The only reason Search engines exist is to deliver appropriate content to people searching for something. Content marketing is all about developing the greatest amount of traffic available to a website by using content effectively.
When content marketing is done correctly, your site will get more traffic from the search engines than ever before!
Start With A Plan
For every website, there are keywords that apply to that website. For someone approaching content marketing as a tool to drive traffic to their website, there are two types of keywords that need to be considered – general and specific.
General keywords – These are keywords that generate a great deal of traffic, but the search intent is not always clear, or the search intent could be a multitude of possible interests.
It is not unusual for general keywords to be less competitive than more specific keywords because they lack commercial focus.
The volume of the content is vitally important. Generally speaking, a website with 80 pages will outperform a website that has 8 pages by far more than 10x the amount of traffic. Adding volume allows you to generate search engine success in keywords that don’t generate a ton of traffic, but cumulatively, they will help to generate a lot of traffic over the course of a year.
Probably the biggest obstacle for most small business website owners to overcome is the volume of content. Any business owner that has used any sort of advertising has almost always had to remove content rather than develop more content. Less is more when it comes to grabbing people’s attention.
When it comes to search engines, a page that fully describes everything about a particular topic will be rewarded with the greatest search position. Multiple studies have found that there is a correlation between the volume of content and the position in the search results.
Most pages that are at the top of the search results in very competitive keywords use between 1,500 to 3,000 words on the page. Apparently, that is the amount of content it takes to describe everything anyone could want to know about any particular topic. That’s the goal.
Search engines don’t want to reward websites that have thin content. How would that help the search engine? They have their own customers to worry about – and that’s the whole point behind why they reward content-rich websites filled with interesting articles.
Finally, there’s latent semantic analysis. What’s that, you might ask? It’s the ability of Google to determine what your website is about – theme, topic or whatever you want to call it – by the types of words that it uses.
For example, if your website is about tires, then it will contain words, like rubber, compound, tread, stopping distance, radial, and probably dozens more. If you are hoping your website will rank high in the search engines in a search for tires, then using the word tires over and over again is only going to raise a red flag for the search engines and end up making your site perform worse than it otherwise would have.
Quality of the Content
If you are planning to enhance the content of your website, then the most important idea to keep in mind is to make your website a true resource for potential customers Focus on long-tail keywords.
There are a few that bring a lot of traffic. That’s the “head” of the graph. The long tail refers to the tons of keywords that generate 3, or 2, or 1 visitor for the time period examined. As the traffic number gets lower, more keywords qualify. On a graph, it produces a “long tail”.
Another way to think about long-tail keywords is that if you have one keyword that brings 10,000 people to your website each year, then that’s great!
Your site might have 10,000 long-tail keywords that each deliver 1 visitor. Which is better? Well, the long-tail model is definitely safer!
In this fictional example, the keyword delivering 10,000 visitors is highly competitive. Slipping one position in the search engines for that one keyword could mean that the traffic to your site diminishes substantially.
Focusing on long-tail keywords to build traffic is the opposite of putting all of your eggs in one basket. This is the most important point about content marketing that I think I could make!
However, it’s not an either/or proposition. You can have both. The great irony is that in focusing on lesser keywords, your site becomes more “well-rounded”. If your site is more “well-rounded” it offers much more information about a particular topic than can be found in any one article or topic.
So, that same website will do much better in search engine positioning in highly competitive keywords, simply because it is
Other Measures of Quality
The content you provide can’t all just be boring, dull stuff about things in general. Your website will be much more successful if the pages of your site are on-topic and interesting. There has to be a focus on the theme and there have to be multiple themes in each website.
Concentrate on the topics most likely to inspire questions about your type of business. Do keyword research to find what people are looking for and find where people performing those searches are currently not being well-served.
If your content is not original content, then don’t even bother. Search engines will not reward a page or a website that uses duplicate content. You can’t get away with changing a few words either. However, be creative!
It is entirely acceptable to take an existing article and rewrite it in your own words. Make it better! Expand on an existing article or concept. Take the opposite point of view of a controversial article. “Why” or “How” articles are great.
There are lots of ways to make your site more interesting with quality unique content without reinventing the wheel each time. Just don’t duplicate content or your site will be penalized.
Social Media Can Help
I don’t want to contribute to the feeling among many (most?) business owners that they are falling behind when it comes to social media. There is strong resistance to social media in a lot of areas. It’s not essential for your success, but it can help.
One important measure of the quality of the content of your website is the number of times it has been shared, commented on, or liked in one way or another.
You are not going to generate a viral post every time you bang something out on your keyboard, but getting people to share your content helps tell the search engines that it has value. Search engines look to social media for clues about content quality.
Often, it is said that Search Engines have ever-changing requirements, and are generally in a perpetual state of flux. One thing that never changes, and really never has changed is the basic premise that if you supply content that people like (or need!), your website will be successful on the Internet. Search engines exist to connect people with content they need or want. Create that content and search engines will like you a lot.