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by John Waghorn on 17th January 2013
Yesterday Kelvin Newman laid down the gauntlet for “great content” and it’s one of those buzzwords within the world of digital marketing that we hear time and time again, along with a host of other variations. So today we take a look at how SEO has moved with the times, and why the “build great content” view has gained more relevance, becoming central to any successful campaign.
We know that great content (sorry to use the phrase again) can make a difference, as too can solid SEO foundations; but it has the ability to enhance your SEO efforts, take your rankings a stage further, and help bring in more targeted traffic to your website.
The fact is, in this day and age, you still need Search Engine Optimisation. Without a fully optimised site, you won’t be able to keep up with your competition in the market. Furthermore, without professional technical recommendations and amendments of your site when and where necessary, you won’t be doing as well as you could from a site usability and navigational point of view. Without a solid SEO grounding, your rankings simply won’t stand up to the big guns, so it’s essential if you wish to aim for the top spots. But where does content come into the equation?
Well, with a fully optimised website firing on all cylinders, content can be the perfect tool to take it to the next level. I’m not questioning the validity of both SEO and content as standalone services whatsoever, I’m simply stating that once your site is performing well and any technical issues are ironed out, it may well be the perfect time to turn your attention to content and see how it can complement your work to date. So how exactly can content help any existing SEO work you’ve already carried out?
1. Link Building
The content you create can really help to build links back to your site. Not only does this apply to the actual piece itself, but also for any additional links you manage to gain as a result. Therefore, your content ideas need to be worth investing in. It’s now more important than ever to think about what people are going to want to see and what they are searching for when working on your strategy. It’s no good writing solely for the search engines without any real value; you need to write with your audience in mind. Think of it in the sense that your content needs to be worthwhile for both parties – the time you invest to create it and the time your audience require to read and share it online.
One way to work with your ideas is to use Google Analytics to see which keywords are performing well and which ones are slightly underperforming. Besides those that are already working in your favour, if other keywords are ones which you can realistically target, then create content around these phrases to encourage additional traffic. Researching this first will save you a lot of time and also improve the chances of your content having a positive and sustained impact.
How you want to use these keywords to improve link building is entirely up to you. You may wish to focus on creating an on-site blog post, a sharable Infographic, or write a guest post around that particular topic. If you create something which people value, they are more likely to interact and share it. Content then, can enhance your link building efforts.
2. Conversion Rate Optimisation
Content can take many forms off-page which helps to create inbound links, but you also need to look at your on-page content too. Your on-site content is where users can really feel connected with your brand and as a result, your choice of words is important. Users won’t be all that impressed if your site is fully optimised and performing well, but when they arrive on your pages they are presented with a lack of quality, informative content. As a business, you should be trying your very best to encourage site visitors to convert into customers, as opposed to causing them to exit and go elsewhere.
The solution in this instance is to review all areas of your on-page copy and see if it’s really working for your business. Whether the content is in relation to the products you offer, your core services or your company’s ‘about us’ page, every piece of copy needs to help to deliver results and give visitors faith in your brand. If you have come to the conclusion that your copy isn’t up to scratch, then you should consider using professional copywriting services in order to deliver a strong company message and theme throughout your website. Remember, words are very evocative, so your on-page copy could make all the difference in encouraging curious visitors to convert into loyal customers.
Every business should want to create a positive image in the public sphere. As you actively seek content opportunities and place additional content on the web surrounding your products and services, you can begin to create a decent company image. This will help you to develop a voice within your industry and push your brand in the right direction in the SERPs. Content allows you to build a brand name that people can trust. What’s more, as you grow as a business and keep plugging away in this area, more sites will feel comfortable in linking to you as a top quality resource – further improving your relevance and authority. If you are regarded as a site which offers unique, valid and up-to-date insights then people will return time and time again.
One way to achieve this is to think outside the box and come up with something a little different. Content doesn’t always have to come in the form of written text. For example, a regular stream of videos offering advice and tips, or a look at relevant and important changes in your industry can help for branding purposes. Here at Koozai, we share videos via Koozai TV on a number of subjects relating to SEO, paid search, social media, analytics, news and other areas. It’s a great way to get our name out there and for people to learn about the industry we work in, whilst helping with branding and link building too. Think more creatively about how you can use content in order to improve your branding for the better.
4. Social Media
With more of a focus on social media over the last year and the direct tie-in with SEO campaigns, content can be the catalyst. We’ve all read advice on how to gain likes and followers and encourage your fan base to share your content, but without decent content to hand, it’s harder to achieve any real status in the social world – after all, you need to be sharing something interesting.
From a business point of view and for those who are relatively new to social, it can be hard to know what to share and post on sites like Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus. However, sharable content, be it an insightful blog post, or a relevant video, allows you to use social in order to garner a strong following. By building your social networks, you then create a platform which is worthy enough for sharing content on a more frequent basis and helps you to connect with customers. As your audience increases and more content is shared, this will help the search engines to establish that you are a reputable and authoritative company who is actively using social media.
Search engines favour sites which feature new content on a regular basis, so by serving it up on a plate, you will increase the chances of getting your pages indexed and help to achieve better rankings. An updated on-site blog is the perfect way to ensure you have a constant stream of content and you can target key areas of the business and keywords which you want to build upon. Not only will this help to gain search engine visibility, it will also bring in site traffic through those searching for the particular terms.
Your blog will also allow you to have a voice and let people know that you have opinions and views beyond the corporate image and perception of your company. So, to help your SEO work, find a way of adding content to your website more frequently.
If your SEO is really paying dividends, make sure you use content and think about your strategy in order to help build upon the work you have completed to date. SEO is essential, as too is content, but hand-in-hand, great SEO and great content can really pay off.
SEO and Content thumbnail image from Bigstock
Branding image from Bigstock