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Content Marketing Best Practices: What Still Works?

SEO, Content Marketing | 25th Sep 2013

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Video Transcript

So you’ve got yourself a killer piece of content, but your efforts could be in vain if you’re using these activities, and you’re not complying with Google’s guidelines. Not only will this affect the piece of content that you’ve written, but it might also affect your website too.

So what are we going to do today? Well, we’re going to take a look at these current content marketing activities that have all hit the headlines recently, and we’re going to look at best practice tips for each of those.

So let’s kick off with advertorials. These hit the headlines quite recently, thanks to the Interflora case. Basically, Interflora [were] using advertorials as a way of passing PageRank to optimise their website. So what do you need to be aware of? Well, if you’re using advertorials, you need to make sure that you’ve declared that it’s a sponsored post. That needs to be clearly written on the post. You also need to make sure that you nofollow the link. I recommend that you use a branded anchor text for the link. Also, I recommend that you target top quality sites, because at the end of the day, if the link doesn’t contain any SEO value, what it will do is pass referral traffic. So make sure that it’s a top quality site that’s going to deliver you good quality traffic.

This leads us nicely on to press releases. Press releases very recently have come under scrutiny simply because, just like advertorials, you can pay for press releases to be distributed across the Web, which also contain links that can pass PageRank. Now, obviously, this is against Google’s guidelines. So you need to make sure that when you’re doing press releases, you are nofollowing the links. Very, very similarly to advertorials, you want to make sure that you’re using branded anchor text. Really, when it comes to press releases, you want to make sure that you’re only creating newsworthy content. Press release services themselves are stepping up their efforts, in terms of their own editorial guidelines. This will really help you to only produce newsworthy content.

Guest blogging. Now this really is targeted towards those that are conducting guest blogging on a mass scale, and they’re only targeting poor quality sites. If you’re doing that, this is what you need to do. You need to stop producing three to four guest posts a month. Google can easily detect, algorithmically, the number and the frequency at which guest posts are being produced and submitted. As a result, they can either penalise you algorithmically or manually. So scale back the amount of guest posts you’re doing. You’re far better to use your efforts to create one killer piece on a really good site, maybe, say, every other month or every quarter.

When it comes to guest blogging, you really want to be looking at the quality of the site, so the structure. You want to be making sure the design is good. You want to make sure that there’s a continuous theme running throughout, so not just random topics. You need to make sure that there’s one continuous topic throughout the theme of the site. You want to be looking at interactivity, so the amount of comments, social shares, and to make sure that they’ve got a genuine social following as well. Also, always use branded anchor text. And just like with advertorials, when you’re doing guest blogging, if you do pay for it, make sure that this is clearly stated as a paid post or sponsored post and you nofollow the link. That’s crucial.

Blogger reviews. This is a bit of an ethical grey area, because if you look at Google’s guidelines, they simply state that if you’re paying for a post, or you’re paying for a link, or at all incentivising for a link that passes PageRank, then this goes against their guidelines. This is where blogger reviews come into it. What you need to do is you need to ensure that any review given [states] that the reviewer has paid for the content. That’s one way to get around it. Then, once when they’ve paid for that review, they are then free to write a review positively or negatively. That’s really at their discretion.

Another way around it is to ensure that you’re only targeting top quality sites. Top quality reviewes, on really, really good sites, mentioning these steps that we’ve mentioned about guest blogging. So they need to have lots of interactivity, comments, social shares, that type of thing. Always ask for a branded anchor text [link]. And as I mentioned, just really target those top quality sites when you’re looking for blogger reviews.

Finally, when it comes to infographics, this has hit the headlines quite recently. Creating infographics is a good practice. Simply putting that on your blog is absolutely fine. You want to be making sure that you’re creating quality. When it comes to promoting it, what we need to start doing is scaling back the number of sites we use that are infographic-only sites. It’s good practice to start nofollowing those links. So make sure that your links included within the infographic are nofollowed. Always use branded anchor text in the embed code. Really, what we want to start to do is to implement an outreach program, whereby you’re targeting industry-specific sites for your infographic, not those infographic-only promotion sites. Also, when you do target those sites, ask if they can introduce the infographic with a unique piece of copy. That will make it a lot more organic and genuine.

These are the current content marketing activities that people are using at the moment, and we’ve just gone through some of the best practices. Please ensure you are using those. Please keep using these activities, because there’s nothing wrong with them. We just need to be make sure that we’re adhering to Google’s guidelines. Let me know how you get on.

If you have any other tips that you’d like to share, please leave them in the comment section below. Which leaves me just to say, thank you very much for watching. For more information, please visit the social profiles coming up right now.

About the author

James Perrin

Content Marketing Manager, James Perrin is a regular contributor to the Koozai blog. Well experienced in sales and marketing, James also has a passion for journalism and media, especially new media. From the latest industry related new stories to copywriting advice, James will provide you with plenty of digital marketing information.

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