Original content has long been a foundation of any SEO strategy and the most essential part of a content strategy. As any savvy internet marketer knows, it’s very important to establish yourself as a thought leader. Creating interesting, informative content can do this very effectively, but rather than put content out there without a coherent plan in place, it is essential that you devise a strategy.
Content Marketing is Here to Stay
CMI data shows that content marketing is still relevant, even in 2018. 60% of marketers quizzed reported that their content marketing strategies were more effective as each year passed. In part, this is down to better quality content being produced and more time spent on the process, but it’s also a reflection of people being more receptive to online content in all its shapes and sizes.
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Content Strategy #1: Moving Away from Cheap Content
Cheap, badly produced content is in decline. This has been the case for a while now. There was a time when businesses could get away with paying non-native English speakers peanuts to produce illiterate rubbish purely to build links, but not anymore. Google cracked down on the practice.
Content needs to be high quality, useful to the reader, and full of facts. This is the only way you will earn natural links back to your website. Why is this? Well, people won’t cite your post or article unless it has something to say. Backlinks happen naturally when a reader links back to your content. This might be because it’s an interesting take on the subject, or because you packed it full of facts and statistics.
It is also worth remembering that high ranking sites won’t accept low-quality content. They don’t want their site to be tainted by inferior posts and articles; this dilutes their brand message.
Great content placed on high ranking sites earns long-lived backlinks. This helps to boost your rankings in the search engines. Instead of enjoying a temporary boost before dropping down the rankings, you end up staying at the top of the pile.
Today, your writers need to be talented and coherent. And you also need a defined content strategy for your ideas and formats.
Content Strategy #2: Long Form Content
SEO statistics indicate that long-form content is more effective than shorter content. Studies of the top-ranking pages and their correlation to Google results prove that content around the 2,500-word mark performs much better than content 2,000 or less. This may come as a surprise to many, but the numbers don’t lie!
Guest posting and blogging still have their place, but content marketing has evolved into new areas. Rather than concentrating on blogging, start producing videos, infographics, and illustrations.
Broaden your reach by targeting different content channels. As we mentioned in the opening paragraph, to be successful, you need to establish yourself as a thought leader. There are many ways to do this, but some of the most effective include social media posting, e-books and white papers, email newsletters, and videos.
Content Strategy #3: Voice Searches
Voice search is likely to continue growing in 2018, so content marketers need to adapt to survive. Users are increasingly using devices like Siri and Alexa to search for content online. Regular key phrases won’t work in voice searches.
You need to adapt your keywords and turn them into natural speech patterns. Content needs to answer the how, what, where, when we use when we ask questions. For example, instead of targeting customers using ‘pizza takeaway in Bath’, you would use ‘find me a pepperoni pizza delivery service in Bath’.
Keywords need to be contextual. Focus on long-tail key phrases rather than single keywords. Phrase your keywords as actual questions, just like real people do when they need information online.
Make sure your voice is natural. Stay away from industry buzzwords and keep it simple. Real people don’t use silly buzzwords when they ask Alexa for advice. They talk like human beings, not machines.
Content needs to flow in a natural way. Unless you are targeting high ranking business pages, content should always be informal and conversational. This gets much better with voice search queries.
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Think about your target customer when creating content. Collect data and build a picture in your head of what this person or people look like. Use this information to inform you when you write.
This article is written by Veselina Dzhingarova. She has long experience in internet marketing and SEO. She is passionate about blogging to share her expertise. Veselina is a regular contributor at many online publishers. She is the co-founder of Blogforweb.com and others. You can get in touch with her on LinkedIn & Google+.