Many people believed that the most recent Google Penguin update, deemed ‘Penguin 2.0’, was going to change the face of SEO as we know it. This time around, not a lot changed, but when the first Penguin update was introduced in 2012, it set the stage for a whole new concept that would change the way we do SEO forever.
2013 has been deemed the year of content marketing, as Google begins to rely much more on the written word than the link building tactics it previously held dear. But what does that mean for SEO?
Content Is King
You may have heard the buzz phrase of the moment, ‘content is king’, and as obnoxious as it may sound, it’s not far from the truth. Content marketing is an inbound marketing tactic, and the best SEO advice now being given is that although links will still be considered when Google’s bots do their bidding, what they are really looking for is well written content that is written for the reader, not for the bots.
The latest series of Penguin updates have seen Google’s bots become more human than ever, sifting through the terrible quality content that is over-saturated keywords in an attempt to get their attention, but never made to be fit for human eyes, and discarding it in favour of high quality content, peppered with a light dusting of keywords and anchored text only where it makes perfect sense and is absolutely relevant.
So what aspects of content marketing go hand in hand with SEO?
Keyword Optimised (Not Keyword Heavy) Blog Posts
Blog posts are the cornerstone of any decent and successful content marketing strategy. They give people a good insight into a company’s knowledge and opinions within their industry, and when a blog is well written and the topics are fluent and regular, it can attract recurring visitors to your website.
In terms of SEO, the blog posts should not be written for the sole purpose of placing specific keywords in. They should be written with the purpose of being authoritative and informative in the company’s field and the keywords should naturally find their way into the text as and when appropriate.
Guest Blogging For Quality Link Building
The days when the quantity of back links to a website were what earned high rankings are over, now it’s all about the quality. Google claim that their algorithms are now picking up on high quality back links, meaning links that are placed on a reputable and authoritative news site, blog, or website, and the best way to earn these links is through guest blogging.
Guest blogging involves writing a blog post to the agreed specifications of the host blog/website, which they will then post with a by-line or mention and link to the guest blogger and their company’s website. It is easier said than done due to the recent surge in popularity driving blogs and sites to become much more picky about the posts they accept, but if you build a good relationship with them and give them something unique and attention grabbing that sticks to all their guidelines then you can’t go wrong.
Content, SEO and Social Media
The three buzz words of 2013, they all interweave, each playing their own part in the overall digital marketing plan.
- Social media can be used to share content, and the social posts can be optimised for SEO with keywords.
- A company’s social media channels can rank higher than their website in terms of SEO, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing and it can be much easier to achieve than high website rankings.
- Content feeds social media channels with fresh sharing material and can improve website SEO.
So using these three main techniques together can supercharge a company’s efforts in digital marketing as a whole!