Your SEO Content tactics NOW should be pretty much as they were for the past year (if you were doing it right)! However, Google has set up the stage for you to perform panto and interact with the audience so make sure your content is special delivery. In other words, the content has to be good quality or you may as well hit the street.
Okay, let´s get past the Christmas puns and back to work. January always brings around new ambitions, but Google were four months ahead of you and gave you an engine which you can rev up and use to your advantage.
The focus for search engines is to identify the best sites based on the opinion of end users. What you are faced with essentially is delivering content send-users feel compelled to share. We are not just talking about writing engaging articles anymore, online business owners need to be encouraging their social followers to share the content with other people.
The RankBrain sings
Several weeks ago I wrote an article admonishing Google´s new algorithm. RankBrain wasn´t sucking up the nectar I was looking for. He still isn´t that well, but is getting better. One thing I have noticed though is RankBrain is working very well for my clients.
RankBrain is part of Hummingbird algorithm. It is Google´s most sophisticated algorithm yet. The complex algorithm is able to understand the context of an article and indexes using the information gathered by robots.
Keywords are therefore redundant for search purposes, but are still required in order for you to communicate the subject matter to search engine crawlers. However, now you have more flexibility in your writing it is easier for you to flex your creative muscles and write content without the restrictions of strategically placed keywords.
Be socially smart
Social media networks are powerful marketing platforms and my feeling is that more technology will be developed this year that will help online business owners engage their friends and followers to generate more business.
Mobile marketing is a fast growing industry and apps have already been developed to allow marketers to reach their customers. With GPS and social media networks, tracking and contacting customers is easier and instant feedback functions will put you in direct contact with prospects browsing your site. According to a study conducted by Montate 70% of queries where the customer is on a portable handset result in a sale within the hour.
Be a contributing writer
Another way to reach out to an audience is to present yourself as an authority figure in your area of expertise. If you work in a specialist industry there is probably an e-zine that accept well-written and informative articles from contributors.
Writing for a web magazine is not the same as link building. Although there is some leg room in link building there is still an element of danger that Google will eventually find a way to penalise blogs that offer guest posts. The problem is some web owners are asking for payment in exchange for a link in the article. This is not permitted by search engines and anyone found to be engaging in this practice will be penalized.
There are two ways to tell the difference between a reputable magazine and a low authority blog. Professional editors know they are not permitted to include commercial links in the body of the article. However, Google has left a door open for experts. And some of the magazines that accept articles from specialists actually pays!
Contributing to an Ezine
When you contribute for a respected ezine you will be given an author bio in which it is possible to leave a link back to your website.
Low quality blogs will allow you to put links in the body of the article or request a fee to publish your content. Avoid the latter webmasters completely – even if they do not state on their website they request a payment.
That is not to say you should not write for low-authority blogs completely, just make it sparse. In order to get published on an authoritative website you sometimes need to provide evidence of your writing for other sites and blogs are a good place to start. Of course your own blog may be sufficient, but if you consistently get turned down you may need supporting evidence before an editor considers your contribution.
You SEO strategy should be firmly focused around delivering top quality content, encouraging customers to share content through social media interactions and looking into mobile technology you can use to engage with customers and get them to your store.
Writing web content for users and search engines
Writing blog and article content for the web is changing – still! Web content was originally designed for the reader, then we had a spate of tricks such as keyword stuffing and meta descriptions so content would be picked up by search engines. Then Google insisted in quality content again and writers started producing content for end-users again.
Now that RankBrain is fluttering about, writers and marketers have once again been challenged to think about the type of content they publish on their websites, or more importantly their client´s websites.
A new way to search
The Big G claims to have dispensed with the use of keywords in articles when conducting a search term. That doesn´t mean to say however, that keywords are completely a thing of the past because they are not. Search engines will still use keywords to categorise websites and web pages.
The idea behind Hummingbird however, is to be able to identify semantic searches – in other words, the algorithm will recognize the context of the search rather than honing in on specific keywords.
My only concern is that search engines are being used for censorship so that it impossible to find anything interesting on the internet – or indeed the truth. Most people should be aware by now that mainstream media does not report the whole truth which has prompted a spate of alternative news sites written by journalists who have a conscience and want to tell the truth.
Do these sites ever come up in searches though? They used to, but not anymore! Which prompts the question whether Google algorithms are intended to improve the quality of content on the net or to bury information the government don´t want you to know!
A new way to write
Whatever Google´s intentions are, the good news is for online business owners. You no longer have to stress yourself about learning how to write SEO, you just need to know how to write well. The fact of the matter is that you are writing purely for readers and not search engines anymore.
But how do you know whether search engines will be able to identify the context of your article? The best way to do that is by writing succinctly about a specific subject, using sentences that you think will be as a long-tail search term and using terms that are commonly associated with your subject matter.
It is too early to tell whether the Big G will get their algorithms right in order to identify quality content, as this will enable copywriters to focus on quality SEO content for the reader rather than having to strategically embed keywords in their articles. The algorithms will also help the cream of the copywriter rise to the top and siphon away poorly written SEO content.
Boost your SEO content strategy with a variety
Think of SEO content tactics and blogs are probably the first thing that comes to mind. Blogs are a great tool for marketing your content – but they’re not your only option. Web users consume a wide range of content types and each of them gives you a unique way to engage with your audience.
Mix up your content strategy and you’ll engage with a wider range of people. Some of us love to read. Others not so much. While some are more likely to spend an hour on YouTube than search Google for information. Variety appeals to more tastes, but it also helps you create a more interesting content strategy to entice your audience.
Just because you write killer content you don’t have to publish it in writing. Videos are the big thing in web content right now. Especially short videos which offer a lot of info in a short space of time.
They’re great for social too. The rise of Vine shows how popular social video has become, while Facebook timelines are full of shared clips. And YouTube not only offers up the largest online video audience around, but a powerful SEO tool as well.
Podcasts are another way to give your audience’s eyes a break. The great thing with podcasts is busy folk can listen while the do something else. They make great soundtracks for public transport and chores around the house – all you need is your ears.
Podcasts are a unique way to build relationships with your audience too. They’re more personal than written text. Listeners get to know your voice and associate a personality to the person speaking to them.
It’s not just your audience you can get closer too either. Interviews with professional peers and thought leaders make great podcasts content. Which gives you a chance to network with some big names in your field. Great for building authority and contacts alike.
Whitepapers, ebooks and guides
Written content still offers something unique to you and your audience. We associate the written word with textbook knowledge and reliable information. Not to mention the SEO and web traffic benefits.
You can still mix up the written content though. Whitepapers, ebooks and guides are a great way to give your audience a free gift now and then. They’re easily put together too. Chances are everything you need is already in your blog. With a few redrafts and enough new info you have a fresh bit of content to publish!
Most importantly – blog on!
Make sure you don’t forget about the blog though. Keep the blog posts coming and use them to introduce your varied content. Write a blog post for every video, infographic or podcast you release.
This brings all the blogging benefits to your other content. Not only that, but it gives you new material for your blog, adds a touch of variety and makes your blog a more interesting place for your audience to be.