You may have heard that SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is dead. While over the past decade the shape of SEO has changed, it still matters if you want your online business presence to thrive.
But the core difference is that the focus of good search engine optimization is now about GOOD content. Research-based, well-targeted, high-quality content, and lots of it, outstrips all other considerations when it comes to getting your webpages to the top of Google search results.
Rich Content for Content Marketing and SEO
The ever-changing and still mysterious search engine algorithms operate with a single objective. That is to penalize sites, however large, for so-called “thin” content. Thin content is anything that is poorly researched, poorly written, outdated, copy-cat material stuffed with keywords, which brings little value to the reader.
It’s still viable to curate content, but you need to add new material such as a commentary or supplementary resources and ensure the whole is both information-rich and useful to your target audience. Merely aggregating articles, blog posts, and other media will not “cut the mustard” with the search engines.
Information must be reliable, verifiable, and useful; as the style must be original, accurate, and reader-focused. The key is knowing who your customer is. If your content is rich, relevant, and well-constructed, you’ll likely please readers while touching on many key terms more organically throughout, thus optimizing for SEO naturally.
Google’s Approach to Content Marketing and SEO
It’s important to note that Google’s approach isn’t to define and signpost high-quality content. Its method is to identify and disqualify low-quality content. The idea is that as the search engine identifies and penalizes poor content, the best content will shine through and rise to the top. So, what factors do Google’s algorithms assess to decide which content gets its blessing and which is cursed to the anonymity of anything appearing after page four of the results?
The specific signals Google monitors and evaluates are kept closely guarded. However, we do know that they can be broadly defined as quantitative or qualitative and can be MEASURED.
Quantitative measures look at the overall content and architecture of a website or blog, including but not limited to topics, titles, keywords, internal and external linking, originality, vocabulary, length, style, and formatting. Utilize Google Search Console or get The Nimble Co’s Organic Search Dashboard to help make accessing this information a breeze.
And, did you know Google Analytics can make you a better copywriter? It sure can! By utilizing certain key metrics you can tweak your sales copy to better relate to your customer resulting in higher conversions.
Pro Tip- Use your Google Analytics Acquisition report > Campaign > Organic Keywords to know what keywords your visitors are USING to land on your site,
Qualitative signals measure the ways that site visitors interact with the content, including time spent on the page, scrolling behavior, click-through, social sharing, bookmarking, commenting, return versus new visits, and more.
Digging into Google Analytics will allow you to monitor your own site, understand who your visitors are, their behaviors, and how they are finding you. And the best part is you don’t need to be an expert to start using your Google Analytics to make profit-generating decisions. Using Google Analytics helps you optimize your site so that not only does Google see it as a relevant website but you can use your data to increase conversions.
Interestingly, the way Google determines who gets flushed and who rises to the top isn’t left solely in the digital hands of robots. There’s an active team of real people also reading web pages and making human-based decisions about user experience and quality. Learn how to better measure the user journey with our signature program Measure & Maximize. The quantitative and qualitative data from both algorithmic and human sources all feed into the analytical funnel and helps to decide who wins and who loses in the battle for the prized top ten results.
Analyze to Optimize
How can you use this information to inform and improve your business’s content-based SEO strategy? By using the tips from above, do these two things. Analyze your legacy content. If it’s not up to scratch with the current demands for originality and quality, you need either to improve it or delete it. And second add new content, which meets quality criteria, and doing so regularly, is also essential. Read The 5 Most Important Metrics to Measure Your Website’s Success.
While revising old content and creating and publishing new material should be at the heart of your SEO strategy, you mustn’t work blind. So, you need to keep a close eye on all your data and feedback, analyze what works and why, and aim to focus on producing more content like that. Using Google Analytics Audience Reports allows you to see information such as page views, bounce rates, and avg. time on page. These are all good indications of what content is resonating with your audience.
If you haven’t previously had a focused strategy in terms of content marketing and SEO, you should allow at least three to six months before you see a measurable, positive impact on your rankings in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages.)
Recap: The truth about content marketing and SEO
So, what’s the truth about content marketing and SEO? The truth is that they are now two sides of the same coin. Optimizing for search means researching, creating, publishing, and monitoring, the most useful, original, targeted, and high-quality content you can. The time to start may be yesterday, but it’s not too late to catch up. And if you focus on top-quality content, you’ll soon see the results.