Content has always been the core of any marketing campaign, but now the buzz word “content marketing” is being used in conjunction with SEO (search engine optimization). In recent times Google has accelerated its efforts to provide better search results by continually improving its algorithms. Wave after wave of changes have sent the SEO community scrambling to make the necessary adjustments to maintain rankings, and many are still scratching their heads trying to understand exactly what Google wants.
The Game Has Changed
In its infancy stage, online marketing meant putting up a website, creating a few pages of so-so content, and selling something. Using spun content and link farms was enough to gain top rankings in the search engines. SEO experts could game the system by employing simple linking strategies and keyword stuffing; these tactics worked for a while, but the game has changed.
What is Content Marketing?
Content comes in the form of text, audio, and video. In the context of content and search engine optimization, text is the main component. Search engines cannot interpret audio or video output, so text is the content of choice. In this new age of search Google still ranks websites based on backlinks, but there are other metrics that must be considered.
Social Metrics: Even though the algorithm program is highly secretive, it’s widely known that social media plays a vital role in the ranking system. The most popular social media platforms are Twitter and Facebook. Almost all websites now have icons where a visitor can subscribe to a twitter feed, or in Facebook’s case they can click on a like button.
Bounce Rate: Content plays an important role when it comes to bounce rate. A bounce rate is a measurement of: how long a visitor stays on a site. The longer a visitor stays on a site, the lower the bounce rate. In Google’s eyes the interpretation is: the better the content, the longer the reader stays – this increases the value of the site.
Just with these two simple metrics, it’s easy to see how content marketing is becoming more and more important for SEO. Visitors, potential customers, and existing customers are demanding more valuable content, and this is what content marketing is all about. The days of sub-par, crappy content is pretty much behind us now. The focus of SEO experts is on creating high quality content for both customers and marketing purposes.
Good content attracts more attention, it keeps visitors engaged, and it can even get those coveted backlinks for rankings. And as far as backlinks – chances are that good, quality content will yield backlinks from quality websites, and this is another benefit of content marketing.
Every new invention, idea, or technology goes through this evolution of manipulation, and online marketing is no different. Content marketing has taken on a new meaning because people demand it, and so does Google. Some will still try to game the system using old techniques, but for those who want to be ahead of the SEO game – content marketing is the way to go.