and adding a piece of code to indicate that you’re the author. Unfortunately, this will take a bit of work to get set up - or a lot of work if you’re quite prolific.

Insert the following code into each of your blog posts to link it to your Google+ profile (replace the URL with your Google+ profile URL and the name with your real name in the example below) >>>

<a href=”{Google+ Profile URL}?rel=author”>Firstname Lastname</a>

e.g. <a href=”https://plus.google.com/118125628147750279533?rel=author”>Binh Nguyen</a>

And that’s it! In about a day, your posts should display in Google’s search results with your image next to it.

#5. Diversified Links

Don’t rely on any one source of links to your site. It’s hard to imagine a time when external links won’t be important for search engine rankings; links are the foundation on which the web is built. Links act as recommendations to your business from third parties, and plays a key role in determining your company’s credibility and authority online.

Branching out and getting backlinks using multiple methods lowers your risks, and increases your chances of long term success. Pursue multiple high-quality link-building strategies, like guest posting, social sharing/links, content syndication, infographics, and testimonials.

These types of links are going to be harder to get, and are going to take time. But in this age where highly quality content rules, should we be surprised that high-quality linking strategies are replacing the quick and easy (and dare I say, spammy) strategies of the past?

I hope it’s apparent that SEO and content marketing aren’t mutually exclusive -- that the two can (and should) work together -- for maximum online success.

Great quality content that’s properly accessible to the search engines stands the greatest chance of reaching its intended audience, and of helping you achieve your content and SEO goals.

Where has your focus been these days? Do you find yourself relying more on SEO or on producing content? Have you been able to find a good balance? I’d love to discuss this topic with you on Business Review Australia's Facebook page.

 

About The Author

Binh Nguyen is the CEO of Market Ease Business Promotions, a digital marketing agency dedicated to helping companies in Australia grow by leveraging the power of the internet. In the past 6+ years, Binh has helped several multi-million dollar companies in Australia establish themselves as the market leaders in their fields, and sell millions of dollars worth of products and services online. You can connect with Binh on Google+ and facebook.