There really is no substitute for solid content marketing.
Content marketing is essentially the writing of any article on a subject of interest that adds value to the lives of its readers.
For about ten years now, content marketing has really taken a nose-dive with respect to its overall quality.
With the development of automated writing and delivery tools, many SEOs focused more on link building than copywriting.
For a while, this was a very effective strategy, but during this process, copy quality lost its ability to brand its authors and the businesses that they were representing.
For that reason, I believe that the Panda, Freshness, and Penguin updates released by Google were ultimately beneficial for us all.
SEO Can Actually Damage Your Brand
With respect to an SEO’s overall work ethic, nothing has the potential to damage it more than sloppy work.
What most SEOs do not know is that Google can now detect synonymized content and may even penalize the sites that they link to, if found to be excessive by a human reviewer.
Why Content Marketing?
So why focus on content marketing as an SEO strategy?
Well that’s easy. There are two reasons:
- Reason Number One – It actually converts readers into buyers. Really, that’s the reason we all write anyway, right? Unless I am in “rant” mode and writing just to get something off of my chest, usually, the articles that I write are written with the goal of motivating any reader to some perform some action or to view a subject in a certain way.
- Reason Number Two – Its what Google wants. Think about it. If they serve you sloppy content, then they lose their effectiveness as a service provider and, therefore, they end up losing users. This is actually the reason they introduced the “+1″ system. Pretty good idea I think…and very effective.
So What Should I Do?
So what, then, are some things you can incorporate into your writing style to make it more attractive to both Google and your readers?
Here are just a few ideas to point you in the right direction…
- Humor – I really like this one. Generally, if a person is writing an article into which they are incorporating humor, they are not focusing on spamming search engines and they tend to write more naturally. Naturalness is key because naturalness has the tendency to make an article more engaging which in turn increases visitor page residence time. This is very important.
- Lists – Lets face it, most people are scanners when they read. Reading takes time and one way to increase a visitors appreciation for your work is to make your article scannable. Lists are great for doing this. If you can add a list or two to your article, it breaks it up in a nice way and makes your content much easier to read.
- Header Tags – I like header tags even though I don’t always use them. Header tags prime your readers mind for the information to come and if their mind is primed for reading about a particular subject, the reader generally tends to appreciate it more and benefits from it more. This is key to a great conversion rate. Here is an important tip, however…don’t stuff your header tags with keywords…that actually throw up a red flag now.
With respect to SEO, as a writer, the absolute best mindset you could pursue is that of a journalist.
How does a journalist think? What do they focus on? What do they pursue?
Well that’s easy…HOT TOPICS…and they write about whatever they find with naturalness and passion and they write about it, even if its been written about before, with their own personal twist making their view as unique as possible.
Avoid Keyword Research
To begin, this statement is for copywriters only.
That being said, what can help you to do this, namely, increasing your naturalness and readability, and thus, convertability…
Well, one of the best ways that I know of is to avoid keyword research. I know that sounds like SEO-suicide, but its true. I have seen more cases where keyword research and incorporation destroys on-page copy than I can count.
Articles that are stuffed with keywords generally sound horrible and read horribly when scrutinized closely.
Honestly, I try to never do keyword research when writing from my own site. Again, I know that sounds crazy, but search algorithms are getting very adept at detecting keyword stuffing, so I avoid it now.
After I write an article (for whatever reason or purpose) I then publish it on my site. Then, after it is indexed and receiving traffic, then I make it available for syndication or republishing. Works pretty well I think.
What’s really nice about this methodology is that it rewards quality. The higher the quality of your articles, the better they perform under this format.
The Bottom Line
Content marketing these days is all about quality, likes, and shares. The better your quality and the more likes and shares you get, the better you content will perform on the web.