22 Oct Six Insights for Your Content Strategy
At last week’s annual gathering of top SEOs and web marketers at Bend WebCam, experts shared the latest insights into how to get your online content noticed. With Google News monopolizing lots of first-screen real estate, your branded content had better be good. Six bits of intel:
- Content is no longer king: long-term community building and content marketing are. You need both social media engagement and great website content. SEO Marshall Simmonds @mdsimmonds, former Chief Search Strategist for the New York Times, says expect to spend 12-24 months on building your online community. And while silence on your content may be deafening at first, just keep trying. If it doesn’t work, change up your platform (Pinterest? YouTube?) or your formats (motion graphic? meme?).
- Authorship and author rank continue to grow in importance in determining how your content performs in Google search returns. Author influence is becoming as important as brands in content. So make sure you have your rel=author code in place on your website and Google+ profile. This creates the little picture of the author next to whatever web content you post. SEO Simmonds says this increases click-throughs on content by 30%. Try the Google Author Link or Yoast SEO plugins to add the code if you have a WordPress website.
- Bing evangelist (and proud Canadian) @DuaneForrester notes there are 5.7 internet-enabled devices per household today. And in 2013, for the first time, mobile queries are outpacing desktop. Implication: make sure your content is easily viewed/read/actionable on mobile.
- More advice from Forrester: be the right content. As defined by searchers. Not you. This means creating unique, informative, compelling content that includes links and follows SEO best practices. Theresa Baiocco @theresabaiocco recommends developing personas for the types of people you want to market to, then write for them.
- Make your content natural to readers. Bruce Clay @BruceClayInc warns against stuffing the body of your content with keywords. Yes, make them prominent, but also use stemming (variants/tenses of words). Be conversational. Use humor. Be the answer for your social media followers.
- Change is the only constant. SEO eminence grise Bruce Clay also notes that in 2012 there were over 525 changes in Google’s search algorithm. Nobody can guess what direction Google will take as it continually refines what it considers “good content” that will boost your search rankings. So the best approach is to just create and post useful, optimized content for your prospects and customers, on a regular basis. Trying to game the system (by buying links, by linking to organizations/content not directly relevant to you, or getting other organizations to link to you when there’s really no logical connection) will eventually penalize you in search rankings.