The content marketing revolution
Most zombie films will disappoint moviegoers who expect to leave the cinema on a high.
The same can be said for large quantities of web content which is sculpted to charm robots rather than serve real people.
Unfortunately, this is the world some businesses still inhabit as they strive to get noticed despite search engines waking up to their doomed methods long ago.
However, I’m about to show you how modern Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and top class content marketing intersects. If you are hunting for the sweet spot where both technicians and creatives can co-exist in harmony, read on.
But first, I have a short history lesson.
Google’s brave new world
The zombie apocalypse for old school SEO came with the introduction of three new beasts which forever changed the way Google indexed and most people searched the internet.
Known as Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird, over time these creatures wiped out whole cities of SEO practitioners who’d made a living out of scheming, gaming and cheating first generation search algorithms to get their customers as close to the top of page 1 on Google as they could.
Until Google got clever enough to scupper their dubious tactics, SEO companies had it easy. A few dodgy directory listings here, a smattering of spammy copy there. It truly was party time in digital marketing world.
Now the landscape has changed. Google is dominated by advertisers, publishers and clever businesses investing in content to feed their clients’ insatiable appetite for information and entertainment.
While digital marketing has changed, some old school SEO companies have failed to move with the times and don’t know where they fit in. And some content producers don’t fully understand how many SEO strategies are still valid if they want their work to reach the biggest possible audience.
How content marketing and SEO works now
Two flawed schools of thought have emerged:
- The SEO Rules school: Here, you will be taught that content won’t work unless it is over optimised for search engines, shaped entirely for sales purposes or peppered with click bait and link juice. Every piece of content lives and dies by its individual metrics and is spurned forever if it doesn’t meet its objectives.
- The Content Rules School: Here, whimsical content writers endlessly rejoice while falsely believing they rule the roost. Woe betide tech-head SEO types who insist there is no point writing the world’s most wonderful prose if nobody is able to find it.
Of course, I have exaggerated to make a point. In truth, the path to redemption lies somewhere between the two extremes.
The Content Marketing Institute explains what content marketing is and why it works better than most. Known as The Wizard of Moz, Rand Fishkin is your man if you want to brush up on everything about the science of SEO.
For a summarised version of their excellent work, follow these simple rules for blending modern SEO and content marketing and you’ll be on the right track.
- Invest in content: One verse did not make the Bible. Be realistic. In very rare cases, single pieces of content go viral and create overnight sensations. For most of us, building trust and managing relationships takes time, so expect to work harder and produce more content before you begin to see the real benefits. Article Writers Australia works with web designers, professional services businesses and SEO companies to provide quality content in a variety of areas they can’t because of time constraints and skill gaps. Our advice? Focus on what you are good at and outsource your content needs.
- Build communities: Good content spreads because it resonates with people who share common interests. Cleverly challenging their beliefs over time can inspire interest and engagement because it can make people look smart if they share it. Watch how the community grows if you can achieve this.
- Amplify your content: Social media, email newsletters, promoted posts, remarketing, sponsored content, blog outreach – they all work in bringing your content to new audiences and growing your ironed-on communities.
- Be Patient: Most content marketing gurus and blog maestros will tell you they weren’t overnight success stories even if they appear to have been. Many of them wrote hundreds of blogs, engaged in massive and expensive amplification programs before they made it. While this is not the only path for every business, programming regular content schedules and amplification strategies eventually pays off.
- SEO Lives: Finally, we’ve arrived at the happy ending I hinted at. If more than six billion searches for information were conducted in one place every single day, wouldn’t it make sense that some of these people might be looking for your blog or web page that way? Do you think you can ignore these numbers? You bet you can’t. Crafting relevant, interesting, insightful, entertaining, shareable, thought provoking, discoverable content is how to find big rewards. It’s indisputable. Social media alone cannot compete with these metrics.
Don’t be fooled, this zombie apocalypse not only comes with a happy ending – it holds the promise of many enjoyable adventures to come.
As Simon Pegg’s character found in the final scene of the zombie comedy Shaun of the Dead, playing with the devil you know has its advantages. But there is a price to pay for not knowing the risks or looking for new opportunities.