Put your content in a little context.
Search engine optimization is one of those elusive aspects of content marketing. There are SEO experts who follow the near-daily shifts made by the Internet engines that drive the way we find and digest content. Google, for all its innovation, is still the 800-pound gorilla that keeps companies backed into the corner, shaking with an overwhelming feeling their websites are never going to be good enough.
We are constantly asked how to handle this insecurity. And our answer is you don’t have to be scared anymore. SEO is a shifting strategy, and the next-generation algorithms that search engines use to rank content online are finally rewarding content with context—real substance, heart and meaning—rather than messages staged with perfectly optimized keywords. That means you no longer have to use precious brain cells and resources trying to adhere to every tiny metadata rule in order market your digital content well on the Web.
Google is bypassing keyword-stuffed content on websites and ranking higher relevant content that answers questions users actually want to know. This evolution also means you can’t cheat by spitting out massive amounts of cheap, generic content thinking Google will reward you for the “freshness” of your message, either. SEO tracking tool Google Analytics sees right through that—and so do your customers.
The point is keywords are no longer a saving grace for getting found online. You should include your top-rankers, but then look more globally at what your content is providing to your customer. For most companies, marketing through content is now a way to do things like:
- Tell the brand story.
- Engage a specific audience that has a specific problem or need.
- Attract “followers” with high-quality content that personalizes a product or service.
- Increase your targeted opportunities to convert visitors or followers into actual paying customers.
- Encourage loyalists to spread the word for you.
Content marketing in 2016 is all about going back to basics: creating rich, original, relevant content, then mining your content’s performance data to see where you really need to make tweaks. This will help us all breathe a little easier. These days search engines are finally elevating what matters: engaging, substantive content that solves a problem and tells an authentic story, often in many different forms. Maybe now’s the time to put your content in a little context.