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The rules of ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs) have changed. It’s no longer possible to easily buy your way to a top spot in Google’s organic search engine results pages, and the only way to excel in the modern world of internet marketing and SEO is through great content marketing and shareability.
The most recent updates to Google’s ranking algorithms, Penguin and Panda, have been the basis for a great deal of speculation and discussion about these types of changes to SEO in the last 12 months. However, all high level marketers now agree that great content marketing through blogging or another means is at the heart of SEO success.
If you’re on the fence, here are four reasons your company should’ve started blogging yesterday, and ways to think of content creation as much more than just a few blog posts per year:
1. Blogging & content marketing are not necessarily what you think they are
It’s time to put your business first and rid yourself of any preconceived notions about the frivolous nature and poor quality of blogging from the early days of the web. Today, content marketing actually involves producing a variety of formats based on desired effects and prospective audiences. For example, events like Felix Baumgartner’s daredevil free fall from the edge of space–released on YouTube for the launch of Red Bull’s Stratos line of energy drinks–are a modern example of very expensive content marketing. The video of his fall simultaneously broke many only viewing records, including 8 million live concurrent viewers from around the world at once, while also producing an amazing amount of buzz and marketing for Red Bull.
While most businesses don’t have the budget for this kind of stunt, you can be rest assured that developing content strategy and ideas for your business’ blog or other publications has the potential to be much simpler. Past academic thesis can work perfectly in serialized formats. Or consider the 100 case studies sitting somewhere on your company’s intranet for only a few potential clients to see each month! This type of high end content can bring new life, better search rankings, and more revenue to your business.
2. The only way to gather inbound links and excel on Google is through great content
Unless you’ve literally invented the greatest product since sliced bread, the number one factor in sending visitors to your website thanks to SEO or referral traffic is through inbound links. And what’s the best way to gather inbound links? Through fascinating, high quality content production and distribution on a blog or similar piece of technology. (Check out our Introduction to Link Building post for a quick primer.) Google’s latest updates indicate that its web crawlers will be more interested in conversations that are constantly evolving and adding value to the web, rather than online “brochures” thanks to a constant flow of content. It’s clear by now that static websites will and have become the “billboards” of the web that fade into the background, even with the best design and animation.
While these facts has proved to be true for many years in SEO, the Google Penguin and Panda updates of the last 12 months have truly sealed the deadly fate of these brochure-style sites.
3. Content marketing is the best way to build authority and gather new opportunities and customers
Great content marketing has less to do with an occasional blog post, and more to do with how marketers formulate strategy distribution. It involves finding where your target audience is already residing on the web, and involving them in industry conversations with fascinating, high quality information that sets your business as a clear leader in your industry.
All too often managers and owners of small businesses tend to believe that “blogging” is not for them. This has proved to be especially true in the law, industrial, medical science, and the financial industries. While social media and blogs may be considered too “soft and fuzzy” in these spheres, professionals in these fields really should really frame their potential marketing work in terms of producing and distributing valuable white papers, industry reports, studies and much more instead, and whether they’re in a million dollar business or not.
4. Facebook search will factor in content and recommendations
Conversations and content will also be the basis of high rankings in social search, such as the upcoming Facebook graph search. The web has become the 21st century equivalent of the medieval market or the Middle Eastern bazaar. Blogs and social media networks have become more than a place to buy things and be entertained, as they’re now a place to confide, gather advice, and discover new things. This buzz will be essential to listings in the new Facebook search, because just like Google’s, Facebook’s algorithms will factor in conversations, content, and more. One of the easiest ways to fuel positive feedback for your listing is by taking an active role to ask customers to join in the conversation, either through blogging or social media outreach and community management. Excellent content marketing is just what your Facebook followers need to seal the deal and leave a positive review.
One of the best examples of a company that went from a small neighborhood shop to an international craze through content strategy–thanks to the hit American shows Sex in the City and SNL–is Magnolia Bakery, who kicked off the cupcake craze of the late 1990s and now maintains an active blog and social community continually fostering their popularity.
Great content marketing strategy’s next big challenge will be to reinvigorate the spheres of law, finance, industrial services, professional services, and medicine. The content is there, just waiting to come to life. All that’s needed is some great strategy and a beautiful platform.
Need some help to boost your content marketing strategy? Give us a shout and our experts will begin their work asap.
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